Senator Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen and Deputy Leader Lou D’Allesandro today called on the Local Government Center (LGC) to acknowledge the findings of the recent report released by the Bureau of Securities Regulation and to start cooperating immediately with the Bureau. The Democratic Leaders additionally called for the immediate return of any misused or excess reserve funds maintained by LGC.
“It is my hope that in light of the findings of the report – that rather than expend additional taxpayer dollars fighting the report findings – that the LGC will now immediately undertake the task of cooperating with the Securities Bureau in order to reach an expedited resolution,” said Larsen. “In these difficult times our citizens and local communities are struggling. They are contending with job losses and reduction or elimination of essential public services. If there are excess monies through overcharges available they should be returned to the taxpayers in an expedient manner.”
Larsen and D’Allesandro were flanked by many of their former colleagues in the Senate including Senators Maggie Hassan, Deb Reynolds, Jackie Cilley and Betsi DeVries. The four were all members of the Senate Commerce Committee in 2010 which took on the task of examining the practices of the LGC through a series of public hearings and review of documents. The hearings eventually resulted in an amendment to House Bill 1393 of 2010 which included a directive to have the Bureau of Securities Regulation further investigate the LGC.
“What we felt was important then and continue to feel is important now is a maximum level of transparency and accountability whenever taxpayer dollars are being utilized,” stated former Senator Maggie Hassan who chaired the Commerce Committee panel that reviewed the LGC’s organizational structure and financial practices. “These are monies held in the public trust and to the extent that they are being misused or misallocated there should be clear recourse for the taxpayers and our communities.”
The Local Government Center is authorized by statute as a non profit entity under RSA 5-B for the purpose of addressing the need for low cost risk pools by municipalities.
“There are potentially hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars at stake with no legal structure in place to oversee them and no assurance to the public that they are adequately protected,” added former Senator Jackie Cilley. “The public has a right to know that their money is being used exclusively in a manner for which it was intended and I strongly encourage the LGC to move forward with steps to ensure such measures occur.
The Bureau of Securities Regulation plans to proceed next month with further hearings and inquiries regarding the findings outlined in the Bureau’s report.