The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Policy Research Shop Testimony: June 4, 2012

PRS students Kali Montecalvo ’13, Grace Hart ’13, and Roanna Wang ’13 meet with the Grafton County Comission at the Rockefeller Center

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PRS Students Testify Before Members of the Grafton County Commission

On June 4, 2012, the three members of the Grafton County Commission—Chairman Michael Cryans, Commissioner Omer Ahern, Jr., and Commissioner Ray Burton—traveled to the Rockefeller Center to hear testimonies from three Policy Research Shop groups who have been working on projects for the Commission throughout the spring term. The commissioners were willing to travel to campus in order to accommodate the students who were in the middle of final examinations. The first PRS project presented was written by Kali Montecalvo ’13, Grace Hart ’13, and Roanna Wang ’13. The policy brief focused on the rehabilitation programs available at the Grafton County Prison and compared these programs to rehabilitation programs offered in other counties in New Hampshire as well as in other counties across New England.

 Montecalvo presented the group’s findings to the commissioners and responded to their questions. The second project presented to the Commission was written by Christopher Whitehead ’12, Travis Blalock ’12, and Ben Schifberg ’13. Whitehead and Blalock provided the oral testimony on the privatization of public entities, including prisons, state parks, and hospitals. The project focused on examples of successful and not so successful attempts to privatize these three entities across the United States and focused on projects of similar scale to New Hampshire public entities. The final project presented to the commissioners was undertaken by Andres Ramirez ’14 and Stephen Prager ’14. The project focused on the funding of rural airports in New Hampshire. In addition to the Manchester airport, there are more than two dozen smaller airports across the state. Each struggles to maintain itself with limited state and federal support. Ramirez and Prager analyzed the various funding schemes developed by each of the airports and offered a variety of policy alternatives for future funding of rural airports in New Hampshire; they then responded to the questions asked by the commissioners. The commissioners were uniformly pleased with the research presented to them by the PRS students. Commissioner Burton remarked at the conclusion of the meeting, “I would give each of them an A for their work.”

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