Jessica M. Karmasek Jul. 1, 2013, 6:45pm

CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) -- New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster says with better funding and more staff, his office could save the state the expense of hiring outside attorneys in most cases.

Foster, who was nominated by Gov. Maggie Hassan and confirmed in April, made the comments during a breakfast forum hosted by the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire Thursday.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Foster -- who worked at one of the state's largest law firms, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, for nearly 30 years prior to becoming the state's top lawyer -- told the group the legislature has been a "little too tight" with the office's budget.

On top of that, he said the office, with about 50 lawyers, is smaller than it was in the early 1980s.

By both increasing funding and adding lawyers to his staff, Foster told the group the state would end up saving more money -- by not spending as much on outside legal counsel and recouping more in settlements.

"Even though outside counsel does a great job, we could spend less if we had more money for staff," the attorney general said, the Union Leader reported.

"I hope the business community will support efforts to help the department grow."

Foster, a Democrat, served as senator for the state's 13th District from 2002-08, rising to majority leader in 2007.

Prior to serving as a state senator, he also served in the state House of Representatives from 1995-98.

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