Budget Agreement Could Be Months Away, State Senator Says

Jul 13, 2015

Credit NHPR Staff

It remains to be seen whether, or when, Republican lawmakers and Governor Maggie Hassan will resolve their differences on the next two year state budget.

The House and Senate are expected to return in September to consider legislation vetoed by Governor Maggie Hassan, including two budget bills.

House Speaker Shawn Jasper says lawmakers may return earlier if the state’s budget issues are resolved, but Senate Ways and Means Chair David Boutin says a deal might not come until later in the fall, because the two sides remain far apart on several issues. 

Republicans, Boutin says, aren't going to support reauthorizing Medicaid expansion beyond 2016 in a final budget deal, as the governor has proposed, while Hassan has spoken out against cuts to the state’s business taxes, which the GOP has made a priority.

“The last issue that’s hanging out there, I think, is the state employee pay raise," Boutin says. "I think there’s a sentiment that we’d like to get to a place where we could do that. But it takes two to do it.” 

State agencies are operating under a temporary funding resolution using spending levels from the previous two-year budget.