DHHS Commissioner Delivers Warning On $82 Million Shortfall

Jan 21, 2015

The N.H. Statehouse in Concord
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's top health official warned lawmakers his department’s current budget has what amounts to an $82 million shortfall. The legislature’s fiscal committee meets Friday to consider a proposal by the Governor to balance the state budget by July.

As he briefed the house finance committee, Health and Human Services commissioner Nick Toumpas stressed what many lawmakers already know – that his department faces a tough balance sheet.

“There is an implied lapse obligation of roughly $24 million, which is over and above that $58 million, and we really don’t have the funds to do that.”

Toumpas will present the state's plan to close the current budget gap on Friday.

Lawmakers have already signed off on about $20 million dollars of budget cuts proposed by Governor Hassan, as well as a tax amnesty program to encourage payment of delinquent taxes.

Hassan's office is circulating documents suggesting the problem the department faces is much smaller; closer to $13 million.

Clarification:  An earlier version of the story did not make clear who would present the state's plan.