State department heads will spend the coming weeks working to meet Governor-elect Maggie Hassan’s mandate to cut spending by 3 percent next year.
The state's largest department says it's begun to craft its budget plan to meet a Jan. 4 deadline.
Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas, says he expected to have to work with a smaller budget next year, so Hassan’s spending targets were not a surprise.
On Wednesday, Hassan asked agencies to cut their budgets by 3 percent for Fiscal Year 2013 and keep spending level for Fiscal Year 2014. Stage agencies have less than a month to come up with spending plans that meet Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan’s budget directives.
Toumpas says this is one of the first steps in a long process that must work its way through the Legislature.
“What we’re doing is doing our own analysis where we’ve taken a look at where our spending’s been, where the need is, and now looking at what type of options that we have with the target that the governor elect has provided us.”
Last month, Toumpas asked for an additional $321 million from the state because of rising costs such as paying nursing homes for Medicaid care. The department’s current two-year appropriation is $1.3 billion.