Budget

Politics
4:25 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

DHHS Commissioner Delivers Warning On $82 Million Shortfall

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.

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Morning Edition
8:20 am
Thu January 8, 2015

House Finance Chair: Balancing The Budget Will Require Tough Choices

Credit NHPR Staff

The new legislative session kicked off Wednesday, and by all accounts, the most pressing issue for lawmakers will be crafting a new, two year state budget.

The state is looking at potentially more than $100 million in new costs, and that’s before taking into account a possible multi-million dollar deficit in the current budget.

Republican Neal Kurk of Weare is the chairman of the House Finance Committee joined Morning Edition to talk about the task ahead for lawmakers.

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Politics
12:30 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

State Spending Will Be Focus Of Upcoming Legislative Session

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The state budget will serve as the political battleground between Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican lawmakers in the upcoming session, with state spending on universities, prisons and services for vulnerable populations at the center.

The state is facing more than $100 million in new costs driven by one settlement with hospitals over a controversial tax and another with the federal government over mental health services.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Hassan Orders $18 Million In Budget Cuts

The N.H. Statehouse dome in Concord
Credit NHPR Staff

As she presented the cuts to the legislature’s joint fiscal committee, Governor Hassan told lawmakers there are two things driving New Hampshire’s growing budget shortfall.

"This is a challenge created by both tax law changes and increased demand and federal law changes in our Medicaid caseload."

These issues are familiar to budget watchers. Medicaid caseload are up – the publicity surrounding Medicaid expansion is one reason. Another are federal changes that have increased eligibility.

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Politics
8:24 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Statehouse Orientation Underway For Newly Elected State Reps

The N.H. Statehouse dome behind a statue of Daniel Webster
Credit NHPR Staff

School's now in session for New Hampshire's newly elected state representatives, who are spending two days touring the State House and learning the ropes of legislative procedure.

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NH News
3:14 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Community Colleges Request Budget Increase To Lower Tuition

New Hampshire's community colleges want $6.4 million in new money in the next budget to lower tuition by $10 per credit hour.

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NH News
4:40 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

University System Requests Additional $52 Million For Tuition, STEM Initiatives

Credit Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

The University System of New Hampshire wants an additional $52 million in the next budget to maintain its tuition freeze, give more scholarships to students in science and math fields and lower tuition for some community college students.

Representatives presented this request to Gov. Maggie Hassan Thursday morning, kicking off three days of budget proposals. These requests serve as a guideline for Hassan as she begins to develop her budget that's due to the Legislature in February.

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NH News
8:15 am
Thu November 13, 2014

State Agencies Present Budget Requests To Gov. Hassan

Credit Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

State agencies are starting to present their budget requests for New Hampshire's next two-year budget to Gov. Maggie Hassan.

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NH News
5:01 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Senate Republicans Applaud Proposed Tuition Freeze, Call Funding Debate Premature

Credit Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

  Republican State Senate Leadership responded Tuesday to the University System of New Hampshire Trustees’ request to restore University funding to 2009 levels, a $16 million dollar increase between 2015 and 2016, in exchange for another two years tuition freeze.

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Health
3:47 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Hassan Signs $11 Million Mental Health Package

Gov. Hassan signs House Bill 1635 into law, surrounded by mental health advocates and lawmakers.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Governor Hassan has signed legislation designed to strengthen the state’s mental health system, a result of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2012.

The law allocates roughly $11 million through next fiscal year for increased community-based treatment options including supportive housing and crisis response teams. It is the first portion of a $30 million settlement agreement reached in December.

The Disabilities Rights Center and U.S. Department of Justice had sued the state in federal court over its lack of adequate care for people with mental illness.

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NH News
4:45 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

State Revenue Continues To Fall Below Estimates

Credit Sean Marshall via Flickr CC

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said Tuesday that May's revenues were about $3 million below estimates, mostly because $2.6 million the state thought it would get during the month came in April instead.

Hodgdon said May is a small tax collection month and can't be used to pinpoint trends. She said officials will be better able to tell if a trend is developing once tax receipts are in for June, a significant tax collection month.

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Newscast
5:20 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Hassan Orders Freeze On Spending As Tax Revenues Dip

Governor Hassan testifying Thursday in Concord.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

A legislative committee has approved New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan's proposal to freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out-of-state travel.

Hassan asked the Fiscal Committee Thursday to approve the freeze, as past governors have done when confronted with potential budget deficits. 

"Given the fact that revenues currently remain ahead of plan for the year, this is an unprecedented action that will help protect our budget," Hassan told lawmakers.

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NH News
4:52 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

New Hampshire's Fiscal Year Finishes With Surplus

Governor Maggie Hassan says strong fiscal management by state leaders and an improving economy have boosted the state's budget surplus to $76 million for fiscal year 2013.

That figure is $19 million more than the $57 million lawmakers had anticipated.

Hassan also said Friday that a monthly forecast shows the state currently running almost $27 million ahead for the 2014 fiscal year.

The state has a $10.7 billion budget for the current, two-year cycle.

The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Budgetary Back And Forth

The House has rejected revenues from the Senate’s gambling bill while Senators have said no to higher taxes on gasoline and cigarettes. Meanwhile Governor Hassan says she still wants to fund her priorities but after these votes, finding that money will be difficult and cuts may in store.  We’ll examine how it might all play out. 

Guests

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Politics
10:50 am
Thu April 11, 2013

N.H. Congresswomen Cite Concerns With President's Budget

Many Republicans are  unhappy with the president’s newly unveiled budget, but so are some of New Hampshire’s Democrats in Congress.

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NH News
4:15 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Teachers' Union Comes Out In Favor Of Casino Money

NEA President Scott McGilvray at the press conference hosted on Monday.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The state’s largest teacher’s union, the National Educators Association of New Hampshire, has come out in favor Governor Maggie Hassan’s budget, including its use of casino gambling as a source of funding.

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NH News
4:44 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

House Committee Readies Budget Plan

The $11 billion budget the full House will vote on next week is likely to send $32 million less to hospitals for charity care than the Governor proposed.

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Town Budget
4:24 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Salem Voters Go To Ballot Box For First Time On Town Budget

Some communities, like Salem, will decide on budget issues at the ballot box
Credit Tracy Lee Carroll / NHPR

It’s Town Meeting time in New Hampshire.   Salem is one of the state’s biggest towns, and this is its first year moving away from the classic community get-together to the ballot box.  The town expects this change to increase voter turnout tomorrow as it considers major budget issues.

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Politics
3:45 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Gas Tax Critics Pounce On Campbell's Email Comments

Rep. David Campbell
Credit Josh Rogers, NHPR

As the New Hampshire House prepares to vote on a plan to increase the gas tax by 15 cents, the bill’s lead sponsor is working to undo the damage of an email he sent top Democrats where he called the gas tax increase “a gift that keeps on giving.”

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NH News
12:57 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Manchester Mayor Unveils Budget Proposal

Mayor Gatsas presents his budget proposal to aldermen and department heads
Credit Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Mayor Gatsas unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2014, which raises taxes and allots more funding to schools.

Gatsas' budget pushes for the maximum amount of new revenue allowed under the city's tax cap. That's just more than a two-percent increase.

The bulk of new revenue would go towards bolstering the city's school system, which has experienced layoffs and overcrowding in recent years.

Gatsas was optimistic that the budget could be hammered out before the city's June deadline, but acknowledged it would be a difficult process:

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Politics
7:30 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Governor, Legislature Prepare To Hammer Out Budget

During her campaign, Governor Maggie Hassan ran on restoring at least some of the money cut during the last round of budget writing.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

With a new governor, a divided statehouse, and continued uncertainty over federal spending, New Hampshire lawmakers are preparing to hammer out a budget.  It’s never a particularly easy process.  But hopes are high at the statehouse that this session, the inevitable fiscal fights will be more muted.

In her inaugural address earlier this month, Democratic governor Maggie Hassan struck a bipartisan tone about the state’s finances.

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Politics
5:40 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

N.H. Treasurer Urges $125M Capital Budget Limit

New Hampshire's treasurer is urging lawmakers to limit borrowing for public works projects supported by state taxes in the next capital budget to $125 million.

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NH News
5:38 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

State's Biggest Agency Asks For Budget Increase

The Department of Health and Human Services is asking for $321 million more to cover their programs for the next two years.   

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Education
5:59 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

University System Asks Budget Writers For $100 Million

Credit Kyle Todesca, UNH

The University System of New Hampshire is asking lawmakers for $100 million dollars in annual state funding.

That’s more than twice what they were given in the previous budget.

Heads of the various state departments, and the presidents of the state’s universities went before budget writers today to present their initial requests for state funds.

Chancellor of the University System, Ed McKay, says he is cautiously optimistic that governor elect Maggie Hassan will make restoring the cuts from the last budget a priority.

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NH News
9:25 am
Thu August 2, 2012

State Aid for Water Infrastructure Falls; Extreme Rain Events Rise

Flikr Creative Commons / blmurch

New Hampshire towns looking to improve their environmental infrastructure – think drinking, storm-water, and wastewater projects – can go to the State to get some help paying for those projects. But since 2008 the State hasn’t been able to fund its part of the deal, and as the weather gets wilder, that could mean trouble down the road.

In 2008, the small town of Jaffrey completed construction of a brand-new wastewater treatment plant, says selectman Don MacIssac.

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NH News
8:23 am
Tue April 3, 2012

More Cuts Threaten Legal Services for the Poor

The most recent State budget slashed funding for legal services for the poor. Last week, the House passed a bill that would put even more aid at risk.

The legislation would change how something called IOLTA works.

IOLTA stands for ‘Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts’.

When a client hands money over to a lawyer for a short period of time, say, while a real estate deal is being closed, the lawyer puts the money into a pooled account. That account earns interest.

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Politics
5:43 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Guinta Touts GOP Budget

Second District Congressman Frank Guinta is helping champion House Republican’s new budget blueprint that Democrats say is dangerous for the nation’s poor and vulnerable. 
Both sides agree the new G-O-P budget paints a stark ideological contrast ahead of November’s elections. Inside Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s new spending blueprint are cuts to Pell Grants, Medicaid, food stamps and an overhaul of welfare. The legislation also continues the G-O-P push to turn Medicare into what amounts to a voucher program, which is unpopular with many voters.

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NH News
2:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Alternative Sentencing Program Faces Verdict

Hagar at home with two of his daughters.

Recovering alcoholics can usually pinpoint their rock-bottom. For Michael Hagar, it was the night of July 28, 2009. That evening, he met up with some friends to drink behind the Hannaford’s supermarket in Keene. 

“And that is where the whole incident took off from,” said Hagar.

Behind the grocery story, Hagar believes he drank about 18 beers. Then someone jumped him, hitting him in the face with a log. His pants and wallet were stolen. Gushing blood and enraged, he staggered into the store's parking lot.

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