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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Hassan Signs $11 Million Mental Health Package

Jul 11, 2014
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.

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.

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.

New Hampshire's Fiscal Year Finishes With Surplus

Oct 4, 2013

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.

Budgetary Back And Forth

May 28, 2013

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. 


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

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.

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.

Vote Here
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.

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.”

Mayor Gatsas presents his budget proposal to aldermen and department heads
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:

Governor, Legislature Prepare To Hammer Out Budget

Jan 17, 2013
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.

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

Jan 8, 2013

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.

State's Biggest Agency Asks For Budget Increase

Nov 27, 2012

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

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.

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.

More Cuts Threaten Legal Services for the Poor

Apr 3, 2012

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.

Guinta Touts GOP Budget

Mar 20, 2012

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.

Alternative Sentencing Program Faces Verdict

Feb 22, 2012

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.