New Hampshire Budget

NHPR Staff

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Monday she is running for the U.S. Senate, setting up a long-anticipated contest against incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. 

NHPR Staff

Preliminary numbers show New Hampshire closing the books on the 2015 budget with a $73 million surplus, far greater than what was expected.

During the budget writing phase, Gov. Maggie Hassan's office criticized lawmakers for counting on rolling nearly $50 million in surplus into the next budget.

Hassan's office says the surplus will help strengthen the state's rainy day fund and improve the state's financial outlook. She says the Legislature should consider using some of the money to address public school funding concerns.

Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald

On The Political Front is our occasional check-in on all things politics with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 

Planet Fitness

Gov. Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that would have changed the state’s business tax code. The so-called “Planet Fitness” measure was introduced by the gym franchise in May after the company’s executives threatened to leave the state if the law was not changed.

Top N.H. Lawmakers Discuss State Budget Impasse

Jul 2, 2015
Sean_Marshall / Flickr / Creative Commons

Since Governor Hassan’s budget veto last week, lawmakers have called for compromise, though there’s been little action on that front. Meanwhile, as state government continues to operate under a temporary resolution, agencies are struggling with uncertainty. We sit down with leaders from both parties to discuss the way forward.

Jennifer Cochran / Flickr/Creative Commons

Amherst Public Works Director Bruce Berry was a happy man last spring when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the first increase to the state’s gas tax in more than 20 years.

The legislation promised to double the money the state doles out to repair municipally owned bridges, from $6.8 million a year to $13.6 million. At the time, Amherst had three bridges “red-listed” as structurally deficient, including one on Manchester Road that had been closed for 18 months.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A panel that included the step-mother of a woman who died of a heroin overdose told a House committee Thursday that proposed cuts in substance-abuse programs will exacerbate the state’s alarming rise in drug-related deaths.

“Last year, it was 321,” said Tym Rourke, chair of the Governor’s Commission on Prevention, Treatment and Recovery. “Next year it could be 600 and the year after that, 800.”

Spotlight On The 2016 N.H. House Budget

Apr 7, 2015
Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr/cc

Last week, New Hampshire House Lawmakers sent their plan for state revenues and spending to the Senate.  We’ll dig into what they did –and didn’t do– with two House Finance Committee members.  We’ll also examine some of the rhetoric you might have heard and find out what’s true and what may be a matter of interpretation.


Sara Plourde / NHPR

Every two years New Hampshire lawmakers are given the task of producing a budget for the state.  The aim is to craft one that best serves Granite State residents, spends within the state’s means as well as adheres to the party lines of those in the majority.

This session with a Democratic Governor and Republican controlled House and Senate – the budget process will fluctuate quite a bit before it is signed into law by June 30th.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire house has passed an $11.2 billion state budget.

The proposal includes no tax and fee increases and lifts state spending by about $400 million, some $300 million dollars less than the plan proposed by Governor Maggie Hassan.

“This was an effort to look under every cushion of the sofa to look for loose change.”

Alex1961 via Flickr CC

New Hampshire transportation officials say a $41 million budget cut proposed by House budget writers would have dire consequences on public safety and result in more than 300 layoffs.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

We'll sit down with Governor Hassan to discuss her budget for the next biennium, the current legislature, and her goals for the next two years.


  • Maggie Hassan - New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, a democrat in her second term.  She’s also a former state senator from Exeter, and a former Senate Majority Leader.
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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

NHPR’s Josh Rogers joins Rick Ganley Monday mornings to discuss developments on New Hampshire’s political front.

Governor Hassan has begun her second term. Republicans voted Saturday to give Jennifer Horn another turn as party chair. And back to work for lawmakers in Concord. Let’s start with the GOP state committee meeting over the weekend, the re-election of Jennifer Horn. Significant?

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.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has sent state agencies a letter asking them to submit conservative budget proposals that keep spending increases at a minimum for fiscal years 2016-2017.

The letter includes a request for agencies to submit proposals for improving their efficiency and effectiveness. The instructions were included as part of the state's biennial budget manual, which was delivered in training sessions Wednesday.

New Hampshire's Veterans Home is asking for $7 million for a third floor addition in the next capital budget — one of 150 projects submitted for consideration.

Veterans Home officials will make their pitch Tuesday at a hearing on the $227 million in spending requested by state agencies.

Gov. Maggie Hassan opened the two-days of hearings Monday with a warning that not all the projects will make the final cut next year when the governor and Legislature decide priorities. The capital budget approved last year was for $125 million from general tax funding.

Thomas Fearon

With rising need and limited dollars, how best can we use funding? Should we add more acute care hospital beds, boost community services, focus on drug and alcohol treatment or diseases like schizophrenia?


The New Hampshire House and Senate easily passed a state budget on Wednesday, sending the two-year spending plan onto the Governor for signature.

After four months of debate and some late night deal making, the final product--a $10.8 billion budget measuring nearly 1,000 pages--enjoyed wide bipartisan support.

The vote was unanimous in the Senate and nearly as wide in the House, where lead budget writer Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord) praised the two chambers for working together.

Todd Bookman / NHPR


With a Thursday deadline fast approaching for an agreement on the state’s next budget, House and Senate leaders remain apart on many of the issues that divide them. 

Medicaid expansion--perhaps the most divisive single item--remains on hold. So do House-backed increases to the gas and cigarette tax.

The two sides did spar on the Senate’s proposed $50 million so-called back of the budget cut to state personnel. Democrat Mary Jane Wallner, lead House negotiator, opposes the move, and says public services have already been cut to the bone.

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. 


Todd Bookman / NHPR


A day after the New Hampshire House voted down a Senate-backed gambling bill, it was the upper chamber’s turn to weigh in on some key House legislation.

And there may have been some tit-for-tat.

The GOP majority quickly snuffed a House bill calling for a $0.20 increase in the tobacco tax.

Republicans did much the same with an effort to reinstitute a state minimum wage, and a bill that would have added $0.12 to the state’s gas tax over three years.

While work on the state’s next two year budget continues in the Senate, the Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET), a levy on hospital revenue, still sits in the spotlight.

MET collection is $34 million short of estimates for this fiscal year. In Monday's Senate Finance Committee meeting, lawmakers expressed concern about overly optimistic forecasts for the next two year cycle.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas testified before the committee. He says that while his agency oversees Medicaid, it doesn’t handle taxes.

Senate budget writers turned their attention Monday to the state’s biggest agency, the Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposed budget for DHHS comes in at just more than $2 billion. It seeks to restore the CHINS program and increase payments to hospitals for uncompensated care.

The budget also lays out $24.5 million over the next two years to shore up the state’s troubled mental health system.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro questioned if the state can wait that long for a fix.

Commissioner Nick Toumpas replied there really is no choice.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

If the Senate bill that proposes a single casino in the state becomes law it “would dedicate millions of dollars per year directly to North Country economic development,” Governor Maggie Hassan said during a speech Thursday night before the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

That would spur business and job growth “helping us attract new companies by marketing the North Country’s advantages to businesses in Canada and elsewhere,” she told about 125 people at the Log Haven Restaurant on lonely Route 26 in Millsfield, about 145 miles from Concord.

Yesterday, Governor Maggie Hassan presented her priorities for state spending. It was a long list that included more funding for mental health, higher education, state troopers and a new women’s prison.  On the funding side – Hassan proposed a higher tobacco tax and Casino Gambling. But not everyone agrees that the numbers add up.  We’ll look at the details and where the budget battles go from here.