NH Budget

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, the GOP-backed $11.35 billion budget passed both floors Wednesday as expected. The two-year proposal now heads to the Governor, who repeated her promise to veto it once it arrives on her desk.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The House and Senate have officially passed a budget for the next two years – a plan that Governor Maggie Hassan promises to veto. Here’s a breakdown of how the governor’s budget proposal compares with the Legislature’s on a few of the major policy and funding points.

NHPR Staff

Funding for public higher education is a core issue in the budget battle now being waged between the Governor and the Legislature. Meanwhile, budget woes are brewing on the state's community college campuses, too, where students, faculty, and senior administrators don’t agree on how to balance the books.

The House and Senate will be voting on the $11.3 billion state budget proposal on Wednesday. But what is different from most budget cycles – is this time lawmakers will also vote on a temporary spending plan to extend past June 30, which will keep government running if the governor does make good on her promise to veto it. NHPR reporter Paige Sutherland talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley 

NHPR Staff

House and Senate leaders say they’re crafting a bill that would fund state government beyond July 1, when the current budget expires.

Sara Plourde / NHPR; Data: Legislative Budget Assistant

A show-down over budget politics is brewing between New Hampshire’s Democratic Governor and Republican controlled Legislature.

Renewable energy advocates hope they can use it as an opportunity to convince budget writers to reconsider funneling money away from renewable incentives to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

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.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

After a stretch of long days at the State House and a threat of a veto from the governor, Senate and House budget writers signed off on a two-year spending plan Thursday afternoon.

The $11.3 billion Republican-backed budget passed without any of the significant changes Gov. Maggie Hassan called for earlier that morning.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan’s promise to veto the state budget unless Republican leaders remove or offset proposed business tax cuts is drawing support from Democrats and galvanizing GOP opposition.  It also suggests the budget impasse may not be resolved for months.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Negotiators in the House and Senate agreed to a compromise version of the next two-year budget earlier this week. Here's a summary of how the deal was reached.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

After multiple days of long hours at the State House, lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on the two-year state budget.

But Governor Maggie Hassan last night described the plan as “fiscally irresponsible and unbalanced,” and urged budget writers to go back to the drawing board or she will veto it.

Jack Rodolico

As the next state budget takes shape, Gov. Maggie Hassan and legislative leaders have been debating how to fund New Hampshire's mental health system. The state spends more than $100 million each year providing these services, and one word sums up the sentiment in the mental health community right now: uncertainty.

  Case in point, a construction site at New Hampshire Hospital.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Senate and House budget writers say they hope to have a final two-year spending plan by the end of the week, but after two days of meetings, little to nothing has been settled.

So far, all the major sticking points between the two proposals have been put on hold. That's left no room for discussion on issues such as increased funding for mental health, substance abuse, elderly care or developmental disabilities that were all put in the Senate version.

Two proposed changes to the the state's education funding formula have been passed by the two chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature. Both seek to increase or lift altogether the state's cap on growth in per-pupil spending. And both would pay for such it by reducing so-called "stabilization grants," created in 2011 to keep certain school districts from losing huge amounts of funding after the last round of changes to the base aid formula.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR; Data: SAUs 28, 30 & 62; Legislative Budget Assistant
NHPR Staff

New Hampshire House and Senate negotiators return to work this week on the next two year state budget.

The committee of five representatives and four senators are looking to bridge differences between the budgets passed by each chamber. The Senate plan spends about $150 million dollars more than the version passed by the House, and includes business tax cuts that aren’t in the House plan.

House Finance Chair Neal Kurk, a Weare Republican, says he’s concerned the Senate plan rolls $34 million dollars in expected surplus from the current budget into the next one.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

With lawmakers now in the final phase of crafting the state budget for the next two years, schools around the state are watching the process uneasily. The Legislature is looking, once again, to tweak the formula it uses to send money to local districts. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State budgets contain multitudes: billions of dollar signs, thousands of policy decisions, and almost as many political calculations. For any governor, the budget is likely to be the single biggest political test in his or her two-year term. For Gov. Maggie Hassan, this year’s budget poses a particular challenge: how to get a product she likes, or can at least claim to like, from an all-Republican legislature while heading into a big election year. 


Sara Plourde / NHPR

The debate over New Hampshire’s business taxes has largely played out along partisan lines this year, with Republicans supporting staggered cuts to the state's corporate tax rates, and Democrats opposed. But political rhetoric aside, let's look at the underlying numbers to better grasp the core policy issues.

NHPR Staff

From the start of this year's budget negotiations, Republican leaders, as well as many business groups, have stressed that New Hampshire's corporate taxes, among the highest in the country, are driving away business.

Dave Juvet, senior vice president of the state’s Business and Industry Association, says as other states have made efforts to lower their rates, New Hampshire has lost ground.

NHPR Staff

With lawmakers facing a June 30 deadline to pass a two-year state budget, Senate and House leaders say speculation about a government shutdown is unfounded.

In a joint statement Wednesday, Senate President Chuck Morse and House Speaker Shawn Jasper said leaders in state government are doing everything in their power to make sure a budget is passed before the deadline.

Bradley To Democrats: Meet Us Halfway

Jun 8, 2015
NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate voted along party lines last week to pass the $11.3 billion dollar two-year state budget. The budget has been described by Republicans as "conservative, yet compassionate." Democrats say it doesn't go far enough. NHPR's Peter Biello sat down with Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley to talk about the budget and what's to come. 

NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate voted along party lines last week to pass the $11.3 billion dollar two-year state budget. Democrats tried repeatedly to restore funding for mental health, winter maintenance and the renewable energy fund—those efforts failed. Efforts to restore funding to substance abuse treatment, elderly care and developmental services were more successful, though funding levels did not reach what Governor Maggie Hassan had proposed.

NHPR Staff

On the Political Front is a weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the challenge facing lawmakers on coming to agreement on a new, two year state budget.

It’s getting to be that time of year in Concord – where House and Senate committees meet to negotiate agreements, or fail to negotiate agreements, on key issues. The state budget is, of the course the biggie.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Senate has passed a bill 14-10 that would remove a tax provision brought to the legislators’ attention last week by Planet Fitness.

The New Hampshire based gym franchise, who recently decided to go public, told lawmakers that if the provision remained on the books, they would leave the state.

Currently 200 jobs would be lost if the company moved headquarters. The company, which began in Dover in 1992, has more than 950 locations nationwide.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After hours of debate and more than a dozen failed floor amendments, the Senate voted 14-10 along party lines Thursday to pass a $11.3 billion budget. 

The Senate proposal spends $99 million more than the House version but $66 million less than what the Governor proposed. A fact many Democrats were not shy to point out Thursday, including Sen. Lou D’Allesandro of Manchester.

 

The full Senate is taking up its $11.3 billion budget proposal as a partisan and contentious budget season continues.

Senate budget writers restored most of the House cuts to social service programs that prompted a backlash of criticism.

Republicans maintain the Senate plan restores money for the state's most vulnerable citizens while Democrats say it cuts taxes for big businesses at the expense of everyone else.

The Senate Finance Committee presented to colleagues its $11.3 billion budget proposal Tuesday at the State House calling it a "conservative but compassionate budget."

But Democratic Senate leaders say the two-year spending plan is not in the best interest of New Hampshire residents, claiming that it is riddled with “budget gimmicks” such as double counting and unspecified budget cuts to key social services.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn also criticizes the plan,  claiming it gives business tax breaks to “special friends” such as Planet Fitness.  

Town of Derry

Deep budget cuts are causing controversy in the town of Derry.

At a meeting last month, the town council voted 4-3 to close one of the town’s fire stations. The budget also eliminates eight firefighter positions and cuts the department’s overtime budget by nearly half a million dollars.

Those opposed to the cuts are raising concerns about the impact on public safety.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

The Senate’s top budget writer says it’s unclear whether the final version of the state budget will include funding for a new labor agreement with state employees.

    Republican Jeanie Forrester of Meredith says there’s been little discussion in the Senate of the deal, which would give state workers a 2 percent raise in each of the next two years at a cost of about $12 million dollars.

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