NH Budget

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The head of the largest state employees union is urging the New Hampshire Senate to fund a new two-year labor deal with the state.

Neither the House budget nor the one approved by the Senate Finance Committee includes the $12 million dollar cost of the deal, which would give state employees 2 percent raises each of the next two years and better dental and life insurance benefits.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It will be a busy week at the State House with the Senate having its chance to weigh in on the state budget. 

After weeks of sorting through the numbers, the Senate Finance Committee has sent its $11.3 billion version of the budget to the Senate floor Thursday – where it is expected to pass.

The Republican-backed plan restores funding to developmental services, elderly care and substance abuse treatment that was cut in the House version. It also puts back money in the state’s rainy day fund as well as the renewable energy fund.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan says a lot of work needs to be done to get the two-year state budget in place by June 30 because, as she sees it, the math in the Senate Finance plan just doesn't add up. 

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved along party lines its $11.3 billion state spending plan. The 2-year budget now heads to the Senate floor next Thursday.

The Senate proposal is a $99 million increase over the House budget but $66 million less than what the Governor proposed.

The plan increases funding cut in the House version for social services including substance abuse treatment, elderly care and developmental services.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

One day after Planet Fitness announced it was going public, the New Hampshire-based gym tells legislators it might not be able to afford to stay in the state.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley introduced a measure Wednesday hoping to keep the company here, by exempting businesses from being taxed on the share they sell to a corporate partner once they go public.

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

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Senate Finance Committee is finalizing its version of the budget this week.

So far the Senate budget plan spends roughly $65 million dollars less than what the Governor proposed but $93 million more than what passed in the House last month.

That is after the Ways and Means Committee estimated $118 million more revenue over the next biennium than what the House had to work with.

The current plan restores funding cut in the House version including money for developmental disability services, elderly care and substance abuse treatment.

Allegra Boverman/NHPR

New Hampshire Senate budget writers have voted along party lines to cut business taxes starting in 2017. 

Currently the state’s Business Profit Tax (BPT) stands at 8.5 % and the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) at .75 %. Together the two taxes make up the largest source of state revenues.

Under this measure those would drop every year until 2019 when the BPT would be 7.9 % and the BET would be .675 %. These cuts were originally intended to take effect starting in 2016.

Senate budget writers have rejected a $250,000 annual boost in funding for Crotched Mountain,  a rehab center in Greenfield, N.H.

The Governor included the funding in her budget. Currently, 40 people are being treated at Crotched Mountain. 

Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester told her colleagues Tuesday the state’s Health and Human Commissioner did not support the additional funding, adding that it would be cheaper for the state if residents accessed these services elsewhere.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

As lawmakers in Concord continue to work through the budget process, funding for the Meals on Wheels program has been in the middle of the House and Senate’s differences.

The House budget included a 50 percent reduction to payments that in part fund the program.  Last week the Senate’s fiscal committee restored $10 million in funding for in-home services, including Meals on Wheels.  But it’s far from a done deal—the full Senate has yet to vote on it and lawmakers have until the end of June to approve a budget.

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

  With more time and money at their disposal, Senate budget writers are crafting a two-year state spending plan that restores many of the cuts made by their House counterparts. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The president of the New Hampshire Senate says he expects the process of writing a new two-year state budget to continue for more than a month.

Republican Chuck Morse of Salem spoke on WMUR-TV’s “Close Up” this weekend. While the Senate is looking to pass its version of the budget by June 4, lawmakers must send the governor a final budget by the end of June. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

On Wednesday the Senate Finance Committee restored millions of dollars for elderly services, the developmentally disabled and substance abuse treatment that was cut by the House.

This includes $23 million for developmental services, $2.9 million for substance abuse treatment and $4 million for emergency shelters. However, these numbers are less than what the Governor proposed in her version. 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Senate budget writers are trying to make good on a promise to fully restore dedicated funds aimed to promote renewable energy.

Last week Senate budget writers fully restored the $50 million the House raided from the renewable energy fund but Wednesday voted to redirect $1.5 million towards homeland security.

Democrat Hosmer of Laconia said the move contradicts the Senate’s stated position on dedicated funds.  

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

Senate budget writers are putting the final touches on their version of New Hampshire's next 2-year budget.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee meets Tuesday to finalize revenue projections for the next biennium. Those numbers will determine how much more money Senate budget writers have to spend than their House counterparts, who finalized their own $11.2 billion budget in April.

 

Money to promote New Hampshire as a tourist destination remains in limbo as lawmakers put together a budget for the next two years.

Under state law, a percentage of the state's rooms and meals tax goes to the state Division of Travel and Tourism for marketing. But the House budget would suspend that law and allocate $1 million a year, compared the $4.7 million in Gov. Maggie Hassan's proposal.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Hundreds of New Hampshire residents turned out Tuesday to weigh in on the State budget, with more than 400 people signed up to testify during the hearing.

While waiting their turn activists filled the chamber and hallways wearing shirts that read  “addiction kills” or printed stickers with “people can’t wait.”The hearing went well into the night with 30 people left to speak around 11 p.m.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Senators are opening the budget process to members of the public who want to give testimony on what should and shouldn't be included in the next 2-year spending plan for New Hampshire.

People can testify before the Senate Finance Committee during two public hearings Tuesday, starting at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Both will be held in Representatives' Hall at the State House in Concord.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the New Hampshire primary and the state budget.

So, it’s official: the Democratic presidential primary will include more than just Hillary Clinton. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is in the race, and says he’s in it to win.

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

  

Senate budget writers are likely to hear pleas for a restoration of funds for people with developmental disabilities, programs for the elderly and substance abuse treatment during an upcoming budget hearing.

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.”

DavidWilson1949 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Senate Finance Committee will consider funding for the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday.

The Senate will take up the House budget, which ends funding for the state’s expanded Medicaid program, suspends ServiceLink - which connects elderly and disabled residents with funding and services - and delays a 10-bed mental health crisis unit at New Hampshire Hospital by one year.

While the House budget increased the Health and Human Services budget $110 million over the previous year, it fell $200 million short of Governor Hassan’s proposed budget.

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.

Guests:

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.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

With the House having passed its $11.2 billion two-year state budget this week, it’s now up to the state Senate to come up with its own version of a spending plan.

Jeanie Forrester is a Republican from Meredith and chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

She joined Morning Edition host Rick Ganley to talk about the task ahead.

There’s a perception by some that the Senate will simply start from scratch, without any regard for what the House ended up passing. How accurate is that?

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.”

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers speaks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the state budget going before the House this week.

The state budget, the version crafted by House budget writers, heads for a floor vote this week. House Speaker Shawn Jasper has indicated he’s ready to lock lawmakers in to get the job done. Is it going to come to that?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan joined Morning Edition Friday to talk about her reaction to the moves made Thursday by the House Finance Committee.

You’ve made clear your opposition to many of the recommendations made in the House budget. What particular proposals give you the greatest concern?

The House budget that was proposed earlier this week made unnecessary, very harmful cuts that will pull us backwards and will make it much more difficult to make the kind of economic progress we need to.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a look at the politics behind a push for an increase to the gas tax from the head of the House Finance Committee. 

The Finance Committee in the New Hampshire House hopes to finish its work on the House’s budget this week. Some of their decisions have been controversial, and there’s even been talk that mustering the votes to pass a budget in the House may be tough.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The Department of Health and Human Services is warning House budget writers against cutting $160 million from the Governor’s proposed budget.

So far the House Finance Committee is proposing roughly $117 million less from the H.H.S budget. Meanwhile a proposal to cut more than $28 million from the state’s mental health services remains on the table.

Deputy Commissioner of the department Marilee Nihan tells the committee these cuts are “aggressive.”

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.

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