NH Budget

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.

Ryan Szepan / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan issued an Executive Order Wednesday that would freeze state hiring and purchasing, as well as out-of-state travel. The governor says the freeze is needed following a dramatic drop in revenue last month. 

Gov. Hassan says April education and general fund revenues fell short by almost $22 million.  Prior to that, the state had been running a roughly $25 million surplus.  She says the shortfall has lowered the state’s cushion to just below $4 million.

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?

GUESTS:

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition host Rick Ganley to talk about the state's $76 million surplus and what it means for Governor Maggie Hassan politically.  Rogers also touches on the government shutdown and the reactions among members of New Hampshire's Congressional delegation.

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.

Domestic violence programs in New Hampshire are turning away some of the people coming to them for help each year.  This follows a series of state and federal budget cuts.  

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.

Before going into recess, lawmakers in Concord will vote this week on the state budget and other deals reached during committees of conference, including Voter ID and medical marijuana. The Democratically-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate have been at odds over a number of policy issues, but areas of disagreement over the budget were smaller than possibly expected, with the final budget including provisions sought by both chambers and Governor Hassan.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

State budget negotiators reached accord today on a $10.7 billion spending plan.

The budget still needs approval from the full legislature, but leaders in the House and Senate, as well as Governor Maggie Hassan, agree the proposal meets many shared goals.

NHPR's Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the negotiation process, what's in the final budget deal and its chances when it goes before the full House and Senate next week.

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.

It's committee season at the State House, as the legislative year nears its end. In the next couple of weeks, the budget will be getting the most attention, with some contention over Medicaid expansion, school building aid, charter schools, and personnel cuts. Other bills to watch for include medical marijuana and voter ID. US Senator Kelly Ayotte announces she supports a bipartisan immigration bill.

The NH Senate will be voting on its budget this Thursday; their plan calls for $10.7 billion in spending over two years, coming just under the House's budget, which calls for $11b, but doing it with large policy differences. One of those differences is Medicaid expansion, which the Governor and House favor. Looking forward to the 2014 US Senate election, in which incumbent Jeanne Shaheen is expected to run for re-election, Jim Rubens has been added to the list of possible Republican contenders, along with Jeb Bradley, Frank Guinta, and Scott Brown.

NHNewsRoundup

The Republican-led State Senate gets closer to a final budget, while carving out a deeper divide with House Democrats.   Also, new challenges for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in the Granite State.  And a makeover for the Hooksett I-93 rest areas as a well-known New Hampshire restaurateur gets the bid.

 

Guests:

Norma Love, Statehouse reporter for The Associated Press.
 

Josh Rogers, NHPR’s statehouse reporter, and senior political reporter and editor.

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. 

Guests

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.

The New Hampshire House makes its first key vote as the casino bill is voted on by a supercommittee comprised of the House Finance and Ways & Means Committees; various amendments will be considered on Tuesday, with a committee vote and recommendation coming Wednesday. The New Hampshire Senate, meanwhile, continues to work on its budget, and the Senate Finance Committee prepares to hear from some of the larger state agencies - Health & Human Services, Transportation, and Environmental Services - on their budget needs.

Sara Plourde

Today on The Exchange, it's our Friday New Hampshire News Roundup. We're looking at some of the top stories of the week, from the one public hearing held on the state Senate's budget, to the House's hard look at the Senate casino bill, and the removal of "grow your own" policy from the medical marijuana bill.

Guests:

Kevin Landrigan - Longtime political reporter for the Telegraph of Nashua.

With April being a big month for state revenue, New Hampshire could end the biennium in the black; things are looking tougher for the casino proposal, as the legislature continues to work on the budget; Senator Ayotte held a handful of town halls meetings last week, getting questions and a bit of backlash on her gun control positions.

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.

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

The House passes their budget, which does not include gambling, but funds some of Governor Hassan's priorities, such as mental health and higher education; the budget-writing process now moves to the Senate, where it is likely to see numerous changes; the Senate hears several high-profile bills this week, including a reinstatement of the state minimum wage; Scott Brown announces he "would not rule out" a Senate run in NH.

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 House votes this week on their State budget bill; an as-yet-introduced amendment to the casino bill seeks to limit any future casino from competing with the Verizon Wireless Arena with a large audience entertainment venue; gambling looks to have staying power in the legislative budget process.

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.

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.

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.

Steve Owens Portrait
Amanda Loder / NHPR

A taxpayer-funded eco-business program is paying off for New Hampshire.  The Green Launching Pad at the University of New Hampshire has given grants to more than a dozen start-ups in the state.  But it hasn’t awarded any new funds since last year.

Votes are expected in the House this week on whether the state will allow the building of one casino, as outlined in Governor Hassan's budget, and the proposed raise to the gas tax; The House Finance Committee gets to work on the budget.

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