NH House Leaders on Panning Efforts to Deal with Potential Loss of $35 Million in Federal Funds

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien, House Finance Committee Chairman Ken Weyler and Vice-Chairman Lynne Ober today offered the following statements regarding plans to reduce state spending by $35 million while the state awaits final word that the federal government will reduce federal funds by that amount this fiscal year.  Currently, the state’s appeal of the repayment has been denied, but the state has asked for reconsideration of the ruling.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“The news that we expect September’s revenues to be $5-10 million above our plan, after the news last month was $9.6 million ahead of estimates, is an encouraging sign that our economy is starting to respond to the positive developments of lower taxes and regulations.  While this is a good sign, we will need to see if it becomes a trend.  Given that we still have not heard a final word from the federal government on repaying the $35 million and that we are seeing positive revenue growth, it seems appropriate that the Finance Committee should continue their planning efforts on making reductions, but not to take action until we get better information about our economy and the results of our request for reconsideration.  That said, we remain committed to ensuring that New Hampshire has an honest, balanced budget without new taxes or fees.”

House Finance Chairman Ken Weyler

“The hard work we put into delivering a balanced budget that actually reduced taxes and fees is now paying dividends in terms of a growing economy that is lifting our revenue picture.  While we certainly hope that the federal government reconsiders, we will continue our efforts to come up with a plan to reduce spending to balance our budget if these new charges materialize.”

House Finance Vice-Chairman Lynne Ober

“We’ve been closely watching revenues. It appears that September will come in above plan. We are hopeful that if we need to repay the federal government $35 million, we will not have to make budget cuts. Our goal is not to downshift nor do we wish to make unneeded cuts. We are committed to supporting New Hampshire residents without asking them to pay any additional taxes.”