NH Senate Leadership objects to Governor’s plan to cut nursing home funding

Concord, NH – New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) and Senator Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) issued the following statement in response to Governor Hassan’s plan to cut $7 million from New Hampshire nursing homes in order to make up for the department’s spending shortfall.

“New Hampshire nursing homes didn’t create this problem, and they shouldn’t have to pay for it,” Morse said.

“It is unacceptable that cuts are being made, particularly for services like nursing homes, where operating budgets are already very tight each year. The unexpected cuts to these organizations could have serious impact on how they are able to operate,” Morse added.

“The Legislature clearly directed these funds be spent on nursing home reimbursements. The Governor approved the raid of funds dedicated to our county and private nursing homes as part of her effort to fill the budget shortfall in DHHS. However, the budget, signed by Governor Hassan, does not allow this action per a footnote explicitly prohibiting transfers or reductions of the state’s nursing home funding,” said Forrester.

“There are four nursing homes in my district that will have to absorb around $700,000 because of the Governor’s cuts. The likely outcome will be a cost downshift to taxpayers in the three counties my district covers. This is the unfortunate result of the Governor’s inability to responsibly manage the state’s budget,” Forrester continued.

“We passed a manageable budget that the Governor signed into law and have seen revenues coming in just above our conservative estimates each month.  By all measures, the state should be able to live within its financial means,” said Morse.

The Department of Health and Human Services latest budget dashboard shows it exceeding its Fiscal Year 2015 budget by $58 million.