Lawmakers addressing local impact of budget stalemate
Concord, NH – New Hampshire lawmakers heard from state and local officials on the mounting impacts of Governor Hassan’s budget veto. This morning the Cities and Towns Working Group heard that the Department of Health and Human Services is on pace to run out of money before the end of the year.
“I’m disappointed in the lack of direction from the Governor’s Office,” said Sen. Regina Birdsell (R- Hampstead). “Her decision to veto the budget forced us to operate under a Continuing Resolution, but there doesn’t seem to be any plan or consistency from state agencies on how to deal with it, and no guidance for them from the Governor’s office.”
Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) formed three Working Groups to examine the consequences of New Hampshire government operating under a six-month Continuing Resolution following Hassan’s budget veto. The bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators on the Cities and Towns Working Group requested a breakdown of current and projected spending at DHHS from the Legislative Budget Assistant’s Office.
“Health and Human Services is the largest department in state government. If it is already spending more than it is authorized under the Continuing Resolution, that deficit will cascade across every other department,” Forrester added.
The Cities and Towns Working Group heard from several state departments, as well as officials representing New Hampshire school districts and counties. It will next meet on Thursday, September 10th at 1:30pm.