Press Releases

 

Entries in Balanced Budget (60)

Wednesday
Feb032016

Senate Republican Caucus - NH Sen Sanborn introduces balanced budget constitutional amendment  

Restricts annual budget spending above revenue received

 

Concord, NH – Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) introduced CACR 27, a constitutional amendment that would require New Hampshire’s operating budget expenditures not to exceed revenue received each year.

 

Senator Andy Sanborn, the bill’s prime sponsor, issued a statement following the introduction of the legislation to the Senate Finance Committee.

 

 “The people of New Hampshire continue to be disappointed at the out of control spending we see from politicians.  Despite campaign pledges of fiscal responsibility, once elected, we see an inability or unwillingness to spend frugally, and only to the extent that revenue comes in.  With a National deficit of over 19 trillion dollars looming and knowing the Governor of New Hampshire needed to enact two executive orders to cut over spending in the past year, this is the clearest message telling us that we need to codify in the state's constitution, and meet our citizens’ expectations to operate within a balanced budget every biennium,” said Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford)

 

 “This legislation would allow voters to weigh in on amending New Hampshire’s constitution to require that a balanced budget be enacted, and does not spend above revenues received each year,” said Sanborn.

“Amending the state’s constitution with this requirement is a common sense measure ensures a greater level of fiscal responsibility is enforced for years to come in New Hampshire.”

###

Thursday
Dec032015

US REPS GUINTA, SINEMA OFFER BALANCED-BUDGET SOCIAL SECURITY INCREASE

 

BIPARTISAN “SENIORS ACT” GRANTS RECIPIENTS ONE-TIME COST-OF-LIVING PAYMENT

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  For just the third time in 40 years, the Social Security Administration (SSA)announced in October that beneficiaries would see no cost-of-living increase next year, due to low fuel prices, driving down inflation. However, health care costs, a disproportionate amount of seniors’ expenses, are on the rise.

 

    To help vulnerable seniors meet basic needs, such as health care, housing and nutrition, Representatives Frank Guinta and Kyrsten Sinema – a Republican from New Hampshire and Democrat from Arizona, respectively – joined yesterday to introduce the SENIORS Act, a bipartisan bill granting Social Security recipients a one-time payment equal to a percentage point cost-of-living (COLA) increase.

 

    Also known as the“Saving the Earnings and Noting the Investment of Our Retired Seniors Act,” their legislation eliminates wasteful federal spending to achieve a budgetary balance.  

 

    “One third of Social Security recipients rely on benefits for90 percent of their total income,” explained Rep. Guinta, adding that many shared concerns at a town hall in Merrimack in his First District.“Our SENIORS Act is a fiscally responsible solution to helping the elderly pay their bills, especially important as New Hampshire’s harsh winter arrives. No senior should have to choose between rent and groceries.” 

 

    The Granite State’s elderly population is larger than many states’.

 

     “After a lifetime of hard work, Arizonans deserve to retire with dignity and peace of mind,” said Rep. Sinema (AZ09). “Thousands of Arizona seniors depend on Social Security to survive, and their budgets are stretched too thin. This bipartisan legislation is a commonsense, fiscally responsible solution that helps seniors keep up with the rising cost of food, energy, prescription drugs, and housing.” 

 

    The two House members, whopartnered in September to introduce the AUDIT Act, reining in federal spending, said their bill is the only bipartisan House or Senate solution that addresses the SSA’s recent decision – and the effect would be immediate. “I’m proud to offer this legislation with Congresswoman Sinema,”said Rep. Guinta (NH01). “Under our SENIORS Act, U.S. veterans would get a similar cost-of-living adjustment to their monthly VA benefits and in way that would cost taxpayers no additional money.

 

    “We’re also asking heads of relevant federal agencies to present a formula that better reflects Social Security beneficiaries’ economic conditions, so more feel a sense of real financial security,” he said. “Past generations of Americans have worked hard and paid into this fund. We should do our best to keep our promise to them.”

 

    “I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to strengthen Social Security for Arizona seniors and generations to come,” said Rep. Sinema. She is a member of theHouse Financial Services Committee with Rep. Guinta.

 

 

 

Rep. Frank Guinta and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema

 

###

Wednesday
Jul012015

NH Sen. Forrester leads Senate Finance review of Legislature’s balanced budget 

Forrester stands by balanced budget, as Hassan overspends.

Concord, NH – The Senate Finance Committee met today in a work session to discuss priorities and plans for moving forward with the legislative budget.

During today’s session, the non-partisan Legislative Budget Assistants Office (LBAO) presented an overview of the entire Legislature passed budget, noting that all spending lines had been accounted for and the budget is balanced.

“The Governor’s claims that the budget she vetoed is unbalanced and dishonest continue to be unfounded, misleading, and hurtful to the people of New Hampshire,” said Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith).

“We felt it was important to walk through and address the Governor’s concerns about the Legislature’s budget with LBAO to ensure and reiterate that the budget we produced is balanced. I stand by this proposal as a solid foundation that is good for the people and businesses in the State of New Hampshire,” added Forrester.

“We learned today that the Governor ignored the Department of Health and Human Services request to recognize a significant expenditure that may go beyond their appropriation in FY15. The Governor has a responsibility to be transparent about her overspending so that the Legislature can produce a budget that meets New Hampshire’s priorities while making sure we are spending within our means,” said Forrester.

Fiscal Year 2015 closes at midnight tonight. The LBAO notified the Senate Finance Committee that the Department of Administrative Services will provide unaudited spending numbers for FY15 by the end of September.

 “I remain concerned that people counting on funding in the Legislature’s budget will be hurt because of the Governor’s veto. If the Governor overspent her budget this year, we need to know before we can move forward and re-address the next budget,” Forrester concluded.

Friday
Jun052015

NH Senate Republican Caucus - Busting Myths About The Senate Balance Budget Proposal 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Busting Myths About The Senate Balanced Budget

 

MYTH The Senate Republican budget includes cuts to mental health, substance abuse treatment, public safety and higher education.

 

FACT The Senate Budget:

  • ·         increases funding for mental health,
  • ·         restarts the Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund for the first time in a decade,
  • ·         increases total support for alcohol and drug treatment programs from $24.5m to $42.1m,
  • ·         fully funds public safety and Homeland Security,
  • ·         and increases state support for the Community College and University Systems.

MYTH Their budget also ends the state’s business-backed, bipartisan Medicaid expansion program, which means that 40,000 people will lose coverage.

 

FACT The Senate Budget does not extend or end the NH Health Protection Program.

 

The Legislature will consider extension of the program in 2016, as intended when it passed.

 

MYTH Senate Republicans decided to give tax cuts to large, out-of-state corporations

 

FACT The tax cuts in the Senate Budget will provide tax relief to companies employing 95% of NH’s private sector workforce.

 

It lowers the BPT for the first time in 20 years, and cuts the BET for the first time ever.

 

Without these tax cuts, NH will have the highest corporate taxes in New England.

 

MYTH Assuming $34 million from Fiscal Year 2015 will be left over to carry forward into Fiscal Year 2016.  In making that calculation, the Senate Finance Committee is double counting $15 million in lapses; not counting $3 million in additional appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015 authorized by the Fiscal Committee or by state law; and counting the $7 million in savings from Health and Human Services 2015 back-of-the-budget cut even as they directed Health and Human Services to spend that $7 million.

 

FACT The $15 million in lapses were not double-counted.  State agencies are still expected to lapse $51.9m in FY 15.

 

Unbudgeted appropriations are consistent with the House position and based on historic averages.

 

The Finance Committee recognized a $7m reduction in DHHS, which was offset by $2m in surplus, and the $6m appropriation in HB 1635 (mental health settlement).

 

MYTH Not accounting for the impact their business tax cuts will have on estimated payments and business tax revenues in Fiscal Year 2016.

 

FACT The Committee relied on revenue estimates provided by DRA and LBA at the time.

 

Any updates in revenue estimates can be incorporated during Committee of Conference.

 

MYTH Saying they are restoring $6.25 million in mental health funding, while at the same time directing the Department of Health and Human Services to cut $6.25 million in mental health funding.

 

FACT The Senate Budget prioritizes existing mental health services and providing funding to open the 10-bed crisis unit at NH Hospital on time.

 

New services identified in the mental health settlement will be implemented at an additional cost of $16.7m, instead of the Department’s original estimate of $22.9m. The Governor can not commit the Legislature to appropriate funds through a settlement.

 

MYTH Assuming $3.5 million reduction at the Sununu Youth Services Center in 2015 with no plan for how to achieve the savings.

 

FACT The Senate Budget requires the Department to provide its overdue plan to reduce the cost of services, including options such as privatization of services, offering additional compatible services, and the Jan 2014 report on the Center.

 

Implementation of this plan is to begin in January.

 

MYTH Assuming unrealistic savings estimates in Health and Human Services, include a caseload drop of 2 percent; and $12.5 million in “savings” from additional managed care programs.

 

FACT The Governor assumed a 1.4% drop in caseload.

 

The House assumed a 2% drop in FY16 and a 2.5% drop in FY17.

 

The Senate assumes a 2% drop overall, just 6/10th of 1% below the Governor’s estimate.

 

MYTH Increasing lapse estimates by $9 million.

 

FACT The Senate budget includes a lapse percentage of 3.3% per year, the lowest since 2011.

 

MYTH Diverting funds from last year’s bipartisan transportation funding plan from road work to operations and assuming the Department of Transportation can balance its budget through a federal financing vehicle that has not yet been approved by the federal Department of Transportation.

 

FACT The Senate Budget dedicates $8.3m from SB 267 revenues to the Highway Maintenance Bureau.

 

The Senate Budget dedicated $253m to municipal aid and state betterment over the next decade.

 

The Governor’s budget allocated $63m for Municipal Block Grants. The House reduced that to $55m. The Senate restored it to $61.5m.

 

MYTH Failing to fully fund winter maintenance for the Department of Transportation.

 

FACT The Senate Budget includes $22.8m and $23.1m for winter maintenance, which is $1 million more than the amount budgeted two years ago.

 

The Governor requested $4.8m more, which would still be far below the $18.8m transferred to cover for heavy snows over the past two winters.

 

Winter maintenance is budgeted based on the average need, and can be increased by the Fiscal Committee if we experience a third consecutive winter of heavy snow.

 

MYTH Directing the Department of Transportation to pay for the widening of Route 106 with operational funds, without identifying where they should cut to make those payments.

 

FACT The Senate Budget says the Department may utilize available funds for the widening of Route 106m. The Department is not required to do the work if the funds are unavailable.

 

MYTH Unsustainable cuts to overtime funding at the Department of Corrections.

 

FACT DOC spent $7m on overtime in FY14, and expects to spend $8.9m in FY15. It requested $7.5m per year. Gov. Hassan recommended $5.4m and $4.7m The House approved $2m and $1.5m.

 

The Senate contains $4m and $3.5m for overtime, but also provides additional positions to lessen the need for overtime, and transfer authority should the Department require more OT as it fills those positions.

 

MYTH Refusal to fund a modest cost of living adjustment for our hard working state employees.

 

FACT State employees have received three COLAs in the past two years, plus a $300 bonus and annual step increases. 69% of state employees are not at the highest step, and receive annual raises.

 

MYTH Repeal of the Certificate of Need Board.

 

FACT Current law repeals the CON Board in 2016,  and the Senate Budget does not change it. It does contain language maintaining the moratorium on nursing home beds when the CON Board sunsets.

 

Friday
Mar062015

NH Senate focused on balancing budget, growing economy 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

 

(CONCORD) The New Hampshire Senate today voted 14-10 to table a package of dedicated fund transfers proposed by Governor Maggie Hassan. SB 233 would have raided dedicated funds within the Fish and Game Department and the Department of Safety, drawn down the State Self-Insured Fund Reserve by $5 million, and cut funds from both the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

 

“Just two weeks ago, the Senate voted to protect dedicated funds from exactly this sort of raid,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem). “As the Governor works to keep state spending within the budget we passed two years ago, the Senate will continue to focus on ways to grow the New Hampshire economy.”

 

“Senate Republicans have been asking for more detailed information from the Governor on our current spending problem for the past nine months. And we look forward to her report on how her latest Executive Order is working,” added Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith). “In the meantime, we see no need to raid dedicated funds to cover for overspending in other departments. This bill is not a responsible solution to our state’s spending problem.”