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Entries in Balanced Budget (54)

Wednesday
Jan072015

NH Sen. Boutin Applauds Strong December Revenues  

Conservative estimates continue to pay dividends for NH

 

Concord, NH – Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Boutin (R-Hooksett) applauded today’s strong December revenue report from the Department of Administrative Services. Revenues for the month came in $14.3 million ahead of plan, and are $19.2 million above projections with six months left in the 2015 budget year.

 

“Two years ago, the Senate insisted on adopting conservative revenue estimates to protect New Hampshire taxpayers from a budget shortfall. That decision continues to pay dividends for New Hampshire,” Boutin said.

 

Entering the month, business tax receipts had been running behind projections, but were offset by stronger revenues from other sources. FY14 revenues came in $3.1 million higher than anticipated, and FY15 revenues are currently $19.2 million above plan. That leaves the state revenues $22.3 million above projections with six months lefts in the current two-year budget, which runs through June 30th.

 

“I’m encouraged by the improved performance in business tax revenues. It shows that the New Hampshire economy is improving, thanks in part to the tax reforms we’ve passed over the past four years,” Boutin added. “The December revenue report provides more useful information as the Senate Ways and Means Committee begins crafting revenue estimates for the next two year budget.”

 

The Senate Ways and Means Committee meets next week to hear from both the Legislative Budget Assistant’s Office and the Department of Revenue Administration.

 

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Wednesday
Jan072015

Rep. Major statement in response to NH Revenue Numbers

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The following is a statement from Rep. Norman Major (r-Plaistow), the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee in response to the state’s revenue numbers that were released this morning.

 

“The revenue numbers released today clearly shows that our revenues, year to date, are on track.

In fact, state revenues for the last 18 months meet or exceed the estimates set forth in the plan.”

Tuesday
Jul082014

NH Senate Finance Chair Requests State Spending Update 

Calls for comprehensive report on State’s financial position heading into FY2015

 

Concord, NH – Senate Finance Chairman Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith, today formally requested that Fiscal Committee Chairman Mary Jane Wallner schedule a Fiscal Year 2014 state spending update as a part of the next regularly Fiscal Committee meeting.

 

Last week, lawmakers learned that state revenues for the fiscal year exceeded plan by approximately $5.8 million.  Yet while revenues have met the responsible and conservative estimates set by the budget, it remains unclear how the Executive Branch has performed with regards to controlling spending.

 

“As we move into the second year of the biennium, it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of our current financial position, especially on the expense side of the budget, in order to determine if any legislative action is necessary to ensure we live within the balanced budget we all voted for,” writes Sen. Forrester in her letter.

 

The Fiscal Committee is scheduled to meet on Friday, July 25 at 10AM.  The full text of Sen. Forrester’s letter to Representative Wallner is available below:

 

 

Dear Representative Wallner:

 

On behalf of the Senate members of the Legislative Fiscal Committee, would you please schedule an update on FY14 state spending as a part of our next regular meeting?

 

As you know, the Fiscal Year 2014/15 budget requires a budget surplus of approximately $26 million in the first year of the biennium in order to be balanced.  To accomplish this, revenues must come in as planned, and state agencies and departments must not spend more than their budget appropriations which includes meeting their lapse and back of the budget reductions required by law.

 

With the June revenue figures in, and the preliminary FY14 figures reported, we now know that actual revenues for the fiscal year have met the responsible and conservative estimates laid out in our budget.  This is an important first piece of the puzzle.

 

Still unknown, however, is how the Executive Branch performed on the spending side of the budget for the year.  The Governor’s recent words of caution, particularly with regards to the Health and Human Services budget, as well as her decision to institute a spending freeze to further restrict state expenses, suggests that the Governor may have experienced difficulty keeping spending under control over the last twelve months. 

 

As we move into the second year of the biennium, it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of our current financial position, especially on the expense side of the budget, in order to determine if any legislative action is necessary to ensure we live within the balanced budget we all voted for.

 

Therefore, I would ask that you include on the agenda for our Friday, July 25 Fiscal Committee meeting a “spending update” item to include a presentation from the Governor’s office.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Thursday
Feb272014

State Budget Solutions - Balanced Budget Tricks!

 

News from State Budget Solutions

February 2014



EXography: States use gimmicks, late payments and other accounting tricks to meet balanced budget requirements

Paying bills late, selling buildings and swiping money from special accounts are some of the gimmicks states are using to bypass balanced budget requirements, according to a new report on the tricks being used to paper over deep deficits.

From California to New Hampshire, state governments are using smoke and mirrors instead of cash to meet the constitutional or statutory mandates that they finish their fiscal years with balanced budgets, according to research from State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan group that monitors state spending.

Read More And Check Out The Interactive Map



The Shortfalls of Oklahoma's Defined Benefit Public Pension Plans

Across the country, unfunded public pension liabilities are the single largest threat to the stability and solvency of state and municipal governments. State Budget Solutions' research in "Promises Made, Promises Broken - The Betrayal of Pensioners and Taxpayers," found that state-administered pension plans have a combined $4.1 trillion unfunded liability. 

The figure may seem distant or abstract. The truth, though, is that these unfunded liabilities amount to trillions of dollars worth of shattered promises. 

Read More


 

State Budget Solutions In the News

State Budget Solutions is a known expert in fiscal responsibility and pension reform. Every month, countless media outlets and financial professionals cite the work of SBS's expert analysis and publish the opinions of SBS leaders. Here are a few highlights from February:

On pensions, don't betray Oklahoma's public retirees
The Oklahoman
Imagine that you invest decades in public service working a state job and serving your community. You earned a fair, not exorbitant, salary. You chose public service, in part, to secure a decent retirement for your family and trusted that promises made will be kept. That monthly pension check is the cornerstone of your retirement plan. But then imagine a day when those pension checks just stop. You are left high and dry. READ MORE

Utah begins preparing for the day if/when federal funds less available
Idaho Reporter
llinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension systems alone owe at least $130 billion, but now comes a new warning about the high cost of simply managing that debt. READ MORE

State watch: New Jersey's pension money pit
The Trentonian
Experts who look into the finances of New Jersey’s public-employee pension plans often wind up making the same observation. READ MORE

The Williams Report

As a former state legislator, gubernatorial candidate and auditor with the Government Accountability Office, State Budget Solutions' President Bob Williams is a national expert in fiscal and tax policies.  Each week, he compiles the latest news and headlines pertaining to state budgets, collective bargaining and state public pensions into The Williams Report.

IDAHO:
Governor Otter magic: Turning $140 million and 6 percent into $104 million and 3.7 percent. Idaho Freedom Foundation

CALIFORNIA:
Governor says longer living state workers will drive pension costs up $1.2 billion a year. Governor urges CalPERS to move quickly to address this issue. The Sacramento Bee

FLORIDA:
Speaker Weatherford returns for another showdown on pensions. Florida Times-Union

Read More Williams Report
Saturday
Jan252014

Ayotte For US Senate - Town Halls and Balancing the Budget 

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Dear Friend,

I’m proud to continue the New Hampshire tradition of holding public town hall meetings, and this week I heard directly from Granite Staters at six town halls meetings I held throughout the state. Each forum is an opportunity for me to hear directly what's on the minds of constituents, and also to provide an update on what I’m working on in Washington -- including ways to address our nation’s current fiscal crisis. Click here to read more about the issues I discussed.

At nearly every town hall I’ve held, one question that always comes up is: Why can’t Washington balance the budget? New Hampshire families and small business owners perform the most basic task of balancing their budgets, and there's no reason why Congress shouldn't do the same. I’m fighting to reduce spending and pass common sense budget reforms -- including a federal Balanced Budget Amendment that would force Washington to live within its means. With over $17 trillion in debt, it’s time to make the tough but necessary choices to get our nation’s fiscal house in order.

Rest assured I will continue to push for policies that will put our country back on a path to fiscal sustainability.

Warm regards,