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Entries in Balanced Budget (58)


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.


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.



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.”



Jim Rubens - Stop Runaway Congress: Public Hearings for Article V Convention Bills, Feb 12 & 13 

Stop Runaway Congress


By unanimous vote, George Mason, James Madison and the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 gave state legislators power under Article V to reign in a Congress they feared could one day become corrupted and no longer accountable to the people.
We’ve reached that time. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress buy themselves reelection – not by making the hard choices – but by loading our kids and grandkids with trillions in debt and rewarding corporate cronies and campaign benefactors with pork, regulatory complexity, and market-distorting tax loopholes. 
Stop Runaway Congress
A first in US history, the states are now at the threshold of taking decisive action to stop our runaway Congress.
  • Twenty-four states including New Hampshire have applied under Article V for a convention of states to propose a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
  • Three states have applied for a convention to propose amendments for fiscal restraint, term limits, and enhanced federalism.
  • Three states have applied for a convention dealing with campaign money corruption.
  • Three to five states are likely to be added over the next few weeks.
Reach Out to the NH House This Week

This coming Thursday and Friday (February 12 & 13) the New Hampshire legislature will hold public hearings on bills covering each of these three subject applications. Attend these hearings or leave a brief phone message for any committee member you may know.
Thursday, Feb 12, 9:30am
House Legislative Admin Committee
Committee member contact info
HCR1, rescinding NH's 2012 Balanced Budget Amendment application
Legislative Office Building, Room 203, Concord
Urge ITL (no vote)
Friday, Feb 13, 9am - 12noon
House State-Federal Relations & Vets Affairs Committee
Committee member contact info
HCR2, applying for a convention addressing campaign money corruption
HCR3, applying for a convention addressing fiscal restraint, term limits, and enhanced federalism
Legislative Office Building, Room 210-211, Concord
Urge OTP (yes vote) on both
Opponents’ Faulty Logic
Remarkably, opponents (lead by the John Birch Society) have mounted a full court press to block the states from exercising their constitutional authority and responsibility to pull our nation back from the brink. Opponents argue that the several state legislatures and the people can no longer be trusted and that the exclusive power to propose amendments must remain the hands of Congress.
AVC opponents are whipping up irrational fear that an Article V convention of states will “runaway” and propose crazy amendments to gut the Bill of Rights.
Fundamental safeguards against a runaway convention
  1. Crazy amendments will fail. 38 states are required to ratify any amendment proposed by an AVC. Just 13 of 99 state legislative bodies have absolute veto power. A convention of states has no power to adopt changes to the 38-state ratification hurdle.
  2. Delegates will act knowing that crazy amendments will fail. Delegates will not waste time debating or proposing off-subject, hard to explain, or fringe amendments. All 27 ratified amendments to date (all drafted by Congress) were supported by overwhelming public supermajorities.
  3. Red states and New Hampshire will not ever gut the Bill of Rights. Blue states and New Hampshire will not gut the social safety net.
  4. One state, one vote. Big states will not rule. Convention delegates will adopt proposed amendments via one state, one vote, regardless of number of delegates for each state.
  5. All AVC supporters back ONLY a convention limited to the subjects specified in the state applications. No one working on this and no legislative proposals seek an open-ended convention lacking subject matter limitation.
  6. Not once – not ever -- has a runaway convention happened in American history. All thirty-four pre-constitution conventions and the 1787 Constitutional Convention adhered to application subject matter limitations.
  7. Opponents need to get their history straight. The 1787 Constitutional Convention was suggested by the five-state Annapolis Convention of 1786, resulting in ten states adopting the following application language to guide delegates: “… taking into Consideration the state of the Union, as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other Provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.”
 Thanks for listening.


Stay Warm,


Jim Rubens


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.