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Entries in Balanced Budget (52)

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 

Image

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,

Tuesday
Jan212014

Innis For Congress - The Innis Budget Agenda 

Dan Innis Releases Plan To Help Balance The Federal Budget

Part II of the Innis Agenda

 

 


Manchester, NH
- Dan Innis, Republican candidate for Congress in New Hampshire's 1st congressional district, today released his plan to help reform Congress' broken budget process.


The Innis Agenda for Balancing the Budget will work in tandem with the upcoming Innis Agenda for Jobs and Economy, as well as the Innis Agenda for Health Care, published last month, and the Innis Agendas for Education and Energy, coming later this year. 


Dan announced his budget plan in an op-ed in the Portsmouth Herald on Sunday.


"There are many pressing issues facing our federal government, and there are a large number of important bills that should be debated. But Congress's first job should be passing a balanced budget," said Dan Innis.


Innis continued, "That's why I have proposed The Innis Agenda for Balancing the Budget, a series of common sense reforms designed to help Congress move beyond today's crippling partisan battles and begin to live within its means."


Dan's proposal includes support for Graham-Rudman type spending caps, ending corporate welfare and biennial budgeting. The Innis Agenda for Balancing the Budget also calls for a fairer, flatter tax code.  


Dan's entire budget plan may be downloaded on the campaign website by clicking this link.


Wednesday
May292013

NH GOP - UL: HASSAN HAS NO PLAN TO BALANCE BUDGET, UNLESS SHE HAS A "SECRET PLAN" 

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement today on Governor Hassan's failed fiscal leadership. The New Hampshire Union Leader (5/25/13) reported that Hassan hasn't proposed any new ideas to balance the budget, but "maybe she does have a secret plan that she will discuss privately with lawmakers."

 

"Granite Staters shouldn't be forced to wonder if their governor has some kind of 'secret plan' to balance the budget, or no plan at all. Since the Democrat-controlled House rejected the governor's irresponsible proposal, she has failed to announce any new ideas to address the serious fiscal challenges facing New Hampshire.

 

"Unfortunately, Maggie Hassan's incompetent management of the budget process has proven that she is in over her head as our governor. Hassan should have developed a "Plan B" months ago to keep the promises she made to voters during her campaign and to put New Hampshire on a path towards a balanced budget. Instead, she has focused on blaming others for her embarrassing budget debacle and refused to provide the effective fiscal leadership that Granite Staters expect from their governor."