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.