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Entries in Budget Deficits (377)

Tuesday
Jun162015

NHDP - Will NHGOP Legislators Listen to Koch Brothers or NH Families and Businesses?

Concord, N.H. – New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement after the Koch Brothers New Hampshire political arm, Americans for Prosperity-NH, urged lawmakers to double down on the anti-middle class Koch agenda:
 
“As final budget negotiations continue, the question is whether Republican legislators will listen to New Hampshire’s families and small businesses or just follow the orders of the Koch Brothers. It’s no surprise that the Koch Brothers would support unpaid-for tax giveaways for big, out-of-state corporations that would blow a $90 million hole in the state’s budget.”
 
“It's irresponsible to push tax giveaways for big businesses without paying for them, leading to cuts to critical economic priorities like higher education, health care and roads and bridges. Republicans should reject the Koch Brothers approach and negotiate with Governor Hassan to pass a responsible budget that will support New Hampshire's families and small businesses and keep our economy moving in the right direction.”
 

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Friday
Jun052015

NHGOP STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF SENATE BUDGET 

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today released the following statement regarding the passage of a Senate budget:

 

"In contrast to Governor Hassan's proposed tax hikes, Senate Republicans have passed a thoughtful, balanced budget that would grow the economy, create new jobs and lower taxes on New Hampshire families. Under Governor Hassan, job growth in New Hampshire ranks near the bottom - 41st out of 50 states; Senate Republicans' budget represents a victory for New Hampshire and a clear path forward in reversing that trend. For months, Governor Hassan has preferred partisan attacks rather than honest debate. Thankfully, Senate Republicans have demonstrated the leadership that Governor Hassan hasn't by providing a clear plan to grow New Hampshire's economy."

 

BACKGROUND:

 

"Adding to arguments that New Hampshire's economy could use some added oomph, a newly released analysis of post-Great Recession job growth in all 50 states puts the Granite State near the bottom of the pack." (Jeff Feingold, "Study finds NH could do better when it comes to job growth," NHBR, 5/28/15)

Thursday
Jun042015

NHDP - ICYMI: Governor Hassan, Senate Democrats Express Concerns About Irresponsible Senate Republican Budget 

Senate Republicans' Unbalanced Budget Will Hurt Small Businesses And Middle Class Families, Take NH’s Economy Backward.

Concord, N.H. – Governor Hassan and Senate Democrats reiterated concerns yesterday about Senate Republicans’ unbalanced budget that will hurt small businesses and middle class families, and take New Hampshire’s economy backward. 
 
Governor Hassan told WMUR, “Any budget that’s going to pass into law this session needs to be a bipartisan budget that makes real progress for the people and businesses and economy of New Hampshire, and it needs to be balanced. And I’ve expressed to Senate leadership my concerns about the fact that the budget that passed out of committee fails to meet those standards.”
 
See coverage recap below:
 
Union Leader’s Budget Coverage
 
… Democrats held a news conference to say the budget plan is filled with gimmicks and big business giveaways, while failing to continue Medicaid expansion or fund the negotiated state employee pay raise.
 
“The Senate Republican budget undermines our economic future, sets the state on precarious financial footing, and despite the rhetoric, is neither compassionate nor responsible,” said the Senate’s Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn, D-Dalton, at a news conference Tuesday. It not only uses budget gimmicks, he said, it contains “budget-busting-big-business giveaways.”
 
… Democrats objected to rate reductions for the business profits and business enterprise taxes in the second year of the next biennium. The rate reductions are projected to reduce revenue by $14 million.
 
They also noted the Senate budget fails to restore state aid for higher education, uses money promised for roads and bridges for agency operating costs, and fails to include money for Medicaid expansion for the last six months of the biennium or $12.2 million for a negotiated pay raise for state employees.
 
“What kind of message are we sending to our employees?” asked Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester. “Negotiate a contract but we won’t live up to it. That is a bad omen — a bad omen.”
 
… Gov. Maggie Hassan’s press secretary William Hinkle said the contract was a priority for the governor, noting she said the money would be included in her budget plan before other details were released. And he said Hassan is willing to meet with Forrester, but has not had a request to do so.
 
… Woodburn charged some last-minute proposals were done as favors to Republican friends, such as a business tax change and moving oversight of public risk pools from the Secretary of State’s Office to the Insurance Commission.
 
He said while Republicans were taking care of their friends, the budget cuts mental health services, substance abuse treatment, public safety and higher education — all of which undermines efforts to build a stronger economic future.
 
Democrats also said the plan would not continue Medicaid expansion beyond Dec. 31, 2016, when the federal government stops paying 100 percent of the cost.
 
“That means 40,000 people will lose coverage and businesses will be forced to pay the hidden tax that results from cost-shifting of uncompensated care,” Woodburn said. [Full story]
 
NHPR’s Budget Coverage
 
… Democratic Senate leaders say the two-year spending plan is not in the best interest of New Hampshire residents, claiming that it is riddled with “budget gimmicks” such as double counting and unspecified budget cuts to key social services.
 
Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn also criticizes the plan, claiming it gives business tax breaks to “special friends” such as Planet Fitness.  
 
“Despite the rhetoric the Senate Republican budget is neither compassionate nor responsible,” Woodburn said at a press conference at the State House.
 
… Governor Maggie Hassan says she has “serious concerns” with the proposal -- especially the elimination of state employee pay raises and Medicaid expansion.
The full Senate is set to vote on the budget Thursday. A final version must be signed into law by June 30. [Full story]
 

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Tuesday
Mar172015

NHDP - Bill O’Brien is Back in Charge: House Budget Writers Plot Return to Devastating O’Brien Budget Cuts 

House GOP “Leadership Decided to Turn Toward O'Brien's Supporters,” Working to End Medicaid Expansion and Making Drastic Cuts to Mental Health and Substance Misuse Services
 
Budget Writers Also Cut Funding for Higher Education, Making Massive Cuts at DOT that Would Hurt Efforts to Keep Roads Safe and Clear

 

Concord, N.H. – New details have emerged about House Republicans’ plot to return to the devastating cuts of the Bill O’Brien era by ending Medicaid expansion, making drastic cuts to mental health and substance misuse services, cutting funds for higher education, and hurting DOT’s ability to keep New Hampshire’s roads clear and safe.
 
“Bill O’Brien is back at the reins of the New Hampshire state budget and he’s determined to undo the bipartisan progress of the last two years that has moved our economy forward,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “The people of New Hampshire already rejected Bill O’Brien’s devastating cuts in 2012, and we will not let O’Brien hurt our small businesses, middle class family and economy again.”
 
In the Union Leader, Garry Rayno reported that House Republican “leadership decided to turn toward O'Brien's supporters,” developing a budget that would end Medicaid expansion for 36,000 Granite Staters and counting, and would also make devastating cuts to mental health and substance misuse services.
 
DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas explained, "There is no way to make some of these changes without cost-shifting down to other levels of government.”
 
Rayno added that the House Republican budget also eliminates “$20 million in winter maintenance for highways (maybe not the best choice after this winter) and [reduces] the university system funding below the current fiscal year appropriation.”
 
In the Concord Monitor, Allie Morris reported that Republicans on the House Finance Committee abandoned a plan to increase vehicle registration fees in order to maintain the solvency of the Highway Fund because it faced “pushback from members of the party, especially those in [O’Brien’s] House Republican Alliance.”
 
Instead, House Republicans opted for a $20.5 million cut that would translate to 300 layoffs at the Department of Transportation, hurting its ability to keep our roads clear, open and safe.
Friday
Feb132015

NHDP - ICYMI: Nashua Telegraph: "Gov. presents budget to build future" 

Key Point: "Hassan outlined a 'fiscally responsible' budget with modest revenue adjustments that her administration asserts will build on the bipartisan progress from the last biennium to support job-creating businesses and keep more young professionals in the state by offering greater incentives in health and school-related services, as well as a renewed commitment to public safety."

See below for additional excerpts or visit NashuaTelegraph.com for full coverage: 

Nashua Telegraph: "Gov. presents budget to build future"

"The budget, completed without an income or sales taxes, as proposed would spend approximately $5.7 billion in total funds for fiscal 2016 and roughly $11.48 billion over the two-year biennium, according to the governor’s staff. The total budget increase is 6.4 percent. Proponents of the budget say it is approximately $250 million less, when adjusted for inflation, than the state spent in 2004."

On the next step for commuter rail from Boston to Nashua and Manchester:

"The governor, who had been tight-lipped about her budget following her second inauguration in January, included $4 million in her capital budget for an environmental and engineering assessment for expanding commuter rail into Nashua and Manchester. Implementing the Capital Corridor Rail Study, according to Hassan, would help “set the stage” for future economic growth by keeping young professionals in the Granite State."

On holding down costs across state agencies: 

"In an effort to better streamline state government, Hassan proposed merging several commissions and will allow agencies to electronically submit their reports to cut down on paperwork. She called for a new position in the Department of Justice to negotiate best contracts for taxpayers. Twenty-two agencies are funded at or below their current fiscal year appropriations. The Hassan administration told reporters they cut agency budget requests by more than $1 billion and general fund requests by $523 million."

On maintaining a healthy workforce: 

"Funding for alcohol and drug abuse prevention, treatment and recovery programs triples in this budget. The state’s health protection program will also expand to combat the growing narcotics problem. Reiterating her commitment to health care expansion, Hassan pushed to keep building on the bipartisan work from the previous session."

On renewing the state's commitment to higher education: 

"Hassan’s budget calls for sizable returns to the University System of New Hampshire and the state’s Community College System by $13 million and $6.5 million respectively."