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Entries in Budget Deficits (374)


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.

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 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."


NHDP - NH Sen. Jeannie Forrester (Who Cut $30 Million From Nursing Homes) Needs to Stop Faux Political Outrage

Concord, N.H. – Today the NHDP called on Jeanie Forrester, who voted for the Bill O’Brien budget that cut $30 million from nursing homes, to drop her manufactured political outrage that is misleading New Hampshire’s seniors.
Despite pushing for back-of-the-budget cuts that undermined critical services, including nursing home funding, Forrester is now trying to have it both ways with her fiscally irresponsible bill that would increase nursing home rates without offering any proposals to pay for the $7 million expense.  

“Jeanie Forrester’s dishonest political grandstanding to mislead seniors is the height of hypocrisy and needs to end,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Forrester wants people to forget that she voted to cut $30 million from nursing homes in the Bill O’Brien budget, not to mention that she put reckless back-of-the-budget cuts in this budget that mislead the public about what priorities could realistically be funded.”

“Now Forrester is pushing an irresponsible bill that would increase nursing home rates without any way to pay for the $7 million expense. These kind of desperate political stunts from the Senate’s finance chair do a disservice to the people of New Hampshire and call into question Jeanie Forrester’s ability to lead the budget process,” added Buckley

NH Sen Forrester asks Hassan to show how she would pay for pay raises 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Governor seeking $40 million in pay raises

(CONCORD) Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) today urged Governor Maggie Hassan to share how she plans to pay for the pay raises she proposes for state employees. Hassan and the State Employees Association are backing a new contract with annual 2% pay raises, following three raises over the past two years. 

“I am concerned about the Governor’s priorities.  To fill the hole she created with over-spending, she wants to raid $7 million from the nursing homes which is likely  to result in staff reductions or increasing taxes to the local communities.  On the heels of that theft of Medicaid dollars, Governor Hassan is now asking New Hampshire taxpayers to foot the bill for two more pay raises,” Forrester said. “How does she plan to pay for it?”

State employees have received three Cost-Of-Living-Adjustments over the past two years. Hassan’s proposed COLAs would result in a 10.4% increase in state salaries since Fiscal Year 2013. This would be on top of the annual step increases already built into the state contract. The past raises cost $10.6 million in FY14 and $33.1 million in FY15. Hassan’s proposed pay raises would increase state payroll spending by as much as $40 million in the next budget. 

“If Governor Hassan wants to give our state employees a fourth and fifth pay raise, she needs to tell us where she plans to cut spending elsewhere in the budget or what tax she plan to increase,” Forrester added.


Josiah Bartlett Center - Gov's Budget, Trains, and School Choice 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

February is that exciting time of the year when the governor gives us a special valentine in the form of her budget address. Much better than candy or flowers, it is an outline of the two-year state budget – the policy document that guides every little thing the government does and defines an administration. With government currently divided, we should listen carefully to see if this critical address is meaningless theater or the first step toward something constructive happening despite political antagonism. Click here to keep reading.

This week, the Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Study’s final report was released. The study, which began in 2013, examined a number of transit options for the corridor, with most of the public and political attention focused on the possibility of extending commuter rail into the state. The final study looked at 7 transit options, three for commuter rail, three for bus and a ‘no build’ option. These options were reduced to 5 with the elimination of two of the bus proposals from further consideration. This piece details the commuter rail options presented in the report. Click here to keep reading.

Last month we celebrated School Choice Week here at the Center, highlighting all of the great things that happen when parents are empowered to make get the best education possible for their children. 

A short documentary, Live Free and Learn, was produced by our friends at Cato, that details the School Choice Scholarship Tax Credit here in New Hampshire, and the impact it is having on education.

a podcast featuring our own Charlie Arlinghaus discussing education reform in New Hampshire. Click here to listen.