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NHDP - ICYMI: Governor Hassan’s Fiscally Responsible Budget Management Results in $73 MillionSurplus 





Concord, N.H. – New figures show that thanks to Governor Maggie Hassan’s fiscally responsible budget management and the hard work of state agencies, New Hampshire finished 2015 with a $73 million budget surplus.
Republican Senate President Chuck Morse said the new figures show the “state is living within its means.”
Click here for the full Union Leader story or see excerpt below:
Union Leader: State Records a $73 Million Surplus for 2015

CONCORD — The state has an unaudited $73.2 million surplus for the recently-concluded 2015 fiscal year, which is greater than budget writers anticipated.

“By working closely with state agencies to responsibly manage their budgets and through the hard work of state agencies and employees to exceed their lapse estimates, we have asubstantial preliminary surplus for Fiscal Year 2015,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is required to release the final but unaudited 2015 fiscal year figures Sept. 30.

… With the surplus she suggested lawmakers may want to consider increasing state aid to public schools.

“With this surplus, we will be able to greatly strengthen our Rainy Day Fund, maintaining our commitment to fiscal responsibility and the state’s long-term financial outlook,” Hassan said. “Given this surplus, and as we continue to close the books on Fiscal Year 2015, we should closely monitor the coming months of state revenues and consider if there are ways to address concerns raised by communities about school funding levels.”

Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, said the figures show the state is living within its means.

Click here for the full Union Leader story.





Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today released the following statement regarding news of a budget surplus and $20 million in unspent funds for developmentally disabled services:
"Despite Governor Hassan's false accusations and irresponsible political rhetoric, the Legislature passed a fiscally responsible, balanced budget. More alarming though is her continued mismanagement of the Department of Health and Human Services, particularly the unsettling revelation of twenty million dollars in unspent funds for the developmentally disabled that should have been used to address an unacceptably long wait list.
"This instance of mismanagement wouldn't be so troubling if it weren't for the governor's long history of mishandling health care spending, from raiding millions in nursing home funding to losing track of a federal grant for substance abuse prevention to appointing an incompetent and discredited drug czar. It is shameful that Governor Hassan's political ambition and obsession with higher office has had such a negative impact on New Hampshire's most vulnerable. Instead of trying to take political credit, the governor should focus on fixing the numerous problems within her own administration and state government."
Union Leader: "Hassan Had Warned Republican Budget Writers In June They Were Assuming Too Large A 2015 Surplus To Help Balance This Biennium's Budget. But Wednesday Hassan Said The Figures, Which Include Accounting Adjustments, Show The State's Finances Are On Solid Ground." (Garry Rayno, "State records a $73 million surplus for 2015," Union Leader, 10/1/15)
  • Senator Chuck Morse: "'The Report Released Today Proves What The Senate Has Maintained All Along: The Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Is Balanced, Honest And Shows That The State Is Living Within Its Means'...But He Questioned Why $20 Million Earmarked For Developmentally Disabled Services And To End The Wait List Of Those Moving From School To State Services Was Not Spent During The Biennium" (Garry Rayno, "State records a $73 million surplus for 2015," Union Leader, 10/1/15)

NRSC - Oops...Senate Majority PAC Just Attacked Governor Gridlock Maggie Hassan 



Good Afternoon,

Perhaps the fallout from their implication in a federal corruption scandal distracted Senate Majority PAC's communications team yesterday. The super PAC inadvertently attacked Governor Gridlock herself, Maggie Hassan.

In its desperate memo on Kelly Ayotte – the senator who has repeatedly railed against government shutdowns, Senate Majority PAC ironically attacked Maggie Hassan – the governor who has actually caused the "disastrous consequences" of gridlock.

Governor Maggie Hassan's extreme record, including her shameful budget veto, inflicted months of pain and suffering on Granite Staters. 

A recent Portsmouth Herald editorial detailed the concern surrounding the vital funding that Governor Hassan held hostage:

Given the state’s dangerous opiate abuse epidemic we were particularly concerned about delaying a major increase in funding for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs.

As the Associated Press adds, Hassan's veto even prevented the opening of a crisis unit:

Because of the stalemate, home health care providers waited three months for a 5 percent rate increase, New Hampshire Hospital couldn’t open a 10-bed mental health crisis unit and the Department of Transportation almost had to delay repaving projects on the turnpike system.

Maggie Hassan once admitted that she would be "glad" to be "rendered a veto governor."

Hassan's commitment to that title – and its corresponding gridlock, is a detriment to the people of New Hampshire. 

On the other hand, Kelly Ayotte has worked across the aisle to get the Senate back to work and improve women’s healthcare. 

In 2012, as Harry Reid sought to kick the can down the road and skip town to hit the campaign trail, Senator Ayotte demonstrated responsible leadership, and wanted the Senate to stay in session, do its job, and pass appropriations bills. The following year, Senate Democrats refused to allow an open debate and amendment process. In contrast to Ayotte's leadership, Harry Reid blocked Ayotte's amendment to eliminate wasteful government spending.

Will Maggie Hassan accept support from "The super PAC caught in the middle of the corruption scandal"? Perhaps not after Senate Majority PAC just attacked her shameful record of gridlock and called into question her record on fighting for women.


Senator Kelly Ayotte Introduced A Bill To Make Contraception Available Over-The-Counter. (S.1438, Introduced 5/21/2015)

Senator Ayotte Introduced And Cosponsored Legislation To Improve The Use Of Mammogram Results And To Find A Cure To Breast Cancer. (S.370, Introduced 2/4/2015, S.2622, Introduced 7/17/2014; S.746, Introduced 3/16/2015)

Senator Ayotte Helped Introduce Legislation To Stop Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace. (S.1512, Introduced 6/4/2015)

Senator Ayotte Introduced Legislation To Protect Access To Annual Mammograms For Women Under 50. (S.1926, Introduced 8/4/2015)


Josiah Bartlett Center - Averting Grave Danger By Doing Nothing 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Averting Grave Danger By Doing Nothing

You’ll forgive me if I don’t care that much about what happened with the budget or the budget deal. The government spent almost three months setting up this giant pitched battle between light and darkness and in the end nothing changed. The governor signed a budget that is more or less what the legislature passed and she vetoed. What was the point exactly?

Remember the irresponsible budget that was so unbalanced that the governor felt she had no choice but to veto it? The business tax cuts were called irresponsible and a threat to our future. They could only go forward if balanced by about $100 million of tax increases. And the rest of the budget was a disaster ignoring critical priorities in at least five different areas, would “present a danger to our state’s future,” and was “unbalanced, dishonest about what it funds.” Click here to keep reading.



No Difference Between Budget Hassan Demonized And Final Budget She Praised


"After caving on the budget and begging the Legislature to override her disastrous veto, it's clear that Governor Hassan wasn't sincere in her objections and was only looking for shameless political gain. The final budget is nearly identical to the version she demonized for months, proving the governor cares more about pursuing extreme political stunts at the expense of Granite Staters than doing what's right for New Hampshire." - NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn


Please see excerpts from Charlie Arlinghaus' column in today's Union Leaderbelow:


"Averting grave danger by doing nothing"

Charlie Arlinghaus

Union Leader

September 23, 2015

Remember the irresponsible budget that was so unbalanced that the governor felt she had no choice but to veto it? The business tax cuts were called irresponsible and a threat to our future. They could only go forward if balanced by about $100 million of tax increases. And the rest of the budget was a disaster that ignored critical priorities in at least five different areas, would "present a danger to our state's future" and was "unbalanced, dishonest about what it funds."

Obviously the Republican Legislature disagreed with the Democratic governor about her strong rhetoric. But compromise seemed impossible. It also turned out to be unnecessary. The final so-called budget deal included almost no changes of any significance.

The final deal is essentially the legislative budget that was vetoed. The supposedly catastrophic tax cuts are not just included but accelerated. If the last budget was "dishonest about what it funds" - and of course it just plain wasn't - no changes whatsoever were made to what it funds and how it funds them. If the vetoed budget was a danger to the future, so is this because the non-compromise doesn't change how it funds substance abuse, higher education or anything else.
If the old cuts are ridiculous, dangerous and unpaid for, how is this less so? The simple truth is that no one believed the old modest cut was dangerous, even the politicians writing those words. This budget battle was really only about words that had no meaning to their author.


And that's all that happened. The executive branch ceded back to the Legislature some of its traditional authority in exchange for the pre-negotiated pay raise. The supposedly horrible business tax cuts are still there; there are no changes to spending, and whatever might have been "dishonest" - other than the dishonest charge of dishonesty - remains.

So why did we waste three months of our policy life on nothing? I don't know, and frankly I don't think they do either.
The grave "danger to the state's future" has been magically averted by doing absolutely nothing. Thank goodness I wasn't paying attention.