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Entries in State Budget (47)


NH Charter Schools - Charter school funding update - budget passed 

September 17, 2015
Dear charter school parents & supporters,

With the signing of the state budget, increased funding for public charter schools has finally become law. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not receive local taxpayer support and their funding formula is static. This update to the funding formula represents the first significant increase in per pupil funding in over six years.
We would like to take a moment to thank all of the parents, teachers, supporters and state legislators that have worked so hard to give New Hampshire's children exciting new options in public education.

So what does this mean for your school?
Your public school will receive an additional $36 per pupil this school year (2015/16) and an additional $1,036 per pupil beginning in the 2016/17 school year.
Future updates and discussion
In the coming weeks we will reflect on the long journey that has led us to this point. We will discuss the strong bipartisan support charter schools received in the House and the disappointing polarization that we saw in the State Senate. Unlike the House, not a single senate democrat voted to support increased funding on the floor of the senate or in committee. Change is possible but it will require that parents educate themselves on these issues and hold both political parties accountable.

NHDP - ICYMI: NHFPI: "Senate Revenue Estimates Insufficient to Restore Services and Cut Business Taxes"

Concord, N.H. – The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute points out that if Senate Republicans continue to increase spending without raising any new revenue, they will inevitably be forced to revert to the fiscally irresponsible budget gimmicks like back-of-the-budget cuts and inflated lapses that the legislature has relied on for years.  
NHFPI: Senate Revenue Estimates Insufficient to Restore Services and Cut Business Taxes
Earlier today, the Senate Ways and Means Committee finalized its revenue estimates for the FY 2016-2017 biennium, projecting that, absent changes in law, the General and Education Funds will collect $4.62 billion over the next two years. While that forecast is $118 million higher than the one on which the House of Representatives premised its version of the FY16-17 budget, preliminary decisions made by the Senate Finance Committee late last week and early this one have already effectively committed over half of that $118 million difference. As a result, the Senate’s version of the budget would not be able to restore major funding reductions approved by the lower chamber and also enact a sizable reduction in business taxes in the next biennium.
Overall, Senate Ways and Means projects that General and Education Fund revenue will total $2.24 billion in FY 2015, rise by 1.9 percent in FY 2016, and climb by another 2.0 percent by FY 2017. (By comparison, the House anticipated aggregate growth rates of 1.3 percent and 1.0 percent respectively; the Governor expected increases of 2.7 and 1.9 percent.) Among New Hampshire’s more sizable sources of revenue, Senate Ways and Means forecasts that the combination of the state’s two business taxes – the business profits tax (BPT) and business enterprise tax (BET) – will amount to $545.5 million in FY 2015 and grow by 2.5 percent in each year of the upcoming biennium, a rate of growth considerably above the rates assumed by the House. In addition, Senate Ways and Means foresees comparatively robust growth in the meals and rooms tax, anticipating growth of 6 percent per year; Governor Hassan’s Consensus Revenue Estimation Panel recently updated its expectations for that tax to 6.4 percent growth in FY16 and 5.9 percent in FY17.
Consequently, Senate budget writers, in effect, have $118 million more with which to work than their counterparts in the House did in assembling their version of the budget. However, the Senate Finance Committee has already begun to allocate those funds. Last week, Senate Finance removed provisions from the House’s version of the FY16-17 budget that would have directed roughly $52 million from the Renewable Energy Fund to the General Fund; thus, it will need to use $52 of the $118 million to compensate for the loss of those funds. Similarly, the Finance Committee struck provisions of the House’s version of the budget that would have instituted Keno in New Hampshire, a move that the House anticipated would yield roughly $12 million in the next biennium; accordingly, it will need another $12 million to fill the hole in the underlying budget. The Finance Committee also rejected the House’s attempts to transfer $4 million in funds related to the recent MTBE legal settlement to be used to meet General Fund expenses; that $4 million too will need to come out of the difference in baseline estimates. Factoring in these funding commitments, the Senate is left with just $50 million with which to work.

All of this, of course, assumes that the Senate will neither seek to generate additional revenue nor attempt to reduce projected collections. Given the Senate’s prior approval of reductions in the rates of the BPT and the BET via SB 1 and SB 2, the latter seems far more likely than the former at this stage. In fact, if the substance of both SB 1 and SB 2 were incorporated into the budget, the result would be the loss of approximately $28 million in FY16-17 and upwards of $80 million biennially once fully implemented. In other words, to put SB 1 and SB 2 into effect, the Senate would need to use another $28 million of the $118 million difference in baseline revenue estimates.
The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the budget for the Department of Health Human Services tomorrow. That budget represents the single largest set of differences between the Governor’s and House’s versions of the FY 2016-2017 budget, with the latter providing approximately $120 million less in General Funds for services for the developmentally disabled, the elderly, and the homeless, among others. Yet, it already appears that only a portion of the Senate’s higher revenue estimates will be available to restore funding for public services designed to assist and to protect the most vulnerable citizens of the Granite State. Any attempt to reduce business taxes as part of the FY16-17 budget would only further reduce the degree to which the Senate is able to reverse the House’s decisions.

NH Senate Finance restores funding to New Hampshire’s most vulnerable  

Concord, NH – The Senate Finance Committee voted today to restore major services as part of the Department of Health and Human Services budget. Funding for vital services including Meals on Wheels, Service Link, Emergency Shelters, and the Developmental Disabilities Waitlist were restored. The committee also increased funds to the Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment fund.

 “We listened to our constituents and our state’s most vulnerable citizens’ concerns about losing the services that they use every day if cuts to funding had been made. In-home services, like Meals on Wheels and Service Link are critical components in assisting the state’s growing elderly population, allowing these individuals to stay in their homes for as long as possible,” said Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith).

“In addition to being a significant cost savings for New Hampshire taxpayers, bringing services to the elderly in their own homes over being admitted to a nursing home contributes to greater independence and a higher quality of life for many,” added Forrester.

“The Senate made the right move in providing full funding for the developmental disabilities waitlist and emergency shelters for the individuals who heavily rely on these services,” continued Forrester.

“The Senate has been committed to providing a budget that addresses the needs of the state’s most vulnerable. With today’s votes to restore significant DHHS cuts, we have developed a thoughtful and compassionate budget that considered the needs of many Granite Staters who benefit from this type of assistance,” said Forrester.

“Alcohol abuse in addition to growing opioid abuse problems are negatively affecting communities across the state and by adding resources for treatment and prevention we are working to make sure these individuals are receiving the support they need,” said Senate Finance Vice Chair Jerry Little (R-Weare). “This has been a priority of the Senate and I am encouraged by today’s vote.”



NHDP - ICYMI: Outcry Continues to Mount Across New Hampshire Over Irresponsible O’Brien-Jasper Budget 

Concord, N.H. – As outrage from voters in every corner of the state continues to mount over the irresponsible O’Brien-Jasper budget, the pressure is on Senate Republicans to reach across the aisle and ensure a responsible, bipartisan budget that restores strategic investments in critical economic priorities for small businesses and middle class families. 
Protests of the devastating O'Brien-Jasper budget were featured on the front pages of today’s Nashua TelegraphConcord Monitor and Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.
See below for a roundup of coverage:
WMUR: Groups protest House budget proposal
Hundreds of protesters greeted House members about to vote on the budget at the State House on Wednesday[Click here for the full video]
WMUR: House passes budget with cuts to services
Demonstrators say cuts would devastate needed services [Click here for the full video]

Nashua Telegraph: “Hundreds gather at NH Statehouse to protest budget cuts”
… Approximately 300 people laid down on the capitol yard to symbolize the number of overdose deaths in New Hampshire last year. Advocates say the participants laid down to wake up legislators about the increasing number of narcotics-related incidents across the region.
“There’s an epidemic in the state right now, and there’s just nowhere we can get these kids treatment,” said Doug Griffin, a Newton resident holding an oversized photograph of his 20-year-old daughter Courtney, who died in September of an overdose...
Marty Boldin, with HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery, said the state was already among the least funded in the country when it comes to substance abuse before the recommended increases from Hassan’s budget were dropped.
“We have hundreds of dead people in this state that are there in part because of the state’s unwillingness to fund a public health crisis,” Boldin said...
Amherst resident Nan Stearns said the budget left a bad taste in her mouth because the cuts would accomplish little more than hurting “all the little people.” She was particularly upset over Republicans putting Meals on Wheels funding on the chopping block... [Click here for the full article]

Concord Monitor: “Praying for a ‘humane’ state budget”
… One retired state employee spoke with tears in her eyes to Rep. Susan Emerson, a Republican from Rindge, just outside of Representatives Hall.
“I’m never going to be able to have a really good life in New Hampshire,” Sharon Cerretani said, reiterating the concerns she voiced to Emerson and other representatives about increases in the amount she would be asked to pay for health care. “I have two elderly parents I have to take care of. They can’t expect us to live if they keep taking from us.”...
Earlier that morning, the Rev. Jonathan Hopkins, president of New Hampshire Council of Churches, started the day praying in the basement of St. Paul’s Church just across the street – along with some 60 others calling for a more “humane” budget than what would be approved later that afternoon... [Click here for the full article]

NHPR: “House Budget Nixes Proposed Funding Hike For Substance Abuse”
… Tim Rourke, who sat on the Governor’s task force on drug and alcohol abuse, says this funding is needed to save lives.
“We have some of the highest rates per capita of addiction in the United States and we are second lowest to access to treatment services, as a direct result of that we lost over three-hundred New Hampshire citizens to drug overdoses most of which could have been prevented if treatments were made available,” Rourke said.
Cindy Mulcahy lost her 27-year-old son Tom to an overdose just four months ago.
“The most important thing is that we wanted to put a face to that 300 number, that this is a real person, and a wonderful, wonderful person, a really good, a really good kid and he didn't want to die -- he didn't deserve to die,” Mulcahy said as she teared up. [Click here for the full article]

NHPR: “Developmental Disability Funding Loses In House Budget”
… Denise Colby of Belmont says these cuts would force her to quit her job to care for her six-year-old autistic son.
“I would just say please look into the eyes of our kids and realize they are not numbers, they are not statistics and we fight every day to make sure we can make appointments and doctor visits,” Colby said while protesting inside the State House.
Kona Johnson of New Market's  8-year-old son Trevor battles Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which is a chromosomal ailment that affects intellectual and physical development. Johnson said the reductions to early prevention treatment, could be devastating to a child's growth and overall well-being.
"Very, very doom-and-gloom about his prognosis, not being able to walk, not being able to talk -- he does walk now. And if he didn't get the therapies he got as a child, he would not be able to walk and that is so huge to a child's enjoyment of his life," she said. [Click here for the full article]

NH1: Hundreds protest NH House budget slash of $6 million in substance abuse grants
… Four people who died last year were friends with Brian Patriquin, a student at NHTI who's pursuing a career in career addiction. He said he's concerned less funding will lead to less jobs, and more deaths for those trying to seek treatment.
"The kid was 19 years old and died of an overdose because he couldn't get the help already and you're going to take more away from that?" Patriquin said.
Jenifer Gonsalves lost her boyfriend to a heroin overdose last weekend. She attended Wednesday to represent him.
"Nobody wants to die from this disease and another person doesn't need to die, let him be the last," Gonsalves said. [Click here for the full article]

AFPNH - Not Again! 

The Governor proposed a budget with a slew of new taxes, including new taxes on drivers, on smokers, as well as those who are trying to quit smoking, and on our state's employers, who already face among the highest taxes in the nation!

All of those taxes were needed to pay for Governor Hassan's plan to grow big government in New Hampshire.

She also used her budget to make ObamaCare Medicaid expansion permanent. There is no end to the level of spending that she'll support!

Thankfully, the New Hampshire House pulled all of Hassan's tax hikes out of the budget. They also called for ending ObamaCare Medicaid expansion according to state law.

While they flirted with a gas and diesel tax hike, they ultimately chose to use fund set aside for more green energy pork projects to pay for the roads instead.

Action Button - Gold

Now, the House is moving forward with a fiscally responsible budget that protects taxpayers.

Go here to tell your House members to pass this responsible state budget and to give the Governor's tax hikes the boot!

Tell your representatives that New Hampshire taxpayers need a frugal government, not a greater hit in the wallet!

Please take a moment to tell your legislators to pass this House budget, and send a clear message that big government does not work in New Hampshire.

Live Free or Die,

Greg Moore