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Entries in State Budget (35)

Tuesday
Oct072014

NHDP - ICYMI: Despite Baseless Budget Attacks Against Governor Hassan, State Senate Republicans Spent “Like There Was No Tomorrow” On Own Budget 

NH1 News: Despite Baseless Budget Attacks Against Governor Hassan, State Senate Republicans Spent “Like There Was No Tomorrow” When it Came to Their Own Budget


Key Point:Despite months of baseless attacks against Governor Hassan's management of state expenditures that were proven false last week, “a NH1 News investigation has revealed when it came to returning money to the Treasury, it was the State Senate that seemed to spend like there was no tomorrow.”

When asked why the Senate Republicans had massively overspent their budget, Senate President Chuck Morse said, “I had a lot on my plate last year.”

Click here to see the full NH1 News segment here

See below for a transcription of the segment:


Senate Republicans say Governor Hassan's poor leadership and management led to the state needing to make significant spending cuts. But a NH1 News investigation has revealed when it came to returning money to the Treasury, it was the State Senate that seemed to spend like there was no tomorrow. 

Budgets are always brought into balance in Concord by getting all of government to return unspent, or lapsed, money to the Treasury. The target for the state government was 3.6% for the past year. Well, according to official documents, the Senate returned 1/10 of 1%, only $2700 to the Treasury. 

Governor Hassan's office returned 7.5% of the budget, or twice the target, and the House of Representatives returned 5% of spending. The Senate also spent nearly $15,000 on new or replaced furniture after Governor Hassan had asked the Legislature to freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out-of-state state travel.

“Then when you see such a very minuscule number, the attack on the Governor by these Republican State Senators has shown to be hollow,”said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley. ”These Senators don't know how to manage their own budget.”

Senate President Chuck Morse said this budget required the legislature to cut an additional $1 million. He said the Senate wound up spending $300,000 less than it could have spent, and $165,000 more than last year. “I had a lot on my plate last year,” Morse said.

This is his first year as Senate Leader, and he dealt with Medicaid Expansion and settling two expensive lawsuits against the state. Morse said Senate spending was not a problem, and warned the state has to close up to an $80 million hole in the next budget. As for furniture, Morse said most of what was bought did not arrive in the Senate offices until this budget year.

With a $2.5 million Senate budget out of a $5 billion state budget, this a drop in the bucket. But as you can see here, this is a pretty good talking point for Governor Maggie Hassan and the Democrats heading out to the election.

 

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Wednesday
Sep242014

NHGOP LAUNCHES "TAXIN' HASSAN" WEBSITE 

NHGOP LAUNCHES "TAXIN' HASSAN" WEBSITE

 


 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today launched  www.taxinhassan.com, a website dedicated to chronicling Governor Maggie Hassan's failed fiscal leadership and support for reckless tax increases and spending. 


 
"Throughout her political career, Governor Maggie Hassan has supported reckless tax increases and failed to provide fiscally responsible leadership for New Hampshire. Instead of managing state spending, Hassan proposed a bloated state budget that would have burdened working families and small business with more taxes and fees," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "The Republican Majority in the State Senate can only do so much to put the brakes on Governor Hassan's tax and spend agenda. It's time to put a proven leader and responsible manager like Walt Havenstein in the corner office."


 
Granite Staters can learn more about Maggie Hassan's fiscally irresponsible track record at www.taxinhassan.com.  The site will be updated throughout the election season.

Tuesday
Aug262014

NH Senate Republicans - ICYMI: Forrester pens column on spending transparency 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

 

Seacoast Online Logo.jpg

The public has a right to know how much money state government spends

 

August 24, 2014

 

By Sen. Jeanie Forrester

 

One of the quirks of New Hampshire’s budget process is that we start writing next year’s budget before we elect the Governor and Legislators who will approve it. State departments are already crafting their spending requests for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately, they are doing so in the dark, without a clear picture of how the current budget is shaping up.

 

Fiscal Year 2014 ended on June 30th. We knew within a few days that state revenues came in right on target. In fact, the updated revenue figures released earlier this month show that General and Education Trust Fund revenues came in just $3.1 million over the conservative revenue estimates that Senate Republicans insisted on during the 2013 budget debate. That’s 0.1% over the $2.17 billion dollar forecast. Some taxes brought in more than we planned, and some dipped below our estimates, but the overall revenue plan hit the center of the bullseye last year.

 

That doesn’t guarantee that revenues will be as accurate this year, which runs through June 30, 2015. Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate will all keep an eye on revenues throughout the year, aided by the Monthly Revenue Forecast, published the first week of every month by the New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services.

 

Unfortunately, we lack this important transparency on the spending side of the New Hampshire budget. The data is there, but Governor Hassan has so far refused to share it with the public. Governor Hassan has been warning since May that state departments might exceed the FY14 spending levels authorized in the current budget, and has reinstated a spending freeze on out-of-state travel, equipment purchases, and filling vacant state positions that expired last July.

 

But she has not shared the basis for this concern, or shared with the Legislature whether any state departments overspent their budgets last year. Since the close of FY14, Senate Republicans have been asking to examine the state’s spending records. We’ve formally requested Governor Hassan to provide a department by department update on FY14 spending to the Legislative Fiscal Committee, and she has refused. If we’re going to have the bipartisan cooperation that the Governor claims to value so highly, we all need to have up to date information.

 

New Hampshire law requires spending reports similar to the revenue reports we read each month.

 

RSA 9:11 Monthly Reports “Once each month the director, division of accounting services shall make a report to each state agency showing in detail the total amount expended during the previous month and the accumulated amount expended to date from July 1. The report shall also show the total encumbrances outstanding and the balance available for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

 

State law requires the Governor to know exactly how much each department spends every month. And it authorizes the Governor to reduce expenditures in any department in danger of going over budget.

We simply want to see the same information the Governor has. She keeps hinting that we’re going to have big budget problems, and insists there’s a problem with revenues. Well, we can see the revenues every month, and we know that’s not the problem.

 

But what about spending? Did any state agencies exceed their budget expenditures last year? Are any in danger of going over budget this year? The Governor insists that everything is fine. She could prove that very easily, and back up her claims of bipartisan problem solving, simply by sharing the monthly spending reports sent out to every state agency.

 

Passing a balanced budget is important but it’s only the beginning of a long process. Monitoring revenues to make sure we meet our estimates is important too. However the most important part of maintaining a balanced budget is managing department spending. Doing that in a transparent manner helps build trust that the government is being efficient with our tax dollars. Doing that in the dark – or worse, not managing spending and keeping the public in the dark – leads to suspicion, confusion, and potentially to budget deficits.

 

Sen. Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) is Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

Wednesday
Aug202014

NH Sen Bradley to Hassan: Which business taxes would you like to increase?

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Governor continues to blame revenues while hiding spending

 

Concord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) today called on Governor Maggie Hassan to specify which business taxes she wants to increase. Hassan has been warning of a potential budget deficit since May, but has refused to update the Legislature on state spending. FY14 revenues came in above the conservative forecasts insisted on by Senate Republicans, yet Hassan continues to claim that recent business tax reforms “are having a negative impact on the state's budget.”

 

“If Governor Hassan thinks New Hampshire’s business taxes are too low, she should tell us which ones she wants to increase,” Bradley said. “Does she want to start taxing trusts again? That would raise about $5 million a year. Does she want to reduce the Research and Development Tax Credit? She might want to roll back the Net Operating Loss Carry Forward provisions signed by Governor Lynch. the Or maybe she wants to lower the threshold for the Business Enterprise Tax so that New Hampshire’s smallest businesses will pay more.”

 

“These important business tax reforms had broad, bipartisan support, and were factored into the revenue estimates that proved so accurate for FY14,” Bradley continued. “If Governor Hassan wants to roll back these tax reforms, she should tell us which taxes she wants to increase. In the meantime, I would repeat our request to update the public on how much state departments spent in FY14, which ended 50 days ago.”

 

Background

 

In 2011, the Legislature increased the filing threshold for the Business Enterprise Tax from $150,000 to $200,000, providing tax relief for New Hampshire’s smallest businesses.

 

In 2012, the Legislature voted 23-0 in the Senate and 312-18 in the House to override Governor Lynch’s veto of SB 326, exempting trusts from the Interest and Dividends Tax.

 

In 2012, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved HB 242, increasing the Net Operating Loss Carry Forward provision of the Business Profits Tax to $10,000,000.

 

In 2013, the Legislature passed SB 1, doubling the Research and Development Tax Credit and making it permanent. At the time, Hassan called it “a critical component of our innovation agenda.”

 

In June of 2013, Hassan praised the “bipartisan, fiscally responsible balanced budget agreement” that included all of the tax provisions she’s now criticizing.

Thursday
Aug142014

NH Sen Bradley renews call for spending update as HHS goes $100 million over budget 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

How much have the other departments spent?

 

Concord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) today renewed the request for Governor Maggie Hassan to supply Fiscal Year 2014 spending figures for all state departments. The Department of Health and Human Services is reporting that it exceeded its FY14 budget by $30.9 million, and is on track to overspend its FY15 budget by $71.2 million. FY14 ended on June 30th, and Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) formally requested an update on department spending on July 7th.

 

“The potential budget deficit from HHS alone tops $100 million, but New Hampshire is operating in the dark. Revenues came in on target last year, but spending is over budget. We don’t know how much, and that’s irresponsible. Governor Hassan needs to open the state’s books and provide the Legislature and the public with the complete picture. Every day she stalls makes it harder to address the potential budget deficit created by overspending,” Bradley stated.

 

Spending Watch ‘14

 

44 Days since the end of Fiscal Year 2014

37 Days since Sen. Forrester requested an update on state spending