state budget

Jason Moon for NHPR

In remarks Tuesday to the New England Council, a corporate group that typically steers a middle course politically, Gov. Chris Sununu said Democrats in Concord have embraced extremism and latched on to what he termed a clown car of presidential hopefuls.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire finally has a budget for the next two years.

Republican Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the $13.1 billion passed by the Democratically-controlled legislature in June, and the state's temporary spending plan was set to expire next week. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

After a three month stalemate, Governor Chris Sununu and top Democrats in the House and Senate have reached a compromise on a new state budget.

The deal announced Tuesday would retain the business tax rates Sununu prioritized, but current rates would increase if revenues fall below agreed upon targets.

The compromise package also includes more funding for public education and annual increases to medicaid provider rates, which were sticking points for Democrats.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 20, 2019

Sep 20, 2019

An historic number of vetoes by Governor Sununu means the legislature revisits bills on gun control, voting access laws, alternative energy and more. We get an update on continuing negotiations over the state budget.  And with a Global Climate Strike taking place Friday, we find out how New Hampshire students are participating. 

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrats have offered, and Governor Sununu has rejected, what Democratic state lawmakers are calling a compromise on the state budget. The budget process has been at an impasse since Sununu vetoed the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Local education officials had a consistent message for legislative budget writers Thursday: Live up to the promises you made to school districts in the vetoed state budget. Their pleas came shortly after Gov. Chris Sununu floated what he called a compromise on education - one that Democrats quickly rejected as untenable.

Josh Rogers | NHPR

While Governor Sununu and Democratic lawmakers say they want to make a deal on the state budget, neither is giving much ground, and both are working to frame a debate that doesn't look likely to end soon.

In June, Governor Sununu vetoed the state budget passed by the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

As state political leaders seek compromise on the stalled state budget, towns and cities are grappling with fiscal uncertainty that could have some long-term ramifications. 

Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the budget passed by Democrats in the legislature about three weeks ago.  It’s unclear when both sides will reach agreement.

Screencap via YouTube

Governor Chris Sununu rallied Republicans on July 4th by playing auctioneer and selling off memorabilia of a veto.

At a time when the governor says he's eager to reach common ground with Democrats on the state budget, his message at a Republican breakfast in Wolfeboro was a departure.

"This is the veto of Senate Bill 1. You guys know what Senate Bill 1 was," Sununu said. 

What Sununu was selling was a copy of his veto message against paid family leave.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Local health care providers facing the loss of federal money beacuse of Trump administration rules on abortion say their patients will be hurt by the state budget impasse.

Top Democratic budget writers say that’s one reason they want a quick resolution with Governor Sununu, who vetoed their budget last week.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Sununu says his current goals for the budget have less to do with how money might get spent than with ensuring the spending levels are sustainable under the state's current tax structure.   

"Pretty much all the funding initiatives I wanted to go forward with, I'm willing to let them take that off the table, that's fine.

But my responsibility is to make sure we don't put ourselves in a financial hole. Their budget would do that." 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed a two-year state budget crafted and passed by Democrats in the Legislature saying the plan threatens New Hampshre's economic growth. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House and Senate voted along party lines Thursday to pass a $13 billion dollar state budget. Governor Sununu is expected to veto the bill.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Democratic state lawmakers say they'd prefer it didn't happen, but they are preparing for Governor Chris Sununu to veto the next state budget.

House Speaker Steve Shurtleff says he has been talking with Republicans about a continuing resolution to keep government running if the Legislature and the Governor remain at impasse.

"That will be coming up on Thursday, that's something I've worked on with our friends in the Senate as well as Republican leadership in the house."

josh rogers / nhpr

House and Senate budget negotiators are close to an agreement on a two-year state budget. But  business tax cuts remain a sticking point with Governor Sununu.

Negotiators removed a paid family leave program from the budget that Sununu had said would trigger a veto, and reached a deal on education funding that would send $138 million dollars more to districts over the next two years.

The Senate's top budget writer, Lou D'Allesandro, says the spending package, which also boosts medicaid provider rates, works.

josh rogers /nhpr

House negotiators now back the Senate’s plan to spend $17.5 million to build a 25-bed facility on the grounds of New Hampshire Hospital.

Governor Chris Sununu proposed building a new 60-bed unit in his budget; which the House, citing lack of detail, rejected.

Meanwhile, the Senate agreed with a House plan to move children out of a wing at New Hampshire Hospital, to make room for as many as 48 new beds for adults.

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

Budget negotiations are underway in Concord to reconcile differences in the spending plans adopted by the New Hampshire House and Senate.

Budget writers kicked off their negotiation with the Senate agreeing with the House and adding $15 million to revenue estimates. 

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has laid out what he calls his roadmap for common ground on the state budget. And the Republican indicated that he could veto a Democrat-crafted plan if it includes tax increases.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

After a marathon session, the New Hampshire Senate passed a $13 billion dollar state budget along party lines late Thursday night.

The Democratic-backed plan boosts funding for local schools by more than $100 million dollars, and would increase beds for people in mental health crisis. It also includes tax changes opposed by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Republicans offered numerous amendments to strip out spending proposals they said were unaffordable. But Senate Finance Chairman Lou D'Allesandro said the spending plan was a sensible approach to addressing the state's needs.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

The Senate Finance Committee adopted a state budget along party lines Friday.  The $13 billion plan increases spending on education and mental heath services.

 

The budget proposal also includes tax changes opposed by Governor  Chris Sununu.

The Senate's proposed budget would boost funding for local schools by more than $100 million. It would also pay for a new secure psychiatric unit and increase beds for people in mental health crisis.

josh rogers/nhpr

Democratic Senator Jeanne Dietsch of Peterborough aimed to ease the burden on property poor communities that struggle to pay for education.

Her plan would have extended the 6.2 % withholding on income up to $132,900 for Social Security to wages earned above that,  and directed the money – some $300 million -- towards reducing statewide property taxes.

josh rogers/nhpr

The state Senate hopes to collect millions more in business taxes by bringing New Hampshire into conformity with federal tax changes enacted in 2017.

By one estimate the state could see its business tax base grow by 13 % over the next decade if it moves to align state tax policy with the federal changes. But while such a move is expected to net the state millions, it's hard to know exactly how many.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Feltes says by his calculation that number could be about $50 million each year, but:

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

 At a public hearing on the state budget Tuesday, senators heard testimony in support of increasing funding for public schools and health care workers.

Many spoke in support of a bill that would boost state aid for health care programs, address worker shortages, and increase Medicaid reimbursements.

Snow Plow
Nedra / Flickr Creative Commons

The state's top transportation official says New Hampshire managed to keeps its roads safely plowed this winter, but she says it could be a challenge next year without more money.

Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan says the cost of keeping state roads clear of snow -- the equipment, the salt and chemicals used to treat roads, and the labor -- are growing faster than revenue the state has allocated for the job. 

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Governor Sununu's opposition to the spending plan the New Hampshire House passed last week has been conspicuous.

He's railed against it at rallies, and called it a mess on Twitter. On Friday,  Sununu also wrote state agency heads telling them to prepare for for a possible veto.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 12, 2019

Apr 12, 2019

The Democratic-led House passes its version of the state spending plan, with funding for the secure psychiatric unit restored.  A bill to repeal the death penalty in the state clears NH Senate with a veto-proof margin. N.H.'s 400 state legislators get paid $100 a year; we examine the conflicts of interest they sometimes encounter in this small state. And another Democrat jumps into the 2020 primary race.

GUESTS:

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

On Thursday, the Democratic-led House will vote on its version of the state budget. The budget, which is expected to pass, includes a $160 million increase in state aid to schools - the largest since the state ramped up funding twenty years ago in response to the Claremont lawsuits.

 

But with Governor Sununu’s veto pen at the ready, the budget faces an uphill battle in the next few months.

It's budget season in the legislature -- and the construction of a secure psychiatric unit, a major part of the state’s new ten-year mental health plan, is at the center of a partisan tussle. Also, the state fined real estate developer Brady Sullivan half a million dollars for breaking environmental regulations. And presidential candidates: who’s here this weekend and who’s emerging from the crowded field.

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee passed its version of the next two-year state budget along party lines Wednesday.

A key issue for budget writers going forward will be forecasting state tax revenue.

The House committee's budget rejected many of Gov. Chris Sununu's top priorities, including a new forensic psychiatric hospital and further business tax reductions.

The House also adds a new tax on some capital gains.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire House Democrats are putting the final touches on a $13.4 billion two-year budget that spends more and significantly departs from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's proposal on mental health, education and other issues.

The House will vote next week on the plan being crafted by its Finance Committee. Top Democrats on the committee shared some details with reporters on Monday, saying their focus has been crafting a budget that provides property tax relief to towns and cities by boosting education aid.

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