state budget

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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."

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

New Hampshire's House and Senate negotiators have finished their work on the next two-year state budget.

Democratic leaders say the plan meets the needs of the people, and should meet the needs of Gov. Chris Sununu, who laid out his preferences and potential red lines last week.

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.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 29, 2019

Mar 28, 2019

The battle to abolish the death penalty advances to the state senate. Governor Sununu sends stronger signal that he may run for the Senate next year, boosted by polls suggesting he may have a chance at defeating Senator Shaheen. And we look how several national issues may affect the state, including a federal court ruling on Medicaid work requirements, and a multi-million dollar settlement against Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin.  Dean Spiliotes is guest host.


Casey McDermott, NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu’s proposed state budget includes a plan to steer roughly $168 million in surplus state money to dozens of one-time projects, ranging from new traffic lights to park upgrades to grants for a handful of nonprofits.

josh rogers / nhpr

Hundreds turned out for the House Finance Committee's public hearing Monday on the state budget. Carol Conforti-Adams, who uses a wheelchair because of a car accident, told lawmakers the state needs to increase Medicaid rates to pay for home health aides.

"I am like an infant. I have personal care needs and I need someone to do them for me. But once I get in my chair, I hold three jobs."

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Some experienced state budget hands say they see no precedent for Governor Chris Sununu's push to earmark millions of state dollars toward local projects. As NHPR's Josh Rogers reports, a top Democratic budget writer says lawmakers will vet the proposals closely.

josh rogers / nhpr

Lawmakers have yet to get the complete text of governor Chris Sununu's budget, but they’re already challenging some of the policy decisions Sununu made in his spending plan - including ending the practice of paying for school aid out of the education trust fund.

That fund was created as part of a broader change in how the state pays for public schools in response to Supreme Court rulings.

josh rogers / nhpr

 

With overall state tax collections up $106 million over estimates, Legislative Budget Assistant Michael Kane told the New Hampshire lawmakers who will write the state's next two-year spending plan that they will start the process with a $95.8 million cushion.

There's no easy way to ask for money. Just ask the governor of New Hampshire. In just a few weeks, Governor Sununu will present his proposed budget to the state legislature. All of this got us wondering.... what is the budget? Who writes it, and what do we spend money on? And how are New Hampshire’s spending decisions different from other states? For answers, we're turning to something new here at NHPR, Civics 101: New Hampshire, a local offshoot of our popular Civics 101 podcast.