State Budget Update

Yesterday, the House approved its version of the FY 2016-2017 state budget. The proposal, at $11.2 billion in General Fund spending, is an estimated $300 million less than proposed by Governor Hassan.

Cuts to the Governor's proposal come primarily from higher education, local aid, services for persons with developmental disabilities, and a 50% cut to emergency shelters for the homeless and victims of domestic violence. The House budget also dissolves state funding for ServiceLink, cuts Meals on Wheels, reduces Department of Corrections spending and cuts back funding to Community Health Centers. Finally, the House budget does not reauthorize the NH Health Protection Program, the current health coverage program for 37,000 NH residents.

The House budget does include backing for Keno in bars and restaurants where local voters approve, estimated to bring in $9 million in revenue to the General Fund per year. The budget passed the House with a vote of 212-161. An amendment offered to restore many of the cuts to Department of Health and Human Services programs failed by a close margin of 182-193.

The budget now heads over to the Senate where leaders are expected to take a fresh look at spending levels with the benefit of updated state revenue reports. Senate leadership has vowed to restore the state's rainy day fund and reduce business taxes.

Post date: April 2, 2015
Topics: NH Legislative Updates

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