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Legislature Spends Most of Surplus, Raising Questions for Next Year

May 24, 2018 Common Cents
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On May 23, the Legislature passed several bills with fiscal impacts, including the omnibus spending bill that behaved like a miniature budget this legislative session. The total expenditures passed amount to approximately $129.1 million in new General and Education Trust Funds spending, with additional expenditures outside of these two funds and certain changes to revenues. This total is quite substantial for a non-budget year and reflects the Legislature’s willingness to use the large revenue surplus, collected primarily from the previous three months, without leaving a significant cushion for the second fiscal year of the State Budget. With abnormally high revenues not expected to be sustained, the Legislature is leaving fewer available resources for State Budget negotiations and any unanticipated costs next year.

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Legislature Considers Mini-Budget, Many Other Spending Bills as Session Ends

May 14, 2018 Common Cents
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Following a flurry of amendments to existing bills, the Legislature now faces major spending decisions in a non-budget year that would make use of the current unrestricted revenue surplus. Bills to authorize new State expenditures totaling approximately $130.4 million, which is in addition to the current State operating budget, propose major changes, including a new agreement with hospitals over reimbursements, education and transportation infrastructure funding, State employee salary increases, and reductions in state revenue. The Legislature is convening a Committee of Conference on the largest bill on May 15, and plans to wrap up all its business by May 24.

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Senate Approves Medicaid Expansion Bill as Amended by the House

May 10, 2018 Common Cents
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On May 10, the New Hampshire State Senate concurred with the House of Representatives and voted to reauthorize Medicaid expansion for five years. Although certain circumstances might trigger the end of the program, this step toward reauthorization provides more assurance that the approximately 52,000 Granite Staters served through Medicaid expansion would not lose their health coverage at the end of 2018, when the current program expires. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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New Hampshire Trails in Higher Education Funding

20 Nov 2019

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It has been over a decade since the end of the last recession. During this time, investments and funding for public higher education across the nation have seen reductions overall. States reduced expenditures in the aftermath of the recession, including decreased spending to support public higher education. Recent analyses from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Pew Charitable Trusts have compared states’ investments in public higher education over time. When compared to pre-recession levels the amount of money allocated to public higher education nationwide has decreased. Students who attend public colleges and universities in their home states face the additional cost burdens of increasing tuition and fees that may stem from these funding cuts. In New Hampshire, Granite Staters face the second highest average in-state tuition at public four-year institutions in the nation.