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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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Abnormal Rise in Business Tax Revenue Likely Due to Federal Tax Changes

May 9, 2018 Common Cents
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The State’s two primary business taxes have brought in significantly more revenue than expected thus far in 2018, raising questions about the sources and durability of this boost in receipts. Businesses are changing their behaviors in response to corporate tax reform at the federal level in ways that generate more revenue within the existing state business tax structure, but some changes are likely to be temporary and have limited long-term effect. Legislators should be cautious regarding the use of these revenues, given the lack of assurance that higher-level revenues will continue and other uncertainties surrounding the State’s longer-term revenue.

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Job Growth Slowed in New Hampshire During 2017

11 Jun 2018

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The rate jobs were added to the economy in New Hampshire during 2017 was considerably lower than during 2016, suggesting fewer additional jobs are being filled in the state. This slowing in job growth from the higher levels seen during 2015 and 2016 may reflect that, in a growing economy with a low unemployment rate, many employers are having difficulty finding workers to fill positions.