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Lackluster September State Revenues Reduce Surplus

October 4, 2017 Common Cents
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September was the first big month for revenue collection of State fiscal year (SFY) 2018, and while the total cash collected should not yet ring alarm bells, overall receipts were nothing to boast about. This trend continues observations from SFY 2017, which ended June 30, 2017, and the first two months of the current fiscal year. The General and Education Trust Funds, the primary repositories for the least restricted revenue streams from State taxation, were $2.3 million (0.5 percent) above plan for the year after September’s receipts, but that was down from $4.6 million at the end of August, with September’s shortfall relative to the revenue plan cutting the unrestricted cash revenue surplus in half.

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Medicaid Block Grant Proposals Would Significantly Reduce Funding for New Hampshire

September 25, 2017 Common Cents
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This year, policy proposals at the federal level, particularly those related to Medicaid, have often employed the concepts of “block grants” or “per capita caps.” All recent high-profile proposals to alter Medicaid using these concepts would effectively reduce federal funding to the state relative to current law.

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Food Insecurity in New Hampshire Remains Higher Than Pre-Recession Levels

September 21, 2017 Common Cents
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A report released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service shows food insecurity nationally remained at roughly the same level in 2016, 12.3 percent of all households, as in 2015. Food insecurity is higher both nationally and in New Hampshire in the last three years than ten years ago, before the Great Recession. Although progress has been made nationally relative to the next most recent three-year period, New Hampshire has seen no statistically significant change in food insecurity between the last two three-year periods measured, and food insecurity remains higher above pre-Recession levels than the nation as a whole.

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Elections Highlight Continuing Questions About Keno Revenue

8 Nov 2017

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While results are still preliminary, Keno gaming appears to have been legalized in seven cities around New Hampshire as a result of Tuesday’s votes. The margin of victory in Rochester for Keno legalization was reportedly only one vote and may still be subject to change or recount, but voters appear to have legalized Keno gaming in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Manchester, Nashua, Rochester, and Somersworth. Voters in Concord, Dover, and Keene voted against Keno gaming legalization. Franklin had legalized Keno gaming previously, and the Portsmouth City Council decided to not put Keno on the ballot. Other municipalities, including the City of Lebanon, may make decisions regarding Keno legalization next year. These results have implications for State policy and finances.