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Legislature Passes Budget, Now Heading to the Governor

June 22, 2017 Common Cents
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On June 22, both the New Hampshire House and the Senate passed HB 144, the primary budget bill, and HB 517, the budget trailer bill, as proposed by the Committee of Conference. These two bills allocate and direct funding for the next two State fiscal years (SFY), which begin on July 1, 2017 and end June 30, 2019. HB 144 authorizes and appropriates $11.855 billion for SFYs 2018-2019 for State agencies to use, although the Legislature assumes State agencies will lapse a certain percentage of their appropriations and spend less money overall. This lapse, however, is not included in the amount agencies are legally appropriated in HB 144.

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SNAP Provides Food Assistance to Granite Staters with Disabilities

June 21, 2017 Common Cents
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New Hampshire’s Food Stamp Program provides financial assistance to low-income people specifically for food purchases. The program is also known by the title of the federal program which provides the funding for all benefits, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities highlights the importance of SNAP for people living with disabilities. Those with disabilities, either life-long disabilities or those who have acquired disabilities through accidents or other events, are more likely to have lower incomes, live in poverty, and experience food insecurity.

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Committee of Conference Budget Similar to Senate’s Proposal

June 19, 2017 Common Cents
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The Committee of Conference for the State Budget bills, House Bills 144 and 517, made relatively limited changes to the Senate’s version of the State budget, which it used as a basis for amendments. The House acceded to many of the Senate’s positions, in part because some issues had been dealt with through other bills that were not completed when the House Finance Committee drafted its budget. Several modifications were made to the proposed statutory language in House Bill 517, but the Senate’s version, amended based on the Governor’s proposed budget, was largely intact.

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

21 Sep 2017

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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.