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Building the Budget: New Hampshire’s State Budget Process and Recent Funding Trends

February 9, 2017 State Budget
Budget Pie Chart Illustration

Building the New Hampshire State Budget is a long process, which includes five major phases, challenging jargon, unwritten norms, multiple revenue estimates, and several different versions of expenditure plans and revenue expectations. But understanding the State Budget is more than just learning the process; it is key to understanding our priorities and values as a State.

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The Conference Committee’s FY 2016-2017 Budget

June 23, 2015 State Budget
New Hampshire State House

In its particulars, the version of the FY 2016-2017 budget approved by the House and Senate conference committee on June 18 bears a strong resemblance to the tax and spending plan adopted by the upper chamber just a few weeks ago. While the conference agreement is intended to finance the operations of state government over the next two fiscal years, it is perhaps more notable for what it will do in the years after the close of the FY 2016-2017 biennium. The agreement includes a set of business tax cuts that, though they will reduce revenue by more than $20 million in the upcoming biennium, will not take full effect until FY 2020; once they do, they will drain more than $100 million out of each biennial budget.

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The Senate Finance Committee’s Proposed FY 2016-2017 Budget

June 2, 2015 State Budget
Senate Chamber

Buoyed by a more optimistic outlook for revenue collections over the next two years, the version of the FY 2016-2017 budget approved by the Senate Finance Committee would mitigate some of the spending reductions adopted by the House of Representatives and would reverse others completely. Nevertheless, the Committee’s version of the budget lacks permanent changes in policy necessary to address the failure of the state’s revenue system to recover from the national recession. Consequently, the Committee’s budget proposal falls short of the plan offered by Governor Hassan, both in terms of investments critical to New Hampshire’s economic future and the amount of resources allocated to services designed to protect the most vulnerable Granite Staters.

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New Hampshire Trails in Higher Education Funding

20 Nov 2019

tree with coins

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.