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Common Cents is the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute’s blog, where we cover state budget matters, health policy, economic issues and more.

 

  • New Data Show Food Insecurity Levels Declining Prior to the COVID-19 Crisis September 10, 2020
    According to data released on September 9 by the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity levels in New Hampshire continued to decline during 2019, prior to the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The report outlines the trends of reduced food insecurity in the nation and in New Hampshire, ...
  • Increases to SNAP Benefits Would Offset Higher Food Costs and Boost the Economy July 30, 2020
    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides critical nutritional aid to individuals and families with low incomes, including those who have faced income losses. As Granite Staters continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, aiding those who are most affected and who have the fewest resources will help ensure they weather the ...
  • Pandemic EBT Food Assistance Program Applications Open through August 24 July 21, 2020
    The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program allows for families with students, who haven’t been able to physically attend school, to receive additional nutritional benefits if the student was eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals. These benefits are equal to the value of the free or reduced-price meals ...
  • Legislature Finishes Historic Session, Sends Omnibus Bills to Governor’s Desk July 10, 2020
    With an abbreviated timeline that prevented further deliberation, the Legislature combined legislation left on the agenda since March and sent both single-issue and omnibus bills to Governor Sununu. The Senate compiled both bills originating in the Senate and the House into larger bill packages, and the House’s schedule only permitted ...
  • Initiatives Aim to Increase Rural Access to Broadband Internet Services July 2, 2020
    Broadband internet availability and use is uneven between rural and urban areas of New Hampshire. A lack of key broadband infrastructure connecting many homes in rural regions has resulted in increased connection challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. The crisis has required individuals and families to transition ...
  • CARES Act Economic Impact Payments May Not Automatically Reach 9,900 Eligible Granite Staters June 18, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March was the largest piece of legislation aimed at providing relief and support in response to the COVID-19 crisis. A key type of aid being distributed is direct cash payments, officially called Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). These payments are ...
  • Eviction Moratorium to End July 1 as State Establishes New Housing Assistance Program June 18, 2020
    On June 11, Governor Sununu appropriated $35 million in federal assistance to a new program designed to help residents keep their existing housing or secure permanent housing, providing critical support when many people have lost regular income during the COVID-19 crisis. This support comes as the Governor announced the current ...
  • The COVID-19 Crisis Contributes to Increased Need for Mental Health Supports June 12, 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary actions to mitigate the health impacts may increase the need for mental health and substance use disorder support, due to exacerbated emotional stress. The uncertainty surrounding the crisis, social isolation, anxiety, and poor economic conditions may negatively impact mental health. Previous research suggests loss ...
  • New Data Provide Insight into Extensive Economic Impacts and Income Losses from the COVID-19 Crisis June 3, 2020
    The challenges facing Granite Staters due to the COVID-19 crisis are unprecedented, and data continue to suggest the negative effects of this crisis are concentrated on those who are most vulnerable. New survey data indicate nearly half of New Hampshire households have lost employment income since March 13, and one ...
  • State Agencies Project Major Revenue Declines Due to COVID-19 Crisis Impacts May 29, 2020
    New Hampshire State agencies expect revenue collections to be more than half a billion dollars less than planned through the middle of 2021, indicating key services for Granite Staters may face funding challenges without other supports. Agency officials indicated the combined General Fund and Education Trust Fund collections may be ...
  • Majority of New Hampshire’s Federal CARES Act Flexible Grants Appropriated, Includes Added Support to Businesses, Nonprofits, and Child Care May 22, 2020
    The State of New Hampshire has appropriated most of the flexible funding provided by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Following the Governor’s announcements on May 15, 2020, all but approximately $402 million of the $1.25 billion provided to New Hampshire as part of the Coronavirus Aid, ...
  • Property Tax Relief Program Application Deadline Extended to November May 21, 2020
    The COVID-19 crisis will likely have the greatest economic impacts on Granite Staters with low and moderate incomes. Direct forms of aid, such as economic and nutritional assistance, are critical in providing relief and support to affected individuals and families. New Hampshire’s existing program targeted at property tax relief for ...
  • COVID-19 Crisis Effects Greater on Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations in New Hampshire May 3, 2020
    The COVID-19 crisis is producing disproportionate impacts on New Hampshire’s racially and ethnically diverse residents, with new data mirroring trends also evident at the national level. Individuals identifying as a non-white race or as ethnically Hispanic or Latino appear to be more likely to suffer medically from COVID-19, the disease ...
  • Key Policies Provide Short-Term Relief and Long-Term Recovery in COVID-19 Crisis April 29, 2020
    The economic damage done by the COVID-19 crisis threatens both the ability to meet short-term needs and the long-term financial stability of Granite Staters. State and federal policies are playing important roles in providing support for New Hampshire residents and businesses through the immediate crisis. More support will be needed ...
  • Federal Guidance Prevents Use of CARES Act Relief Funds for State Revenue Shortfalls April 23, 2020
    The State of New Hampshire may not use $1.25 billion in recently received federal funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to offset revenue losses created by the economic impacts of the pandemic, according to guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The guidance, ...
  • Food Assistance Programs Provide Critical Relief and Boost the Economy April 21, 2020
    As the COVID-19 crisis progresses, the economic impact on many Granite Staters will be intense, with disproportionate effects on individuals and families with lower incomes and limited resources. The financial and economic burdens on those affected demonstrates the importance of nutrition assistance programs as more Granite Staters may struggle to ...
  • New Hampshire Expands Access to Safety Net Programs and Supports During the COVID-19 Crisis April 3, 2020
    Programs such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provide means-tested benefits that help support the basic needs of individuals and families with low incomes. During these times of profound economic instability, assistance to families and individuals living at or near the poverty line, ...
  • March State Revenues Underperform Ahead of Coming Declines April 3, 2020
    With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis dramatically impacting New Hampshire’s economy and employment in key sectors, State revenues are likely to be significantly reduced relative to expectations, threatening vital services in a time of high need. March revenues do not yet reflect the expected impacts, as many collections are based on ...
  • Unemployment Benefits and Temporary Income Supplements Provide Financial Support During the COVID-19 Crisis April 2, 2020
    As a result of the necessary public health steps to combat to the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, financial strains on individuals and families are emerging rapidly. Recommendations, guidelines, and emergency orders from federal and state officials have led to profound changes to the ways Granite Staters live and ...
  • Federal CARES Act to Provide Relief to Residents, $1.25 Billion to New Hampshire State Government March 27, 2020
    The United States Congress has approved federal emergency relief for individuals and states in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This approximately $2 trillion emergency relief package provides supports for individuals, families with children, and states in the forms of one-time grants, unemployment compensation benefits, and other ...
  • Food Insecurity Among Granite State Students May Increase Due to COVID-19 Crisis March 25, 2020
    Many New Hampshire students from households with low incomes are food insecure and depend on access to free or reduced-price meals at school. These meals are provided through a combination of federal, state, and local programs designed to reduce food insecurity. With New Hampshire schools closed at least through April ...
  • New Hampshire’s Older and At-Risk Populations May Require Greater Levels of Care in COVID-19 Crisis March 24, 2020
    New Hampshire’s population may be disproportionately vulnerable to more severe instances of COVID-19 due in part to the state’s older demographic. With higher estimated percentages of older adults and younger at-risk adults than the country as a whole, New Hampshire’s health care system may be especially strained to respond to ...
  • Many New Hampshire Workers Vulnerable to Economic, Health Impacts of COVID-19 Crisis March 23, 2020
    Workers in New Hampshire may be disproportionately likely to be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, as some of the state’s largest employment sectors include those most immediately affected. These impacts include both a higher risk of actual exposure to the 2019 novel coronavirus, and less income from reduced hours or ...
  • State and Federal Governments Adjust Policies, Allocate Resources to COVID-19 Crisis Response March 20, 2020
    Both the State and federal governments have taken key actions this week to stem both the health and economic harm generated by the COVID-19 crisis. Although many more resources will be needed to stem the widespread hardship already beginning to impact the country, these initial steps will be critical to ...
  • Rainy Day Fund May Provide Resources for Emergency Supports March 19, 2020
    As the COVID-19 crisis continues, New Hampshire policymakers will have to muster additional resources to respond to the health and economic needs of residents. Although New Hampshire will be challenged to raise the additional resources likely needed to address this crisis, the State does currently have resources it can deploy ...
  • COVID-19 Crisis Threatens Financial Stability of the State and Residents March 17, 2020
    The COVID-19 crisis poses a risk not only to the health of New Hampshire residents, but to their financial security and State revenues as well. State revenues finished the month of February ahead of the State Budget’s planned expenses, but the current revenue surplus is not nearly as significant as ...
  • Risk of COVID-19 Exacerbates Disparities in Access to Health and Other Services March 13, 2020
    With the potential for an increased need for health services in the coming weeks as the 2019 novel coronavirus spreads, Granite Staters face uneven access to health care. Successful access to health services typically requires access to both health providers and coverage, and often the ability to pay expenses out-of-pocket. ...
  • 2020 Census Will Help Determine Federal Funding for Health and Other Services March 12, 2020
    Obtaining an accurate Census count is critical for determining the level of federal funding a state receives and for establishing proper representation in legislative chambers. Population statistics and other data derived from the U.S. Census Bureau’s constitutionally-mandated decennial count of all individuals living in the United States provide a basis ...
  • New Hampshire’s Minimum Wage Falls Further Behind January 6, 2020
    The federal minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage that can be paid to most workers anywhere in the nation. Since its inception at the national level in 1938, when only certain workers were covered, the wage has increased and encompassed more types of employees over time. State law sets ...
  • USDA Approves Changes to SNAP Work Requirements for Certain Adults December 10, 2019
    The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is administered locally as the New Hampshire Food Stamps Program, provides means-tested food assistance benefits to thousands of Granite State families and individuals with low incomes. A federal policy change announced last week would limit the ability of states to waive certain ...
  • New Hampshire Trails in Higher Education Funding November 20, 2019
    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 ...
  • Pending Federal Proposals Would Reduce SNAP Benefits, Including Enrollment of Households with Children October 25, 2019
    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as the New Hampshire Food Stamp Program in the Granite State, helps families and individuals with lower-incomes put food on the table. Eligibility for SNAP is based on gross and net income, assets, household size, and other factors. Additionally, a large portion of ...
  • New Hampshire’s Food Insecurity Levels Return to Pre-Recession Levels September 27, 2019
    According to new estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), New Hampshire and the nation have experienced improvements in households’ access to food. The recently released report outlines the progressing trends of reduced food insecurity, declining from higher levels experienced in the recovery period after the Great Recession. ...
  • New Census Bureau Data Show NH Incomes, Poverty Rates Holding Steady September 26, 2019
    Median household incomes and key poverty rates remained essentially the same in New Hampshire from data collected in 2017 to 2018 data, suggesting economic growth in the state did not boost the overall purchasing power of people with low or middle incomes relative to inflation. New data published today by ...
  • State Budget Agreement Includes Education Funding Revisions, Medicaid Reimbursement Rate Increases, and Contingent Business Tax Rates September 25, 2019
    The newly-proposed State Budget agreement to be considered by the Legislature today would boost funding for local public education, with a substantial increase during the budget biennium and a smaller increase continued over time, and includes upward adjustments to Medicaid reimbursement rates and one-time aid to cities and towns. The ...
  • Declining Business Tax and Other Revenues Suggest Caution for State Budget August 15, 2019
    As policymakers continue to consider State Budget options and choices during the ongoing continuing resolution, understanding State revenue trends remains critical to determining the State’s ability to pay for needed services and the policy choices that affect available resources. With State Fiscal Year 2019 completed and SFY 2020 underway, recent ...
  • Continued Rise of NH’s Rental Costs Increases Financial Burdens on Residents August 9, 2019
    The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority recently released the findings of their 2019 Residential Rental Cost Survey for the state. Conducted annually in order to understand the condition of the unsubsidized rental market in the state, the latest report identifies several important ongoing trends. The overall increase of New Hampshire’s ...
  • Federal Court Halts New Hampshire Medicaid Work Requirements July 30, 2019
    In a July 29 ruling, a federal judge halted the implementation of New Hampshire’s work and community engagement requirements for expanded Medicaid enrollees. New Hampshire’s expanded Medicaid program provides health coverage to nearly 50,000 residents with low incomes. Work requirement implementation had already been delayed by the State due to ...
  • State Delays Implementation of Medicaid Work Requirements, Citing Potential Coverage Losses July 11, 2019
    Earlier this week, New Hampshire state officials suspended the implementation of the work and community engagement requirements for expanded Medicaid beneficiaries until September 30. The Department of Health and Human Services had no information on the compliance of approximately 17,000 individuals, which would have meant up to that many individuals ...
  • Services Funded at Lower Levels than Proposed After Governor Vetoes Budget July 1, 2019
    New Hampshire began State Fiscal Year 2020 without a new State Budget after the Governor vetoed the Legislature’s approved State Budget last week. In the absence of a State Budget, services are funded through House Joint Resolution 3, which both the House and the Senate passed last week. Services provided ...
  • Committee of Conference Keeps Medicaid Reimbursement Rate Increases, Boosts Fiscal Disparity Aid in Final Budget Agreement June 24, 2019
    Negotiators from the House and Senate agreed to a final budget proposal in the Committee of Conference for House Bill 1 and House Bill 2 last week, preserving many Senate proposals while incorporating additional education aid and removing the paid family and medical leave proposal supported by both the House ...
  • Low and Moderate Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief Applications Due June 30 June 17, 2019
    The Low and Moderate Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief program is a rebate program operated by the State of New Hampshire’s Department of Revenue Administration that provides a relatively small amount of property tax relief to homeowners with limited incomes. Eligible homeowners must earn $20,000 per year or less for ...
  • Senate Passes Budget, Approves Funding Increases for Local Education Aid and Medicaid Rates June 7, 2019
    After considering a series of amendments to House Bill 2, the Senate accepted the Senate Finance Committee’s proposal for the State Budget without changes on Thursday, June 6. The House is expected to vote on Thursday, June 13 on whether to form a Committee of Conference or accept the Senate’s ...
  • Senate Finance Committee Budget Restores Stabilization Grants, Boosts Medicaid Rates, and Sends One-Time Aid to Local Governments June 3, 2019
    The Senate Finance Committee completed work on its version of the State Budget Friday, May 31, proposing to send unrestricted aid to local governments in a one-time fashion and restore the original stabilization grant amounts to communities for public education. The Senate Finance Committee modified the House Budget proposal to ...
  • House Finance Committee Budget Boosts Education and Health Funding April 5, 2019
    The House Finance Committee passed its version of the State Budget on Wednesday, April 3, recommending the full House adopt a plan to send significantly more money to local governments for education aid and add funding for State health services. The plan would fund these increases by using the current ...
  • Work Requirement Implementation Begins Amid Troubling Signs from Other States March 4, 2019
    Implementation of the work and community engagement requirements for Medicaid expansion enrollees officially began March 1, with June as the first month requiring non-exempt enrollees to have 100 hours of qualifying activities. The flexibility within New Hampshire’s current rules permits enrollees to use a subsequent month to fulfill their required ...
  • Federal Shutdown Threatens Food Assistance Benefits January 24, 2019
    The continuing partial federal government shutdown has jeopardized the continuation of food assistance through the New Hampshire Food Stamp Program to more than 78,000 individuals, including 30,000 children. The shutdown has prompted a shift in the timing of benefits for February in a way that might make it difficult for ...
  • Federal Tax Law Effects Still Uncertain as NH Business Tax Rates Drop January 4, 2019
    New Hampshire’s two primary business tax rates dropped for most businesses starting at the beginning of this calendar year, and state business tax revenues generated by the effects of the federal tax overhaul may be limited going forward, putting the state’s largest tax revenue stream at risk.
  • Unsettled Business Tax Revenues Push Surplus Upward, Offer Limited Insight for the Future December 7, 2018
    The fortunes of State revenues continue to rise and fall with New Hampshire’s two primary business taxes, which provided positive signs for near-term revenue but have not shown these levels are sustainable. While the two business taxes remained healthy, other revenue sources were relatively flat overall, leaving the State with ...
  • Report Shows Higher Effective Tax Rates for Residents with Low Incomes October 18, 2018
    Most New Hampshire residents with lower incomes pay a higher percentage of the money they earn in state and local taxes than residents with higher incomes do. In a new report released yesterday, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy conducted evaluations of state and local government tax systems in ...
  • Business Tax Revenues Drive Surplus with Continued Abnormal Behavior October 4, 2018
    Business tax revenues, propelled higher by certain unusual trends, continued to overperform in September, which is the largest revenue month in the new fiscal year thus far. Business tax extension revenues continued to be well above normal, suggesting more or larger businesses are delaying their final business tax filings. Revenue ...
  • Food Insecurity Remains Higher in New Hampshire than Before Recession September 26, 2018
    A larger percentage of New Hampshire residents had limited access to adequate food due to resource constraints than prior to the Great Recession, according to the most recent estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture. The agency’s report, released this month, showed progress on reducing food insecurity nationally, but ...
  • Interactive Maps of Municipal Economic Disparities and Fiscal Capacities August 30, 2018
    New Hampshire’s economy continues to grow overall, but significant disparities in economic conditions and service needs exist within the boundaries of the Granite State. Differences between the southeastern part of the state and the more rural northern and western regions can be identified broadly and are present across many different ...
  • Year-End and July Revenues Show Surplus, Raise Questions About Business Taxes August 14, 2018
    State revenues continue to come in strong, with unaudited numbers from last year and new numbers from July both showing revenue growth. Preliminary accrual figures for State fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30, 2018, showed General and Education Trust Fund revenues were over the prior year’s figures by $168.3 ...
  • Business Taxes Sustain Surplus While Other Sources Fall Just Short July 18, 2018
    The State revenue figures from June show continued strength in business taxes, but suggested that other revenue sources may be faltering, such as lottery and liquor sales revenues, or just meeting their targets. The data release for June showed the cash revenues for the last month of the State fiscal ...
  • Job Growth Slowed in New Hampshire During 2017 June 11, 2018
    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 ...
  • May Revenues Show Rebounding Real Estate Transfer Tax June 8, 2018
    State revenues were closer to expectations in May after three months of abnormal receipts, with most major sources bringing in about as much revenue as planned for May and the largest deviation coming from a rebounding Real Estate Transfer Tax. Although May is not an important month for the state’s ...
  • Legislature Spends Most of Surplus, Raising Questions for Next Year May 24, 2018
    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 ...
  • Legislature Considers Mini-Budget, Many Other Spending Bills as Session Ends May 14, 2018
    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 ...
  • Senate Approves Medicaid Expansion Bill as Amended by the House May 10, 2018
    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 ...
  • Abnormal Rise in Business Tax Revenue Likely Due to Federal Tax Changes May 9, 2018
    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 ...
  • House Finance Committee Modifies Medicaid Expansion Work Requirements, Tweaks Funding Structure April 27, 2018
    On April 25, the House Finance Committee voted to make several changes to the Medicaid expansion reauthorization bill, which would authorize a new version of the program, currently providing health coverage to approximately 52,000 low-income Granite Staters, for five years. These changes include reversing several of the changes to the ...
  • Expanded Medicaid Proposal Moves Forward with Changes to Work Requirements April 11, 2018
    On April 5, the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed an amended version of expanded Medicaid reauthorization that modifies the work requirements outlined in the State Senate’s proposal and makes a variety of other, smaller changes. The House accepted the amendment from the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs ...
  • March Revenues Continue to Grow Surplus April 9, 2018
    March revenues were above the State’s planned amount of receipts for the month, with the two primary business taxes continuing to overperform while certain other key sources lagged. March is an important month for state revenue, as the State revenue plan anticipated 26.3 percent of General and Education Trust Fund ...
  • Unplanned Business Tax Revenues Bolster Surplus, Prompt Questions March 7, 2018
    The size of the State’s surplus continues to climb as a result of February’s revenues, with receipts from the two primary business taxes providing almost all of the boost while most other sources underperformed. The State collected $105.9 million in February, $15.5 million (17.1 percent) more than the $90.4 million ...
  • New Hampshire’s Complex Transportation Funding Challenges January 30, 2018
    Investments in the operation, maintenance, and construction of transportation infrastructure in New Hampshire often draw from many different sources and funds. Decisions about financing mixes, timelines, projected interest costs, and the effects of deteriorating or enhanced transportation infrastructure at any level of government can all influence projects.
  • Early Interest and Dividends Tax Payments Boost Surplus January 5, 2018
    December revenues closed out the first half of State fiscal year 2018 with a sizable increase in the surplus, but the boost’s source suggests the result might be lower receipts in the next half of the year. Revenue sources for the General and Education Trust Funds collected $7.7 million (3.3 ...
  • Congress May Reduce Funding to Key Programs Following Tax Changes December 21, 2017
    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the United States Congress on December 20 will likely lead to an increase in the federal debt, and Congress may next seek to make changes in expenditures to reduce the impact on deficits. The official estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation ...
  • November Revenues Double Surplus, Keeping Receipts Just Above Plan December 13, 2017
    Lawmakers seeking to pass bills that require spending will be watching the surplus carefully next session. Any bills that call for spending money during the 2018 Legislative Session require either more revenue to come in than expected under the current State Budget or a new revenue source to be established. ...
  • Elections Highlight Continuing Questions About Keno Revenue November 8, 2017
    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 ...
  • October Revenues Above Plan Despite Sluggish Real Estate Transfer Tax November 2, 2017
    October revenues for the General and Education Trust Funds met the State’s anticipated revenue plan based on State Budget expenditures, but the relative strengths and weaknesses of certain revenue sources and comparatively small revenue surpluses may limit the Legislature’s flexibility in future deliberations. As with earlier revenues thus far this ...
  • Interpreting the Significance of the October County Census Data Release October 26, 2017
    NHFPI recently published a Fact Sheet showing the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey estimates for counties and municipalities in New Hampshire. These one-year data provide snapshot estimates of economic indicators in the state’s counties for data collected in 2016. As they are only one-year data and rely on small ...
  • Lackluster September State Revenues Reduce Surplus October 4, 2017
    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 ...
  • Medicaid Block Grant Proposals Would Significantly Reduce Funding for New Hampshire September 25, 2017
    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.
  • Food Insecurity in New Hampshire Remains Higher Than Pre-Recession Levels September 21, 2017
    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 ...
  • Understanding Differing Median Household Income Estimates September 20, 2017
    Recent Census Bureau releases showing data for 2016 yielded some good news for New Hampshire, with a lower overall poverty rate and lower poverty rates for children and seniors, although about 23 percent of households earned less than $35,000 per year and more than 94,000 Granite Staters remained in poverty. ...
  • Census Data Show Challenges with Income, Poverty, and Housing Costs September 14, 2017
    The Census Bureau released the one-year estimates for 2016 population characteristics based on the American Community Survey on September 14, showing poverty and unemployment in New Hampshire continue to decline in the wake of the Great Recession, but some groups are still struggling more than others. The poverty rate, or ...
  • State Revenues on Target, But Concerns Linger September 6, 2017
    With revenues collected for the first two months of State fiscal year 2018, certain revenue sources appear to be matching the State’s revenue plan while others, including key revenue generators, appear to be flagging. On a cash basis, revenue for the General and Education Trust Funds was $1.4 million below ...
  • Medicaid Expansion Work Requirements Hinge on Federal Approval September 5, 2017
    The State Budget, signed into law on June 28, 2017, includes a provision that requires certain Medicaid enrollees to engage in work-related activities to be eligible for Medicaid. New Hampshire’s Medicaid program includes both traditional Medicaid and expanded Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. The Medicaid expansion in New ...
  • A Snapshot of the State’s Labor Market August 31, 2017
    In the long economic recovery following the Great Recession, New Hampshire’s workers have faced slower job growth than the nation as a whole, and wages for many low-income workers have not kept pace with inflation, leaving many people with less purchasing power. New Hampshire’s job growth has been more robust ...
  • State Funding for Higher Education Still Below Pre-Recession Levels August 30, 2017
    Student loan debt is the second largest source of U.S household debt, surpassing auto loans and credit card debt and only eclipsed by mortgages. Nationally, student loans totaled $1.34 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. State policies can have a role in reducing tuition costs students ...
  • Medicaid to Schools: A Small Aspect of Medicaid but an Immense Resource for NH Schools August 14, 2017
    Medicaid is an important program for many of New Hampshire’s children, and the schools those children attend serve as key providers of medical services for their students. The Medicaid to Schools program, which allows schools to enroll as healthcare providers and receive federal reimbursements for providing Medicaid services, helps thousands ...
  • Revenues Down Slightly in Most Recent Fiscal Year August 4, 2017
    Following a substantial growth in revenue in State fiscal year (SFY) 2016, the preliminary accrual figures for SFY 2017 have been tabulated and show essentially no change in tax and transfer revenues from SFY 2016 preliminary numbers, and a drop in overall revenues, for the General and Education Trust Funds. ...
  • Demographic Changes Likely to Increase Demand for Medicaid August 3, 2017
    Medicaid, a program funded jointly by the federal and state governments, helps eliminate or defray the costs of health coverage for certain populations with incomes below certain levels. The cost of providing health care coverage to Medicaid recipients varies dramatically across different groups of recipients. Children, for example, tend to ...
  • Medicaid Assists More Than 185,000 New Hampshire Residents July 25, 2017
    Medicaid helps approximately one out of every seven Granite Staters access health care. The Medicaid program is a joint federal-state partnership to eliminate or defray the costs of health coverage for certain populations with incomes below certain levels, including children, parents, pregnant women, people with disabilities, seniors and nursing home ...
  • State’s Diverse Tax Base Stabilizes Revenue, But Business Tax Changes May Increase Volatility June 29, 2017
    New Hampshire’s state tax revenue is relatively stable, but the State’s largest tax may be among the most volatile types of common taxes, a new analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts suggests. Between 1997 and 2016, New Hampshire’s tax volatility, as measured through percentage changes from the prior fiscal year, ...
  • Legislature Passes Budget, Now Heading to the Governor June 22, 2017
    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 ...
  • SNAP Provides Food Assistance to Granite Staters with Disabilities June 21, 2017
    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 ...
  • Committee of Conference Budget Similar to Senate’s Proposal June 19, 2017
    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 ...
  • Senate Passes Finance Committee Budget Largely Unchanged June 1, 2017
    The Senate, after considering many amendments, made three changes to the Senate Finance Committee’s version of the State Budget bills. The Senate’s proposed total budget grows from the current operating budget’s appropriations by about $508 million, or 4.5 percent, when comparing the appropriations in each budget for the two years ...
  • Proposed Business Enterprise Tax Changes Would Eliminate General Fund Contribution May 30, 2017
    The Senate Finance Committee’s version of the budget proposes lowering the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) to 0.60 percent in 2019 and 0.50 percent in 2021. The proposal comes as additional business tax cuts, which became law in 2015, are still being phased in; if revenue meets a certain threshold set ...
  • Senate Finance Committee Approves Amended Budget May 26, 2017
    On May 24, the Senate Finance Committee approved a State Budget proposal that would appropriate $11.86 billion in state fiscal years 2018 and 2019. This proposal is $324.7 million less than the Governor’s proposed budget, which the Senate Finance Committee used as a baseline for its decisions, and $5.9 million ...
  • Senate Ways and Means Committee Increases Revenue Estimates May 22, 2017
    In an unusual move, the Senate Ways and Means Committee opted to revisit the revenue estimates for the General and Education Trust Funds they had decided and voted upon individually on May 17. The Committee concurred with the House Ways and Means Committee revenue projections for the Fish and Game ...
  • Senate Revenue Estimates 14 Million Below House Numbers May 17, 2017
    The Senate Ways and Means Committee met on May 17 to determine revenue estimates for the State’s General and Education Trust Funds, and decided that revenues would likely come in at $4,898.1 million for the State fiscal years (SFY) 2018-2019 biennium. This estimate is $14.2 million below the figure the ...
  • Revenues As Strong As Last Year, But Little Growth Overall May 2, 2017
    New Hampshire’s April revenue numbers came in strong. Many annual taxes from the 2016 calendar year must be filed in April, so it is an important month for evaluating tax collections. March also has filing deadlines, and both are typically strong months for revenue, which informs the budget planning process ...
  • House Fails to Pass State Budget, Process Moves to Senate April 6, 2017
    The New Hampshire House, for the first time in recent history, has opted to not pass the State Budget bills, introduced as House Bill 1 and House Bill 2. April 6 was the deadline set by legislative leadership to pass those bills out of the House and move them to ...
  • House Finance Committee Finalizes Full Budget March 28, 2017
    The House Finance Committee completed its version of the budget on March 28, which is two days ahead of the deadline set by legislative leadership. With the House Ways and Means Committee projecting $86.7 million less in revenues than Governor Sununu’s projections for State fiscal years (SFY) 2017, 2018, and ...
  • Federal Funding’s Future in Flux March 27, 2017
    About 30.3 percent of New Hampshire’s state budget is funded using transfers from the federal government for State fiscal year 2017. This percentage is slightly below the typical proportion for states. These funds come through a variety of federal programs designed to either promote certain initiatives or priorities at the ...
  • The Budget Trailer Bill Hits The Road February 22, 2017
    On February 21, the Office of Legislative Budget Assistant published the public version of House Bill 2, also called the “Trailer Bill.” In this proposed legislation, Governor Sununu outlined the policy changes that enable some of the proposed modifications to State government indicated in the primary budget document, House Bill ...
  • At First Glance, A Growing Budget February 10, 2017
    There are many things not yet known about Governor Sununu’s proposed budget. Although the Governor released his specific spending plan ahead of the February 15 deadline set in State law, he is not required to release the companion bill, commonly called House Bill 2 or the “Trailer Bill,” by the ...

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