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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.

 

  • 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 ...
  • A Good Year for State Revenues February 1, 2017 The State of New Hampshire has issued its final report on revenues for state fiscal year (SFY) 2016, which confirms that revenues came in higher than legislators anticipated when they originally built the current state budget in 2015. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was released on January 31 and contains ...
  • Sun Shining on the Rainy Day Fund December 28, 2016 The National Association of State Budget Officers published a survey of state fiscal situations this month, devoting particular attention to the money states keep in budget stabilization reserves, or “rainy day funds.” These funds allow states to stabilize their budgets in response to unexpected expenditures, or drops in revenue, and ...
  • Investing in New Hampshire’s Future Conference to Focus on Areas Vital to Sustaining a Strong Workforce December 21, 2016 There is broadly shared recognition that New Hampshire must take steps to support and expand its workforce to sustain the state’s economic success. The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute’s 4th annual budget and policy conference, “Investing in New Hampshire’s Future: Strategies to Maintain a Strong Workforce and a Vibrant Economy,” ...
  • New Process Will Guide Formation of Next State Budget November 18, 2016 Crafting a state budget is a long process that, in New Hampshire, begins well before the legislators who vote to make the budget law are elected. State statute requires the new governor, elected in November, to submit a complete budget proposal for the next biennium by February 15 of each ...
  • SNAP Works for New Hampshire’s Children October 13, 2016 The Food Stamp Program helps New Hampshire families put food on the table. But we know now that it accomplishes much more than that. Research increasingly shows that the Food Stamp Program can ward against the long-term effects on children of experiencing poverty, abuse or neglect, parental substance misuse or ...
  • New Hampshire Poverty Rate Declines, Yet Economic Stability Remains Out of Reach for Many September 20, 2016 New US Census Bureau data released September 15 finds that New Hampshire’s poverty rate declined to 8.2 percent in 2015, a drop of one percent since 2014. While New Hampshire once again ranked first for the lowest state poverty rate in the nation, these findings demonstrate that there are still ...
  • Strong Economy Drives Robust Revenues, Though Benefits Not Felt By All July 8, 2016 While the final state of New Hampshire’s finances for FY 2016 will not be known for a few more months, the latest information on revenue collections provides an optimistic sign. After a solid FY 2015, collections grew by 5.7 percent in FY 2016 (excluding tax amnesty receipts). Unrestricted revenue for ...
  • Annual Kids Count Report Finds More NH Children Facing Economic Hardship June 22, 2016 The annual Kids Count ranking for 2016 once again places New Hampshire among the top states for child well-being, but increases in the numbers of children and families facing financial hardship should serve as a warning sign and inspire a closer look at policies that can enhance economic stability for ...
  • Homeowner Property Tax Rebate: Time to Apply, Time to Improve May 2, 2016 Late last week, the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) announced that the application period for New Hampshire’s Low- and Moderate-Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief Program opened May 1. Anyone who is interested in applying – or who would like to help a friend, family member, or client apply – ...
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendment Could Distort and Disrupt State Budget Process March 17, 2016 Next week, the Senate will consider a measure to amend New Hampshire’s Constitution to create a new balanced budget requirement. If passed by the legislature and approved by New Hampshire’s voters, CACR 27 would prohibit expenditures in any year from exceeding available revenue and barring policymakers from borrowing to ...
  • Reauthorization of Health Protection Program Would Bring Nearly $870 Million into State Economy January 29, 2016 Under current law, the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which provides 47,000 people across the state with access to affordable health insurance, will be terminated at the end of 2016 in the absence of legislative action. Should the program be allowed to expire, not only would thousands of hard-working Granite ...
  • Benefits of a Growing Economy Not Being Felt By All Granite Staters December 1, 2015 A recent analysis of wage trends across the fifty states over the last decade found that wage growth in New Hampshire was among the least equal in the nation between 2005 and 2014. As troubling as that finding may be, an examination of Census Bureau data since 1979 suggests that ...
  • Budgeting for a Better Tomorrow Today October 16, 2015 Given the amount of time required to reach a final agreement on New Hampshire’s budget this year, you could be excused for wanting to put off thoughts about appropriations, revenue projections, or surplus statements for a little while longer. In reality, though, it’s never too soon to consider ways to ...
  • More Access to Healthcare, But Little Progress on Fighting Poverty September 18, 2015 The latest pieces of the puzzle regarding New Hampshire’s economic health reveals a mixed bag. According to data released yesterday by the US Census Bureau, more residents have health insurance, yet household incomes are barely rising and poverty reduction remains elusive.
  • Governor, Legislative Leaders Reach Budget Agreement September 15, 2015 Earlier today, Governor Maggie Hassan and legislative leaders announced that they have reached an agreement on the FY 2016-2017 budget. The agreement, if approved by the legislature when it meets tomorrow, would put into law the version of the budget originally adopted by the Legislature on June 24 and subsequently ...
  • Tax Policy: Criteria for an Effective Trigger Mechanism September 14, 2015 In recent days, some have suggested that one potential path to compromise on proposed reductions in the rates of the business profits tax and business enterprise tax would be to make such changes subject to a “trigger” mechanism of some kind – that is, to make the changes contingent ...
  • Governor Offers Compromise Budget Plan July 23, 2015 On Thursday, July 23, Governor Maggie Hassan put forward a new proposal in an attempt to reach a compromise over New Hampshire’s FY 2016-2017 budget. The proposal appears to use the spending levels included in the version of the budget she had vetoed on June 25 as a starting ...
  • Revenue Loss from Business Tax Cuts Will Benefit Select Set of Companies June 22, 2015 The version of the FY 2016-2017 budget that both the House of Representatives and the Senate will consider on Wednesday includes significant reductions in the rates of New Hampshire’s twin business taxes: the business profits tax (BPT) and the business enterprise tax (BET). While policymakers should be concerned about the ...
  • Conference Committee Budget Agreement May Lead to Potential Veto June 18, 2015 On Wednesday, June 17, the Committee of Conference on the FY 2016-2017 budget wrapped up its fourth day of deliberations, largely completing its work on the state’s spending plan for the next two years. Given both the short- and long-term consequences of the conference committee’s recommendations, Governor Hassan issued a ...
  • Opening Day of Conference Committee, Use of Surplus Called into Question June 12, 2015 On Friday afternoon, members of the conference committee on the FY 2016-2017 budget met for the first time. The meeting was a relatively eventful one, with conferees agreeing to a set of baseline revenue estimates to use in their deliberations and the Chair of the House Finance Committee signaling that ...
  • House Ways and Means Committee Revisits State Revenues June 11, 2015 As the upcoming Committee of Conference, one of the last stages of the budget process, creeps closer, the House Ways and Means Committee convened Tuesday to amend their baseline revenue estimates, which were initially adopted by the full House of Representatives in the form of HR 12 in February. The ...
  • New Tax Cut Estimates Push Senate Budget Out of Balance June 4, 2015 A new analysis from the Department of Revenue Administration finds that the business tax cuts included in the version of the FY 2016-2017 budget that the Senate will consider today would result in a more sizable and more rapid loss of revenue than previously anticipated. The analysis also suggests that ...
  • Senate’s Business Tax Changes Will Drain More than $90 Million from Future Budgets May 28, 2015 On Thursday, May 28, the Senate Finance Committee approved its version of New Hampshire’s FY 2016-2017 budget, setting the stage for consideration by the full Senate by June 4. While the Committee made some progress in restoring funding for tourism promotion and for programs for the elderly, it stopped short ...
  • Senate Revenue Estimates Insufficient to Restore Services and Cut Business Taxes May 19, 2015 Earlier today, the Senate Ways and Means Committee finalized its revenue estimates for the FY 2016-2017 biennium, projecting that, absent changes in law, the General and Education Funds will collect $4.62 billion over the next two years. While that forecast is $118 million higher than the one on which the ...
  • Higher Education Support in New Hampshire Still Lags Since Recession May 13, 2015 While New Hampshire may have made some progress in the last budget cycle in restoring support for public colleges and universities, a national report released this week highlights just how much farther the state has to go to recover ground lost since the recession. In particular, it finds that state ...
  • Recovery in Tax Collections Eludes New Hampshire April 10, 2015 The most recent figures on state tax revenue reveal that New Hampshire’s ability to finance public services remains behind where it was seven years ago. In its interactive, online tool, Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, the Pew Charitable Trusts presents updated data on tax receipts for all 50 states, ...
  • House Budget Amendments Shift Funds from Critical Priorities April 1, 2015 The New Hampshire House of Representatives today approved its version of the state’s budget for the upcoming FY 2016-2017 biennium, but not before adopting a few last minute changes to the tax and spending plan recommended by the Finance Committee. In particular, the House passed amendments that would undo a ...
  • Local Impact of Proposed Education Aid Changes March 31, 2015 When the House of Representatives meets on Wednesday, the chief topic of debate will be the state budget and, in particular, the House Finance Committee’s proposed amendments to HB 1 and HB 2, the two bills that comprise New Hampshire’s revenue and spending plan for FY 2016-2017. Those amendments will ...
  • House Finance Committee Poised to Reduce Governor’s General & Education Fund Budget by Over $200 Million March 19, 2015 On Thursday afternoon, the three divisions of the House Finance Committee largely completed their respective considerations of Governor Hassan’s proposed FY 2016-2017 budget. When the full Finance Committee reconvenes early next week to consolidate and to act upon the divisions’ recommendations, the end result will likely be a reduction in ...
  • State Revenue Sources: How Does New Hampshire Compare? March 19, 2015 A new analysis released by the Pew Charitable Trusts affirms a well-established fiscal reality here in the Granite State: New Hampshire relies considerably less on taxes to finance public services than most states. In fact, according to Pew, taxes now make up a smaller share of state revenues in New ...
  • House Budget Writers Cut Services for the Sick, the Elderly, and the Homeless March 16, 2015 Late last week, Representative Dick Barry, Chairman of Division III of the House Finance Committee, which has responsibility for those portions of the state budget supporting health and human services, indicated that the Division would seek to reduce spending in those areas by a total of more than $280 million ...
  • New Hampshire Job Numbers Improve in Quantity, But Not Quality March 12, 2015 A new analysis from New Hampshire Employment Security concludes that the Granite State in many respects has fully recovered “what was lost during the Great Recession.” However, while many of the indicators signal that the economy is back to normal, others, such as which industries are hiring and the duration ...
  • House May Fund Transportation Outside Regular Budget March 10, 2015 The House of Representatives is poised to depart from the normal budget process and fund the Department of Transportation via a stand-alone piece of legislation rather than through HB 1 and HB 2, the two bills that will ultimately constitute the FY 2016-2017 budget.
  • Most Affluent Granite Staters Reaping the Bulk of Income Gains February 6, 2015 A newly released national study finds that while incomes may be growing for many New Hampshire residents, the vast majority of those gains are being realized by the wealthiest. In their second edition of The Increasingly Unequal States of America, researchers at the Economic Policy Institute use IRS data to ...
  • Building a Better Budget Conference Will Provide a Forum for Dialogue around State Budget Priorities January 9, 2015 New Hampshire faces significant fiscal challenges as it enters the 2016-2017 budget debates and policymakers will need to take a balanced approach in providing funding for services on which residents, visitors, and businesses rely. The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute will host Building a Better Budget: Meeting Today’s Needs, Preparing ...
  • NH Poverty Rate Increases with Supplemental Measure October 20, 2014 Ask any scientist or researcher and they’ll tell you: measurement matters. That truth extends to the social sciences as well, where better, more robust measures can yield new insights into economic conditions. For instance, a more comprehensive measure of poverty – known as the Supplemental Poverty Measure – demonstrates that ...
  • Citizens Offer Ideas to Improve State Government September 30, 2014 During June the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Innovation, Efficiency, and Transparency in State Government invited citizens to share their views on how to improve state government through a series of public forums held around the state. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the state budget itself was ...
  • Poverty Falls in New Hampshire, But Not Far Enough September 18, 2014 New Hampshire’s poverty rate dropped considerably in 2013, but still remains above pre-recession levels, according to data released earlier today by the US Census Bureau. While such recent gains on poverty offer reason for optimism, the inability to retake ground lost during the economic downturn should spur policymakers to consider ...
  • ‘Healthy Pennsylvania’ Program Offers Lessons for New Hampshire September 2, 2014 With the recent approval of the “Healthy Pennsylvania” program, the Keystone State becomes the 27th state to expand its Medicaid program as allowed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like New Hampshire’s Health Protection Program, Healthy Pennsylvania will provide Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of ...
  • Education Tax Credit Ruling Shines Light on State Tax Expenditures August 29, 2014 A new legislative committee, designed to improve the soundness of the Granite State’s tax system, began meeting earlier this week and, thanks to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, will now likely have one more item on its long-term agenda. Ironically, just an hour before the Joint Committee held its first ...
  • Business Tax Proposals in Context August 6, 2014 New Hampshire’s tax system has received a good deal of attention recently, as two candidates for Governor have presented proposals that would dramatically alter how the state taxes businesses operating within its boundaries. As the public, the press, and policymakers evaluate these and other plans and the impact that they ...
  • NH’s Long-Term Care System: Low Performance, High Cost June 24, 2014 A new report finds New Hampshire’s long-term care system ranks poorly in its performance for senior citizens and adults with physical disabilities. Given that in 12 years the first wave of baby boomers will be turning 80 across the country and the Granite State’s particular demographic challenges, the relative underperformance ...
  • Enrollment for Health Protection Program Begins July 1 June 17, 2014 Yesterday the State of New Hampshire announced that it will begin accepting applications for the Health Protection Program on July 1, with coverage scheduled to begin on August 15. This is welcome news for the nearly 50,000 low-income Granite State adults who will now have access to affordable health ...
  • Homeowner Property Tax Rebate Applications Due June 30 June 12, 2014 Eligible New Hampshire homeowners have until June 30 to submit applications for a property tax rebate available through the state’s Low- and Moderate-Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief Program. Under current law, individuals with incomes of less than $20,000 and married couples with incomes below $40,000 who own a home in ...
  • MET Changes Create Early State Budget Gap June 9, 2014 On June 4, the House of Representatives and the Senate approved legislation that substantially reshapes New Hampshire’s Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET) and the distribution of the revenue it is expected to yield. While the measure offers a greater level of support to hospitals throughout the Granite State, it also ...
  • Legislative Changes to MET Should Preserve Revenue May 28, 2014 Negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate met earlier today in a Committee of Conference to try to resolve their differences over New Hampshire’s Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET). While there may be some common ground between the two chambers, the Senate’s desire to reduce New Hampshire’s reliance ...
  • Senate MET Proposal Jeopardizes Budget Progress—and People May 22, 2014 Critical decisions about New Hampshire’s next state budget are being made now – some nine months ahead of schedule. In fact, a proposal currently pending before the Legislature would reduce the amount of revenue available to support higher education, public and mental health services, aid to cities and towns, ...
  • Medicaid Enhancement Tax Viewed in Context of the Broader State Budget May 1, 2014 Earlier this week, the Senate Ways and Means Committee met to consider legislation related to the state’s Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET) and to weigh possible responses to a pair of recent Superior Court cases that found the MET, as it now exists, to be unconstitutional. Attempting to repeal the ...
  • High Cost of Living States Adopting Higher Minimum Wages April 24, 2014 Over the past several months, five states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, and West Virginia – have enacted legislation to increase their minimum wages. By 2016, half of the states and the District of Columbia will have minimum wages above the current federal standard of $7.25 per hour. ...
  • Court Rulings Focus New Attention on MET and Its Role in State Finances April 16, 2014 On April 8, the Hillsborough County Superior Court, in response to a lawsuit brought by three New Hampshire hospitals, declared the state’s Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET) to be unconstitutional. The ruling comes on the heels of a similar decision handed down in February by the Rockingham County Superior Court in ...
  • Granite State’s Young Adults Support Increase in Minimum Wage April 11, 2014 In the current debate about raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage, opponents of such a change have tended to focus on the potential consequences for teenage workers. The most recent New Hampshire-specific polling available indicates that younger Granite Staters strongly support a higher minimum wage. In addition, most authoritative research on ...
  • New Hampshire Moves Forward, Extends Affordable Health Coverage to 50,000 Low Income Residents April 2, 2014 On Thursday, March 27, 2014, after nearly 20 months of analysis, discussion and debate, Governor Hassan signed into law SB 413, creating the New Hampshire Health Protection Program to extend affordable health insurance to low-income Granite Staters. This legislation represents a pragmatic, bipartisan effort to find common ground to address ...
  • Purchasing Power of Minimum Wage in Manchester 15th Lowest in U.S. March 27, 2014 It isn’t often that Manchester is thought of alongside the sunny beaches of Waikiki. Yet, a new analysis conducted by Governing Magazine finds that the Queen City, like Honolulu, has among the lowest minimum wages of any city in the country when it comes to real purchasing power.
  • Inflation Indexing Helps to Maintain a Strong Minimum Wage March 19, 2014 It has now been more than five years since New Hampshire last increased its minimum wage. Over those five years, inflation has eaten away at the wage’s real purchasing power, reducing it by close to 75 cents per hour. Stretched out over a full-time work week, that’s nearly a full ...
  • Study Finds 83 Percent of Granite State’s Recent Income Growth Collected by Top 1 Percent February 19, 2014 Incomes for the top 1 percent of New Hampshire residents have grown much more rapidly than for the rest of the Granite State, both in recent years and over the past several decades, according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
  • An Overview of SB 413: Extending Affordable Health Insurance to Low Income Residents February 14, 2014 On Thursday, February 13, 2014, Senators Morse, Larsen, Bradley, Gilmour, Odell and D’Allesandro introduced SB 413 to create the Health Protection Program. SB 413 creates three stages of extending affordable health insurance to low income Granite Staters: the Health Insurance Premium Program (timeline: ASAP–December 31, 2016); the Bridge to Marketplace Premium ...
  • Report Gives NH Low Scores for Long-Term Budget Planning February 4, 2014 When in pursuit of a complex goal, it’s important to select the right navigational tools. To stay on track, pilots follow flight plans, builders follow blueprints, and entrepreneurs follow strategic business plans. In setting their fiscal priorities – and in sticking to them – states can and should use a ...
  • Oregon Study No Reason to Change Course on Medicaid Expansion January 7, 2014 Recently, as part of a larger study that examined the impact of Oregon’s 2008 Medicaid expansion, researchers compared the people in that state who gained public health coverage with the people who remained uninsured — and found that the first group made 40 percent more trips to emergency departments. Affordable Care ...
  • The First Day of the Rest of the Special Session November 8, 2013 On Thursday, the House of Representatives and the Senate each met, at the call of the Governor, to begin a special legislative session to consider the recommendations of the Commission to Study the Expansion of Medicaid Eligibility. What transpired after those meetings was of greater interest, though, as Senate ...
  • Survey: States that Expand Medicaid Ease Pressure on Their Budgets October 9, 2013 States that expand Medicaid will see their state Medicaid costs grow at a slower rate than states that do not participate in the expansion, according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Based on an extensive review of state Medicaid data, the Kaiser Commission estimates state Medicaid spending ...
  • Closing In on a Plan to Expand Medicaid October 4, 2013 At Wednesday’s meeting of the Commission to Study Expanded Medicaid Eligibility, Rep. Tom Sherman presented a plan to extend health insurance to low-income Granite Staters under the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a quick look at some of the elements of the plan that most commission members appear ready to ...
  • Medicaid Expansion By the Numbers September 26, 2013 Take a look at four key numbers to remember when considering what is at stake for New Hampshire in the Medicaid Expansion decision:
  • Poverty on the Rise in NH September 19, 2013 Census data released today indicate that New Hampshire’s poverty rate reached its highest level in six years in 2012. The latest Census data also suggest that the real purchasing power of the income for the typical NH household has shown no improvement since the start of the economic recovery.
  • Troubling Health Trends Continue in New Hampshire September 18, 2013 New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal the continuation of two troubling trends in New Hampshire. First, the number of Granite Staters without health insurance has grown considerably. Second, that development appears to be the result of a substantial decline in the number of residents who receive health ...
  • Roy Proposal: Substantially Higher Costs, Far Less Coverage September 10, 2013 During today’s meeting of the Commission to Study the Expansion of Medicaid Eligibility, Avik Roy, a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Manhattan Institute, offered one alternative to the approach New Hampshire is now considering for using federal funds to provide health care coverage to low-income Granite Staters. While the full ...
  • Hospitals and Medicaid Expansion September 10, 2013 Hospitals in New Hampshire would do better financially if Medicaid is expanded to more low-income families, according to the Lewin Group report that looked at New Hampshire’s situation. This is in direct contradiction to an online Forbes article by commentator Avik Roy who suggested incorrectly that New Hampshire hospitals are ...
  • The Unfinished March August 28, 2013 A report released this week measures our nation’s progress on a key goal of the 1963 March on Washington, highlighting marchers’ demands for a higher minimum wage and assessing what progress the nation has made on wage standards. After 50 years, how far have we come?
  • Education and Economic Growth August 22, 2013 The best way for N.H. to foster a productive economy is to invest in a well-educated workforce, according to a new report. Researchers found that productivity growth and high-wages are overwhelmingly found in states with more educated workers.
  • A Waiver-less Medicaid Expansion August 15, 2013 Designing a “New Hampshire approach” to extending health insurance to more Granite Staters via Medicaid includes options that do not require special waivers from the federal government. One option is to ramp up an existing program called the Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) program.
  • Maine and Medicaid August 7, 2013 Opponents of Medicaid expansion make a mistake in pointing to Maine to argue that extending Medicaid to more people did not increase the number of people with insurance. In fact, Maine has been more successful in keeping its residents insured than most of the rest of the states in ...
  • Federal Cuts to Food Assistance Will Hurt NH Families August 2, 2013 Millions of struggling families – including one in six children in New Hampshire – face cuts to federal food assistance just in time for Thanksgiving this year. Reductions in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, will hit 117,000 recipients in New Hampshire along with ...
  • New Poll Shows Most Americans Support Higher Minimum Wage July 24, 2013 A new poll released today finds that 80 percent of Americans – including 62 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Independents – support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to the cost of living.
  • New Data, Old Story: Business Taxes in NH Lower Than Most States July 22, 2013 Last week, the Council on State Taxation (COST), a Washington, DC-based association that represents the interests of over 600 multistate and multinational corporations, issued the latest edition of its annual report on state and local business taxes. While this is the 11th edition of COST’s reports, its implications may ...
  • The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare July 19, 2013 Click here to watch a fun little animation from the Kaiser Family Foundations that shows some of the ways more of us will get health insurance as well as some of the new choices we will have under the Affordable Care Act starting in 2014.
  • What Families Need to Get By July 10, 2013 Ever wonder if it would be cheaper to move somewhere else? The Economic Policy Institute has come up with a family budget calculator that takes into account the cost of living in 615 different areas of the United States. Check it out here.
  • Medicaid Expansion Commission Gets to Work July 8, 2013 New Hampshire’s Medicaid Expansion Commission, created as part of the FY 2014-15 budget, met for the first time this morning, selecting its chairman and setting its agenda for the next several weeks. By a unanimous vote, the members of the Commission chose Jim Varnum, the former president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial ...
  • Medicaid Study Commission — What’s Ahead. June 24, 2013 If the House and Senate approve the 2014-2015 state budget this week, they trigger a requirement to convene a Medicaid Study Commission by July 8. Missing from the plan, however, is a date for a special session, which was removed in negotiations. Still, lawmakers are talking about calling a special ...
  • Will New Revenue Estimates Save Human Services? June 11, 2013 With budget negotiations imminent, members of the House Ways & Means Committee today announced that they expect New Hampshire’s existing tax system to produce $107 million more over the coming biennium than they had initially estimated and $49 million more than Senate estimates. At stake are the Senate’s proposed “back ...
  • Coverage Canyon: What Happens If We Reject Medicaid Funds? June 7, 2013 One of the consequences of not taking this money is to create a coverage canyon for many of the people who would have enrolled in Medicaid. This means that in the absence of Medicaid expansion, a single mother with one child earning $11,000 a year would not be eligible for ...
  • Senate Uses Surplus to Balance Its Budget June 3, 2013 The Senate budget plan would spend $4.59 billion in General and Education Funds over the next two years –a sum that is roughly $36 million higher than the House version of the budget. While that amounts to a difference of less than 1 percent, the way the two chambers arrived ...
  • Medicaid Expansion Could Produce Budget Savings Now and in the Future May 30, 2013 New Hampshire has a major opportunity to reduce the number of people without health insurance by accepting federal funds to extend its Medicaid program. While the state would face some up-front costs, it would benefit from new revenue and savings elsewhere in the budget. Taking advantage of just two ...
  • New Hampshire Can’t Afford to Wait May 28, 2013 While caution is usually a good strategy, delaying acceptance of federal funds to extend Medicaid to more low-income people in New Hampshire could cost the state millions of dollars and leave thousands of people without access to affordable health care when they need it.
  • Don’t Misread Oregon Study Results May 24, 2013 In 2008, Oregon expanded Medicaid coverage to a group of adults, drawing lottery-style from a waiting list of uninsured people. The study evaluated the impact of Medicaid on health care utilization, out-of-pocket health care spending, and on blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and depression. Contrary to some accounts, the Oregon study ...
  • Senate Takes Medicaid Expansion Out of the Budget May 23, 2013 Last night, the Senate Finance Committee voted 4-2 to strike from its state budget proposal, language allowing New Hampshire to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds through its Medicaid program to reduce the number of people without insurance. The Committee instead proposed a commission to study ...
  • New Senate Revenue Estimates $61 million less than House May 15, 2013 This post is a corrected version of a post originally published on May 14, 2013 and reflects revised totals from the Office of the Legislative Budget Assistant. The Senate Ways and Means Committee is recommending revenue estimates that are at least $61 million lower than the House. The committee met Tuesday ...
  • Consumer Assistance Tailored to New Hampshire’s Needs May 10, 2013 A federal grant to help New Hampshire design a consumer assistance program is one of the items in the state budget. It came up at the Senate budget hearing on Thursday, with advocates asking the Senate to ensure the grant funding is available to the state Insurance Department so it ...
  • Can the Senate Get Comfortable with Accepting Funds to Extend Medicaid? May 7, 2013 The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee expressed some interest today in accepting federal funds through Medicaid to provide health coverage to more people in New Hampshire – but he’s worried about what happens after the first few years.
  • Business Climate Rankings Don’t Make the Grade May 2, 2013 You don’t have to listen long in Concord before you hear them: claims about where taxes in New Hampshire stand in relation to other states and what that means for public policy. Yet, a major new study released yesterday concludes that some of the most commonly cited sources for such ...
  • Low- and Moderate-Income Property Tax Relief April 29, 2013 It’s not always obvious how regressive New Hampshire’s property taxes are since the tax rises with the value of a given home. The reality is that property taxes take a far larger share of the income of low- and moderate-income homeowners than they do wealthier homeowners. To address this problem, ...
  • Poll: Small Business Supports Higher Minimum Wage April 25, 2013 A new poll finds substantial support among small business owners for raising the federal minimum wage. Conducted on behalf of Small Business Majority, the poll finds that 67 percent of the small business owners surveyed would back an effort to increase the federal minimum above $7.25 per hour and ...
  • Collecting What NH Is Owed April 17, 2013 On Friday, the Legislature’s Fiscal Committee will hear a request from Attorney General Michael Delaney to allow his office to pursue litigation against online travel companies for meals and rooms taxes they may owe. Not only should the Committee approve the request, but the Legislature as a whole should ...

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