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House Budget Writers Make Changes

March 25, 2013 Common Cents

As expected, the House’s initial recommendations for the FY 2014-2015 budget would provide fewer funds for public services than the budget plan offered by Governor Hassan in February.  In fact, taken together, the recommendations presented by the House Finance Committee’s three divisions earlier today would appropriate $56 million less from the General & Education Funds during FY 2014 and FY 2015 than the Governor’s budget would.  They would appropriate approximately $100 million less in Total Funds.

Among the more notable recommended changes, the divisions would, relative to Governor Hassan’s budget plan:

  • Allocate $12 million less in General Funds to the University System of New Hampshire over the course of the biennium, leaving USNH with approximately $57 million less than it had received from the state in FY 2010-2011;
  • Devote $7.2 million less to school building aid in FY 2015;
  • Reduce adequacy aid related to charter schools by $2.5 million;
  • Dedicate $8 million less in General Funds to debt service, a change arising from improvements in the interest rates available to New Hampshire;
  • Provide $8.7 million less in General Funds for Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled, due to an apparent decline in the number of people being served by the program.

Importantly, these figures do not account for so-called “back of the budget” changes and, since the Finance Committee will consider additional changes over the next few days, may shift further before advancing to the full House.

Of course, one of the key factors influencing the divisions’ recommendations is the expectation that the House will not count on $80 million worth of revenue from legalizing casino gambling, as Governor Hassan’s proposed budget does.   NHFPI will have more on state revenues – and the principal differences between the Governor and the House on that subject – as the week progresses.

The House Finance Committee will debate the divisions’ recommendations (and related amendments) tomorrow and Wednesday, before the full House takes up the budget next week. Click on the spreadsheet below to enlarge details on the recommended changes.House Finance Division Recommendations, FY 14-15

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Elections Highlight Continuing Questions About Keno Revenue

8 Nov 2017

tree with coins

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.