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Education Funding in the House Budget

May 6, 2019 State Budget

The House version of the State Budget would significantly enhance funding for local education in New Hampshire. The proposal would deploy an additional $165.3 million to local public education over the biennium, directing additional ongoing aid primarily to communities with relatively low property values per student and high percentages of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. These communities either have a limited property tax base from which they can draw to fund education locally, a relatively large number of students who are from households in or near poverty, or both, indicating their local fiscal capacities are more constrained as they have more limited abilities to raise revenue for education on a per-student basis.

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The House State Budget for State Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021

April 25, 2019 State Budget
NH House Chamber

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to pass its version of the State Budget on April 11, proposing to shift significant resources to education and health services during the next two fiscal years. The House budget would enhance State support for local public education, public higher education, services for those with developmental disabilities and mental health needs, affordable housing, and housing assistance services. The House budget funds these services in part by relying on surplus dollars from the current biennium and expand existing tax revenue sources. The House budget adds child protection workers, building on the Governor’s proposed additions, and boosts funding for transportation.

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The Governor’s Budget Proposal, State Fiscal Years 2020-2021

March 29, 2019 State Budget
New Hampshire State House

In the second State Budget proposal of his tenure, Governor Chris Sununu prioritized the health and well-being of certain vulnerable populations while supporting certain significant new expenditures and policy initiatives with one-time funds rather than ongoing commitments. The Governor’s proposal takes advantage of a recent influx of revenue to support building and capacity projects, particularly related to the State’s health system and infrastructure, but does not shift significant revenue to local public education or back to cities and towns on a continuing basis. With a relatively strong economy in New Hampshire and favorable State revenues, budget writers have an opportunity to invest and build a stronger, more resilient economy.

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New Hampshire’s Minimum Wage Falls Further Behind

6 Jan 2020

tree with coins

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 New Hampshire’s minimum wage to the federal minimum level, currently at $7.25 per hour. An individual working 40 hours per week at this wage will make about $15,000 per year, assuming they work all 52 weeks. This income level is below the federal poverty guidelines for all households other than a single person, and well below the levels for households that include a partner and children.