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 July 1, 2017 and end June 30, 2019. HB 144 authorizes and appropriates $11.855 billion for SFYs 2018-2019 for State agencies to use, although the Legislature assumes State agencies will lapse a certain percentage of their appropriations and spend less money overall. This lapse, however, is not included in the amount agencies are legally appropriated in HB 144.
The budget bills now go to Governor Sununu’s desk, and he is expected to sign them. Under Part Second, Article 44 of the New Hampshire State Constitution, a Governor’s signature always results in a bill becoming law, while a veto only results in a bill becoming law if the Legislature overrides the Governor’s veto with a two-thirds majority roll-call vote from both chambers of the Legislature. When a Governor does not sign a bill within five days prior to the adjournment of the Legislature, the bill becomes law as if the Governor had signed it. However, if the Governor does not sign a bill within five days (excluding Sundays) and the Legislature has already adjourned, the bill does not become law and the Governor has completed a “pocket veto” of the bill.
For more on the contents of this State Budget, see NHFPI’s Issue Brief on the State Senate’s Proposed Budget, the Common Cents blog post covering key changes in the Committee of Conference proposal, and the webinar on the Senate and Committee of Conference proposals and other information through the NH State Budget web page.