FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2017
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Legislature convened on Thursday, June 22 to vote on the Committee of Conference version of the State Budget for the next biennium, which begins on July 1, 2017. The budget, which appropriates $11.85 billion for State Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019, next heads to the Governor before becoming law.
The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute issued the following statement:
“The state budget passed today by the New Hampshire House and Senate makes important strides in funding for critical health needs in the state, increasing capacity in the mental health system, boosting funding for child protection, and providing compensation rate increases for direct health service providers,” said John Shea, executive director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute.
“Importantly, the budget increases the thresholds for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits to 60 percent of federal poverty guidelines and provides annual adjustments to ensure benefits will keep up with inflation. This change will make a real difference for families who struggle to afford basic needs.”
“Policymakers also increased the state’s Rainy Day Fund to $100 million, which will provide a solid foundation in the event of an economic downturn or fiscal crisis,” noted Shea.
“At the same time, the tax changes in this budget reduced available revenue by $23.7 million and left policymakers with fewer resources to address needs that would have provided benefits to all New Hampshire residents and businesses, such as increasing funding for schools, roads, and other public infrastructure, and making higher education and workforce training more accessible.”
“The tax rate reductions passed in this budget increase the risk of reduced revenue for future years, and may limit the state’s ability to address future needs,” added Shea. “While this budget makes some important strides, the state may continue to fall behind in areas that are essential to ensuring a strong economy.”
The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute published several analyses of the State Budget proposals and state revenue sources, including a review of the Business Enterprise Tax changes that phase out the BET contribution to the General Fund. Visit NHFPI’s NH State Budget web page for links to analyses of budget proposals from the Governor, Senate, and Committee of Conference; a discussion of the business tax changes; and an overview of state revenue sources. (The NH State Budget web page is located under the Resources tab at www.nhfpi.org.)
The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to exploring, developing, and promoting public policies that foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all New Hampshire residents, with an emphasis on low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Learn more at www.nhfpi.org.
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