Building the New Hampshire State Budget is a long process, beginning when the State government is not even halfway through the duration of the previous State Budget and usually ending in that previous budget’s final days, approximately a year later. The process includes five major phases, challenging jargon, unwritten norms, multiple revenue estimates, and several different versions of expenditure plans and revenue expectations. But understanding the State Budget is more than just learning the process; it is key to understanding our priorities and values as a State. The State Budget reflects the discussions and debates in our communities and provides the most comprehensive set of public investment choices New Hampshire makes.
This document provides a guide to the process of building the State Budget, its organizational structure, and the terminology used. It also summaries the aggregate results of the State Budget process by examining recent trends in funding allocated to broad policy areas, certain large agencies, and local governments.