House, Senate pass budget

Jun 23, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

The New Hampshire House and Senate passed a final version of the state budget on Thursday.  It now heads to Governor Chris Sununu for his signature.

Here are some of the highlights in the budget:

Spending Increases

  • Funding for charter schools (up to $375 per pupil increase)
  • College scholarship program ($10 million for the new program)
  • School building projects ($7 million for the new fund)
  • 20 more in-patient beds for individuals with mental illness and 40 more transitional beds ($8 million)
  • Funding for services to citizens with developmental disabilities ($57 million increase)
  • Community placement for juvenile delinquents ($9 million)
  • 20 additional child protective service workers ($3.5 million)
  • Funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment ($21 million increase)
  • Meals and rooms tax revenue distributed to towns and cities ($5 million increase)

Tax Cuts

  • Business tax cuts
  • Repeal of the electricity consumption tax (a relatively small tax on electric utilities)

New Revenue

  • Online lottery ticket sales

Governor Chris Sununu released the following statement after the budget passed: “Our budget is a bold step in the right direction — a step toward restoring the New Hampshire advantage, and reaffirming the commitment we made to the people to provide tax relief that boosts our economy and returns money to your pocket ... [it] empowers small business owners to reinvest, which will reinvigorate and grow our economy.”

Democrats opposed the budget in part because the business tax cuts deplete revenue that could be spent on social services.

“In good conscience and good faith, Democrats are not able to sign off on a budget that diverts funds away from our state’s critical substance misuse and mental health crises for the sake of more reckless business tax cuts,” said Democratic Sen. Jeff Woodburn.  

Some Republicans in the House also opposed the budget.  They argued the overall budget increase – 2.9% in fiscal year 2018 and 1.3% in fiscal year 2019 – was unacceptably high.

“Frankly, when [Republicans] are running the government ... it seems to me that we should be able to do better than that,” said Rep. Jim McConnell. 

Funding for full-day kindergarten and keno legalization did not make it into the state budget, but did pass under a separate bill that ties the two together.

Visit our issue page on the 2018-2019 state budget to learn more.

Do you have an opinion on the new state budget? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

(Image from a press conference after the budget passed)

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