Here we welcome a free and open exchange of opinions and commentary on the public policy issues facing New Hampshire. Our mission is to raise new ideas and improve public policy debates in our state through quality information and analysis.
With the end of June comes the close of New Hampshire’s fiscal year. It’s a time when budget bean-counters (including us) examine revenues and try to determine what they mean for the current budget as well as future expectations.
The Medicaid Enhancement Tax, the state’s disproportionate share program, and a potential budget shortfall have been in the news as a result of a recent superior court ruling which found the MET to be unconstitutional.
We continue our publication of excerpts from our 2013 "What is New Hampshire?" report with an overview of public services across the state. We call this publication "The Common Burden," to reflect the disparate, interconnected way in which public services are funded and delivered across levels of government and by the private sector in New Hampshire.
Every January, the crew of policy wonks here at the Center sits down and forecasts the issues that will occupy New Hampshire policymakers over the coming months. Then, we translate those deep thoughts into a tidy stack of charts, graphs, and numbers. Here's this year's edition of The Year in Charts, a nifty visual guide to public policy in 2014. Keep it handy through the year for easy reference.
Long-time readers of this blog may remember our online budget calculator from two years ago. We introduced this interactive tool as a way to let anyone with an interest in the NH state budget process try their own hand at balancing the state's books.
With legislators set to vote this week on the compromise budget proposal, we have dusted off the calculator and revised it to reflect the issues at stake in the current debate.
The New Hampshire Senate’s approval today of its 2014-15
budget proposal ushers in the final phase of this year’s state budget-writing
process. Negotiators from the House and Senate must now meet to work out a
compromise spending plan, which will then go to Gov. Hassan for her approval –
or possible veto. The new budget must be in place by the end of the current
fiscal year, June 30.
Here’s a quick overview of how the two legislative versions
of the budget differ and where the biggest areas of debate might lie in coming
weeks. We will provide a more detailed analysis once the final Senate version
of the budget is available online, including a comparison to the FY2012-13
spending plan now coming to a close.
The question of whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program is one
of the major policy choices facing New Hampshire lawmakers this year.
The issue has been forced on policymakers, in a sense, by last year’s
U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA)
could not mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs to include
new populations. How this question is resolved could
result in a major redesign for the largest program in state government
and affect the healthcare of tens of thousands of New Hampshire
The Senate Ways
and Means Committee approved its final estimates of revenues from existing
state taxes this morning. It’s an important further step in the process of
writing a state budget for the next two fiscal years, 2014 and 2015. The
committee’s estimates set the stage for the Senate Finance Committee to begin
making spending decisions. Yet the forecasts approved today also leave
unresolved a series of questions that will further shape New
Hampshire’s budget debate in the coming weeks.
Since we published our updated analysis of the potential
impacts of expanded gambling in New Hampshire earlier this week,
several policymakers and others have responded that our model failed to note
the likely financial loss to the state if Massachusetts
establishes casinos and New Hampshire takes no
action on legalized gambling.