Home » Opinion » Editorials
NH's budget picture: Big decisions must come soon
The Legislative Budget Assistant's Office says the state is headed for a $25 million budget shortfall this year because hospitals are withholding their Medicaid enhancement tax payments in a dispute with the state over the tax. (The shortfall could be closer to $35 million, some legislators believe.)
Counting on new revenue from a growing economy would be a mistake, several economic analysts have said. The state's economy is expected to remain sluggish this year. And that leaves legislators and the governor in a pickle.
Gov. Maggie Hassan and many Democrats campaigned last year on promises to "restore" spending cuts by Republicans in the last budget cycle. But as legislators are seeing this week, the money simply is not there. As House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Susan Almy noted, there is not even enough money to fund the state's current operations, much less pay for anything on top of that.
It looks as though Hassan and the Democratic leaders in the House have to choose one of three paths: 1) pull back from the "restoration" on which they campaigned (thus tacitly acknowledging that Republicans were right when they said there was not enough money); 2) approve massive tax increases; or 3) bet everything on a swift approval of casino gambling, which would have to include the immediate sale of casino licenses worth tens of millions of dollars.
Gov. Hassan has some pretty big decisions to make in the next few weeks.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- George Will: Paul Ryan's way forward - 3
- Charles Krauthammer: Lower corporate tax rates or lose more firms - 2
- Roger Simon: If Hillary represents an Obama third term, she is doomed - 0
- Gail Fisher's Dog Tracks: Parvo scare could be detrimental to puppy training, despite slim risk - 0
- Another View -- Dan McGuire: We Free Staters are not some threat to be feared - 30
- John Stossel: The other green monster - 2
- Another View - Charles Lane: Obama's wedge issue is the seductive lure of golf - 3
- Jonah Goldberg: If the Islamic State is not evil, then what is? - 5
- George Will: Will we build the Navy we need? - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Motorcyclist, passenger seriously hurt in Derry crash - 0
- I-93 driver clocked at 120 mph, charged with transporting drugs - 0
- Marine Patrol called to multiple crashes - 0
- Motorcyclist suffers minor injuries in Saturday crash in Laconia - 0
- 18-year-old located with mother, brother on Mount Monadnock - 0
- Executive Council to consider raising dollar threshold for contracts - 0
- West Lebanon man accused of secretly recording child - 0
- Prosecutors seek to block documents from advisor's fraud trial - 0
- Former EMT receives probation for theft of fentanyl - 0
'Gronk' gets OK for Pats' opener
DWI License Revocations
Amnesty? Garcia is against it