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
- Another View - Betsy McCaughey: The Obamacare horror stories are not lies - 6
- Thomas Sowell: Freedom is not free; you've got to fight for it - 1
- Michael C. Whitney: A small gas tax hike would be good for business - 7
- Jonah Goldberg: In the case of My Brother's Keeper, race does, and should, matter - 0
- Charles Arlinghaus: The NH Senate's Medicaid trap - 0
- Rep. William Butynski: A casino gambling plan that works for NH - 3
- George Will: Misreading Putin, and history - 4
- Rep. Kenneth Fredette: NH should avoid Maine’s Medicaid mistake - 5
- David Harsanyi: Social conservatives would benefit by embracing libertarianism - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NHIAA Tournament Roundup: Central breaks away from Exeter - 0
- College Hockey: Dartmouth drops tournament opener - 0
- FEMA OKs $8m for repairs in Lincoln, Lebanon - 0
- Official says Manchester lost out on $1.5m for cell tower court has now ordered built - 0
- John Habib's City Sports: Derryfield's 'Mouse' made his mark - 0
- Rondo leads Celtics past Nets - 0
- Hats off to O'Neill, Monarchs - 0
- NHIAA Boys' Basketball: Maughn, Memorial top Londonderry - 0
- NHIAA Boys' Basketball: Giampetruzzi leads Trinity into D-I semis - 0
Stacey Cole's Nature Talks: Turkey vultures not commonly seen in NH until fairly recently
Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief