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May 14. 2014 10:53AM

Hassan freezes state general fund spending

CONCORD – Gov. Maggie Hassan wants to freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out-of-state travel paid for with general funds.


She issued an executive order for the freeze and wants the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee to vote on the order at its meeting next week.


The state had a $25 million surplus through March, but April business and interest and dividends tax revenues were well below estimates for April, which eliminated much of the surplus.


The governor's office said the decreases appear to be related to a number of changes in the state tax code in recent years, as well as to businesses beginning to apply various tax credits and carry-forwards accrued during the recession.


“The Department of Revenue Administration will need further data and further analysis to determine whether this is a short-term drop or a long-term trend,” Hassan wrote in a letter to the fiscal committee. “But given the limited information, we should act prudently, responsibly, and expeditiously to continue to ensure a balanced budget for the biennium.”


Hassan wants the legislative and judicial branch to also agree to a freeze on general fund spending for hirings, equipment purchases and out-of-state travel.


“As we further analyze revenues, I will be meeting with agencies to examine additional reductions, some of which may require legislative approval,” Hassan wrote.


The next meeting of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee is scheduled for  May 22 at 1 p.m.



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