New Hampshirelegislators will be busy this spring, crunching the numbers to meet, exceed, or under fund the governor’s two-year proposed state budget.
Newly elected Republican governor Chris Sununu, victorious over fellow executive councilor Colin Van Ostern in the fall, has proposed a $12.1 billion dollar spending plan. He spoke to a joint session of the House and Senate at the State House. Roger Wood monitored the speech.
The governor called the budget proposal responsible, practical and one that addresses the state’s priorities.
Sununu said that he’s hopeful an inherited budget deficit can be turned into a surplus by the end of the fiscal year.
And he called for money from the infrastructure fund to go to key projects that need the most attention in the state’s cities and towns.
On the issue of Medicaid funding, the Republican governor called for more accountability in spending on the low-income health care program.
On the economy, the first-term governor told the legislators that although the economy continues to improve, more needs to be done.
The governor also acknowledged what he called a crisis in the state’s department of children, youth and families.
The governor also proposed a $57 million dollar increase of state help for the developmentally disabled. State departments would also face a $500 million dollar cut, and the governor wants that accomplished without layoffs.
State law requires a balanced budget, approved by both legislative houses and signed by the governor by a June 30 deadline.
For InDepthNH.org, I’m Roger Wood