CONCORD — A compromise state budget will go before the New Hampshire House and Senate Wednesday after Gov. Chris Sununu, Senate President Donna Soucy, and Speaker of the House Stephen Shurtleff announced that they had reached an agreement on spending.
Key sticking points for the governor had been the use of one-time revenues to support new programs that ultimately would require increased taxation to continue, as well as the Democrats' call for an increase in business tax rates.
For the legislature, Sununu's veto of additional funding for education and municipal aid was an issue, as well as his partial funding of child protection staff increases while the legislature wanted to fully fund the recommendations from a DCYF audit.
The compromise plan provides 100 percent of the education funding passed by a Committee of Conference, provides $40 million in municipal revenue sharing, provides $9 million to double the number of nurses trained in the University System, and preserves Medicaid Expansion.
It reduces the structural deficit by 75 percent from the legislature's proposed budget to ensure no funding cuts for programs if there should be an economic downturn. It also provides additional cuts to the business tax rate if total revenue reaches 6 percent over projected amounts.
“The people of New Hampshire won today,” Sununu said in announcing the agreement. “This compromise budget does not increase taxes, and ensures financial promises can be kept to the people of New Hampshire. ... I am hopeful that Legislative leaders — from both parties — can deliver this critical compromise when it goes before the full legislature on Wednesday.”
Soucy said, “Budgets are a statement of our values, and this budget compromise makes clear that New Hampshire values the people of our state and is committed to ensuring every Granite Stater has the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. This budget maintains vital investments that the Democratic legislature made in mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and child protection and ensures meaningful raises for providers who deliver critical care to our loved ones by implementing long overdue Medicaid reimbursement rate increases.”
Shurtleff added, “This budget preserves important Democratic priorities, including the largest investment in job training and public education in the history of our state that will advance educational opportunities for all and along with reinstating municipal aid will provide meaningful support to cities and towns and critical property tax relief to Granite Staters.”