NH Public Policy
New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies

Center to Cease Operation

February 23, 2018 -- The board of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies announces with regret that the Center will cease operation. The board made the decision last week after several months spent weighing options for the Center's continued viability.

From its founding more than 20 years ago, the Center's mission was to be truly nonpartisan, and to produce objective research on policy issues which are important to New Hampshire - without setting out to support a specific point of view.

"The Center has earned a reputation for producing high quality, unbiased public policy research," said board chair Eric Herr. "Though the need for that perspective continues, we have found it increasingly difficult to attract the financial resources necessary to serve our mission."

The Center was created as an independent, nonprofit organization in 1996 through the efforts of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Municipal Association, Chubb Life Insurance Company of America and the University of New Hampshire.

The Center's initial research projects focused on New Hampshire public school funding, the state budget process, the flow of federal funds to the state, and the implementation of a new form of local governance known as "Senate Bill 2."

Since that time, the Center has addressed emerging policy questions such as state corrections system effectiveness, school drop-outs, the potential benefits and drawbacks of casino gaming, the health of the state retirement system, Medicaid expansion and the aging of the state's population.

As a result of this, the Center earned a reputation as a go-to source for New Hampshire leaders from both parties for reliable, unbiased information to inform important policy decisions.

"Our long-time supporters have been extremely generous over the last two decades," said Herr. "However, New Hampshire is a small state and we've been unable to expand the pool of donors who are willing and able to support our work going forward."

"Reliable, unbiased information and analysis is essential for shaping good public policy," said Donna Sytek, longtime board member and Republican former Speaker of the House. "The closing of the Center is a loss of a trusted, neutral resource -- not only for policymakers, but for all of us who care about making good decisions for New Hampshire."

The Center will wind down its operations over the next two months, finding a home for its research archive and reports, and transferring its remaining financial assets to another nonprofit organization.

"Factual information is essential to maintaining a free society, said attorney Kate Hanna, Center board member, former state representative, and former counsel to Democratic Governor John Lynch. "Unfortunately, it isn't free. It takes a great deal of work by people with integrity to produce the type of information that democracy needs."