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Policy Note: Understanding Changes in the House's FY16/17 Budget

Executive Summary

Date: April 6th, 2015

The two-year spending plan approved by the New Hampshire House on April 1 moves the state’s budget process one step closer to completion. But underlying the debate over individual programs and spending decisions is a critical challenge that the budget proposal fails to address: What is New Hampshire’s vision for the future, and how can the budget help realize it?

We can attempt to answer these questions by looking closely at the programmatic funding decisions. But, in broad terms, neither the House’s budget nor the budget plan proposed by the Governor in February represent a major break from current state practice in terms of budgetary policy or strategy. Both represent an increase in state spending, both would direct a greater share of state dollars to Health and Human Service spending, and both would decrease the share (though not the total amount) of state dollars going to education. Lawmakers should consider how those broad trends align with efforts to position the state for growth, innovation, and prosperity.

Following our earlier brief description of the Governor’s proposed budget, this Policy Note focuses on the biggest items in the House’s proposal: health and human services, education spending and state revenues. 

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