GST Board member and NH House Representative Jesse Edwards reports on Budget Development.
Representative Edwards is working with the Senate Finance Committee to support their review.
May 3, 2021
The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Gary Daniels, completed their hearings on the Department of Health and Human Services Monday 5/3/21.
The Senate Calendar shows an exploration into all aspects of the House Budget (HB1) and the enabling legislation to go with it, referred to as the Budget Trailer (HB2). No further formal sessions are scheduled at this point suggesting the Senate Finance committee will work individually and with others to prepare themselves for the finalization of their version of the budget.
Since the House passed it’s budget, state revenues have been very strong.
How the Senate applies the additional resources is unknown at this point in the process They will likely end up increasing spending, but its unseen what they may do with tax policy other than buy in to the House reductions in rates for the Business Profits Tax, Business Enterprise Tax, Interest and Dividends, Meals and Room, and the State Wide Education Property Tax.
Once the Senate completes its work, Committees of Conference will be established between select members of both chambers of the General Court to try to obtain agreement should differences emerge.
The most significant aspects of the budget will probably come from HB2.
Within HB2 are a number of provisions thought to be significant to passage of the final bill in the House. Those provisions include requiring Family Planning Counseling to be physically and financially separated from abortion providers (Reproductive Health Facilities), legislative participation in future States of Emergency, and Critical Race Theory.
While other major policy decisions related to closure of the Sununu Youth Services Center and the construction of a new forensic mental health hospital, those discussions will not pose an equivalent risk of blowing up the legislature’s efforts to pass a budget for the Governor’s consideration
The state has relied on Continuing Resolutions the past two budget cycles and it would be good to stop the trend although it remains a distinct possibility.
Posted by GST Board Member Representative Jesse Edwards