Senate Finance briefed on NH House Budget
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(CONCORD) The Senate Finance Committee began its work on the state’s two-year budget by receiving a detailed briefing on the bills passed last week by their counterparts in the New Hampshire House.
Senator Chuck Morse (R-Salem) gavelled the Finance Committe into session this morning to hear from Legislative Budget Assistance Jeffry Pattison. Pattison outlined the tax and spending decisions in the $10.2 billion budget for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013, as well as changes that the House made to the budget plan submitted by Governor John Lynch in February.
“The House position at the end of 2011 is a $50 million deficit,” Pattison said. “That is primarily driven by a difference of revenues; $36 million less in General Fund revenues than what the Governor proposed, and $17 million less in the Education Trust Fund, for a total of $53 million.”
But Morse warns that the Senate isn’t looking to spend more in total than the House.
“I think this Committee better be very cautious. I see nothing tweaking the revenues that would make be believe that we’re going back to adding numbers. Having said that, I do believe that the Senate has different philosophies than the House, and always had as long as I’ve been up here.” Morse explained. “I’d be very careful for anyone who’s looking to restore funding without making a cut. Because that’s basically how you’re going to have to do it. Propose a cut somewhere else so you can make an adjustment in HHS or where you see fit.”
The Senate must complete its version of the state budget by June 2nd.
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