Union Leader: House passes $11 billion budget
By GARRY RAYNO
CONCORD – The House voted 194-172 to approve a two-year $11 billion operating budget for the state, a 10 percent overall increase over the current biennium’s budget.
The House budget includes $2.8 billion in state general funds, a 4 percent increase, and about $11 billion in all funds including highways.
The House is now debating House Bill 2, which contains the changes in law needed for the operating budget.
Republicans are expected to attempt to add money for school aid and charter schools. They were unsuccessful in efforts to limit the governor’s ability to tap dedicated funds to close the expected budget deficit at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
The budget, House Bill 1, now goes to the Senate.
Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire (AFP-NH) issued a release Wednesday afternoon expressing outrage over the House budget vote, saying the new budget grows state spending by 16 percent.
“With so many of our residents out of work and even more working hard just to get by, passage of a budget that increases state spending by 16 percent is reckless and irresponsible,” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH state director.
“We look forward to working with members of the Senate to craft a reasonable budget that puts the best interests of our state ahead of the best interest of state government,” said Moore.