For Immediate Release
June 26, 2013
CONCORD - Calling it a significant step forward for the priorities that are critical for creating jobs, strengthening the economy, and improving the health and safety of the people of New Hampshire, Governor Maggie Hassan hailed today's bipartisan passage of the fiscally responsible balanced budget for FY 2014/2015, which passed both the House and Senate by the largest margins since 2001.
"After the deep cuts and radical ideology of the last legislature, we came together, Democrats and Republicans, to develop a fiscally responsible bipartisan budget that puts New Hampshire back on track and helps set the foundation to build a more innovative economic future," Governor Hassan said. "The large, bipartisan support for the priorities in this budget - caring for our most vulnerable, public safety, education and preserving our natural resources - demonstrates that our shared values as Granite Staters are far more significant than our differences."
The budget includes many provisions outlined in the Governor's Innovate NH jobs plan, such as significantly restoring funding for the University and Community College systems to allow them to freeze tuition, as well as investing in measures to support businesses by strengthening economic development activities, increasing travel and tourism promotion and improving trade assistance for businesses.
"These investments will help New Hampshire build the strongest workforce in the nation and attract and grow innovative businesses with good jobs that can support a strong middle class," Governor Hassan said.
The budget also invests in priorities needed to improve the health and wellbeing of New Hampshire's people and communities. It will allow the state to move forward with implementing its ten-year mental health plan, funds the waitlist for people with developmental disabilities, restores the Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program, fully funds the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), increases aid to cities and towns, and strengthens public safety by adding additional state troopers, maintaining drug task force teams, and funding the Cold Case Unit.
"Our economic success and ability to seize the promise of innovation depends on our efforts to maintain our high quality of life," Governor Hassan said. "This bipartisan budget makes significant progress on the priorities that are critical for keeping New Hampshire one of the safest states, healthiest states and most livable states in the nation."
The bipartisan budget includes a timely path forward on Medicaid expansion by establishing a study commission that will issue a report by October 15th.
"It is already clear that accepting the $2.5 billion in federal funds for Medicaid expansion is a good deal that will strengthen our economy and provide critical health coverage to thousands of our working families, but I respect the Senate's desire to further study the issue and appreciate its willingness to do so in a timely way," Governor Hassan said. "New Hampshire stands to lose $1 million per day for every day past January 1st that expansion is not in place, and I am confident that once the study is complete the legislature will seek to move quickly to implement expansion through a special session in order to improve the health and financial wellbeing of our citizens."
Governor Hassan also praised the bipartisan nature of the budget vote and thanked legislators for their willingness to compromise.
"This is the most bipartisan budget in over a decade, and it was only possible because legislators listened to the people of New Hampshire and focused on commonsense, constructive problem-solving," Governor Hassan said. "By working together, the legislature has passed a bipartisan, fiscally responsible balanced budget agreement that makes meaningful progress on the priorities that are critical for creating good jobs and building a more innovative economic future. I look forward to signing this budget into law in order to keep our state moving forward toward a stronger, more innovative economic future."