Governor Sununu works on the budget proposal

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Gov. Sununu lays out budget proposal

Feb 10, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Thursday, February 9 Gov. Chris Sununu presented his budget proposal to the New Hampshire Legislature. His plan increases spending by about 2% and does not increase any taxes or fees.

Here are some of the spending priorities Sununu identified in his budget address:

Infrastructure

Sununu said the state should establish an infrastructure revitalization fund with any surplus that does not go in the rainy day fund. Sununu said the fund will “double grants to towns for roads and bridges.” 

Public School Funding

Sununu proposed increased funding for school building projects, an additional $18 million in funding for full-day kindergarten programs, and $15 million more for charter schools. The funding for full-day kindergarten may meet some resistance from Republican legislators. 

Higher Education Funding

Sununu proposed $10 million more in community college funding. With this increase, community colleges may be able to freeze tuition. Sununu also proposed $5 million for a scholarship program for in-state students. Sununu does not want to increase funding for the rest of the university system.

Department of Health and Human Services

Sununu proposed increasing funding for staff at the Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). A recent outside review of DCYF concluded that social workers are overwhelmed by the number of child protection cases. Sununu also proposed a $57 million funding increase for services to residents with developmental disabilities.

Addiction Treatment and Prevention

Sununu proposed an increase in the alcohol fund, which has been underfunded since its inception. The alcohol fund is intended to support addiction treatment and prevention with profits from liquor sales.

Sununu also mentioned a student debt relief program for health care professionals working in addiction treatment and recovery.

On the law enforcement side, Sununu proposed hiring ten more state troopers dedicated to drug interdiction.

What About Medicaid?

Sununu did not say anything about the state’s expanded Medicaid program. The program is scheduled to expire at the end of 2018. With a Republican Congress and president, federal funding for the program also faces an uncertain future.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives will now draft its budget proposal, taking into account the governor’s proposal.

Do you have an opinion on the next state budget? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Christopher Sununu
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NH Governor (2016 - present); Executive Councilor (2010 - 2016); Owner/Director, Sununu Enterprises; CEO, Waterville Valley Ski Resort; Strategic Consultant; Environmental Engineer

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