2017 Budget Overview
Many of you have written testimony, called your legislators, and even testified in front of the House or Senate Finance committees over the last few months for the biennial budget hearings. We appreciate your dedication and outreach during this critical time of advocacy and hope it helped empower you to continue to advocate for yourself, your child, or a loved one. Your voice is important!
The budget came from the Governor in February and was sent to the House of Representatives for them to begin their deliberations. After multiple hours of testimony in three locations across the state, executive sessions and meetings, the House came up short on the votes needed and was unsuccessful with passing a budget to the Senate. The Senate had their public hearing in May and also went through countless hours of deliberation and successfully passed a budget, though strictly along party lines.
The Senate and the House, because they didn’t agree on the same budget, formed a Committee of Conference in early June. This was when members of the House and Senate sat together to craft a budget that they felt would fund the most pressing needs of New Hampshire. There are many conflicting opinions on this budget and whether the needs of people were truly met.
The developmental disability community received an increase in funding when compared to the current budget. One highlight is that we secured additional new funding for the Early Supports and Services program for the first time since 2009. Despite many attempts to get additional funding for the DD waitlist, we are still about $18 million short. The Area Agencies and DHHS strongly believe that without additional funding the current budget proposal does not fully fund the DD waitlist. This will lead to many families and individuals being without services.
The full House and the full Senate voted on the budget on June 22nd and passed it despite strong opposition from the Democrats and some Freedom Caucus members. It was signed by Governor Sununu on 6/28/17 and became effective July 1, 2017.
The Area Agencies will be advocating for additional waitlist funds at the very next available opportunity. This could include a “waitlist funding bill” for the 2018 legislative session.
Thank you for your advocacy efforts to ensure that individuals and families receive the supports they need and deserve to reach their goals.Back to the Previous Page