Senate Passes A Budget
On Thursday the State Senate approved the state budget (HB 1/HB 2). The full Senate made no changes from the Finance committee’s recommendations as reported by CSNI two weeks ago. The Bureau of Developmental Services remains unchanged as recommended by the Governor on February 15th. The budget was adopted on a party line vote of 13-11. The Senate democrats introduced 5 floor amendments designed to override the committee’s recommended spending levels. All 5 attempts failed. There were similar attempts with HB 2 (Trailer Bill).
Foster’s Daily Democrat has a great list showcasing the key differences between the House and Senate budgets. Both Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities are listed as key areas of AGREEMENT! Check it out here: http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130606/AP02/306069965
$40 Million Hole for DHHS?
If you are interested in reading more about the battle over the $40 million in “Back of the budget cuts for DHHS”you might want to check out a recent piece by Grant Bosse of NH Watch Dog. In the piece, Grant makes some valid points and breaks the issue down succinctly. There clearly is a back of the budget cut for DHHS, the issue is the exact size of that cut. Read more here: http://newhampshire.watchdog.org/11980/back-of-budget-cuts-at-heart-of-current-dispute/
Back to the Future
After most elections in NH one political party seizes control of both the House and the Senate, this did not happen in the 2012 election. For the first time since the 1920’s (perhaps in history!) there will be a spilt party controlled State Budget Committee of Conference. The republican controlled Senate and the democratically controlled House will have to agree on a state budget by June 30th.