NH Policy News
Get Out the Vote September 11August 30, 2012
- On September 11, 2012, voters will head to the polls for the New Hampshire state primary elections. NonprofitVOTE is a national organization whose sole mission is to engage Americans in voting and elections. Learn more about how to register to vote, where to vote and other important Granite State voting information
The Center has posted a list of registered candidates
for the New Hampshire offices of Governor, Executive Council, State Senate as well as the candidates in the race for the US Congressional First and Second Districts.
All Politics are Local
July 19, 2012
(L to R) Iain MacLeod, Executive Director of Squam Lakes Natural
Science Center, Ray Burton, Executive Councilor, Laurie Beeson, Chair of
the Board of Trustees of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
- The old saying that “All Politics are Local”,
was recently proven true once again by a member of the Center. The
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center hosted Executive Councilor Ray Burton
to visit and learn more about their organization and its role in the
fabric of New Hampshire.
We applaud these efforts and encourage
all nonprofits to engage and interact with their elected
representatives on a local level. The results of such interactions are
that our legislators are better informed and that deeper relationships
are formed. Find out who your elected leader is: State Representatives
and State Senators
and The NH Executive Council
.Send us your photos and stories
of ways that you are engaging elected officials.
Filing Period Closed for Candidates July 10, 2012
- The filing period for candidates to run for office in the November 2012 elections is closed. Check out the line-up
for candidates for Governor, NH Executive Council and the NH Senate as well as NH’s First and Second District Congressional seats.
Ten Year Redistricting FinalJuly 10, 2012
- The 10 year redistricting plan has been finalized and posted. The lists are available on the Secretary of State’s website. Go see if you're in a new district!
Governor and Council Convene at Center and
Explore Nonprofit IssuesJune 20, 2012
- Nonprofit leaders representing a broad spectrum of missions had a rare opportunity this week to meet with Governor John Lynch and all five Executive Councilors as the Council held its regular breakfast meeting at the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits on June 20.Read more...
Medicaid Managed Care Information Sessions AnnouncedJune 6, 2012
- The Department of Health and Human Services will be holding information sessions around the state in the months to come. Citing that these information sessions are for “ those who use Medicaid services as well as family members and caregivers and for human service agency case managers or service coordinators who work with them”, the Department has scheduled 11 different sessions, as listed in this press release
Medicaid Managed Care Contracts Vote DelayedApril 3, 2012
- In their regularly scheduled meeting this week, the five NH Executive Councilors
were unanimous in their commitment to become more informed before taking up the issue of the state’s three proposed contracts for Medicaid Managed Care totaling $2.2 billion, see the NHPR story
. In response to those concerns, the Council has scheduled a public meeting for April 13 to hear more from the NH Department of Health and Human Services and representatives of the three potential managed care companies.Read more...
Dedicated Fund Initiative Hits Snag January 30, 2012
addresses the state’s accounting system and proposes shifting all dedicated funds to the state’s General Fund - at least temporarily. This bill would require that over 200 "dedicated state funds" be transferred to the General Fund beginning July 1, 2013 and the accounts would be eliminated on June 30, 2015 unless reinstated by the legislature during that time period. Read more...
Victory for the Arts
January 27, 2012 - Yesterday, the House Executive Departments & Administration demonstrated that they heard the voice of the sector loud and clear as they voted 15-0 for an amended version of HB1274 which removes ALL of the provisions to abolish the Department of Cultural Resources. Our state reaped the rewards of a well-planned and executed advocacy campaign to maintain funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Led by the NH Citizens for the Arts, several groups testified against HB1274 last week providing policy makers with data and examples of how much leverage and impact that arts and cultural sites bring to the state and the key role the Department has in sustaining our creative economy.
The bill now stands stripped of its original intent against the Department of Cultural Affairs and instead consists of an amendment relative to the operations of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord.
DHHS Commissioner Toumpas Reappointed
December 27, 2011 - The Executive Council approved Governor Lynch’s recommendation to reappoint Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas to a second term. On a vote of 3-2, the Commissioner will head into his second 4-year term overseeing the agency with which a great deal of nonprofits contract.
Executive Council Takes Action on Nonprofit Funding Items December 14, 2011
- Issues of concern to the nonprofit sector were under scrutiny by the Executive Council during the Governor & Council meeting on December 14. The Council released $485,000 in federal funds that it had previously put on hold for state refugee services.
Federal grant funds of $333,000 that were earmarked for State planning on the Health Insurance Exchange were not accepted by the Council by a vote of 3-2. This vote means that the set-up of our State’s Healthcare Exchange will be taken on at the federal level. Read more about the refugee services funds... Read more about the Healthcare Exchange Funds...
The Center is Front Page News November 29, 2011 -
The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently featured the NH Center for Nonprofits
for its candidate education efforts through the Nonprofit Primary Project. While making note in this front page article that most states have not embarked on a similar project this election season, the Chronicle commended the Center for “taking advantage of New Hampshire’s position as the state that holds the nation’s first presidential primary, making it a must stop for election hopefuls.”
Birddogging efforts continue, with the Center’s Advocacy Director, Michelline Dufort, leading the charge. “Since voters hear a great deal about the candidates’ proposed policy priorities and plans, it just makes sense to bring to the forefront how some of those proposals would affect the over one million charities registered in this country, the nonprofit workforce of over 13 million individuals, not to mention the millions of citizens who receive personal benefit from that essential work,” says Dufort.
The Center’s tracks and reports on its current birddogging activities, as well as publicizes upcoming opportunities on the Nonprofit Primary Project Pages
Study Committee Calls into Question 30% of the State Budget
November 29, 2011 - The committee formed under HB590 for the purpose of reviewing the state's authority for each federal grant in aid program in which the state participates. Its goal was to assign merit to each program and determine the feasibility of each program to sustain itself without federal aid.
Citing that 30 percent of the current state budget comes from federal aid and programs, the report makes a case that "the need for the state to undertake the process of reducing its dependence on federal aid is immediate and urgent." The Chair of the Committee, Representative Gregory Sorg (R), Easton, identified his long held and deep interest in this subject based on the Federalist Papers – the collection of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.
The report was delivered to the House and Senate leadership. For the coming session, there is another legislator who may share this ideology; Representative Daniel Itse (R) has filed LSR 2032, "relative to state authority to accept federal aid."
Sector Leaders Meet with Governor
September 20, 2011 - Governor John H. Lynch hosted a meeting this week with a representative group of nonprofit leaders brought to together by the NH Center for Nonprofits to discuss the impact and role of the sector. In his session with nonprofit leaders, he advised nonprofits to understand the extreme value of organizations making personal and local relationships with their legislators. The Governor shared that organizations that invite legislators to visit with clients and see the work being accomplished makes the greatest impression. Leaders of the sector shared their desire to find ways in which the sector can have a closer working relationship with government, be at the table when planning and decision making occur, and clarify its role in both the health of NH and its economy.
Candidates Pawlenty, Huntsmen and McCotter in New Hampshire
The Primary Heats Up!
New Hampshire Institute of Politics and WMUR-TV, with partner AARP, continue the “Conversation with the Candidates” tapings with Presidential Primary candidates Governor Tim Pawlenty, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, U.S. Rep Thaddeus McCotter. Conversation with the Candidates:
Participants in the audience for this 60 minute broadcast taping must:
- August 19, 9:30 a.m. U.S. Rep Thaddeus McCotter
- August 19, 3p.m. - Governor Tim Pawlenty
- September 1, 3p.m. - Ambassador Jon Huntsman
- Be registered Republican or Independent voters
- Arrive 30 minutes before taping
- Must RVSP two days prior to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please submit questions for the candidates
Hospital Bed Closures: A Serious Concern for Mental Health Centers
Concord, NH - The NH Community Behavioral Health Association, which represents the state’s ten community mental health centers, today expressed serious concerns over the closure of behavioral health beds at Southern NH Hospital, and warned that the result will be increased costs to the community mental health system and the state. Read more...
Nonprofit Primary Project Returns
: July 26, 2011
- The Nonprofit Primary Project - a candidate education initiative designed to bring awareness of the nonprofit sector to the candidates and the public at large - will be sprining into action again. Getting a running start, Center Advocacy Director Michelline Dufort was on hand for the July 14 Conversation with the Candidates Forum, a WMUR public service series featuring candidates running for President of the United States and interested citizens who ask questions about current issues of concern.
The New State Budget
Looking back, looking forwardNew Report from the NH Center for Public Policy StudiesJuly 8, 2011
- On July 1st, 2011, the 2012-2013 budget passed by the House and Senate became law without the Governor’s signature. As with every budget conversation, the debate over the new budget highlighted innumerable details of how New Hampshire raises and spends money. This report from the Center for Public Policy Studies exampines two questions:
- How different is this budget from past spending plans?
- What impact will its largest policy changes have over the next two years?
New Video on Budget Ripple Effect
NH Cares created a video that illustrates possible ways that budget cuts could ripple through the economy.View the Video...
Take Your Best Shot at the State BudgetNew Calculator Allows You to be in the Driver’s SeatJune 13, 2011
-The Center for Public Policy Studies has published a calculator tool
that demonstrates the challenges lawmakers are facing while trying to balance the state budget. The Center for Public Policy studies created this exercise in an effort to demonstrate the complexities and enormity of the task at hand for creation of the next biennium’s budget. Granted, when you use the calculator you will have far fewer options than those available to actual budget writer…but it does mimic the overall complex process that the Governor’s administration, the House and the Senate have all gone through. With this exercise, it’s up to you to find the right blend of spending and revenue to balance the budget; use the tool to make an expression of your priorities for state government.
Remaining Legislative Calendar Dates of Note
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Last day to ACT on Senate bills
Last day to FORM Committees of Conference
Last day to FILE LSRs for the 2012 session
Last day to SIGN Committee of Conference reports
Last day to ACT on Committee of Conference reports
Last day to REPORT retained bills
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Last day to ACT on all House bills
Last day to FORM Committees of Conference
Last day to SIGN Committee of Conference Reports
Last day to ACT on Committee of Conference Report
Budget Watch UpdateMay 23, 2011
- The Senate Ways & Means Committee put forth its revenue projections on Thursday, May 19. Their version puts an additional $41 million back into the budget over the biennium. The Union Leader identifies the Finance Committee Chair, Senator Morse saying that “he is not inclined to spend any new found revenues right away”, urging that his recommendation is to wait until January 2012 to see the shape the state is in at that time revenue-wise.
The Finance Committee, however, had a full week with their growing list of recommendations for restoration, including an additional $10.5 million for mental health in FY12 and $7.6 in FY13. Overall the Committee has restored nearly $40 million in services for 13,000 children and adults with development disabilities or severe, mental health problems. The Committee’s plan also added $500,000 back in for community health centers which would serve 12,000 individuals, as well the majority of funding for ServiceLink. Still of concern to many advocates is the plan for Children in Need or Services (CHINS), with only $2.3 million of the $14.2 million line item restored to serve the most troubled youth.
Meanwhile, DHHS Commissioner has been quite focused on receiving a provision for flexibility within his own budget, and also being protective of which cuts could further jeopardize federal dollars.
Work on the budget bills HB1 and HB2 will continue next week; up for discussion are large portion areas of the budget, namely higher education and health care.
Public Policy Leader Presents on State Budget
At the Economic Development Policy meeting of the Business & Industry Association, the Center was on hand to hear a presentation on "Understanding the State Budget" from Charles Arlinghaus, the President of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.
Arlinghaus spoke of the DHHS portion of the budget in his presentation, highlighting that many budget observers would say that while cuts to some programs are quite sensible in difficult economic times, programs that help people who can’t help themselves are in a different category and should bear a significantly lesser burden. The most often cited categories are services for mental health and developmental disabilities. The Division of Developmental Services actually fares better than HHS as a whole in the House budget. The House budgeted amount is $255 million in 2012. That represents an increase of 7% over 2 years ago and 22% more than 4 years ago. In contrast, the Division of Behavioral Health actually fares worse than HHS as a whole. Their total fund appropriation in FY2012 is $98 million which is about 18% less than 2 years ago and even 1% less than four years before.
According to Arlinghaus, "DHHS quite sensibly saw smaller cuts than the rest of state government did but Behavioral Health saw cuts larger than the department as a whole. A sensible compromise might bring local aid cuts closer in line to the cuts to state government and a lesser cut to Behavioral Health."
Public Asks Senators to Restore Aid
Hundreds of people attended public hearings on April 21 to urge reconsideration of a budget that makes substantial cuts to nearly all state services including cuts to DHHS of an additional $207 million more than the budget proposed by Governor Lynch. Many of the services at risk of being cut are provided by nonprofits through state contracts.Read more...
More than 3,000 Rally at State HouseMarch 31, 2011
- Citizens from every region of the state participated in a Rally at the State House March 31 to voice their opposition to the drastic cuts to many human service, arts and environmental programs in the House’s version of the state budget.
The House’s vote on the $10.2 billion budget came later in the day, officially known as Crossover Day, with a passing of 243-124. The budget is now in the hands of the Senate Finance Committee. That committee has the ability to present a budget that either reflects the House version as is, makes changes, or is a version that starts completely over. Senate President Peter Bragdon has stated that he expects the overall spending will be close to the House level, but that there will be changes.
The Rally was a grassroots effort spearheaded by NH Cares, a coalition of advocates working to support those in need of health and human services. The crowd was addressed by former House Representative and current advocate Liz Hager, Bishop John McCormack of the Catholic Diocese of Manchester, Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire as well as numerous citizens who have received life-altering services. Their mantra of “We Care, We Count, We Matter” was loud and clear continuously throughout the day.
House Finance Committee Approves Budget
The House Finance Committee yesterday approved a $10.1 billion state budget for 2012-13 that spends $742 million less than current expenditures, and $519 million less than Governor John Lynch’s proposal. The proposed budget heads to the full House for a vote on March 31, Thursday, then onto the Senate.
These two articles explore the issue in more depth: Concord Monitor NHPR
Update on Board Training Bill
SB177, the bill introduced earlier this year that would require every publicly supported nonprofit ensure that its directors and chief executive officer and chief financial officer receive annual management training, has been re-referred. The Center, through mobilization of nonprofit leaders and business leaders who participate in board oversight, brought a myriad of concerns with the proposed legislation to the members of the Senate’s Executive Departments and Administration Committee. The committee concurred with those concerns and recommended the bill be re-referred, which was approved by the full Senate on a voice vote on March 16.
House Finance Committee DHHS Proposes Additional $209M in Cuts to DHHS
The House Finance Committee handed over their budget proposal with an additional $209 Million in cuts to DHHS spending above the Governor’s proposed budget. The full House will vote on HB1 & HB2 (the budget bills) next week, leading to the Crossover date when the budget process will officially start in the state Senate.
Two articles from the Concord Monitor explore the issue in more depth:
Budget Process Proceeds After Public Hearings
Following the public hearings on March 10, the House Finance Committee is working toward their version of the budget proposal. The Division III Finance Committee presents their version on Thursday, March 17 and the House Finance Committee’s deadline is Tuesday, March 22.Read more about the Public Hearings...
DHHS Submits Proposed Drastic Budget CutsPublic Hearings: Thursday, March 10; 1:00pm – 3:00pm and 6:00pm – 9:00pmMarch 09, 2011
- The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has submitted its proposed cuts to Division III of the House Finance Committee which will result in drastic cuts to services provided by a network of nonprofits to support individuals and families in every community.
The proposed cuts presented by DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas address the target mandated by the House Finance Committee of $200 million per year below 2011 adjusted amounts and $346 million below the Governor's proposed budget for 2012-2013.Read more...
Property Tax Exemption in Question for Concord Nonprofit
January 19, 2011
- On January 13, the Supreme Court ordered the state tax appeals board to take a second look at the case of the Home Care Association of New Hampshire, ruling that the question of whether the group qualifies for a charitable tax exemption depends on whether it exists primarily to benefit the public or to help its members.The organization is fighting a $2,500 tax bill it got from the city for its offices at 8 Green St. in 2006. Read more...
Report on NH Tax System
December 28, 2010
- The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI) released a new report this month: An Overview of New Hampshire’s Tax System
. The report provides an overview of the State’s current tax system and recent trends in tax collection. NHFPI is an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to exploring, developing, and promoting public policies that foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all New Hampshire residents, with an emphasis on low-income and moderate-income families and individuals.