Apr 6, 2015 4:11 PM
CONCORD - The state Senate gets its turn at writing a two-year budget.
The House spending plan had to reduce spending in some key areas because it rejected Gov. Maggie Hassan's tax increases. Will the senate restore some of these spending cuts?
The House budget doesn't cut spending overall; it raises it by more than 3 percent, but legislators cut requests of Hassan.
Let's examine whether the Senate gives more money than the House did.
The House budget: No increase to higher education, which means higher in-state tuition. The Senate will be much more generous.
How about grants to battle substance abuse? This is a tough one, but there's only so much money to go around so the Senate is unlikely to give more.
Hassan wants to eliminate a waiting list for families with developmentally disabled adults. The house deeply cut her request; the Senate will be kinder.
The house did not pay for a negotiated contract with state workers.
"If the governor wishes to enter into a contract that requires the expenditure of money, that has to be approved by the Legislature. We chose not to approve it,'' said Rep. Neal Kurk, chairman of the House Finance Committee.
The Senate doesn't want to pick a fight with the union so they are likley to disagree.
Finally, the House cut corrections overtime by $4 million but would give $5 million more in staff to make up for the loss. The Senate will most likely stick with high overtime and understaffing.
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