Today, the Department of Administrative Services released the 2016 NH Fiscal Report that show a whopping $160 million dollar surplus.
“Thanks to a strengthening economy, our work across party lines to develop a fiscally responsible budget and Senator Hassan’s strong leadership as Governor, we finished Fiscal Year 2016 with a surplus of almost $160 million. With this strong surplus, we were able to put an additional $70 million into our Rainy Day Fund- strengthening it to the highest level in recorded history. As our state’s fiscal outlook continues to strengthen, Senate Democrats remain committed to supporting the economic priorities that are critical to the success of our people, our businesses, and our state,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn.
“The strong surplus of nearly $160 million and historic level of the State’s Rainy Day Fund is yet another clear sign of Senator Hassan’s strong leadership and success as Governor. Regardless of what the Republican Party tries to say about the state’s fiscal health, Granite Staters know that Senator Hassan’s leadership led to real results for the State of New Hampshire. To build on that progress, Republicans in Concord should ditch failed policies like ‘right-to-work for less’ and join their Democratic colleagues on focusing on the real issues that matter to the people of New Hampshire and will keep our economy moving forward,” said Ray Buckley, Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
For the people of New Hampshire this is good news. It shows that programs like the NH Health Protection Program did not bankrupt the state as some claimed. We have also filled up our rainy day fund.This will make this years budget fight even more interesting.
Will the legislature cut revenue sources or will they opt to invest in our future?
For example, today, Senator Bette Laskey (D-Nashua) introduced a new bill (SB 100) to appropriate $4 million to the Department of Transportation for the project development phase of the New Hampshire capital rail corridor project.
“The citizens and businesses of New Hampshire know that bringing commuter rail to this state will generate economic growth for decades to come and make New Hampshire a more accessible and attractive destination for families and investors,” said Senator Lasky, prime sponsor of SB 100. “With the support of businesses, workers and families, this project should be a priority investment of this legislature.”
“Commuter rail offers a modern, safe, transportation infrastructure that not only bridges the gap between employers and their need for an educated workforce, but also helps attract and keep young people in our state to drive future growth. This is not a partisan or ideological issue – it is a win-win that is supported by both Republicans and Democrats; business leaders, and working families. Given the significant economic benefits of bringing commuter rail to New Hampshire, I urge my colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee to support this legislation,” Laskey added.
With a $90 million dollar surplus, after taking money out for the rainy day fund, can we finally agree that the funds are there to push for expanded rail service to New Hampshire.
What about our broken down roads and bridges? Will the legislature finally put some serious money to repair the hundred red listed bridges in the state?
What about our schools? Will the legislature put some much needed funds to update any of the state public schools? Will they put more money towards the state’s university system and the community college system of NH? The State of NH is dead last in state spending on our state universities which is also why we have the highest in-state tuition in the country.
Hopefully they will choose to make some serious investments in our state’s infrastructure and spend more on education funding.