Entries by Andrew Cline

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How the Legislature’s budget compares to the governor’s

The Legislature’s final budget spends $497.3 million more than Gov. Chris Sununu’s budget in General and Education Trust Fund appropriations in the 2019 and 2020-21 fiscal years. In this report, we examine the three major differences between these competing budget visions: total General and Education Trust Fund appropriations, business tax rates, and disposition of the […]

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Legislature’s budget imposes retroactive tax increase on N.H. employers

The legislative budget finalized on Wednesday and Thursday exposes most New Hampshire businesses to a retroactive tax increase, Department of Revenue Administration data show.  The Committee of Conference budget raises the rates at which employers in New Hampshire have been taxed since January 1. Because it applies to taxes already paid, it would force thousands […]

House, Senate budgets spend & tax significantly more than governor’s

The budgets passed by the New Hampshire House and Senate propose significant spending increases that are unsustainable without tax increases. Unsurprisingly, both contain large tax increases to cover the costs of their higher spending. By contrast, Gov. Chris Sununu’s budget keeps spending to levels that are sustainable without raising taxes. A Josiah Bartlett Center comparison […]

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Our legislators must be scientific super geniuses

For years, legislators have been on a relentless quest to raise electricity rates for Granite Staters. Because unlike the rest of us, they are geniuses.  None of us knows exactly what New Hampshire’s energy mix should be. None of us could say precisely how much of the state’s energy should come from solar or biomass.  […]

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Arkansas’ Medicaid Expansion work woes shouldn’t kill NH’s experiment before it starts

Just as New Hampshire begins monitoring its Medicaid work requirements this month, legislators consider a bill to kill those requirements. Often cited as a justification for eliminating the work requirements is Arkansas’ experience in 2018. That year, 18,164 Arkansas Medicaid enrollees lost coverage after the state enacted work requirements. But a closer look at the […]

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With credit report restrictions, did legislators just hurt minority job applicants?

To protect minorities from hiring discrimination, state lawmakers just passed legislation shown in academic studies to reduce the odds that minority applicants are hired. Hello, law of unintended consequences. It’s recently become a progressive article of faith that employer credit history checks must be discriminatory in their effect if not their intent because minorities tend […]

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A skeptic’s guide to commuter rail boosterism

SUMMARY: To promote taxpayer funding of a quarter-billion dollar commuter rail project, supporters last week touted a single poll question, without context, that appeared to show strong public support for commuter rail. It’s a tactic rail enthusiasts have repeated for years. Journalists, lawmakers and the public should be skeptical of such PR campaigns. This brief […]

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Leaping on the income tax grenade

In an extraordinary show of party discipline, Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes and Finance Committee Chairman Lou D’Alessandro leapt into action Tuesday to quickly smother a political hand grenade tossed by freshman Sen. Jeanne Dietsch, D-Peterborough. They smothered it the old fashioned way — by throwing Sen. Dietsch on top of it.  Sen. Dietsch committed […]