Entries by Andrew Cline

To keep government in check, subscribe to a newspaper

Note: This column was first published in the New Hampshire Union Leader July 5, 2019. By Andrew Cline Reading through the state budget passed and vetoed last week, I was struck by how many provisions had gone either unreported or lightly reported. The people’s elected representatives had just passed a $13 billion budget, and the […]


Five secrets of the Legislature’s 2020-21 state budget

State budgets are like the Grinch’s Santa sack. They’re huge, unwieldy, and overstuffed with giveaways and surprises. Their contents are a mystery to anyone who doesn’t have hours to crawl inside and unwrap every little package, which is pretty much every normal person.  We’re not normal (we like reading budgets), so we’ve done the unpacking […]


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 […]


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 […]


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.  […]


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 […]


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 […]