CONCORD, N.H. — The Republican-led House passed a two-year, $11.2 billion state budget Wednesday that cuts health services for the elderly and people with disabilities, denies state employees a raise and nearly empties the state’s rainy day fund, all to avoid major tax or fee increases.

“It’s a balancing act and I think the House produced a budget that will meet the basic needs of the state of New Hampshire,” said Republican House Speaker Shawn Jasper of Hudson.

The proposal, which shaves more than $300 million from Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan’s $11.5 billion budget, now heads to the Senate where it is likely to change substantially. House budget writers have been crafting the budget for weeks, but its passage Wednesday largely came down to last-minute wrangling within the Republican caucus over public school funding and fees in the Fish and Game department. The existing state budget is about $10.7 billion.

Hassan sharply criticized the House plan.

“Senate Republicans cannot follow the path of their House counterparts and simply cater to the most extreme members of their party at the expense of common sense and fiscal responsibility,” she said in a statement.

A reduction in funds to public schools known as “stabilization grants,” which would have cut up to $750,000 to some districts in 2017, threatened to derail the budget until representatives voted to soften the cut.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.