The public hearing for the state budget is scheduled for Monday, March 13, 2023, at 2 p.m. in Reps Hall in the State House. This hearing will be held before the House Finance Committee, and is scheduled for the official budget bill, House Bill (HB) 1, as well as HB 2, the “trailer” bill that includes policy changes and descriptions. HB 1 and HB 2 as introduced represent Governor Sununu’s proposals and can be modified by both the House, and later the Senate.
Governor Chris Sununu released his proposed budget for the 24–25 biennium on February 14. It includes several significant changes to education policy, like changes in school funding, an expansion of the school voucher program, and special funding for computer science and civics education.
Key elements of the Governor’s proposed budget:
- Increasing base adequacy and differentiated aid, elimination of stabilization grants, and increasing extraordinary relief grant
- Expanding eligibility for the statewide school voucher program
- Funding school building aid at $86 million over biennium
- $4 million in incentive grants for educators who teach computer science
- $2 million to create a New Hampshire-based civics curriculum and textbook
Following the initial release of the state budget, Reaching Higher hosted a webinar that gave a general overview of it. Our slideshow can be viewed here.
Though the hearings on HB 1 and HB 2 will be held before the full House Finance Committee on Monday, the subcommittee of House Finance that focuses on education, known as Division II, is still working on their own proposals for what to include in the budget. So far Division II has voted to recommend inclusion of several key house bills into the state budget:
- House Bill 529, which restores $100 million in targeted funding for communities based on tax capacity and student needs;
- House Bill 540, which increases funding for special education (estimated at $20 million per year);
- House Bill 272, which increases funding for public charter schools ($4.9 million per year); and,
- House Bill 364, which increases funding for career and eechnical Education (CTE) centers.
Links of interest:
- The Legislative Budget Assistant’s 2024-2025 Budget Page, which includes links to briefings that have been provided to the House Finance Committee, links to the House Finance’s subcommittees (Education is under Division II‘s purview), and links to the Governor’s recommended budget
- The Governor’s presentation to the House Finance Committee
- The Governor’s Executive Budget Summary, which includes some details about the budget proposal
- A recording of the Governor’s speech to the full House on Feburary 14th
- A recording of the Governor’s budget presentation to the full House Finance Committee on Feburary 15th
- You can also find budget documents on the Department of Administrative Services Budget Office page here
How To Testify
You can testify in person by attending the hearing at the specified time and date. The public hearing is scheduled to be held at the State House 107 N Main St, Concord, NH 03301 in Representatives Hall. Once there, register to testify by filling out a pink card, which will be on the table by the door.
You can also submit written testimony by emailing Committee members at HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us or through the online portal here.
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