CONCORD, N.H. — House and Senate budget negotiators continued crafting a spending plan Tuesday, while also tinkering with how much money they expect the state to take in over the next two years.
The committee of conference has until Thursday to reconcile differences between the $11.8 billion budget passed by the Senate and an $11.9 billion proposal backed by the House Finance Committee, but ultimately rejected by the full House.
On Tuesday, members approved new revenue figures that estimate $4.93 billion in revenue during fiscal years 2018 and 2019. That’s $13.7 million more than the House Ways and Means Committee estimated, but $23.8 million less than what the Senate Ways and Means Committee estimated.
Democratic Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, of Manchester, tried unsuccessfully to introduce an amendment to bring the projections back up. His estimates would have added another $20 million per year.
“To just discard them at this point in time without any conversation is a disservice. It’s a disservice to the governor, it’s a disservice to me,” he said. “That’s not the way we do business here.”
Republican Rep. Neal Kurk, however, noted that those figures had been rejected by both the House and Senate.
The committee also reached agreement on funding a college scholarship fund proposed by Gov. Chris Sununu that would provide $1,000 per year to eligible students, delaying some staffing additions at the new women’s prison to take into account construction delays and the creation of an Office of the Child Advocate to keep watch over New Hampshire’s embattled child services agency.
Members planned on working into the night Tuesday.