Budget Overview

The state approves a budget every two years, called a “Biennial Budget.” It consists of two annual, fiscal year budgets.

The state fiscal year runs from July 1 to the following June 30 and is numbered for the calendar year in which it ends.  For example, fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015) runs from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.

The New Hampshire Constitution requires a balanced budget so every budget that is passed is a “balanced” budget.  However, budgets are just plans.  Actual revenue (income) and expenses may differ from the budget, leading to deficits or surpluses.

There are two separate budgets: the Operating Budget and the Capital Budget.

The Operating Budget covers what is required to satisfy particular missions and/or mandated purposes during the current two fiscal years.

The Capital Budget provides for the state’s major long-term capital investments; such as, office buildings and prisons.

New Hampshire develops its budget in three phases:

    • Agency Phase:  State agencies begin the preliminary planning process in June of the even numbered years.  Agency requests are submitted to the Department of Administrative Services’ Budget Office by October 1.
    • Governor’s Phase:  The Governor reviews the agencies’ requests and compiles his/her recommendations which become known as the Governor’s Recommended Budget. This budget is presented to the legislature on or before February 15 of the odd numbered years.
    • Legislative Phase:  The Legislative Phase of the budget process begins on February 15 and ends on June 30 of the odd numbered year.
      • During this phase, the House reviews the agencies’ requests and the Governor’s recommended budget.
        • HB1 is the report of the House Finance Committee that appropriates funds for the operating budget.  The amount appropriated is based on the recommendations of the House Ways and Means Committee.
        • HB2 is the narrative that directs how the funds in HB1 are to be used. 
        • HB25 is the report on the capital budget presented by the House Public Works and Highways Committee.
      • The House version is passed on to the Senate, which amends it.  
      • Differences between the House and Senate are worked out in a “committee of conference”.  
      • Once the compromise is approved in both the House and the Senate, it is presented to the Governor for his/her signature.

To view the latest enacted budget for the State of New Hampshire for the fiscal years 2014-2015 biennium, use the following link: Legislative Budget Assistant

Transparent NH” tells how New Hampshire spends tax dollars and other revenues to provide services to residents.


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