Posts Tagged: state budgets

Vermont Legislative Session 2017: It Was Supposed To Be Smooth Sailing …

From January to April, there appeared to be an unusual degree of cooperation among legislators and newly elected Gov. Phil Scott. The House and Senate passed a budget with minor differences. Up until this point, some legislators were characterizing the session as “boring.” All that changed on April 20, when Scott proposed that the Legislature adopt the Vermont School Boards Association...

Rhode Island Legislative Session 2017: Free College Tuition Becomes Law … at Least for Community College

The Rhode Island General Assembly abruptly ended its 2017 legislation session on Friday evening, July 1, following a protracted disagreement between House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio related to the car tax. Eliminating the car tax was a high priority of Mattiello’s. But some lawmakers expressed concern that with revenues lagging by approximately $100 mil...

New Hampshire Legislative Session 2017: Keno-garten

New Hampshire lawmakers ended hard-fought budget deliberations on June 22 and passed a two-year $17.7 billion budget along party lines. During House budget deliberations, Republicans faced opposition in their own party coming from the newly formed Freedom Caucus. The result was the Republican-dominated House failed to produce a budget, which hadn’t happened in several decades. The Republican...

Maine Legislative Session 2017: Legislature Overturns the Will of the Voters

The first regular session of Maine’s 128th state Legislature was exceptionally challenging, as lawmakers engaged in a bitter fight over the budget while wrestling with four ballot questions approved by voters in the November 2016 election. Lawmakers were divided on Question 2, which was approved by voters and would have imposed a 3% tax on those making $200,000 or more. Funds would be used t...

Massachusetts Legislative Session 2017: Budget Signed But Hot-Button Issues Face Legislators in September

Two weeks into FY 2018, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $39.4 billion spending package that increases spending by 1.7% over the prior year. He vetoed $320 million from the budget, including $222 million in spending for MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. Baker has proposed reforms to MassHealth including a “gate” which blocks eligibility for full-time workers who have access to...

Connecticut Legislative Session 2017: Session Ends Without A Budget

On June 7, 2017, Connecticut legislators wrapped up their session without passing a two-year budget. The failure to pass a budget or a provisional budget reflects a deeply divided Legislature with an 18-18 split in the Senate and a slight Democratic majority, 79-72, in the House. As lawmakers adjourned, Gov. Dannel Malloy chastised them for failing to break the deadlock and pass a budget. A big s...

New England Lawmakers Close the Books on 2015

State Capital Notes ... With the 2016 presidential campaign dominating the airwaves and reauthorization of the landmark federal Higher Education Act looming, one could be excused for focusing on Washington, D.C. But in many ways, state capitals remain the center of action in higher education. Here is our annual attempt to summarize the state legislative sessions and their impact on higher ed ......

Collaborating on Tuition and Financial Aid Is Critical to the Region

College affordability is an increasingly important public policy issue. With decision-making power over funding to institutions, funding to students and the pricing of institutions, states play a tremendous role in determining what students pay for college. In New England, these decisions are spread across institutional boards, system offices, state agencies and state legislatures. The processes f...

On Affordability: Public Higher Education in New England

As the lowest-priced higher education institutions serving the greatest share of students in New England, public institutions are a crucial access point for the region’s students who may not have other opportunities to enroll in college. Maintaining the cost of attending a public institution in New England is imperative for students, families, communities, states and the region. Yet, the pri...

Vermont Lawmakers Boost Economic Development

State Capital Notes … Vermont lawmakers passed a $5.5 billion budget along with $5.5 million in new taxes. Property taxes were raised 5%. Spending overall increased by 4.1% over the prior year. The budget included a 1.6% increase in reimbursement rates for health care providers who accept Medicaid payments, which will cost $2.6 million. Lawmakers also increased the cigarette tax by 13 cen...