2023 NHMA Legislative Bulletin 24


Senate Passes Budget, House Concurs!

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a state budget with several amendments. In total, the Senate approved budget increased state aid to municipalities by an estimated $145 million over the biennium, building upon many of the key provisions in the House budget and retaining many of the governor’s top priorities. On Thursday, the House concurred in a decisive 326-53 vote. We understand that the governor supports the budget. 

The following items in the $15.2 billion budget support cities and towns, work to lower property tax rates, and provide tax relief by funding programs, projects, and services that positively impact the Granite State: 

  • An estimated $121.1 million in FY 24 with a potential increase to $123.5 million in FY 25 for Meals and Rooms tax distributions to municipalities. The legislature amended the Meals and Rooms statute in 2021 to set the municipal distribution at 30%. With record revenues recorded, municipalities will continue to see significant increases in their distributions. 
  • $32.56 million in FY 24 and $32.35 million in FY 25 for highway block grants (apportionment A & B) and $8 million in highway block grants under the provisions of SB 367. The Senate budget also established an annual registration surcharge on electric ($100) and plug-in hybrid ($50) vehicles, with proceeds credited to the highway fund. 
  • An additional one-time payment of $10 million for highway block grants for municipal road maintenance and repair and $10 million for municipally owned bridges. (View the estimated individual municipal breakdown here.) 
  • $27.9 million to fund wastewater state aid grants (SAG) for municipalities, with an additional $15 million per year in FY 26 and FY 27. 
  • $2 million in funding for PFAS remediation to the PFAS remediation loan fund. 
  • $1 million to the cyanobacteria mitigation grant and loan fund. 
  • $10.6 million for public water system grants. 
  • $830,000 each year to reimburse municipalities involved in flood control compacts. 
  • $10 million for InvestNH, allowing both municipalities and housing developers to access grants. 
  • $25 million for the Affordable Housing Fund. 
  • $5 million for a new Housing Champion Program, including a housing production municipal grant program and a housing infrastructure municipal grant and loan program. 
  • $10 million for funding to increase rates for shelter programs and to assist cities and towns with housing expenses for homeless people. 
  • $15 million to expand childcare availability. 
  • $5 million each year for the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). 
  • $420,000 for landfill closure grants. 
  • $6 million for municipal bridge aid grants. 
  • $183,000 for railroad tax distributions under RSA 82:21 and RSA 288:69. 
  • $1.2 million for FY 24 and $1.6 million for FY 25 for the state match to a federal grant, the Local Cybersecurity Grant Program, which will provide direct grant assistance to cities and towns. 
  • $663,000 in FY 23 for the Department of State to implement the online election information portal. 
  • $160 million increase for Medicaid reimbursements, and a seven-year reauthorization for New Hampshire’s Medicaid Granite State Advantage. 
  • Education aid totaling $81,837,936 more in FY 24 than FY 22 and $74,133,440 more in FY 25 than FY 22. A municipality-by-municipality breakdown of education funding can be found here. 

We are pleased that the House and Senate were able to work out their differences in the weeks and days leading up to the Senate vote, and that municipalities saw significant increases in the amount of state aid over the biennium. (For those curious, no one that we asked could remember a time in living memory when a concurrence had previously occurred.) 

We want to thank all the local officials who contacted their legislators in the past few days to advocate for provisions in the budget that provide critical funding for—and demonstrate a commitment to—local government. 

At this point, what is left of the legislative session will be dedicated to committees of conference on bills where the House and Senate will strive to work out their differences on a wide variety of policy bills. June 15 is the deadline for the formation of committees of conference and we anticipate that legislators will be appointed to those committees and discussions may begin as early as the middle of next week. While we expect that a few municipal items will be discussed, it appears that the vast bulk of the work for this session is over.

Other House Action

On Thursday, the House passed SB 110 in a 190-180 vote, clarifying the residency status of transient individuals for purposes of determining responsibility for local assistance. The bill, as amended by the Senate, mirrors the Ethics Resolution adopted by the New Hampshire Local Welfare Administrators Association in 2022. While the bill must still be signed by the governor before it is law, local welfare administrators attending the Art of Welfare Workshop on June 15 should be aware that the potential changes to RSA chapter 165 will be discussed at that workshop. 

Additionally on Thursday, the House tabled SB 132, prohibiting cities and towns from adopting sanctuary policies. The 203-168 roll call vote to table almost certainly ensures that this problematic bill will not pass the legislature this year. 

Other results on Thursday include: 

  • SB 47, establishing a commission to study barriers to increased density of residential development in New Hampshire, passed the House with a committee recommended amendment.
  • SB 78, relative to subdivision regulations on the completion of improvements, passed the House with a committee recommended amendment. We anticipate that the Senate will concur with the House amendment.
  • SB 111, relative to the town council-town manager form of local government, passed the House with a committee recommended amendment. We anticipate that the Senate will concur with the House amendment.
  • SB 222, relative to the definition of broadband infrastructure as a revenue-producing facility eligible for municipal revenue bonds, passed the House without amendment. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk, and we anticipate that he will sign.

Hearing Schedule

There are no currently scheduled hearings for next week. For the most up-to-date information on when bills are scheduled for a hearing, please use our live bill tracker

NHMA Upcoming Member Events

June 12

Webinar: Introduction to Internal Controls, Segregation of Duties, Fraud and Risk – 5:30 p.m.

June 13

Webinar: The Right-to-Know Law and Public Meetings – 12:00 p.m.

June 21

Webinar: Old Closed Landfills – What Towns Need to Know – 12:00 p.m.

June 29

Rescheduled from June 1: Local Officials Workshop – 9:00 a.m.

Please visit www.nhmunicipal.org for the most up-to-date information regarding our upcoming events. Click on the Events & Training tab to view the calendar.

For more information, please call NHMA’s Workshop registration line: (603) 230-3350.

2023 NHMA Legislative Bulletin 24

June 9, 2023


Margaret M.L. Byrnes
Executive Director

Natch Greyes
Government Affairs Counsel

Katherine Heck
Government Finance Advisor

Jonathan Cowal
Municipal Services Counsel

Timothy W. Fortier
Communications Coordinator

Pam Valley
Administrative Assistant

25 Triangle Park Drive
Concord NH 03301