New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan wants to authorize the sale of $195 million in bonds in the next two fiscal years.
The $195 million would be new money and would be in addition to any refundings the state chooses to do. Not all bonds that are authorized to be sold as new money will necessarily be sold, New Hampshire Treasurer Catherine Provencher told The Bond Buyer.
The figure comes from the governor’s capital budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, announced on Thursday. The state fiscal year starts on July 1.
The money would be used for a wide variety of capital purposes. Chief among these would be for $38 million to build a 328-bed women’s prison and transitional housing facility.
“For too long, our corrections system has woefully neglected women,” Hassan told New Hampshire’s House of Representative and Senate. “Like our men’s prison, our women’s prison must offer facilities that can provide the programs that help individuals safely move back into society when they have served their sentences.”
Over the last five calendar years New Hampshire has sold $311 million (2008), $155 million (2009), $428 million (2010), $100 million (2011), and $188 million (2012) in general obligation bonds.
New Hampshire is rated AA with a stable outlook by Standard & Poor’s, Aa1 with a stable outlook by Moody’s Investors Service, and AA-plus by Fitch Ratings.
For the general budget, Hassan presented a balanced budget that, as is New Hampshire’s long practice, has no income or sales taxes. The budget anticipates a 2% increase in revenue in fiscal 2014 from fiscal 2013 and a 1.9% increase the following fiscal year. General fund spending in fiscal 2014 is projected to be 7% below that of fiscal 2008.
With Massachusetts planning on introducing casinos, Hassan proposed on Tuesday that New Hampshire license a casino. The license fee of $80 million is included in the budget. Hassan is proposing a total government expenditure of $2.326 billion in fiscal year 2014.
For the budget to be enacted, the state’s House of Representatives and Senate will have to approve the budget and Hassan will have to approve the version approved by these two bodies.
Hassan’s executive budget summary included the age distribution of government employees, in five year age brackets. The bracket with the highest number is those 51 to 55 years old. The brackets for 46-50 and 61 to 65 are the second and third highest, respectively.
New Hampshire has one of ten states with the lowest funded ratios for its pension plan of the 50 U.S. states, at 58%, according to a September 2012 Loop Capital Markets pension presentation.