Article by Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale, Ashley C. Allen of 24/7 Wall St.
2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 27.2%
2011 budget shortfall: $365 million
2012 projected budget shortfall: 18.4% (8th largest)
GDP change (2006 – 2010): +7.5% (11th smallest increase)
Median home value change (2006 – 2010): -4% (12th largest decline)
New Hampshire is often considered to have weathered the recession better than most states. It has one of the strongest economies in the country in many respects. Its poverty rate is a modest 8.1% — the lowest among the 50 states. However, the state did not make it through the recession completely unscathed. Home values dropped 4% from 2006 to 2010, the 12th largest amount, and GDP increased only a small amount compared to other states. New Hampshire’s budget shortfall was the 10th largest in percentage terms. To fight the deficit, the state has enacted a hiring freeze and cut a number of services. It reduced the number of state hospital beds by 15, a change that will result in 500 fewer patients treated per year. It has also cut funds to 10 mental health centers for children’s support services. Despite all these measures, New Hampshire’s projected 2012 budget shortfall is the eighth largest.