Fulfilling her commitment to implement fiscally responsible reforms to the state budgeting process, Governor Maggie Hassan issued an Executive Order today creating a Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel. The panel of experts will work to periodically develop and update revenue estimates and provide advice to the Governor both through the budget process and after the budget's adoption.
The Governor's Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel will be chaired by Gerard Murphy, the Governor's Budget Director. The members are Linda Hodgdon, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (or designee); Kevin Clougherty, Commissioner of the Department of Revenue Administration (or designee); Richard Samuels, a director of the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association and an attorney at McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton; Dennis Delay, an economist with the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy; Jeff McLynch of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute; and Ross Gittell, an economist and Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.
"A balanced budget is the cornerstone of a strong economy, and a fiscally responsible balanced budget requires revenue estimates that are as reliable and accurate as possible," said Governor Hassan. "By bringing together experts from the business community, academia, and the public sector, we can work to improve our revenue estimates and ensure more accurate information throughout the budget process. I thank the members of our Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel for agreeing to serve their fellow citizens by supporting our efforts to balance the budget while protecting our priorities."
The panel's responsibilities include reviewing revenue estimates to confirm accuracy and reliability; monitoring variables materially impacting estimates such as employment, population trends, interest rates, income, business growth trends and other indices as are appropriate; and providing periodic revenue estimates to the Executive branch and to share such estimates with the Legislative branch. Once the budget is adopted, the panel will meet regularly to review revenue estimates and to help ensure that the state remains on track for a balanced budget. Legislative leaders will also be invited to meetings of the panel to ensure an open and informative exchange of information between the Executive and Legislative branches regarding revenue projections.
The first meeting of the Governor's Consensus Revenue Estimating Panel will be tomorrow, Thursday, January 24, at 3:30 p.m. in the Executive Council Chamber at the State House.