Jim Monahan’s 2015 New Hampshire Political and Policy Predictions
- The state operating budget will find a way to get balanced by June 30th. The process will begin with a $300 million revenue challenge, but without major new revenue sources it will pass. The combination of a stronger business tax forecast and some tough budget cuts will close the gap.
- Raiding or not raiding dedicated funds will prove to be an important and controversial part of the state budget debate in 2015.
- The political debate over the business tax structure in NH will give way to the creation of a business tax reform commission that will have real bi-partisan support.
- Energy issues will begin the year as a major challenge, but as the year advances into summer, rate pressure will relax. This combined with several proposed new power plants being announced in 2015 across New England and progress on new gas pipelines will be part of important progress in the energy front – all happening without legislation.
- NH’s electric utilities will take major steps forward on grid modernization, with decoupling and time of use metering.
- By the end of 2015, 150,000 residential electric customers will have migrated to the retail market.
- Re-authorization of the NH Health Protection Program, which creates a NH process for the expansion of the Medicaid program, will pass before the session is over with votes to spare.
- Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton will be leading in the NH polls by December 2015.
- “Transformation” of the NH health care system will be a major part of the NH health care narrative in 2015, but only small steps will be taken.
10. Terie Norelli for US Senate. As the first Democratic Speaker in 100 years she has a strong statewide presence. Hundreds of State Reps would offer her a strong base in the Democratic Primary and her national reputation as
the president of the National Council of State Legislatures gives her a fundraising platform others might not have.