skip navigation Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
New Hampshire's Transparency Portal

Senate Bill 32 Reports

State House
How Government Finances Work

Knowing how New Hampshire state government works can go a long way in understanding the allocation and spending process. This section will take a little of the mystery out of the process.

The New Hampshire State Budget Process

The budget process is the arena in which public priorities are articulated and debated and ultimately where important choices are made by your elected officials. The budget process is a balancing act in which the "separate but equal" branches of government struggle with one another based upon the checks and balances established by the State Constitution.

The budget is often mistaken for an expenditure plan. It is, however, a plan to meet the public's needs and priorities. There are two separate types of budgets: the Operating Budget and the Capital Budget. The Operating Budget consists of current expenditures required to satisfy a particular mission and/or mandated purpose during the current fiscal year. The Capital Budget provides for the state's major long-term capital investments; such as, office buildings and prisons.

The state of New Hampshire's budget is organized and controlled by RSA:9. The state approves a budget every two years, the "Biennial Budget." It consists of two annual or fiscal year budgets. The state fiscal year runs from July 1 to the following June 30 and is numbered for the calendar year in which it ends.

New Hampshire's Three Operating Budget Development Phases

  • Agency Phase
    The Operating Budget process begins in June of the even numbered year with the preliminary planning process by the state agencies. From the beginning of August through September 30, the Agency Phase of the budget process is implemented. On October 1, the Agency Phase ends with the agency requests being submitted to the Department of Administrative Services' Budget Office.

    To view the latest completed Agency Phase requests for state agencies, use the following link for fiscal years 2014-2015: DAS Budget Office
  • Governor's Phase
    The second phase of the budget process is the Governor's Phase. This phase begins on October 1 of the even numbered year and ends on February 15 of the following year. During this phase, the Governor reviews the agencies requests and compiles his/her recommendations which will be known as the Governor's Recommended Budget. He/she will present this budget to the legislature on or before February 15 of the odd numbered year.

    To view the latest completed Governor's Recommended Budget for the fiscal years 2012-2013 biennium, use the following link: DAS Governor Budget
  • Legislative Phase
    The Legislative Phase of the budget process begins on February 15 and ends on June 30 of the odd numbered year. During this phase, both bodies of the legislature will review the agencies requests and the Governor's recommended budgets. They will compile a budget and present it to the Governor for his signature.

    To view the latest enacted budget for the State of New Hampshire for the fiscal years 2012-2013 biennium, use the following link: Legislative Budget Assistant

Categories of Government

The State of New Hampshire is organized by function of government. The function of government is a grouping of agencies which make expenditures for similar programs and purposes. There are six functions of government: General Government, Administration of Justice and Public Protection, Resource Protection and Development, Transportation, Health and Social Services, and Education. Here's a breakdown:

  • General Government
    Department of Administrative Services, Board of Accountancy, Board of Manufactured Housing, Board of Tax and Land Appeals, Boxing and Wrestling Commission, Department of Cultural Resources, Development Disabilities Council, Executive Council, Executive Office, Department of Information Technology, Joint Board of Licensure and Certification, The Legislative Branch, Real Estate Appraiser Board, Real Estate Commission, Department of Revenue Administration, Secretary of State, State Treasury, NH Retirement System.
  • Administration of Justice and Public Protection
    Adjutant General, Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, Banking, Department of Corrections, Department of Employment Security, Family Mediator Certification Board, Highway Safety, Human Rights Commission, Department of Insurance, Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Liquor Commission, Public Utilities Commission, Racing & Charitable Gaming Commission, Regulatory Boards and Commissions, Department of Safety, Veterinary Examiners Board.
  • Education
    Department of Education, Police Standards and Training, McAuliff-Shepard Discovery Center, Community College System of New Hampshire, Lottery Commission, University System of New Hampshire.
  • Health and Social Services
    Department of Health and Human Services, Health and Human Services Administratively Attached Boards, Veteran's Council, Veteran's Home.
  • Resource Protection and Development
    Business Finance Authority, Department of Environmental Services, Department of Fish & Game, Community Development Finance Authority, Pease Development Authority, Department of Resources and Economic Development.
  • Transportation
    The Department of Transportation.


About This Site
Frequently Asked Questions
Glossary | Links | Contact Us


Where The Money Comes From

Where the Money Comes From
Unrestricted Revenue
Revenue Glossary
Funding Glossary


Where the Money Goes

State Expenditure Register
Monthly Expenditure Reports
NH Operating Budget
Employee Pay Search


How Government Finances Work

How Government Finances Work
State Budget Process
Budget Development Phases
Categories of Government