Sununu blames COVID-19 for $540M budget shortfall in NH

CONCORD, N.H. (WCAX) New Hampshire's governor says the state is looking at a half-a-billion-dollar shortfall in the budget due to COVID-19.

Gov. Chris Sununu told reporters he's hoping to get some help with that from the federal government, but he also said the burden of making ends meet still lies with the state.

He called the $540 million shortfall severe and said the state will have to make some tough financial decisions to make sure its residents don't bear the burden.

"We're going to do it. We're not going to raise taxes. We're not going to be putting the burdens of the state onto the backs of our citizens and our businesses that are already having a tough time paying their bills as is. That's just completely unfair," said Sununu, R-New Hampshire.

The governor says they're already making decisions as they head into the second year of their budget.

Among them, telling departments around the state to limit discretionary spending, putting a hold on new capital projects and keeping a hiring freeze largely in place.