Sunday, September 29, 2019

Distant Dome: Compromise budget actually spends more - Manchester Ink Link

Distant Dome: Compromise budget actually spends more - Manchester Ink Link


Distant Dome: Compromise budget actually spends more - Manchester Ink Link

Posted: 29 Sep 2019 07:02 AM PDT

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The never-ending political campaigns waged today at the national and state levels create gridlock, minority rule and make it impossible to actually govern.

The budget battle over the state's two-year operating budget vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu quickly became warring press conferences, partisan politics and sloganeering that had little to do with reality.

After three months of negotiations, the GOP governor and Democratic legislative leaders agreed on a budget higher in total spending than the one passed by the Democratically controlled House and Senate in June which totaled $13.3 billion versus House Bills 3 and 4 — the compromise budget — $13.48 billion.

The compromise reduces the amount of state money spent on the budget by about $83 million, but uses more of the education trust fund, and fish and game and highway fund money; recoups savings from limiting spending under the three-month continuing resolution; increases rebates from drugmakers; garners additional federal money, and increases lapses to balance the budget with its estimated $64,000 surplus at the end of the biennium instead of the $20.8 million projected in House Bills 1 and 2.

Sununu and legislative leaders touted the compromise as they should because no one wants another continuing resolution as city and town property tax rates are set and the sticker shock that will occur without the new education and revenue sharing money in the budget.

Budget Signing

Sununu signed the compromise budget in Franklin, a community that is scheduled to receive about $1.9 million in additional state aid for education, but the city's representatives and senator voted against that aid when it was before the legislature and several did not support the compromise.

The only representative to vote in favor of the budget when it passed the House and Senate earlier was Joyce Fulweiler, D-Northfield, while Sen. Harold French, R-Franklin, and Reps. Werner Horn, R-Franklin; Dave Testerman, R-Franklin; Gregory Hill, R-Northfield, and Harold Pearl, R-Loudon, voted against the budget every step of the way until the compromise last week.

The city's mayor, Tony Giunta, was one of the few municipal officials who backed Sununu's budget veto.

The delegation from other property-poor communities who will benefit from the increased education and revenue sharing funding like Claremont and Berlin were much more supportive of the budget as it made its way through the legislature.

But this is about politics not governing, so it was Franklin where Sununu won handily over Molly Kelly in the 2018 contest and he rewarded his base with the signing ceremony.

Business Taxes

Everyone likes to look at compromises and see who wins and who loses, but compromises mean you get some of what you want, you give up some things you want, and this compromise is no exception.

Sununu went to the mat over business tax rates, saying returning to last year's rates would hurt businesses and the state's healthy economy.

He essentially did not have to give on business tax rates but may not see the rates for the business enterprise and profits taxes go down next year as they are scheduled to do.

Instead, the rates are contingent on the state's revenues for this fiscal year. If revenues are over 6 percent of estimates, then the rates will go down as scheduled, but if they are 6 percent less than estimates, then rates return to what they were last calendar year which would increase the rates, according to Sununu, but Democrats say would stabilize them.

The agreement also reduced business tax estimates by $65 million over the biennium compared to the vetoed budget but increases revenue estimates by $24.8 million, $19 million from the governor's estimates earlier this year for the interest and dividends, and communications taxes and liquor revenues.

There is a $15 million increase for lottery earnings and $1.2 million from adding two multi-state auditors.

The changes make it more likely the rates will either stay where they are now or go down, rather than up.

All sides claimed there are no tax increases in the compromise budget, but the business tax rates could potentially increase, and there are two other tax increases in the fine print.

There is now a tax on e-cigarettes and other vaping material, which is new. It is under the existing tobacco tax, but some people will be paying taxes who weren't.

Similarly, people using voice over internet protocol or (VoIP) phone service such as Comcast's will now pay the communications tax as will those who use prepaid phones or calling cards.

Again, it is added to the communications tax, but in this instance, there will be a lot of people paying a new tax.

And then there is the spin on taxes. Sununu took a victory lap claiming he stopped an income tax when he vetoed the paid family and medical leave program that was the Democrats' top priority this session, but was eliminated before the Senate passed its version of the budget.

The payroll tax, which would have been paid by either the employer or the employee is like health insurance premiums. For a few fortunate people, employers pay the entire premium, but most people pay a portion.

The start-up funding for the program — $3.5 million —was in the legislature's budget but is not in the compromise.

Education Funding

While increased education funding was not a priority for the governor, it certainly was for House members and key Senators with the vetoed budget adding about $138 million in new state aid for education, including targeting a greater percentage to property-poor communities struggling to provide their students with educational opportunities.

The compromise does not contain quite as much money as the vetoed budget but does come close, however it makes about $62.5 million a one-time appropriation from the education trust fund surplus that topped $140 million at the end of last fiscal year June 30.

Both the vetoed budget and the compromise return stabilization grants to their original levels before annual 4 percent reductions were instituted beginning in 2016 while state revenues were producing significant surpluses.

The vetoed budget reprieved disparity aid for property-poor communities which ended with the last major change in the education funding formula in 2011.

The compromise reduces the disparity aid somewhat but adds more money for school districts with students on the free and reduced lunch program.

But that money is only for the second year of the biennium, meaning if it is to continue, the next legislature will have to determine how to pay for it.

The compromise retains $500,000 for a commission to study the current funding formula, determine the real cost of an adequate education and how best to pay for it.

Sununu proposed several plans to help pay for construction and rehabilitation projects, but lawmakers wanted the additional money to help with operating expense and property tax relief, not capital projects and they won on that point.

Reductions

The compromise budget contains $127 million in reductions, but that is a little misleading because some of the biggest reductions are actually changes in funding.

The new plan assumes $22 million will come from increases in Medicaid drug rebates from the manufacturers. That allows $22 million in general fund money to be spent elsewhere.

Increasing general fund lapses or how much appropriated money departments are expected to save accounts for $20 million in reductions.

That savings has been obtained due to reduced spending under the continuing resolution, which in some cases is significantly less than this year's appropriations.

The compromise also calls for the state's largest agency, Health and Human Services, to lapse an additional $25 million but not in developmentally disabled programs, Medicaid rates or county programs, i.e. nursing homes.

Another reduction is for $29 million by delaying a 3.1 percent increase in Medicaid provider reimbursement rates for six months. The rate increase was to begin July 1 of each fiscal year but will now begin Jan. 1.

The rate increases were a long drawn out battle between the administration and the Senate Finance Committee which wanted the increases across the board while the administration wanted to pick and choose who would receive the increases needed in order to retain workers and service programs many addressing the state's opioid epidemic.

Planning for — or even construction of — a new secure psychiatric unit facility on state hospital grounds has not begun and already the project has been cut from $17.5 million to $8.75 million. While the governor touted an even larger facility to address a number of mental health needs, the House refused to fund any of it because the administration provided few details.

The Senate received a little more information so included the $17.5 million in the budget, but little real planning has been done to date and the reduced figure is probably more realistic for the next 20 months of work.

The compromise also reduces the amount of money going into the rainy day fund by $8.5 million, but on the other hand, adds $5 million to the fund from last fiscal year's surplus.

Additions

The compromise also adds $25 million in new spending, $9 million for the nursing program at the University of New Hampshire, touted by the governor but removed by lawmakers.

A new collective bargaining agreement with state workers has yet to be reached, but $6 million in additional spending is included for a new contract, and $3.25 million has been added to replace the state fishing pier in Portsmouth.

Other Changes

The compromise will prohibit spending general fund money on the Medicaid expansion program. Democrats had removed the prohibition in the vetoed budget as well as the state Hyde provision prohibiting spending state money for abortion, which will also remain in place.

The Democrats proposed raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old but settled with the governor on 19 with the intent to prohibit high school students from purchasing tobacco products.

Sununu touted a college student debt relief program that lawmakers fine-tuned into help for new graduates working in the human tissue regenerative program in Manchester's Millyard.

The compromise will have a separate bill to address the debt relief program next session.

You win some, you lose some and some are just toss ups.


Garry Rayno may be reached at garry.rayno@yahoo.com

VOIP Services Market Sales Revenue to Significantly Increase in the Next Few Years - Rapid News Network

Posted: 23 Sep 2019 01:25 AM PDT

Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a methodology, which uses various data and voice transfer technologies such as IP telephony, voice over broadband and Internet telephony to provide communication services over a packet-switched network. VoIP services require conversion of voice signals into digital signals, which are then carried over the IP-based network. Calls can be made from regular telephones, VoIP phones, computersand mobile phones. VoIP services are implemented using various protocols such as H.323, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Inter Asterisk eXchange (IAX), Real Time Protocol (RTP) and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP).

The global VOIP services market is driven by industry participants focusing intensely on pushing VoIP solutions across corporate and individual consumer sectors. This has led to multi-pronged developments, especially in network infrastructure and cloud-based models.

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Proprietary and open-source platforms are constantly witnessing the addition of newer technologies;hence consumers are demanding innovative solutions to reduce costs for availing communication services.

Future Market Insights (FMI) has studied the VoIP services market and provides a detailed analysis,offering an understanding ofthe driving forces behind the popularity of these services in the global communication industry. The report also provides analysis of the major sub-segments of the global VoIPservices market for the next six years, includingdetails of the industry drivers, restraints, market trends and market structure.

Growth of the global VOIP services market is driven by technological advancements, leading to roll out of advanced networks and increased usage of these service over various networks. Business customers adopting cloud-based VoIP services due to cost efficiency and packaged service offerings is another factor driving growth. The market is further being driven by telecommunication players constantly diversifying to offer customers VoIP services.

In 2012, the corporate consumer segment registered 98.9 billion subscribers, accounting for US$ 43.27 Bn of the global VOIP services market in terms of revenue. FMI forecasts that the number if subscribers in the corporate consumer segment will increase to around 204.8 billion by 2020, accounting for US$ 86.20 Bn in terms of revenue.

The computer to computer segment of the VoIP servicesmarket registered revenue at US$ 20.74 Bn with 57.4 Mn subscribers in 2012. By 2019 however, this segment is expected to account for US$ 24.74Bn with72.2 Mn subscribers.

Phone to phone segment accounted for US$ 15.88 Bn with 35.9 Mn subscribersin 2012, and is expected to increase to US$ 44.78 Bn with 116.5 Mn subscribers by 2019. The computer to phone segment accounted for US$ 27.35 Bnwith 58.3 Mn subscribers, and is projected to increase to US$ 56.56 Bn witha 128.3 Mn-strong subscriber base by 2019.

The individual consumer segmenthad a 52.7 Mn-strong subscriber base in 2012, and contributed US$ 20.70 Bnin terms of revenue. Of all, phone-to-phone VOIP services is the fastest growing segment, expected to increaserapidly in terms of subscriber base and revenue between 2014and 2019.

This robust growth is attributed toservice providers transitioning from circuit-switched networks to packet-switched networks. Hence the market has been witnessing a shift from traditional telephony using CDMA or GSM technology, to VoIP services using cellular networks such as 3G and 4G.

Some of the market restraints include low public acceptance of VoIP services in the residential consumer segment. However, with need to make international or long-distance calls growing constantly due to a moving working force or migrating population, the impact of low public acceptance is expected to decline to low over the forecast period. In addition, certain regulations or policies implemented by regional governments in emerging economies to protect or safeguard local telecom industry is hampering growth of the global VOIP services market to a large extent. The impact of this however, is expected to decline from high to medium and then to low by the end of the forecast period.

Presence of multiple players in the market causes price competitiveness, forcing companies to offer bundled services to differentiate their offerings. The key players in the global VOIP services market include Vonage Holdings Corp., RingCentral, Inc., 8×8, Inc., Nextiva, Inc. and InPhonex LLC.These companies focus on offering domestic as well as international calling plans with additional services such as emergency number (911) calling, speed dialing, call transfer, call blocking, conference calling and fax support. In 2013, AT&T, Inc. led the market, accounting for 7.5% of the global VoIP services market revenue.

This research report presents a comprehensive assessment of the market and contains thoughtful insights, facts, historical data and statistically-supported and industry-validated market data and projections with a suitable set of assumptions and methodology. It provides analysis and information by categories such as market segments, regions, product type and distribution channels.

The report covers exhaustive analysis on:

  • Market Segments
  • Market Dynamics
  • Market Size
  • Supply & Demand
  • Current Trends/Issues/Challenges
  • Competition & Companies involved
  • Technology
  • Value Chain

Regional analysis includes

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Japan
  • Middle East and Africa

The report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain. The report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments. The report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.

Report Highlights:

  • Detailed overview of parent market
  • Changing market dynamics of the industry
  • In-depth market segmentation
  • Historical, current and projected market size in terms of volume and value
  • Recent industry trends and developments
  • Competitive landscape
  • Strategies of key players and product offerings
  • Potential and niche segments/regions exhibiting promising growth
  • A neutral perspective towards market performance
  • Must-have information for market players to sustain and enhance their market footprint

Global VoIP Services Market Major Players Share Estimates 2014 to 2019 And Forecast Analysis Through 2024 - Commerce Gazette

Posted: 24 Sep 2019 05:48 AM PDT

VoIP Services research report provides an overall analysis of the market share, size, segmentation, revenue forecasts and geographic regions of the VoIP Services along with industry leading players are studied with respect to their company profile, product portfolio, capacity, price, cost and revenue. The research report also provides detail analysis on the VoIP Services current applications and comparative analysis with more focused on the pros and cons of VoIP Services and competitive analysis of major companies.

VoIP Services has witnessed continuous growth in the past few years and is projected to grow even further during the forecast period (2019-2024). The research presents a complete assessment of the market and contains Future trend, Current Growth Factors, attentive opinions, facts, historical data, and statistically supported and industry validated market data.

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The complete knowledge of VoIP Services is based on the latest industry news, opportunities and trends. VoIP Services research report offers a clear insight about the influential factors that are expected to transform the global market in the near future. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches have been used to estimate and validate the market size of VoIP Services, to estimate the size of various other dependent sub-markets in the overall market.

VoIP Services Market

VoIP Services Market

This report checks the VoIP Services market status and the prospect of global and major regions, from angles of players, product regions and end Application/industries.

Market Segmentation:
By Market Players:
Vonage Holdings Corporation, 8×8 Inc., ShoreTel Nextiva Inc., RingCentral Inc., West Corporation, Verizon Communications Inc., Thinking Phone Networks Inc., Inphonex LLC, and Phone Power LLC.

By Service
SIP Trunking Segment, Hosted IP PBX Segment, Managed IP PBX Segment, Others

By Configuration
Computer-to-Computer VoIP, Computer-to-Phone VoIP, Phone-to-Phone VoIP

By End-User
Individual User, Corporate User

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All of the segments studied in the report are closely analysed to explore their market growth, opportunities, prospects, and market potential.

* The VoIP Services report will enrich your decision-making capability by helping you to focus on technology trends.

* Take more informed business decisions by relying on the insightful opinions from VoIP Services industry experts.

* Design and improve your product development and sales strategies and enhancing your VoIP Services marketing activities.

* Create merger and acquisition opportunities by identifying the VoIP Services market players with the most innovative pipelines.

* Develop VoIP Services market-entry strategies and effective ways to sustain competition.

* Identify the regional VoIP Services market potential which would further help in designing regional market strategies.

* Understand the competitive scenario in the Global VoIP Services Market.

* Develop business strategies by understanding the market dynamics and developments driving the VoIP Services Market.

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Opportunities

The report identified the challenges in front of the VoIP Services as the study listed every one of them. This allows understanding of the market and benefits from any lucrative opportunities that are available. Researchers have offered a comprehensive study of the existing market scenario while concentrating on the new business objectives. There is a detailed analysis of the change in customer requirements, customer preferences, and the vendor landscape of the overall market.

The report is distributed over 15 Chapters to display the analysis of the VoIP Services market.

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