CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A legislative committee has approved New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan's proposal to freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out-of-state travel.

Hassan asked the Fiscal Committee Thursday to approve the freeze, as past governors have done when confronted with potential budget deficits.

Hassan wrote the committee that a $25 million budget surplus in March had nearly evaporated by the end of April to just under $4 million. April revenue collections were $22 million below projections due mostly to lower-than-expected revenues from taxes on business, interest and dividends.

Hassan suggested that the Legislature and Judicial Branch consider similar freezes.

Agencies can seek a waiver to approve spending frozen by Hassan's executive order.

Former Gov. John Lynch initiated a spending freeze in 2008 when revenue fell some $75 million below estimates.


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