Hassan vetoes increases for UNH, DHS, and everybody else.

This is stunning. The budget we passed provided more funding for Health and Human services than any budget in NH history. We gave increases to UNH, the Veteran’s Home, NH Hospital, drug addiction programs, etc. The hard working members of the Finance and Ways and Means committees accomplished all that and provided for tax relief for businesses. That, by the way, means tax relief for you. We funded education at a level higher than the amount Gov. Hassan originally asked for. Why is she vetoing the budget? I have no idea. She claims that we have “blown a 90 million dollar” hole in the budget with the tax cuts. First, she extrapolates the cuts out for at least 5 years to get that number. The actual reduced revenue over this budget is 23 million dollars. Realize also, that this assumes zero growth in NH. Even if the Governor’s lack of faith in our state were warranted, we set aside enough money to cover this gap. I do not share the Governor’s pessimistic attitude towards you and our state. I believe the state will continue to grow. Through the last budget, which was not quite as business friendly as this one, the state grew 2.3 percent. Can you seriously tell me that if we don’t raise taxes, and give a small reprieve, that growth will stop?

She also accuses Republicans of denying a raise to state employees. The budget writers did ask for a one year delay in that raise. Since many state employees will continue to get step increases without a raise (around 2/3s of them), and many taxpayers received no raise at all from their jobs, this seemed like a small compromise to make. Our Governor disagrees.

You should also know that House Democrats tried to pass a continuing resolution that would essentially have enacted the Republican budget, without the tax breaks. This was defeated. They have to be willing to compromise, if they want all the funding increases that we have already agreed to, over the objections of many Republicans.

What happens now is that none of the increases crafted by House and Senate Republicans can be enacted.

I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode.


About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his 7th term. Rep. Smith currently represents Charlestown, Newport, and Unity. Rep. Smith is the Deputy Speaker of the NH House.
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