CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today called into question the credibility and motives of an attack launched yesterday by Rep. Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth), the current House Minority Leader and former Speaker. In a press release Norelli accused Republicans of inflating the legislative budget, despite the fact that the non-partisan Legislative Budget Assistant confirmed that the House budget cuts legislative costs by $1.5 million from the governor’s budget, and is 16% below Norelli’s House budget over the current biennium, cutting the figure from $8.22 million to $7.10 million.
“It’s no wonder that New Hampshire is currently facing the largest budget deficit in history. Rep. Norelli either simply can’t read a budget or just refuses to see what’s in front of her own face. She is now saying that up is down and that black is white. The truth, which has been confirmed by the official scorekeeper of the state budget, is that Republicans have made the largest cut ever in its legislative budget. It’s bad enough that we have to clean up after the chaos the Democrats made of the budget and the state’s economy, but being lectured by the person who ran the state’s budget into the ground and listening to her launch dishonest attacks is beyond belief. A good example is the cut we made to Rep. Norelli’s $125,000 out of state travel expenses. We have pared that down to $10,000. In my opinion Rep. Norelli has lost all credibility to criticize the difficult decisions she has required us to make.” said Majority Leader Bettencourt.
“Frankly, it’s disappointing to hear Rep. Norelli jeopardize her credibility by saying something that is so clearly inaccurate. The reality is that the Legislature is leading by example and making significant cuts across our budget to help solve the state’s fiscal problems. It means that we will all have to tighten our belts and do more with less, and I’m confident that we will continue to be able to deliver quality services to our citizens while giving legislators and give them the tools they need to pass good laws,” Speaker O’Brien remarked.