Concord - House Republican Leader Sherm Packard (Londonderry) stood with HB 1 & HB 2 Republican House Conferees today to discuss the impending budget vote and to propose several alternatives.
“Representatives Kurk and Scamman offered several spending reductions in the conference committee budget, some were accepted and most were ignored,” stated Packard. “The fact of the matter is that budgets across the country have seen an average 2% decrease in their state spending and the Democrat majority in Concord has increased state spending by an unconscionable 7.7%.”
“Republicans were not fully involved in this budget process and while a suggestion or two may have been accepted, there are no significant and meaningful cuts in state spending which would defer the need for the additional taxes and fees that Democrats added in the last hours of conference,” added Republican Conferee Representative Neal Kurk (Weare).
No less than a dozen fees were increased, in some cases doubled, with the implementation of several tax plans including tightening belts for LLCs, increasing the Rooms & Meals tax, increasing the tobacco tax for the fourth time in five years and adding a new tax on gambling winnings.
“I am disappointed by these tax and fee increases,” said Republican Conferee Alternate, Rep. Doug Scamman (Stratham). “We hurt businesses and we hurt the cities and towns of our state. This is not the New Hampshire way.”
Republicans will be offering a continuing resolution to keep state government going at a fiscally responsible level, should the massive spending and taxing increases contained in House Bills 1 & 2 fail to pass the House in session on June 24 and call on all their colleagues to support this plan.
Specific General Fund Appropriation Reductions
Accept House position on retirement (Group I 5-7%, Group II 9-11%) $21 M
OADAP reduced to Governor’s level $2 M
USNH required to pay their own debt service $39 M
Reduce House out-of state travel expenses to 05-06 levels $170 K
Reduce Legislative Organizational Dues to $100K per year $230 K
Eliminate LCHIP funding $4.5 M
Roll-back the 5.5% state employee raise from 1/1/09 $15 M
(This suggestion was adopted in part in the budget in the amount of $25 M)
General fund 7% across-the-board-cuts (excluding debt service, direct care & safety services (corrections officers, etc.)) $100 M
Specific Cuts offered by House Republicans $181.9 M