Proposing Hundreds of Millions in Spending Increases, Tax Cuts;
No Plan to Pay for It
CONCORD - How is Ovide going to pay for the hundreds of millions in spending increases and tax cuts that he is proposing, asked Pamela Walsh, senior adviser to the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
"Ovide Lamontagne is making a lot of promises to increase spending and cut taxes. But he is not being honest with the people of New Hampshire about the high costs of his plans, and how is he going to pay for them," Walsh said.
Lamontagne has promised:
- To restore state funding for hospitals: $200 Million
- Fully Fund the Developmental Disabilities Waitlist: $30 million
- UNIQUE Funding: $35 million
- Cut the Business Profits Tax: $27 million
- Business tax credits for paying student loans: ????
- Business tax credits for new hires: ????
Lamontagne has said he believes in the "pay-go" principle, telling the Nashua Telegraph, "and to the extent my tax reform proposals would lead to reduced revenues from business taxes, I would require a commensurate reduction in state spending so that my proposals would be revenue neutral."
At a debate Thursday night at Rivier College in Nashua, Lamontagne said "experts" have told him he could save $100 to $300 million a year, or more than 20 percent of the state's annual budget, through "information technology." Lamontagne estimated "savings" are more than the total general fund payroll cost for state government; six times the state's current funding for higher education; and nearly three times the annual cost of the Department of Corrections.
"Is Ovide Lamontagne planning to replace the nurses at the Veterans Home and the officers at the state prisons with robots? Because that may be the only way he can get to that 'savings estimate' in general funds," Walsh said. "Ovide Lamontagne is either deliberately not being honest with people about his budget plans, doesn't understand the state budget at all, or both."
Walsh said it was time for Lamontagne to be honest with the people of New Hampshire about the cost of his budget plan and how he will pay for it.
"Will he cut the remaining funding for higher education? Will he cut state aid to local schools? State funding for nursing homes through Medicaid?" Walsh asked.
In contrast, Maggie Hassan has a record of balancing the state budget. She worked with Gov. Lynch to make the hard choices necessary to cut state spending during the recession, leaving a surplus. She has offered a plan for reforming the state budget process, making government more efficient, and balancing the budget.