NH House Republican Leaders Comment on Passage of Fiscally Irresponsible Budget

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee, Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), offered the following comments in reaction to the passage of HB1 and HB2, the bills dealing with the State budget.

Rep. Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett), House Republican Leader

“When 40,000 people in our State are looking for work, this budget will squeeze an additional $39million out of our small businesses that they would have otherwise been able to reinvest to grow and create jobs. When incomes are stagnant, this budget raises the gas tax, tobacco taxes and down shifts costs that will raise property taxes. When our roads and bridges need attention, this budget diverts and additional $27million from the highway fund to other agencies. When our economy is struggling to grow at 2% per year, this budget grows government by more than 5% per year. It’s not a logical plan to grow our economy.”

“Republicans have fought for a more affordable, more efficient and more accountable state government, but being in the minority, we don’t always win. The majority party, unfortunately, has created and passed a budget that overspends, expands government and adds taxes and fees on our already over taxed families and businesses. This is not the right direction for New Hampshire. House Republicans will continue to bring attention to what we believe are better ways to help our citizens and our economy.”

“Today, Republicans offered several amendments to make reasonable changes to the budget, all of which were defeated. Unfortunately, the majority party does not seem interested in listening to New Hampshire citizens or observing what is happening in the real world outside of Concord.”

"Our amendments included provisions to avoid downshifting costs to county governments, which would avoid higher property taxes. It was rejected. We offered to restore school building aid, which was also rejected. Amendments that would have prevented the raiding of dedicated funds, such as LCHIP, State Parks and other funds were also defeated, giving the Governor carte blanche to turn these fee based funds into taxes by funding general government. Our amendments to keep school choice tax credits and continue funding for new charter schools were denied. Lastly, our efforts to lessen increases in the tobacco tax and keep in law business tax reforms set to take effect this year fell flat. These amendments failed not because they were unreasonable or egregious, but  because the majority party doesn't seem interested in creating jobs, a friendlier business climate, and lowering the tax burden on our citizens."

Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), Ranking Republican on House Finance

“This budget is balanced on unrealistic revenue estimates that simply put off the eventual day of reckoning. It includes millions in increased taxes on working families and businesses that will hurt the economy and job creation. It spends 10.2% more money than the previous state budget. This budget also increases the state’s exposure to massive future liabilities as a result of expanding Medicaid. It suspends new school building aid imposes a moratorium on charter schools. It shifts costs of nursing home services to county property tax payers. It  purposefully underfunds line items that can be paid for later, outside of the more transparent budget process. We have a real concern about where this budget will lead our State. It’s unaffordable and sets us up for failure both in the short and long terms.”