Concord – Attempting to defend the reckless and irresponsible budget passed by the Bill O’Brien – Jeb Bradley legislature at a roundtable in Manchester today, Republican Senator Chuck Morse callously said “people lived through it.” [VIDEO] The Bradley-O’Brien budget made the largest cut to public higher education in American history, it killed hundreds of New Hampshire jobs, cut critical services for children and the developmentally disabled, and downshifted millions of dollars on to cities, towns, and local property taxpayers.
“It’s telling that years later the best explanation Republicans have for the backwards destructive O’Brien-Bradley budget is that ‘people lived through it.' Senator Morse's comment was callous and out of touch,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein. “While New Hampshire survived two years of the O’Brien-Bradley legislature and their Tea Party agenda the middle class paid a hefty price. Hundreds of jobs were lost as a direct result of the budget, our most vulnerable citizens were denied critical services, and the cost of a college education skyrocketed while out of state big tobacco companies took home larger profits.”
Months before the O’Brien-Bradley went into effect, New Hampshire economists said the state had, “recovered more than half the jobs lost at the lowest point of the recession, and the job market is on track to make a full recovery by early 2012.” Adding that, New Hampshire “regained faster than New England in terms of job growth” and “should return to a pattern of long-term job growth by early 2013.” [Nashua Telegraph, 11/17/2010] But after the devastating Republican budget that same economist noted that New Hampshire’s economy was lagging behind those same New England states. [NHPR, 6/6/2013]
When it came to health care and education the budget was equally damaging. The Concord Monitor reported that “One of the most controversial cuts to the state budget passed in 201” was made to Children in Need of Services, or CHINS. It went from helping about 1,000 kids a year down to 50. [Concord Monitor, 1/28/2013] Meanwhile the Nashua Telegraph reported “the state Legislature slashed higher education funding nearly in half, the largest single cut to a public higher-education system in American history.” [Nashua Telegraph, 11/14/2011] “Now Republicans are trying to take credit for the new state budget that repairs much of the damage they inflicted on New Hampshire families, ignoring the fact that it invests in the very same priorities that were abandoned by the Bill O'Brien and Jeb Bradley led super-majorities,” continued Kirstein. “New Hampshire voters won’t be fooled. They saw Republicans’ priorities this spring when they tried to force more mass layoffs, cut Health and Human Services, and refused to expandhealth insurance coverage and strengthen the economic security of families with Medicaid Expansion.”