Concord, N.H. – As Republicans double down on their unbalanced and fiscally irresponsible budget that gives unpaid-for giveaways to big corporations at the expense of critical economic priorities, Governor Hassan made clear she will continue fighting for a responsible budget that will move New Hampshire’s families, businesses, and economy forward.
See coverage roundup below:
WMUR: Hassan promises veto of Republican-led budget plan, Governor calls proposal fiscally irresponsible
The budget battle in Concord is headed toward a stalemate as Gov. Maggie Hassan has promised to veto a Republican spending plan that she calls dishonest and irresponsible.
… "I am here this morning to reiterate my intention to veto the fiscally irresponsible Republican budget," Hassan said.
Calling the proposal dishonest in what it pays for, Hassan blasted the GOP spending plan, saying corporate tax cuts to businesses based out of state would leave the budget out of balance by nearly $100 million.
Hassan said the plan threatens health coverage for 40,000 New Hampshire residents under Medicaid expansion, defunds pay raises for state workers in a contract that's already been negotiated and fails to address the immediate needs facing the state.
"It's a path that will lead to unplowed, unsafe roads for commuters and businesses, and a path that fails to adequately address substance misuse even as we are in the midst of a heroin crisis," Hassan said. [Full story]
Union Leader: As veto looms, it's Plan B for state budget
With a gubernatorial budget veto now inevitable, lawmakers are turning their attention to passing a continuing resolution that will keep state government functioning over the summer, and perhaps beyond, as the Republican-controlled Legislature tries to find some common ground with Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.
Surrounded by supportive lawmakers and state employees on Thursday morning, the governor called the Republicans’ proposed budget “unbalanced and fiscally irresponsible.”
“The Legislature needs to return to work immediately and prepare a continuing resolution,” she said, so that the two sides can continue negotiations.
… Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, said a continuing resolution would be prepared for a vote in both chambers on Wednesday — the same day lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the budget. [Full story]
Concord Monitor: Hassan and legislators headed toward budget showdown
“I am not philosophically opposed to appropriate business tax cuts, but we do have to pay for them,” Hassan said at a press conference outsideher office Thursday, where she was surrounded by more than 40 Democratic lawmakers. “Republicans have been unwilling to actually pay for the priorities they say they are going to address.”
… Rep. Mary Jane Wallner, a Concord Democrat on the budget negotiating team, criticized the spending plan, which she said lacks a path forward for Medicaid expansion or the state employee contract. “I remain hopeful that our differences can be resolved,” she said.
While some Republicans said they were surprised by Hassan’s veto threat, several Democratic lawmakers said they back her decision.
“Nobody is excited about it,” said Rep. Howard Moffett, a Canterbury Democrat. “But I am proud she has backbone to do that.” [Full story]
AP: Republicans say budget won't change much despite veto threat
… Hassan is calling on Republicans to work with her office to find compromise.
"I will be working every day for as long as it takes to get a fiscally responsible, balanced budget that addresses critical priorities for the people of New Hampshire," she said. "The budget that is before us right now is a budget that really undermines our economic future."
Business tax cuts remain a top sticking point for Hassan, who says they come at the expense of other priorities such as continuing to fund Medicaid expansion, increasing higher education spending and giving state employees a negotiated pay raise.
The budget plan calls for a steady reduction in the rates of the business enterprise and profits taxes through 2019. The cuts, beginning in 2017, will mean $21 million in lost revenue in the next budget. Democrats say the cuts will create a large hole in the following budget…
"We're not going to be able to address the priorities that are critical to the future of our state," Hassan said. [Full story]
NHPR: Compromise Seems Far Off in State Budget Impasse
Governor Maggie Hassan’s promise to veto the state budget unless Republican leaders remove or offset proposed business tax cuts is drawing support from Democrats and galvanizing GOP opposition…
Gov. Hassan’s first clear statement concerning a veto of the budget was delivered Thursday night, when the State House was quiet. Hassan issued a statement calling the plan crafted by GOP negotiators dishonest and out of balance, and said she’d veto it absent changes. This morning, flanked by House and Senate Democrats, Hassan zeroed in on her biggest objection.
"They are pushing through corporate tax cuts that will blow a significant hole in this budget, and budgets well into the future, and only 1 percent of corporations, many of which are large out of state corporations, would receive more than 75 percent of the benefits," Hassan said.
… I will be working every day for as long as it takes to get a fiscally responsible responsible, balanced budget," said Hassan.
Morse said he’ll also work hard, to make sure if no surprise deal is reached on a full budget, a quick deal can be struck on a resolution to keep government running. [Full story]
NHPR: Republican-Backed Spending Plan Passes, Despite Veto Threat
… Hassan called the plan “irresponsible and unbalanced” and urged Republican leaders to go back to the drawing board to rework it. Otherwise, the governor said, she'll veto it when it hits her desk.
Before the vote, the committee's only Democrats -- Sen. Lou D’Allesandro of Manchester and Rep. Mary Jane Wallner of Concord -- removed themselves, stressing their belief that the budget didn’t go far enough to meet residents' needs.
… The budget also includes a series of cuts to the state's main business taxes. The cuts are a particular sticking point for Hassan. She said the budget fails to account for $21 million in anticipated revenue loss from the cuts in the next two years, in addition to even bigger revenues drops in future budgets.
… D’Allesandro argued that putting this issue on hold could prove disastrous for the roughly 40,000 people currently covered by the expansion.
“By not re-authorizing the program, what we are doing is two things," D'Allesandro said. "We are causing a level of anxiety among the people who are served, as well as creating uncertainty in the market place." [Full story]