KEY TAKEAWAY: Four years ago, then-Gov. John Lynch strongly opposed the GOP-passed budget, but rather than veto it, he let the package become law without his signature. Lynch said at the time that a veto of the budget had the potential to create “chaos in state government,” including a government shutdown.
Republicans Remind: Lynch in 2011 let GOP budget become law
Hassan’s predecessor cited saying veto could mean ‘chaos in state government’
June 23, 2015
The state Republican Party on Tuesday will try to use the words of Gov. Maggie Hassan’s predecessor and fellow Democrat against her as she apparently prepares to veto the two-year spending plan passed by the Republican majority in the Legislature.
Four years ago, then-Gov. John Lynch strongly opposed the GOP-passed budget, but rather than veto it, he let the package become law without his signature.
Lynch said at the time that a veto of the budget had the potential to create “chaos in state government,” including a government shutdown.
The state Republican Party cited a passage from Lynch’s press release, issued on June 24, 2011, in which he said he would let the budget become law without signing it.
“There could be serious repercussions to the people of our great state if there is no budget in place on July 1,” Lynch said in the release. “Vital services could be unavailable to our citizens, including everything from driver's license renewal services, permitting required for businesses and critical road repairs. Also, state parks could be closed for the Fourth of July, employees and private contractors wouldn't get paid and our state credit rating could be impacted.”
Lynch also said at the time, “Given the Legislature's rejection of proposed remedies to the problems in the budget, it is clear that a veto would not lead to a better budget.”
Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn said Monday, “While we had many disagreements with Gov. Lynch, he realized that vetoing the state budget would ‘create chaos in state government’ and generate ‘serious repercussions’ for our state. Gov. Hassan is putting her political ambitions before New Hampshire’s best interests by threatening a reckless veto that could put critical state services at risk. It is time for the governor to end her partisan attacks, follow the example set by Gov. Lynch, and stop playing politics with New Hampshire’s fiscal integrity.”
Horn also cited a Concord Monitor report on June 21, in which Gina Balkus, an advocate for home health agencies, said the current budget is “the best budget we’ve seen in years.”
There are differences between 2011 and 2015, primarily that four years ago, Republicans held a majority large enough to override a veto, while this year they do not. Some Republicans promised in 2011 that if Lynch vetoed the budget, they would make the cuts deeper.