Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 09:52AM
Hassan's Hometown Paper Knocks Reckless Budget Veto
"Governor Hassan was repeatedly urged to put New Hampshire first by signing the Legislature's fiscally responsible budget. The governor ignored warnings from health care advocates, leading public officials and even her hometown paper. It's time for Governor Hassan to admit that her politically-motivated budget veto was a reckless mistake that left significant funding increases for critical state services in limbo for far too long." - NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn
Please see excerpts from today's Portsmouth Herald editorial below:
"Gov. Hassan's needless budget impasse comes to an end"
September 18, 2015
On June 24, the day before New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed the budget, we urged her to reconsider.
After holding back-to-back editorial board meetings with the Democratic governor and Republican Senate leaders, we concluded that the two sides were largely in accord on their spending priorities and that the minor differences between them could easily be worked out to protect increased funding for important state programs.
Given the state's dangerous opiate abuse epidemic we were particularly concerned about delaying a major increase in funding for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs. Also hanging in the balance were road and highway projects along with raises for home health care workers, who had not seen an increase in more than a decade.
At the time we even suggested a way to break the impasse:
"A possible compromise would be putting in a sunset clause, similar to the clauses in the 2010 cigarette tax cut and the 2012 Medicaid expansion laws, which would require the tax cuts to be reauthorized at some future date, presumably because they are working," we wrote in our editorial. "The cigarette tax cut was repealed due to a sunset clause when it was proven to be a loser. We expect Medicaid expansion will be reauthorized because it's a winner."
Now, nearly three months later, this is precisely what the governor and Legislature have done.
One lesson we hope the governor takes away from this experience is to be careful that her rhetoric doesn't overstate reality. Back in June, before her budget veto, the governor said she wanted to work with Republicans to reach a compromise. But at the same time she publicly described Republican budget writers as "dishonest," as using "gimmicks," and making "false promises." Questioning your political opponents' honesty and integrity is not a good way to win friends and influence people.