NHDP - Bill O’Brien is Back in Charge: House Budget Writers Plot Return to Devastating O’Brien Budget Cuts
House GOP “Leadership Decided to Turn Toward O'Brien's Supporters,” Working to End Medicaid Expansion and Making Drastic Cuts to Mental Health and Substance Misuse Services
Budget Writers Also Cut Funding for Higher Education, Making Massive Cuts at DOT that Would Hurt Efforts to Keep Roads Safe and Clear
“Bill O’Brien is back at the reins of the New Hampshire state budget and he’s determined to undo the bipartisan progress of the last two years that has moved our economy forward,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “The people of New Hampshire already rejected Bill O’Brien’s devastating cuts in 2012, and we will not let O’Brien hurt our small businesses, middle class family and economy again.”
In the Union Leader, Garry Rayno reported that House Republican “leadership decided to turn toward O'Brien's supporters,” developing a budget that would end Medicaid expansion for 36,000 Granite Staters and counting, and would also make devastating cuts to mental health and substance misuse services.
DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas explained, "There is no way to make some of these changes without cost-shifting down to other levels of government.”
Rayno added that the House Republican budget also eliminates “$20 million in winter maintenance for highways (maybe not the best choice after this winter) and [reduces] the university system funding below the current fiscal year appropriation.”
In the Concord Monitor, Allie Morris reported that Republicans on the House Finance Committee abandoned a plan to increase vehicle registration fees in order to maintain the solvency of the Highway Fund because it faced “pushback from members of the party, especially those in [O’Brien’s] House Republican Alliance.”
Instead, House Republicans opted for a $20.5 million cut that would translate to 300 layoffs at the Department of Transportation, hurting its ability to keep our roads clear, open and safe.