The budget changes were the result of a “deal” reached with the governor. The Senate passed and sent it to us as SB9. It wasn’t a bad deal, actually: the business tax cuts were accelerated, and further tax cuts would apply if revenues grew as expected; there were no increased taxes or fees; the only extra spending was to fund the negotiated state employee contract – and most of that would come from the savings of 2 1/2 months of the continuing resolution. In return, the legislative committee on employee contracts was reinstated after years of bitter opposition by the Democrats. If this had been the budget that came from the committee of conference, I’d have gladly voted for it.
However, the “deal” had been negotiated in the backroom, and even worse, was presented to us as “take it or leave it.” Questions, suggested changes – even very small ones – were derided as not in the deal and argued, not on the merits but on the authority of those creating and agreeing to the deal.
This attitude compares to the tactics in the U.S. Congress, where you have to pass the bill to know what’s in it.
Ultimately the budget passed, differing only slightly from the budget the governor vetoed. There was no disagreement about spending priorities – mental health, drug treatment, and roads – and, when pressed, the governor and her party abandoned their opposition to business tax cuts and legislative involvement in state employee contracts.
This week the House had its last session until mid -September. We passed the budget, as negotiated between the House and the Senate, 196-161, mostly on a party line basis. The speaker announced that we would not be meeting in session until mid-September, probably, although preliminary work on the new budget would start over the summer.
Submitted by Representative Carol McGuire The House met this week to act on the Governor’s vetoes, with the Constitutional requirement of 2/3 of those present and voting to overturn the veto. We first considered HB591, on abusive work environment, which was sponsored by Representative Dianne Schuett of Pembroke, with Frank Davis (Pembroke) and Alan Turcotte (Allenstown) […]
Submitted by Representative Carol McGuire Governor Hassan has now vetoed four bills this year, with the most important being SB391, which restructured the juvenile justice system. It passed the House twice without discussion, on voice votes. Both the Children & Family Law and Finance committees worked extensively on the bill, as did the Senate ED&A […]