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NH GOP Playing “Games” With Budget By Forcing Tax Cuts That “Do Not Pay For Themselves”

GOP-Appointed CBO Director Makes Clear “Tax Cuts Do Not Pay For Themselves”

Concord, N.H. – As Republicans in Concord continue to refuse to negotiate in good faith on a responsible budget compromise, Senate President Chuck Morse admitted “he could not guarantee” that the unpaid-for corporate tax cuts Republicans are pushing would promote economic growth.

Morse added, “We never came in and said, we’ll lower the business taxes, and we’ll have all this growth.”

House Speaker Shawn Jasper previously admitted that Republicans’ unpaid-for tax cuts would create a massive budget hole, writing “I do not believe that cutting [corporate taxes] will bring in more revenue, nor do I believe that by themselves they will make New Hampshire a more attractive state for businesses to locate to or to expand.”

“It’s completely irresponsible that Republicans like Chuck Morse and Shawn Jasper are continuing to push unpaid-for corporate tax cuts that they themselves admit would create a budget hole while not promoting economic growth,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “All you have to do is look around the country at places like Kansas that have already tried these failed Koch Brothers economic policies to see that all they bring is rivers of red ink and cuts to critical economic priorities.”

The Hill also reports, “The director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), who was appointed by GOP lawmakers earlier this year, said Tuesday that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves… ‘No, the evidence is that tax cuts do not pay for themselves,’ Hall said. ‘And our models that we’re doing, our macroeconomic effects, show that.’”

Yesterday, Neal Kurk said out loud what observers have long known to be true: New Hampshire Republicans are playing political games with the state’s budget and economy.

When asked why Republicans blocked funding to pay for road maintenance, Kurk told NHPR, “some of it has to do with the fact that some of us believe that there are consequences to the Governor’s veto of the budget and one of them is that things that normally would have gotten done, will not get done, or will get delayed.”     

The Concord Monitor also reported, “Partisan politics were on full display at the meeting Wednesday” as Republicans blocked transportation funding and tried to score political points against Governor Hassan.

“At least give Neal Kurk points for honesty for admitting that Republicans are deliberately seeking to hurt New Hampshire’s people, businesses and economy as they try to score political points against Governor Hassan,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “It’s no surprise that the Republican legislature’s approval is under water for the first time since 2012 considering that Republicans are now openly admitting that they are trying to harm the state’s economy for their own political gain.”

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Statement Regarding Yesterday’s GOP Proposed Budget Compromise

Yesterday, GOP legislative leaders presented a counter proposal related to the state budget that included full funding for the state employees’ 2015-2017 contract. We appreciate the recognition from the legislative leaders that funding this negotiated agreement for the people who deliver essential services for the public every day is a critical piece toward passing a good budget.

The commitment of our state workers was evidenced just yesterday with the rapid response to the sinkhole on I93. Within moments, crews were on the scene assessing and ultimately repairing the 20 foot deep hole in the highway. While this story received widespread attention, there are many other events that go unnoticed every day that are addressed by state employees to insure the safety, health, and prosperity of our state.

The new contract, which includes a 4% wage increase over two years, was negotiated/bargained in good faith by both parties the union and the state.. We are thankful that our elected officials on both sides of the aisle now agree that this contract should be funded.

While there are still outstanding issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure a balanced budget meets the needs of our state, it is an encouraging step that we have proposals from both sides being exchanged and we are beginning to see common ground. We hope that further progress can be made to reach a bi-partisan budget that we can all be proud of.

Granite State Rumblings: “Farm To Preschool” Program For Healthy Eating and The NH Budget Battle Continues

It is never easy trying to entice younger children to eat their fruits and veggies. But I found that a few great ways to get our Spidey to try them is to grow them in a garden in our backyard, trips to the farmer’s market, and pick our own blueberries and strawberries at a local farm, and then have him help prepare them into tasty delights in my kitchen.

This month’s USDA blog has some great information about the “farm to preschool” program that is gaining interest across the country.

Farm to Preschool Helps Healthy Habits Take Root Early

Posted by Kacie O’Brien, Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Western Region

“May I have more kale chips, please?” asked a four-year old preschooler during one of my first site visits as farm to school lead for the Food and Nutrition Service’s Western Region. The preschoolers I was visiting grew and harvested the kale themselves a few feet beyond their classroom door and were enjoying the crisp treat as a snack. At the time, the USDA Farm to School Program was just beginning to expand their support to K-12 schools. Since then, I have worked with school districts in bringing the farm to their cafeterias and classrooms.

Our reasons for supporting farm to preschool are numerous. While the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 authorized the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to establish the Farm to School Program, the legislation also expanded the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to not only aid child care institutions in serving nutritious foods, but to contribute to their wellness, healthy growth and development. Farm to preschool meets that requirement, and is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a strategy to increase access to healthy environments. As evidenced by the eager kale chip request, farm to preschool efforts can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Through CACFP, more than 3.3 million children receive healthy meals every day as part of the day care they receive. CACFP offers a viable market for local and regional farmers, ranchers, and fisherman, as well as food processors, manufacturers, and distributors. Additionally, with parental involvement and hands-on activities as regular practices, early child care settings are a natural fit for connecting children and families with where and how their food is produced.

From Georgia to Oregon, statewide support to implement the farm to preschool program is growing. For National Farm to School Month, the Kansas Department of Education created a Taste of Kansas CACFP menu featuring products grown and produced within the state. Also, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture hired a farm to preschool specialist and offers a whole host of resources on their farm to preschool website.

USDA resources include a new farm to preschool fact sheet, farm to preschool website and a policy memo encouraging early child care providers to use local food as a means to enhance CACFP operations. For 2016, we expanded the USDA Farm to School Grant Program to include school-based CACFP programs. We are updating existing resources, including the Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs Guide, and adapting our hands-on garden-themed curriculum Grow It! Try It! Like It! to fit the needs of day care homes.

Keep your eyes peeled and sign-up for the USDA Farm to School E-letter to stay up-to-date as we further engage with and meet the needs of CACFP providers in offering local foods, garden activities, and more.

Growing Up Granite

Sununu Youth Services-Manchester (image by Prime Roofing Corp)

Sununu Youth Services-Manchester (image by Prime Roofing Corp)

The budget discussions taking place in Concord include talks about the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester. “The state spending plan passed this year by the Republican-controlled House and Senate – but vetoed by Hassan – directed the Sununu Center to cut its $28 million budget by roughly $5.1 million over the next two years and to come up with a plan to reduce its costs, which could include privatizing services or repurposing the building.”

“Juveniles placed in the Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) range in age from 13 to 17 years old. When a youth is committed to SYSC a systematic process is used to classify and assign youths to a secure residential unit where they participate in a prescribed behavioral program. The program encompasses academia, cottage life and group sessions. Progress in all three spheres is measured using a rating system with progress regularly communicated to the youth. Program completion and ultimate eligibility for release and parole from SYSC is determined by the youth’s progress in addressing identified problem areas and program goals based on assessment by the youth’s Program Team. The Program Team is comprised of a unit clinical coordinator, resident house leader, youth counselor, education representative, juvenile services officer, parent or guardian and the youth. The average length of stay prior to initial release from SYSC is 8-12 months. A NH juvenile may be committed to the SYSC subsequent to being adjudicated as delinquent by a NH District Court.”

– Source DHHS website

Hassan tours Sununu Youth Services Center amid budget conversation about how to reduce costs

by ALLIE MORRIS Monitor staff

A dozen teenage girls, in matching pink sweatshirts and tan pants, lined up before a rainbow-colored welcome sign to shake Gov. Maggie Hassan’s hand before they gingerly walked her to a hallway lined with their drawings, paintings and collages.

One by one, each showed Hassan her artwork taped to tan cinder-block walls and large windows. Hassan paused in front of a black-and-white pencil drawing of a lion, in mid-roar, and asked the young artist what had inspired the picture. “Courage,” the teen responded.

The girls live at the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, the state’s juvenile detention facility.

Hassan toured the Manchester facility Friday amid an ongoing state budget conversation about how to reduce costs at the detention center as its population continues to decline.

The Sununu Center is run by the state Department of Health and Human Services and houses 12- to 17-year-olds who were detained or committed by the courts. Roughly 248 children come through the facility each year. And although the center was designed to fit 144 children at its campus off Elm Street, the population usually hovers around 50.

Lawmakers are now considering ways to cut state costs at the facility – budgeted at roughly $14 million annually – and make better use of the space.

Some ideas include turning a portion of the detention center into a treatment facility for youth with mental illness or substance abuse problems.

A group of lawmakers and stakeholders, put together by Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester, will begin meeting Aug. 17 to discuss options.

“We’re looking at the facility and saying, ‘What else could we do with the facility as it relates to youth?’ ” said Forrester, a Meredith Republican. “It’s just not an effective use of the space.”

There is also a sense of urgency. The state spending plan passed this year by the Republican-controlled House and Senate – but vetoed by Hassan – directed the Sununu Center to cut its $28 million budget by roughly $5.1 million over the next two years and to come up with a plan to reduce its costs, which could include privatizing services or repurposing the building. The cost-cutting proposal was supposed to be submitted by November and implemented beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

Since the budget was vetoed, lawmakers are now back at the table negotiating a compromise, and how to fund and use the Sununu Center will likely be a point of debate. Members of both parties agree the center’s operations need to be looked at.

Hassan proposed an updated budget in July that would restore the Sununu Center funding cuts and direct the center to come up with a plan by March.

“We do have to plan for how this center should be funded in the future and how it should operate with what looks like a significantly smaller census,” Hassan said after the Sununu Center tour Friday. But she said the state shouldn’t be cutting the center’s budget without any plan in place about how to proceed.

The center’s future will remain in limbo until lawmakers finalize a state budget plan. But in the meantime, Forrester and the work group will start coming up with a cost-cutting plan. “We can’t be sitting around waiting to see what happens,” she said. The first meeting will be a tour of the Sununu Center.

Department of Health and Human Services officials said they are ready to participate.

“We want to do what’s best for the kids,” said Mary Ann Cooney, HHS associate commissioner.

On Friday morning, Hassan left the center with a new hat, made for her by one of the students, and a basket full of fresh produce the kids had grown in their garden.

She heard from the teens that the state needs more options for substance abuse treatment, she said, and that the center’s chaplains are some of the most valuable resources.

“The kids, they find the work they are doing here is work they need to do so they can stay focused and constructive outside the Sununu Center,” she said. “They are learning here to focus, and to ask for help when they need it.”

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at amorris@cmonitor.com.)

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Response to Governor’s Compromise Budget Proposal

On Thursday morning, Gov. Maggie Hassan presented a compromise budget proposal and urged lawmakers to get to work quickly to reach an agreement.

The compromise proposal includes more funding for numerous key priorities, including winter road maintenance, fighting the addiction epidemic, overtime at the Department of Corrections, and the Community College System of New Hampshire. The proposal also includes funding for the new state employee contract negotiated by SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members; the Legislature cut funding for that agreement during budget negotiations.

Following the press conference, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 President Richard Gulla issued the following statement:

“We applaud the governor for proactively putting forward a budget compromise that incorporates priorities from both Republicans and Democrats, and including the funding necessary to fulfill the fairly negotiated contract for the hard working state employees who deliver quality public services to our state every day,” Gulla said.

“Throughout this budget process, our members have continued to do their jobs to make sure our roads are safe, our veterans and most needy are cared for, and that Granite Staters have the tools they need to compete for good jobs in today’s economy,” Gulla said. “Now it’s time for the Legislature to do its job, by coming back to the table quickly and reaching a bipartisan compromise by the target date of Sept. 16 so that we have a state budget that meets the needs of our state.”

Democratic Legislators Offer Fiscally Responsible Compromise Budget Proposal

Governor’s Proposal Includes Business Tax Cuts on Faster Timeline While Protecting State’s Long-Term Fiscal Outlook and Ability to Support Critical Economic Priorities 

CONCORD – In an effort to reach a fiscally responsible, balanced and bipartisan budget agreement, Governor Maggie Hassan today offered a compromise proposal that includes and accelerates business tax cuts while also protecting the state’s long-term fiscal outlook and ability to support critical priorities such as combating the heroin crisis, holding down the cost of college tuition, continuing to strengthen and increase access to health coverage, and maintaining our roads and bridges.  

“Over the past several weeks, I have met with business leaders and citizens across New Hampshire, and while businesses would of course like to pay lower taxes, they also recognize – as the bipartisan business tax commission has said – that there are other critical priorities that we must support, including investing in higher education, substance abuse prevention, health care, and transportation infrastructure,” Governor Hassan said. “This plan would allow us to do both: lower business taxes and ensure that in the future we do not have to make significant cuts to those critical priorities.”

Governor Hassan’s proposal lowers the Business Profits Tax to 7.9 percent for the 2016 tax year, three years earlier than the Committee of Conference budget, while increasing the threshold on who has to file and pay the Business Enterprise Tax, eliminating the tax completely for 5,500 small businesses. The Governor also includes funds to address the concerns raised by House Bill 550 and calls for stronger public process with additional public hearings on the language in August. The compromise proposal would also eliminate the Committee of Conference’s attempt to double count 2015 dollars to balance Fiscal Year 2016. 

To offset the business tax cuts and the use of carryforward funds, the Governor’s compromise proposal would increase the cigarette tax by 21 cents – still lower than neighboring states– and include parity for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. It would also increase the state portion of motor vehicle registration fee by five dollars and close a tax loophole restoring the Taxpayer Protection and Fair Documentation requirements to the state’s tax code, ensuring that all taxpayers are treated fairly. 

With these steps, the Governor’s compromise proposal would strengthen efforts to combat the heroin crisis, providing $5.7 million in additional funds over the Committee of Conference budget for substance abuse prevention and treatment. Following a recommendation by Senior Director for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Jack Wozmak, the compromise proposal also moves up extension of substance abuse benefits to the existing Medicaid population to January 2016, and provides additional funds to support other efforts, such as a drug court in the City of Manchester. 

The compromise proposal also adequately funds winter maintenance for highways, restores travel and tourism funds, and includes the modest cost-of-living pay increase for state employees that was previously negotiated in good faith. 

Governor Hassan’s compromise proposal also recognizes that Republican legislators want to take up reauthorization of the bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program – which is providing coverage to more than 41,000 hard-working Granite Staters – outside of this budget. It does not remove the sunset for expansion, but it includes funds for the legislature to collect data on the program in the interim and ensures that funds are available to move forward if the program is reauthorized at a later date. 

“As providers, health care professionals and other stakeholders tell me, the single most important step we can take in battling the opioid crisis is reauthorizing the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which is already providing substance abuse services to thousands of Granite Staters,” Governor Hassan said. “I have heard from Republican legislative leaders that they are not willing to act on reauthorization in the budget, so this proposal does not move forward with reauthorization at this time.”

 “Although we will reluctantly agree to wait to take up legislation reauthorizing expansion, we must do everything that we can between now and then to provide certainty about the future of the program and ensure that we have the data that the legislature needs,” Governor Hassan added. “We must reauthorize this critical program as quickly as possible to continue bringing tens of millions of dollars in federal funds into New Hampshire to increase our substance abuse treatment capacity.”

The Governor is encouraging the legislature to work in August so the full legislature can take up a compromise budget when they return on September 16.

“This proposal is a compromise, and it is an effort to address the real concerns of Republicans and Democrats in the legislature,” Governor Hassan said. “It provides Republicans with what they have indicated is their highest priority – cutting corporate taxes – in a faster timeframe while addressing concerns about long-term fiscal responsibility and protecting our ability to support critical economic priorities.” 

“While people on both ends of either party may still want a different plan than the one I am proposing, this plan attempts to address the concerns of both parties in order to reach a common-ground that has enough votes from both sides of the aisle,” the Governor added. “I hope that this proposal can serve as a basis for bipartisan compromise and negotiation.”

Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn and House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff issued the following statement on Governor Hassan’s fiscally responsible compromise budget proposal:

“Passing a responsible budget requires compromise and we thank Governor Hassan for her leadership in proposing a fiscally responsible plan that seeks to address the concerns of both parties while still meeting the needs of New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy.” 

“While the Governor’s proposal doesn’t contain everything we wish it did, it represents a true compromise by including Republicans’ top priority – business tax cuts – while offsetting the tax cuts to preserve our ability to invest in critical economic priorities like combating the heroin crisis, holding down the cost of college tuition, maintaining our roads and bridges, and protecting access to quality, affordable health care.”

“With the legislature scheduled to be in session in September, it’s imperative that our Republican colleagues come back to the table now so that we can pass a responsible, compromise budget on September 16.”

 

ICYMI: Irresponsible Republican Budget, Failure to Continue Medicaid Expansion Has Drug Treatment Expansion Plans on Hold

Concord, N.H. – As Republicans continue to play political games with the state budget and refuse to negotiate with Governor Hassan in good faith toward a responsible, compromise budget, irresponsible Republican budget and failure to continue Medicaid expansion “has drug treatment expansion plans on hold.

The Monitor reported that Friendship House in Bethlehem “is looking to hire additional staff in each of the three counties it serves – Coos, Grafton and Carroll – and add more space to its 18-bed treatment facility, but won’t commit until the future of Medicaid expansion is certain.”

WMUR also reported, “Governor Maggie Hassan’s budget called for millions in substance abuse treatment, and while Republicans increased funding as well, it fell short of what the Governor had asked for.”

See coverage roundup below:

WMUR VIDEO: Coverage of Disagreements Over Substance Abuse Treatment Funding

Anchor: “The budget battle in Concord stalling funding to fight the heroin epidemic. Governor Maggie Hassan’s budget called for millions in substance abuse treatment, and while Republicans increased funding as well, it fell short of what the Governor had asked for. Cuts to business taxes remain a major sticking point and the impasse continues.”

Senator Soucy: “We need to do more, we need to keep working, we need to get back to the table to negotiate a more meaningful budget for the people of New Hampshire.”

Concord Monitor: Political uncertainty of expanded Medicaid has drug treatment expansion plans on hold

… But uncertainty about Medicaid expansion’s future is creating pause at a time when advocates say action is critical.

“If you want to build more capacity, you have to have means to pay for it,” said Tym Rourke, chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. “No provider is going to expand services because there’s no guaranteed mechanism to pay for care.”

… “Agencies are transforming how they do business to accept folks who now have coverage for their addiction,” said Abby Shockley, executive director of the New Hampshire Provider’s Association. “It’s hard for them to go through all of this infrastructure development, to hire new staff and expand services when they have a lot of uncertainty.”

… The Friendship House in Bethlehem is the only state-funded residential treatment center in the North Country, and officials there see Medicaid expansion as the way to serve a growing need.

“Everybody knows heroin is a problem,” said Michael Coughlin, CEO of Tri-County Cap, which oversees the Friendship House. “We hear all over the North Country the need for more resources. We want to be able to put those in place.”

While the center is beginning to hire more staff, it is holding back on more costly infrastructure investments – like increasing the number of treatment beds – until lawmakers determine the fate of Medicaid expansion.

… the Friendship House is looking to hire additional staff in each of the three counties it serves – Coos, Grafton and Carroll – and add more space to its 18-bed treatment facility, but won’t commit until the future of Medicaid expansion is certain.

… “We will do it if this Legislature keeps this expanded Medicaid alive,” Coughlin said. “Clearly the need is here in the North Country.” [Full story]

Granite Staters Speak Out In Support Of Hassan And Budget Veto

Businesses, Advocates And Elected Officials Stand With Governor Hassan As She Fights For A Fiscally Responsible Budget That Protects Economic Priorities

Tom Strickland, owner of Sequoya Technologies Group in Peterborough, wrote in an op-ed, “My business is larger than 93 percent of the businesses in New Hampshire and these tax cuts will only save me $150 per year. That’s not enough for me to hire workers, buy equipment, or expand… What these tax cuts WILL do is result in even deeper cuts in critical state programs. The needs don’t go away when the program funding does. Those needs just shift to the community and that costs us all. Please keep my tax cut. I just can’t afford it.”

In a joint op-ed, Katie Robert, president of the New Hampshire Public Health Association and Kim Mohan, executive director of the New England Rural Health Roundtable, wrote, “The priorities embraced by the 2016-17 budgets, recently passed by the New Hampshire House and Senate, seem notably inconsistent with the needs of the state from a public health and public policy perspective… While these budget priorities are disconnected with the needs of the state overall, they would be particularly detrimental to the rural communities of our state, which make up 47 percent of the state’s population and cover 90 percent of its area.” 

In an editorial on the Supreme Court’s decision upholding access to affordable health coverage, the Concord Monitor wrote, “The New Hampshire Legislature, in particular, should see the writing on the wall and reauthorize the state’s [Medicaid expansion] program without delay.” 

Tym Rourke, chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment, told the Concord Monitor, “Reauthorization [of Medicaid expansion] has a big impact on treatment availability.”

In a joint op-ed, Senator Andrew Hosmer and Rep. Cindy Rosenwald wrote, “We stand with Governor Hassan in her decision to veto the fiscally irresponsible and unbalanced Republican budget, which we can only describe as a trail of false promises. You may have heard Republicans claim that their budget increases funding for critical priorities like substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and our seniors. But there’s one very big problem. Republicans’ fiscally irresponsible budget isn’t actually balanced, placing every single one of those priorities — and more — at risk.”

Rep. Timothy Smith wrote in an op-ed, “This year, the Senate started by considering tens of millions of dollars in new tax cuts for businesses with its very first bills – but no one has really looked at the long-term consequences of these cuts.”

 

See below for a roundup of additional coverage:  

From the Nashua Telegraph:

… Hassan made good on her threat and vetoed the proposed two-year budget, saying the tax cuts would blow a $90 million hole in future years in exchange for giveaways to big corporations.

“When I made this decision, which I didn’t do lightly, what I really stepped back to think about was the progress we’ve made over the last two years and the progress we need to continue to make so that we are a competitive 21st century economy – not just in this two-year cycle, but in all the cycles to come,” she said Thursday during an interview with The Telegraph editorial board.

… Hassan criticized the Republican budget for unpaid-for tax giveaways to mostly out-of-state corporations at the expense of other economic priorities such as higher education and public safety.

Her administration said the budget would not provide year-to-year increase to the university system and leaves New Hampshire vulnerable to losing young people looking at high price tags at in-state colleges. She also blasted the budget for failing to adequately fund substance abuse prevention and diverting infrastructure funds intended for road and bridge repairs.

Hassan said she is not against corporate tax reductions when done properly, but said Republican budget writers raided all the wrong funding sources to make them a reality.

“Philosophically I’m not opposed to doing it, but we do have to be able to pay for the very things that businesses all around the state tell me are their priorities,” she said.

Rep. Cindy Rosenwald, a Nashua Democrat and party leader in the House, said there is general agreement on spending priorities and she shares the governor’s concern about the unpaid-for business tax cuts.

“They would cost $23 million in this budget and $90 million in future budgets. The evidence that such tax cuts would drive higher economic growth just isn’t there,” Rosenwald said. “States like Kansas and Ohio have tried without success, and our own experience several years ago with a reduction in the tobacco tax rate also failed.” [Full story]

From the Associated Press:

Hassan said the budget would not provide any year-to-year increase to the university system, still funded below 2010 levels, or adequately fund substance abuse prevention. She said it also would force the Sununu Youth Services Center to cut a quarter of its budget; omit a modest cost-of-living increase for employees; divert funds intended for road and bridge repairs and underfund snow plowing and removal. [Full story]

From the Union Leader:

“I have vetoed the budget passed by the legislature because it is unbalanced, makes false promises about what it funds, and gives unpaid-for tax giveaways to big corporations, many based out-of-state, at the expense of critical economic priorities, including higher education, health care, public safety and transportation,” Hassan said in her veto message. “The long-term impact of these unpaid-for corporate tax cuts will create a more than $90 million hole in future budgets, further eroding our ability to encourage economic growth.” [Full story]

From NHPR:

Hassan said she hopes negotiations will start immediately. “I urge the legislators to meet with me as soon as possible so we can begin discussions on how we can build the kind of budget that is critical to our economic future,” she said Thursday at the State House. [Full story]

Governor Hassan Reiterates Intention to Veto Fiscally Irresponsible Budget, Supports Continuing Resolution

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement today after the legislature voted to pass the Committee of Conference budget proposal, as well as a continuing resolution:

“The Republican budget is unbalanced, dishonest about what it funds, and includes unpaid-for corporate tax cuts that create a more than $90 million budget hole in future budgets at the expense of critical economic priorities, and I will veto it when it comes to my desk. While I am not philosophically opposed to business tax cuts, we cannot undermine our economic future and jeopardize priorities such as affordable higher education, access to health care, safe roads and bridges, and combatting the substance misuse crisis facing our state by not paying for those cuts.

“I have repeatedly offered compromises to address the unpaid-for corporate tax cuts, and will continue to do so, but we cannot enact a plan that would create a $90 million dollar hole in future budgets that will undermine our ability to fund the services we all agree are critical to our people, families and businesses.

“Despite our disagreements on the budget, I appreciate the legislature’s efforts to pass a continuing resolution, and I will sign this measure to keep state government open. Moving forward, I continue to encourage legislative leadership to return to the table and negotiate in good faith to develop a fiscally responsible, balanced budget, and I remain ready, willing and able to sit down with them at any time to reach a true compromise that builds on our progress of the last two years and honestly supports the priorities that are critical to keeping our economy moving forward.”

The NH Budget Battle Rages On As GOP Passes Unbalanced Budget And Continuing Resolution

Concord, N.H. – Today New Hampshire Republicans pushed through their unbalanced budget that would blow a $90 million dollar hole in our state budget.

“The irresponsible Republican budget is unbalanced, gives unpaid-for tax giveaways to big, out-of-state corporations, and blows a $90 million hole in the budget at the expense of critical economic priorities like education, health care, transportation, and public safety,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn. “And while my Democratic colleagues and I would have preferred a continuing resolution that built on our areas of agreement and offered a productive step toward compromise, we are glad Republicans worked with us to ensure that state government remains open.”

Senate Democrats offered an amendment to the continuing resolution that would have authorized state agencies to spend 96 percent of the first six months of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. The floor amendment would have addressed concerns that the Republican budget is unbalanced and allowed for funding increases to home care providers, for substance abuse, mental health and charter schools, travel and tourism promotion and public schools. The amendment was defeated along a party line vote.

“What began as a special, 11th hour tax loophole for one company, and one former Governor with a profit-sharing interest in that company, has evolved into a major tax loophole that could allow all stock transactions by businesses and corporations in New Hampshire to be entirely tax-free. This tax cut is not accounted for in the budget, which is another reason why the budget is unbalanced. This far reaching tax change goes way beyond what the Business Tax Study Commission recommended to be reviewed to help start-up companies,” said Senator Dan Feltes.

When asked about the $90 million hole Republicans would blow in the budget in order to give unpaid-for tax giveaways to big corporations, Republican Speaker Shawn Jasper said that $90 million “is insignificant” in New Hampshire’s budget.

“The fact that Shawn Jasper thinks creating a $90 million hole in the budget for unpaid-for corporate tax giveaways is ‘insignificant’ underscores why Republicans have absolutely zero credibility on fiscal responsibility,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Aaron Jacobs. “A $90 million budget hole is bigger than the state budget for the community college system, and it is New Hampshire’s families, small businesses and economy that would pay the price for Republicans irresponsible and unpaid-for tax giveaways.”

Govenror Hassan threatened to veto this unbalanced budget and has been steadfast in her opposition to these tax giveaways.  The passage of a continuing resolution does mean that the threat of shutting down the government is gone but the budget battle rages on.

“The Republican budget is unbalanced, dishonest about what it funds, and includes unpaid-for corporate tax cuts that create a more than $90 million budget hole in future budgets at the expense of critical economic priorities, and I will veto it when it comes to my desk,” said Governor Hassan. (Full Statement)

“We’re proud to stand with Governor Hassan as she continues to fight for the long-term economic interests of our state, and the priorities that will move New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy forward, including affordable college tuition, safe roads and bridges, access to quality and affordable health coverage, and protecting our communities,”  said Woodburn.

“We must return to work immediately, and I urge my Senate colleagues to work together with Governor Hassan and members of both parties to pass a responsible, balanced budget that actually funds what it claims to,”  said Woodburn.

“Finding consensus requires both sides to be willing to compromise and I hope that we can all agree that we need to find a solution that supports our families and small businesses, keeps our economy moving in the right direction, and expands opportunity for all,”  concluded Woodburn.

The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute has also been an outspoken opponent to the tax giveaways to out of state corporations.

New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute Executive Director Jeff McLynch issued the following statement:

“What is most notable about the budget passed by the legislature today is not what it would do for New Hampshire over the next two years. Rather, the budget is more remarkable in what it lacks — and in its implications for New Hampshire’s longer-term future.

“Absent from the legislature’s budget are provisions to keep New Hampshire’s landmark Health Protection Program in place beyond 2016, creating uncertainty for enrollees and providers and putting the state at risk for losing millions in federal funds. Absent are more thorough responses to trends that could imperil New Hampshire’s economic future, such as sharp declines in support for public higher education; New Hampshire’s low level of support for higher education leaves students with debt burdens that are among the highest in the nation. Absent too is funding for the previously agreed upon state employee contract.

“Absent, most critically, is more than $20 million in state revenue due to short-sighted business tax cuts, as well as any plan for accommodating the much larger revenue losses they will produce in the years ahead. These tax cuts will leave future legislators with the daunting task of deciding how to come to grips with the loss of more than $65 million in revenue in FY 2018-2019 and more than $90 million in FY 2020-2021.

“We hope policymakers can come together soon to craft an alternative budget that is fiscally and socially responsible and that puts New Hampshire on a path toward a more prosperous future for all.”

Related: NH Building Trades Condemn Irresponsible Republican Budget

NH Building Trades Condemns Irresponsible Republican Budget

Building Trades

Concord – House and Senate Republicans passed a fiscally irresponsible, gimmick-laden, dishonest budget today that will harm New Hampshire’s working families.

NH Building and Construction Trades Council President Steve Burk issued the following statement:

“Today’s Republican budget is a disaster for working families that does absolutely nothing to create good paying middle class jobs for Granite Staters. This budget hands out a massive tax cut to big out-of-state corporations that will blow a $90 million hole in our budget. We know from what has happened in Kansas that huge tax cuts don’t pay for themselves. To the contrary, they cause job losses, decreased revenue, and economic damage. Republicans are playing politics with our economy rather than doing the people’s business, and New Hampshire is worse off for it.

What’s even worse, this Republican budget reneges on a fairly negotiated contract with our state employees. This is a breach of trust that undermines the credibility of our government and hurts working families. The people of New Hampshire deserve better.

Governor Hassan should veto this irresponsible budget, and Republicans should negotiate in good faith to find a path ahead that funds critical priorities like job creation, education, health care, transportation, and public safety.”

The NH Building and Construction Trades Council is an organization of more than 20 New Hampshire labor unions in the construction industry, representing more than 3,000 working men and women.

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