Governor Hassan: Business Tax Cuts Must Be Paid For, Cannot Come at the Expense of Critical Economic Priorities
NASHUA – At the Nashua Chamber of Commerce State of the State breakfast, Governor Maggie Hassan continued to stress the importance of working across party lines toward a compromise to pass a fiscally responsible, balanced budget that keeps New Hampshire moving forward by supporting critical economic priorities like higher education, public safety, health care, and a modern, safe transportation infrastructure.
“As the Committee of Conference on the budget moves forward this week, I remain committed to working with Republican leadership to reach a compromise, fiscally responsible budget that moves New Hampshire forward,” Governor Hassan said. “We will continue to be willing to negotiate productively throughout the week.”
Governor Hassan said she has serious concerns that the current Senate budget proposal is unbalanced and contains expensive tax cuts primarily benefiting large out-of-state corporations while under-funding key priorities including education, health care, public safety and roads and bridges.
“My budget proposal is honest about what we can afford to do and it is focused on keeping New Hampshire moving forward by supporting critical economic priorities like higher education, public safety, health care, and our roads and bridges,” Governor Hassan said. “On the other hand, the plan proposed by Republicans prioritizes tax cuts for large businesses, mostly headquartered out-of-state, without paying for those cuts, creating a $90 million hole in our budget at the expense of the priorities that are essential for our families, small businesses and economy.”
Governor Hassan said she understands that business tax cuts are among the Senate’s most important priorities and that she is willing to work with Republican legislative leaders on a proposal to cut the business taxes, but only if those reductions are paid for within this budget and do not come at the expense of priorities such as higher education, public safety, health care and transportation.
“I have made it clear to Republican leadership that I am not philosophically opposed to their proposal to lower the business taxes and that I believe we can find common ground, but those cuts must be paid for and cannot come at the expense of our state’s long-term financial health or at the expense of the priorities that are critical to the success of people and businesses – holding down the cost of college tuition, making sure our workers can access health-care without financial ruin, and keeping our roads plowed for commuters and businesses,” Governor Hassan said.
Governor Hassan has made clear that she believes it is a critical to have a transparent and honest balanced budget that moves away from gimmicks such as back-of-the-budget cuts and unrealistic “assumptions” to ensure that the state can deliver on the promises made in the budget. In addition to the reauthorization of the state’s bipartisan health care expansion program that is providing coverage to more than 40,000 hard-working Granite Staters and the new contract for state employees, ensuring an adequate budget for the Governor’s priorities include higher education, substance misuse and mental health, the Departments of Corrections and Transportation.
“First and foremost, the budget must be balanced and honest. I recognize that we may not agree on every spending priority, but we cannot promise to spend money that isn’t there,” Governor Hassan said. “Continued reliance on these irresponsible budget gimmicks will put our state on perilous financial footing and undermine the legislature’s constitutional duty to balance the budget.”
The Governor closed her remarks by reiterating that while she continues to negotiate with Republican legislative leaders, any final agreement will require compromise from both sides.
“I am committed to negotiating in good faith to reach a compromise budget, but I need willing negotiating partners on the other side,” Governor Hassan said. “We can pass a responsible, bipartisan budget that invests so that we can stem troublesome demographic trends and build a brighter economic future with more opportunity that will allow our people to climb the ladder of success. We have done it before, and we can do it again.”