Today the NH House voted to kill the expanded gambling bill, SB 152. SB152 was a bill about creating new jobs. The same jobs that many of these House members campaigned on. This also means that NH is going to continue to starve our budgets. SB152 would have added $80 million dollars in new revenue to the NH Budget. After todays vote, that is gone.
After the vote Governor Hassan released the following statement:
“It is disappointing to see the House of Representatives break from the New Hampshire tradition of open and thorough debate on key issues by voting against moving forward with full consideration of SB 152 and the thoughtful, bipartisan amendments being offered by members.”
“I remain committed to working with the legislature to finalize a balanced budget that restores the priorities that the people of New Hampshire support: job creation, higher education, economic development, strengthening our mental health system and protecting the health and well-being of our communities. Without passing SB 152, the path will be more difficult, but the people of New Hampshire expect us to do difficult things. We must work together to keep our state moving forward and to ensure a brighter, more innovative economic future for all Granite Staters.”
This vote is just another blow to the workers of NH and the NH’s low income families.
Yesterday the NH Union Leader reported on the proposed budget cuts by the NH Senate, that did not include any funding from the casino bill.
“Morse released a list of $28 million potential reductions in health and human service programs Tuesday which include $4 million to reduce the developmentally disabled wait-list for services. The reduction represents about 25 percent reduction in the money Hassan and the House included in the budget to eliminate the wait-list.
Other reductions in House-approved spending include $3 million for community health centers and $4 million of the $24 million increase Hassan included for the mental health system, which is the subject of a lawsuit brought by patients and the federal government.
Morse’s plan would also delay the restarting of the CHINS program which was eliminated in the last biennium budget except for about 50 of the most at-risk individuals who are a threat to themselves or others.”
After all the backlash of O’Brien’s draconian budget NH is headed down a path that is even worse. The Senate already rejected the tax increase on the tobacco tax. The only significant increase in revenue left is the ‘gas tax’, which is currently sitting in a Senate committee.
It is sad that the NH House rejected SB152 because thousands of working families were relying on the addition revenue, not to mention the hundreds of new jobs.