I rarely get involved in partisan fights… but our Governor has left me no choice. I have been asked why Republicans won’t compromise with the Governor. Despite Gov. Hassan making it very difficult to do that, we have tried repeatedly. Her first counter proposal was literally dropped on the desks of NH House and Senate leadership as she headed for a press conference to announce it. That isn’t working together, or collaboration. It is important to remember that we began with a budget that her office wrote and that we worked very hard to find enough of your money to accomplish it all. A NH Governor begins the process knowing that they will get most of what they want, whoever controls the Legislature. Despite many Republican voters wanting reduced spending, we crafted a budget with more health and human service spending than any in our state’s history. We recognized the need for investing in solutions to the addiction crisis and taking care of our veterans. We even found that a cut to nursing home funding that she proposed was not needed to accomplish her goals, and we added that money back in.
One of Gov. Hassan’s early sticking points was the delay in the pay raise for state employees. A pretty big deal was made of this. We have since found the money and offered that, in full. She rejected it and said that we are not serious about compromise. Now, the sticking point is the business tax cut we proposed… while still meeting and exceeding program spending proposals. House Democrats said that tax cuts don’t help business or create jobs. New York disagrees. Have you seen the commercials about tax breaks for businesses that move there? They spend millions on that advertising because it works. More to the point, Gov. Hassan herself disagrees. Read her press release from August 31 of this year at http://governor.nh.gov/media/news/2015/pr-2015-08-31-r-d-tax-credit.htm where she claims credit for jobs created as a result of a tax break. I guess they only don’t work when Republicans propose them. This partisanship has to stop. I have voted for many bills proposed by Democrats when I thought they were good for my district. I didn’t check the sponsor’s party affiliation first.
Lastly, Governor Hassan says that these tax breaks will “blow a 90 million dollar hole” in the budget. No they won’t. The non-partisan Legislative Budget Office says that the budget is balanced. Independent analysts say that the budget is balanced. Gov. Hassan bases her statement on projecting years out and assuming that we lose revenue from the tax break, and that there is virtually no growth in our businesses or jobs. I have more faith in you than that. I think that if we make it a little easier to do business here, NH businesses will work hard and succeed. We make our budget in 2 year cycles so that we can react to changing circumstances. Her argument is baseless, and not representative of how our process works. Recent projections have shown that we have enough trouble forecasting out 2 years, much less multiple cycles. If she is just against the tax break, she should say so.
If you don’t have your Representative’s contact information, you can find it here – http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/housemembers.html Call them, email them, ask them to stop the partisan posturing and over ride the veto on September 16. There are a lot of good programs that can help people waiting for the funding that it contains.
Rep. Steven Smith
Sullivan County District 11