Republican Majority Passes Spending Plan After OK’ing More Cuts
Going into Wednesday, the House budget proposal looked pretty bleak. By the time lawmakers were done amending the budget, the finished product somehow got worse.
The Republican majority moved to restore some local education aid by cutting more funding from CCSNH, the Department of Corrections and New Hampshire Hospital. This is in addition to the cuts that were already in the budget proposal, dramatically affecting social services, infrastructure, safety and education, as well as eliminating expanded Medicaid. This budget relies on one-time gimmicks, such as stealing from the renewable energy fund and draining the rainy day fund, instead of finding broad new sources of revenue (the budget does include Keno, it should be noted).
You can read the Concord Monitor’s recap of the budget here (subscription required).
Democrats offered several floor amendments that were ultimately rejected, including one that would have placed back in the budget funding for the 2 percent raise in the state employees’ new contract. That amendment was narrowly defeated, thanks to support from most Democrats and some Republicans. We thank them for their courage in standing up for working families.
However bleak this budget appears, it’s important to note a couple of things. First, the turnout of community members on Wednesday morning was moving and impressive. Second, Wednesday’s vote was a step in the process. The budget now moves on to the Senate, where we’ll be calling on budget writers to throw out this reckless budget and start over.
In the coming months, we need you to rally your friends and family to advocate for a responsible budget that serves the needs of all of New Hampshire’s residents. Stay tuned to SEA communications, including the State House Bulletin (if you don’t receive it, you can opt in here).