Republican Review | Volume 4 Issue 18 | April 5, 2019
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MESSAGE FROM THE REPUBLICAN LEADER DICK HINCH
House Republicans & Friends Across New Hampshire,
The House will meet on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 10:00 a.m to vote on the budget. There will be a Republican caucus on Thursday April 11th at 9:00 a.m. in Rooms 301-303, LOB.
A budget briefing will be held next Tuesday, April 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Representatives Hall. All members are encouraged to attend.
On Wednesday, the House Finance committee voted along party lines to adopt the Democrats’ amendments to HB1 and HB2. The Democrat’s ill-advised proposal increases spending by more than $300 million compared to the governor’s plan, uses one-time revenue to grow government, and raises taxes on Granite Staters. After years of responsible Republican government, their proposal is a leap in the wrong direction. For more information, we’ve included a joint press release and a budget preview below.
All the best,
Dick Hinch, House Republican Leader
JOINT RELEASE: House Finance Committee Budget Raises Taxes on New Hampshire Families
Concord, NH – Today, after the Democratically-led House Finance Committee voted and approved their proposed budget – which raises unprecedented taxes and eliminates countless strategic investments – Governor Chris Sununu and legislative leaders issued the following statements:
“From an income tax masquerading as paid family leave program to a job-killing capital gains tax and raising taxes on New Hampshire’s employers, the Democratic leadership of the House Finance Committee has put New Hampshire’s hardworking taxpayers on the hook for $300M in additional spending,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Not only have they raised countless taxes, but now critical services and investments are at risk. Everything from funding for a new Secure Psychiatric Unit, to nearly $65M in targeted school building aid for property poor cities and towns, and $32M in student debt relief assistance – the Democrats have removed it all. I urge the Senate Finance Committee to immediately restore this critical funding.”
“It is disappointing that House Democrats have put together a budget that includes non-starters such as an income tax, a capital gains tax and increase to business taxes,” said Senate Republican Leader Chuck Morse (R-Salem). “Our current budget revenues are nearly $150 million above estimates; we do not have a revenue problem. If House budget writers are serious about passing a budget for the Governor to sign they would not include tax increases whether it is an income tax or any of their fee increases.”
“Democratic budget writers should not be playing political games with mental health patients,” said Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro). “The legislature has conducted enough studies to know that children do not belong in New Hampshire Hospital. Further, the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the State Prison is the wrong place for mental health patients to receive care. We cannot continue to criminalize mental health patients by housing them with violent criminals. Senate Democrats need to work with Republicans to fix the mess House Democrats have made in their budget proposal. I look forward to working with Senate Democrats to ensure that New Hampshire dedicates the needed resources to the mental health crisis.”
“Democrats are fueling a massive growth of government with big tax increases that will do damage to our economy,” said Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack). “We can do better. The governor proposed a reasonable budget that didn’t ask anyone to pay any additional taxes, while showing a great deal of compassion in making sure much needed services are bolstered for those who need them, and that will move our state forward. Republicans don’t want any more of your money to run government, but Democrats are showing that they will find ways to siphon money out of our economy to fund their big government dreams.”
Among the appropriations the democratically-led House Finance Committee has eliminated from Governor Chris Sununu’s budget:
- $500,000 for the Internet Crimes Against Children Fund
- $63,700,000 for targeted school building aid
- $32,500,000 for student debt relief assistance
- $24,000,000 to the University System of New Hampshire for expanded nursing and other health care workforce programs
- $26,000,000 to the Department of Health and Human Services for the construction of a new 60 bed forensic psychiatric hospital.
- $6,800,000 to fund red list dam projects
- $500,000 grant to City Year to support the organizations existing programs
- $300,000 for school safety projects
- $6,000,000 to the University of New Hampshire for the design, construction, and establishment of an on-campus early childhood development center.
- $5,000,000 to the Housing Finance Authority to the lead remediation fund.
- $300,000 grant to the City of Berlin to construct the Hutchins Street Mill and Overlay Project.
House Democrats Budget PreviewThe House Finance committee voted Wednesday along party lines to adopt the Democrats’ amendments to HB1 and HB2, and recommend them to the full House next week. Again, Republicans voted unanimously in opposition.
Below are the two amendments that House Democrats are proposing to HB1 and HB2:
You can also review the surplus statement for the bills as proposed here:
Unfortunately, the executive session was not live streamed or recorded, so the portion of the executive session where the Legislative Budget Assistant reviewed the contents of the surplus statement is not available for replay.
Here are just a few of the long list of items to take issue with:
- Increases HB1 spending by more than $300 million compared to Governor Sununu’s proposed budget.
- Their total budget proposal in HB1 will spend as much as 7.5% more in General Funds (13% more in total funds) than the budget we passed in 2017 (FY2018-FY2019 as passed in HB144).
- Includes the repeal of future business tax rate reductions costing our job creators $280 million over the next 4 years.
- Includes their $150 million per year capital gains tax proposal, which applies the Interest and Dividends tax to capital gains. Their revenue estimates for this new tax are inflated, untested, and unrealistic.
- Replaced the governor’s voluntary family leave plan and replaced it with their likely-to-be-insolvent, state-run insurance program funded by a mandated 0.5% tax on wages, costing workers/businesses $168 million per year.
- One time revenue is being used to grow government, which will cause a structural deficit in future budgets. Governor Sununu had proposed using one-time revenue for one-time projects.
- $20 million less money would going to rainy day fund (End of FY19 through FY21).
Union Leader: NH Dems Building silos: Playing politics with psych unit
“From his reaction on Monday, Gov. Sununu was as stunned as others to learn that House Democrats have decided to scrap the $26 million plan for either a new building or a new wing on an existing state hospital structure. Having talked about the problem for years, the Democrats now want to “study” the problem. More study would put off a solution for at least three more years”Read the full story here.
N.H. Journal: Dem Energy Proposals Could Put N.H. Ratepayers on Hook for Billions“New Hampshire Democrats who took control of the legislature in November are proposing a series of bills that could increase electric bills across the Granite State by as much as $5 billion over the next two decades.”
Read the full story here.
Gov. Sununu Press Release: Democrats Not Serious About Fixing Mental Health Crisis
Today, Democratic leaders of Division III of the House Finance Committee announced their intentions to strip out funding for a new Secure Forensic Hospital contained in the Governor’s budget.
Division III Chair Sharon Nordgren claimed “it was too soon” to move forward with Governor Chris Sununu’s bipartisan plan to address New Hampshire’s mental health crisis which called for moving the civilly committed population out of the Secure Psychiatric Unit, solving the ED boarding crisis, and moving children out of New Hampshire Hospital.
“I am shocked that Democratic leadership went from applauding this initiative in my Budget Address to failing to fulfill New Hampshire’s obligations in the state’s 10 Year Mental Health Plan,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “New Hampshire families have waited over 20 years for a solution and it is unconscionable that House Democratic leadership is now telling them that it is ‘too soon’ to move forward with this solution.”
“These investments have the potential to solve the emergency department boarding crisis, reduce incarceration rates of individuals with a mental illness, and create patient-centered treatment space for specialized populations,” wrote Lori Shibinette, CEO, New Hampshire Hospital in a letter to Representative Sharon Nordgren and Representative Mary Jane Wallner on March 28, 2019.
The Senate Finance Committee must immediately restore this critical funding so that New Hampshire is no longer the only state in the nation that keeps involuntary committed mental health patients inside a prison.
Retained Bills in Budget Review
Some egregious Democrat bills that were retained in committee are part of the Democrats Budget. See below for a review:
HB 623, relative to the rates of the BET and BPT
100% of Republicans voted against HB623 on February 28th.
The language of HB623 is now part of the amendment to HB2, sections 213-216.
HB 686-FN-A-L, relative to calculating and funding the interim cost of an opportunity for an adequate education and extending the interest and dividends tax to capital gains.
99% of Republicans voted against the HB686 on February 28th.
The Capital Gains Tax language of HB686 is now part of the amendment to HB2, sections 242-252.
2019 HOUSE DEADLINES
Thursday, April 11, 2019 BUDGET CROSSOVER – Last day to act on budget bills
Thursday, May 2, 2019, noon Last day to report Senate Bills going to a second committee
Thursday, May 9, 2019 Last day to act on SBs going to a second committee
Thursday, May 30, 2019, noon Last day to report all remaining SBs, Last day to report list of retained SBs
Thursday, June 6, 2019 Last day to act on SBs
Thursday, June 13, 2019 Last day to form Committees of Conference
Thursday, June 20, 2019 Last day to sign Committee of Conference reports (4:00 p.m.)
Thursday, June 27, 2019 Last day to act on Committee of Conference reports
NH HOUSE STATS