By PAULA TRACY, Senior Writer InDepthNH.org
The Democratic Governors’ Association says Gov. Chris Sununu’s budget veto is holding the state’s budget hostage for tax breaks for wealthy corporations.
And criticized Sununu for hurting state agencies as a result. But Sununu told InDepthNH.org that Democrats “didn’t come in with much new” at last Friday’s meeting.
In a news release, the association said because they lack a permanent budget, state agencies have slowed their response time to cases involving abused or neglected children, funding for court-ordered children’s advocates could soon run dry, and vital wetland permitting is at risk of federal takeover.
“But Sununu’s temper tantrum of a veto puts all of these key priorities at risk—all so he can cut taxes for wealthy corporations,” the release said.
Gov. Sununu provided an update on the budget negotiations Wednesday to InDepthNH.org following a regular meeting of the state’s Executive Council at Dover High School.
The Republican governor vetoed the $13.3 billion budget crafted by Democrats in House and Senate leadership and since July 1, the state has been operating on a continuing resolution.
State departments have received 3/12ths of their last year’s budget to get through to the end of September, but some have been given emergency infusions of funds where needed.
Sununu said he met with leadership behind closed doors last Friday and reported that there was “not much new.”
Sununu said they talked about a new “revenue scheme” the Democrats want to look at, but did not do their homework, as far as he is concerned.
He had questions for them on how they want to spend the extra $1.2 billion they have which is over and above what was available in the last budget. A good economy in the state has allowed for that.
He said he is giving great latitude to the legislative leaders to “work it out on their end” in order to come to a brokered deal.
“I am still very hopeful,” he said,”however, they want to do it.”
He said state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro D-Manchester and Senate President Donna Soucy, D-Manchester “really understand this,” and understand it is not about politics.