State of the State: One Democrat's response
A Democrat responds to Sununu's State of the State
Updated: 4:24 p.m.
State Senator Becky Whitley joined NHPR to respond to Sununu's address. Listen to her comments here.
Find a full transcript of Whitley's comments here.
NHPR: The governor did say quite a bit about how property taxes throughout the state have gone down. To what extent do you think the governor deserves credit for that?
Sen. Becky Whitley: If we look at the last budget, you know, I think the governor actually talked specifically not about property taxes reducing, he was talking about taxes in general.
But I think we need to look very closely about who received those tax cuts, right? So in the last budget, we saw tax cuts to businesses and our large out-of-state businesses got a big old tax cut. We also saw a tax cut on interests and dividends. Those are our wealthiest Granite Staters. The only tax cut that I saw really that would impact working families, is the reduction in the meals and rooms tax. It was a small reduction. So that reduction was from 9 to 8.5%. But that is going to cost us $30 million in reductions. It wasn't a huge cut.
We aren't seeing significant reductions in property taxes. In fact, I think we're likely going to see increases as we're spending less and less money on education funding and sending more money through the Republican voucher program on private schools and religious schools.
Here's what Sununu talked about during the State of the State
Update: 11:35 a.m.
This morning in Manchester, Gov. Chris Sununu used his State of the State address to tout his accomplishments over the past two years and lay out priorities for the months and years ahead.
Read the full text of the speech here
As expected, Sununu portrayed the state as the gold standard in the country for its approach to COVID-19, the economy, law enforcement and energy policy.
He also criticized the federal government multiple times for its partisan gridlock.
“At the end of the day, that’s where it all gets bogged up," he said. "Unlike Washington D.C., when we say we are going to do something, we do it."
Sununu also announced a plan for a $100 million housing initiative funded with federal dollars that he said would incentivize private construction.
-Todd Bookman, NHPR
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State of the State ends abruptly after lawmaker collapse
Update: 11:00 a.m.
The State of the State ended abruptly after a lawmaker collapsed. Calls for 911 were heard.
NHPR has confirmed reports the person who collapsed is State Rep. Ralph Boehm, R-Litchfield. He is conscious and was wheeled out on a stretcher with an ambulance on the way.
The speech will not continue, per a spokesperson for the governor.
Here's what we expected before the speech
Update: Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m.
Gov. Chris Sununu will give his State of the State address Thursday before a joint session of the New Hampshire Legislature.
NHPR's Josh Rogers says listeners should expect to hear a few things in Sununu's remarks:
- Talk of the benefits of tax cuts, and the state of the economy and businesses under Sununu's leadership
- Policies Sununu says has empowered individuals to make choices in their own lives — especially related to COVID and vaccine mandates.
- "Strategic investments" and long-term spending projects, like the state's acquisition of Hampstead Hospital to expand much-needed mental health services.
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You can watch the State of the State here.