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Taxes, redistricting and anti-Washington rhetoric: Sununu meets with New England Council

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Gov. Chris Sununu said he’s willing to cut or suspend state taxes to address inflation and rising energy costs.

A day after proposing a rollback of the state’s 8.5 percent tax on restaurant meals and lodging and hotel rooms, Sununu told members of the New England Council that he’s also willing to back suspending the state’s 24 cent per gallon gas tax.

“If the legislature today wanted to propose a gas tax cut, I am on it, they want to propose cutting rooms and means tax, I am on it,” Sununu said, “It might be temporary but something just to spur what’s happening.”

Sununu used his remarks to take aim at Washington, on the economy, on energy policy, on political polarization and partisan gridlock.

“What the f are they doing down there?” Sununu asked at one point.

But despite the anti-Washington talk, Sununu also repeatedly touted spending aimed at boosting mental health and housing initiatives and other public projects that rely on federal funding.

Sununu was more circumspect when asked if he’d sign Republican-created congressional redistricting should they reach his desk. “I don’t know,“ Sununu said after calling the GOP-drawn maps that create a Republican-leaning First Congressional district, and a more Democratic-leaing Second Congressional district, “perfectly legal” but not quite right for New Hampshire.

“I just think it looks funky, I don’t know a better way to explain it,” Sununu said, before adding, “I don’t think this is a make or break issue for most people.”

A longtime foe of legalizing marijuana, Sununu seemed to indicate his position could be softening. “I know people want it,” he told the crowd.

Sununu also said legalization here “could be inevitable,” without citing a timeframe, but praising a proposal now before lawmakers that would clear the way for marijuana to be sold at state liquor stores.

“It’s the right bill and the right structure,” Sununu said. “So if you are ever going to do it do that bill.”

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