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At State House Rally, Sununu Says His Veto Pen Is Ready For Action

Gov. Chris Sununu told a GOP rally at the State House on Sunday that he's ready to veto a Democratic-backed family leave and medical leave program.

Republicans may be in the minority at the State House this year, but they have one important advantage when it comes to blocking Democratic-backed bills: Governor Chris Sununu and, specifically, his veto pen.

Rallying with a few hundred Republican activists on the steps of the State House on Saturday, Sununu made clear he won't hesitate to use that veto power in the months ahead.

In particular, Sununu vowed to veto Democrats' plan for a paid family and medical leave program. The proposal relies on a 0.5 percent payroll tax, which Sununu described as an income tax.

“When was the last time a Legislature had the gall to put an income tax on the governor’s desk?" Sununu asked the crowd. "How about ‘never.' And why would we do it now?”

Sununu has put forward his own voluntary family leave proposal in partnership with Vermont's Republican Gov. Phil Scott. That plan relies on the private market instead of payroll deductions. It would enroll all state employees and allow private employers and employees to buy in.

Democrats say Sununu's plan would result in a smaller pool of participants, which would drive up costs.

Contact this reporter:  cmcdermott@nhpr.org

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