Sununu Vetoes State Budget, Says Spending Levels Threaten N.H.'s Economy
Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed a two-year state budget crafted and passed by Democrats in the Legislature saying the plan threatens New Hampshre's economic growth.
In his veto message, Sununu said the budget would reverse his "winning formula" of cutting state business taxes and showing "disciplined fiscal restraint." (Read the full message below.)
Related story: Senior political reporter Josh Rogers talks to NHPR's Peter Biello about the sticking points in the state budget proposal
These themes have been repeated political sticking points since Sununu began his second term working with a Democratic-led state Legislature.
The budget veto was expected, and came a day after lawmakers passed a $13-billion-dollar package along party lines. The budget rolled back business tax cuts that took effect in January. Democrats say that move would raise about $90 million dollars the state needs to spend on education and social services.
But in a video posted on social media Friday afternoon, Sununu said now is not the time to contemplate more taxes.
"With today's $260 million surplus, it doesnt make any sense to raise taxes," Sununu said.
The veto means the state will operate under current spending levels for 90 days while the governor and Democrats work to find a compromise they could not find in months of budget work..
Watch: Governor Sununu tweeted this video after vetoing the state budget passed by both houses of the New Hampshire Legislature
This afternoon, I vetoed the Legislature’s proposed state budget. With a $260 million surplus, it just doesn’t make sense to increase taxes by 12.5%. This budget creates nearly a $100 million deficit for the next Legislature – that’s just not responsible management. pic.twitter.com/W6DFcuXMKb— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) June 28, 2019