Budget Stalemate Drags On After Hassan Pans GOP Counter Proposal

Aug 20, 2015

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s budget stalemate doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, after Gov. Maggie Hassan swiftly rejected a proposal from Republican legislative leaders Wednesday.

The proposal would fund a pay raise for state employees.

Governor Hassan called it a step forward that Republicans were willing to fully fund the state employees contract.

“And that is something that we can agree on,” she said, “but true compromise needs to be around the central issue here, and so far they haven’t done that.”

That central issue for Hassan remains the business tax cuts she believes would lead to a $90 million hole in future budgets.

Senate President Chuck Morse disagrees with Hassan’s argument, saying the state has never accounted for spending in that way.

“If she wants to look at the Medicaid budget and we were to forecast out in the future what the expenses are going to be on that for the state of New Hampshire; if we did that with every category when we’re building a budget, we’d never get a budget.”

The two sides have been gridlocked since Hassan vetoed the Legislature’s two year budget in June.

The state has been operating a six-month spending plan at fiscal year 2015 levels.