Democratic Lawmakers Offer Budget Compromise, Sununu Says He Won't Support It

Sep 18, 2019

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrats have offered, and Governor Sununu has rejected, what Democratic state lawmakers are calling a compromise on the state budget. The budget process has been at an impasse since Sununu vetoed the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this year.

Democrats propose keeping the business tax cuts that took effect in January as long as the state hits specific revenue targets. Retaining the business tax cuts is a priority of Governor Sununu, and the issue remains a sticking point in reaching a budget deal.

Under the Democratic proposal, the tax cuts that dropped the business profits tax rate to 7.7% and the business enterprise tax rate of .65% would expire next year if this year’s state tax revenues don’t exceed $2.75 billion. That’s $75 million less than what Democrats proposed in their budget, which included higher business tax rates.

The Democrats’ proposal would also cut spending proposed in the vetoed state budget, including $20 million to boost Medicaid provider payments. Democrats would also require Health and Human Services to find another $25 million in unspecified cuts.

To even consider the Democrats' proposal, lawmakers will need a two-thirds vote, and thus, some Republican support. In a statement, Governor Sununu called the Democrats' proposal unsustainable, and said “This is nothing I or the people of New Hampshire would support.”

Lawmakers return to Concord today to begin taking up dozens of bills vetoed by the governor.