House Democratic Leaders Decry Budget Cuts to Higher Education and Aid to Local Communities

CONCORD, NH – In various House Finance Committee Division meetings this week, House Republicans already began making drastic budget cuts to priorities that are essential to the economic foundation of New Hampshire.

In a Division meeting on Tuesday, House Republicans cut funding for the university system by $13.4 million, cut winter maintenance (including plowing) by $4.8 million, and cut the meals and room distributions to local communities by $5 million.

“After the Governor delivered her fiscally responsible plan for how we can work together to build on the progress of the last two years, I urged my colleagues in the House, both Democrats and Republicans, to come together to support the priorities laid out in the Governor’s plan,” said House Democratic Leader Stephen Shurtleff. “Unfortunately House Republicans have already made clear that they are not interested in working together to move our economy forward as we did with the last budget, and are instead pursuing cuts to priorities that are essential to the economic foundation of New Hampshire.”

“It’s deeply concerning that one of the first priorities that House Republicans have chosen to cut is funding for our university system,” said Representative Mary Jane Wallner, Ranking Democrat on the House Finance Committee and former Finance Committee Chair. “We took an important step in the last budget by restoring funding for higher education, and we cannot let House Republicans undo our bipartisan progress with their backward approach. For the sake of our businesses, middle class families, young people and economy, it’s crucial that we continue to invest in holding down the cost of higher education.”

“If House Republicans have any doubts about the importance of funding for winter maintenance, I implore them to take a look outside,” said Representative Cindy Rosenwald, House Deputy Democratic Leader and a member of the House Finance Committee. “From Nashua to the Seacoast to the North Country, our citizens have had daily reminders of the important work that our dedicated DOT workers do to keep our roads clear and safe. Now is exactly the wrong time to be talking about cutting funding for winter maintenance and plowing.”