RELEASE: House Democratic Leader Comments on Failure of House Budget Proposal

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 177-169 to defeat HB 2, the state budget proposal recommended by the House Finance Committee.  House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) released the following statement after the vote: 

“Democrats opposed this budget because it fails to support the priorities so important to the people of New Hampshire.  At a time when Granite Staters see the opioid crisis as the most important problem facing our state, this budget proposal fails to adequately fund the services that are so desperately needed to stem the tide of addiction.  Despite clear direction on the funding needed for developmental disability services, this budget could leave us with the biggest waitlist for essential services in a decade.”

“In the face of strong bipartisan support, including from our state’s Republican governor, House budget writers elected to remove funding for full-day kindergarten from the budget.  This action not only hinders our goal to build the workforce that will drive our economy into the future, it also tells young working families that their priorities are not in line with ours.” 

“This budget requires retired state employees to, yet again, pay increased portions of health care costs that were promised to them.   These retirees, many of whom live on fixed incomes, cannot afford yet another increase in health insurance costs.”

“We reached out to Speaker Jasper on multiple occasions to see if we could find common ground.  Democrats on the Finance committee offered a number of amendments that would have improved the budget proposal, including the governor’s plan for full-day kindergarten.  This is just one of the first steps in the budget process, and Democrats remain ready to work across the aisle on a budget that works for the people of our state.”