Bradley and Morse respond to Hassan’s budget proposal
Following Governor Maggie Hassan’s official unveiling of her proposed budget for the next two years, Republican state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Morse issued statements offering both praise and criticism of the new governor’s plans.
“Looking at the budget as a whole, I have reservations about increasing the total spending to $11 billion, an increase of over $700 million over the current biennium, as Gov. Hassan as proposed. It would appear much of these monies are based on federal dollars – including the expansion of the federal Medicaid program – that likely require legislative approval and should not be counted on as certain given ongoing fiscal uncertainly in Washington,” read Bradley’s statement. “We have seen before what happens when non-existent dollars are used to balance the general fund, I will not allow the state to go down that uncertain road again.”
Morse offered some cautious praise of the governor’s proposed budget. “I applaud Gov. Hassan for proposing a two-year spending plan based on conservative revenue estimates that keeps general fund spending at levels similar to the last two years,” read his statement.
However, he too expressed skepticism at some of the proposed spending increases.
“One of the ways she appears to be funding these increases is through raiding dedicated funds…The governor also calls for more Department of Revenue Administration auditors to increase tax collections from our businesses, while simultaneously suspending much needed tax reforms that are helping make New Hampshire a more business-friendly state. These legislative changes will likely meet opposition from both sides of the aisle and building a budget based on these speculative revenues or savings is a dangerous proposition.”