TODAY IN New Hampshire, more people are working than ever before, our economy is the marvel of the Northeast, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and the lowest poverty rate in the nation. None of this is by accident; it is thanks to the hard work of Republican legislators over the last few sessions in conjunction with the leadership of Governor Sununu.
It has not been an easy task. When Republicans took over both chambers after the last time the Democrats had control in Concord, we were left with an $800 million budget deficit caused in large part by wildly inflated revenue estimates, overspending and poor management. In eight years, Republicans in the House and Senate, through careful budgeting and reasonable tax reductions, turned an $800 million deficit into more than $500 million in surpluses.
Those surpluses were critical to taking the first steps to rebuilding the state’s mental health system, overhauling DCYF, fully funding Developmental Disabilities services and tackling the opioid crisis.
Those business tax cuts coupled with meaningful regulatory reforms helped set the stage for the state’s now booming economy, with a record number of Granite Staters now working. It is also one of many reasons why New Hampshire is one of the top 10 states where millennials are moving. As one of the states with the highest median ages, this is a move in the right direction and a sign that New Hampshire continues to be a great place to work, play and raise a family.
Unfortunately, there has been a trend this past session by our Democratic colleagues, now in the majority, and their deep-pocketed special interest friends, as they advocated and passed many bills that amount to an all-out assault on jobs.
All summer, we have seen special-interest-backed campaigns attempting to convince Granite Staters that Governor Sununu’s vetoes were somehow not in the best interest of all Granite Staters. The truth is, through his vetoes, Governor Sununu has protected the New Hampshire advantage and has prevented taxpayers from feeling the burden of hundreds of millions in additional costs.
This assault on jobs starts with a fiscally irresponsible budget that would have raised taxes on our businesses by $82.8 million, a 12.5% increase on our small businesses alone. The Democrats’ budget would have left the state in a terrible fiscal position by spending $93.4 million more in the second year than is expected in tax revenue. As any family knows, spending more than you take in leads to serious trouble and will result in either program cuts or tax hikes in two years.
Other Democratic priorities would increase electricity costs by at least $50 million a year, going largely to special interest groups at the expense of ratepayers across the state. Why should the family struggling to make ends meet have to pay more so a wealthy neighbor can get a better return on their solar panels?
The Democrat-controlled Legislature passed numerous bills that would have a negative impact on our state’s small businesses and would have made it harder for them to add the good-paying jobs that employ our friends and neighbors. These bills include raising unemployment taxes over $20 million, to a minimum wage increase that would have disproportionately hurt our small businesses and the very Granite Staters it purports to help. Minimum wage increases in other states have led to workers being offered fewer hours, reducing their take-home pay, and layoffs.
Their radical agenda even included a $165 million income tax as part of an unsustainable program that would have cost the state millions of dollars a year to administer.
As elected representatives we must make hard decisions on complex matters of policy. However, when we meet for veto day, we have a simple choice ahead of us: Do we want to continue New Hampshire’s success and stand with Governor Sununu and defeat this all-out assault on jobs, or do we want to give up on the New Hampshire advantage, forgo future successes, and vote to override the governor’s vetoes?
Our decision is an easy one; our votes will be to continue New Hampshire’s successes and we are standing with Governor Sununu.