Union Leader – The budget focus: NH House is doing well

The New Hampshire Democratic Party’s disinformation campaign (a political perpetual motion machine) has been charging Republicans in the Legislature with not focusing on the budget to the exclusion of everything else, like they promised. Balderdash.

First, Republicans never promised to legislate on budget matters only. Many campaigned on repealing same-sex marriage, restoring 2nd Amendment rights, and generally rolling back the entire Democratic agenda that was implemented for the past four years. After the election, many Republican House leaders said they would strive to put budget, tax and economic issues on the front burner, but they acknowledged that they would have to deal with many other issues, too.

On Day 1, the House and a legislative committee passed rules allowing guns in the State House. But as Democrats know, Day 1 of the legislative session is always the day when the rules are written. This was no distraction, it was standard rule-setting.

In truth, the House leadership has done an admirable job focusing on the budget. Members of the House Ways and Means and Finance Committees have worked tirelessly — since December, before the session officially began — to prepare for budgeting.

In the meantime, the governor was preparing his own budget. Legislators typically let the governor go first, then react to his proposal. That’s what Democrats did when they controlled the House. Here is then-House Speaker Terie Norelli speaking of budgeting in January 2009: “He’s the chief executive officer, and we need his leadership on whatever changes have to happen here now.”

While legislators wait for the governor’s budget, they take care of smaller bills. This is always the procedure. There is nothing new or novel about it. For Democrats to pretend otherwise is deliberately deceitful.