House Majority Leader Responds to Governor’s Requests for New Spending

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Richard “Dick” Hinch (R-Merrimack) offered the following comments in response to correspondence from Governor Hassan to Speaker Shawn Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morse outlining proposals on how to allocate potential surplus revenue.

“Let’s remember that the governor vetoed the legislature’s budget last year which delayed deployment of much needed resources to help combat the drug crisis. We need to be reassured that there is a management plan in place to make sure the currently allocated resources are being fully utilized and are producing positive outcomes before we commit to a laundry list of other spending,” said Rep. Hinch, “Our Ways and Means and Finance committees are actively reviewing the merits of several legislative proposals dealing with issues the governor discusses in her letter, but our revenue position for the entire biennium remains to be seen. That is why we are not committed to rolling out the rubber stamp until we weigh some important factors.”

“We are fully committed to allocating the necessary resources to continue to combat the drug crisis, but we shouldn’t play shell games in how we pay for them. We believe the legislature’s role is to be stalwart stewards of state finances. In that role we’ll continue to look towards those items we believe will have the greatest impact and produce positive outcomes,” Hinch added, “We’d like to believe the governor in that bipartisanship led us to our current economic outlook, but her record shows otherwise. Less than one year ago, the governor admonished and vetoed the legislature’s budget that contained no new taxes or fees, doubled the balance of the Rainy Day Fund, and provided the first business tax relief in 20 years. We believe this tax relief will play a major role in keeping New Hampshire more economically competitive and keeping our economy growing.”