CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement after reviewing the online bill dockets for HB1 and HB2, bills relating to the state budget, which show that the House had non-concurred and requested a committee of conference, and that zero Republicans were appointed to the conference committees.
“We hear a lot about bipartisanship in the State House, and it is unfortunate that Democrats in the House have chosen to exclude Republicans and the people they represent from the committee of conference process on the budget. During each of the last two budget processes in the House under Republican majorities, we extended an opportunity to the minority party, and they had a seat at the table, even if they don’t end up supporting the final product. This time, with Democrats in control, Republicans appear to not even have a member as an alternate, and are excluded from the conference committee entirely,” Hinch said. “It’s sad that we had to discover this online, and we did not have the courtesy of an email or meeting to discuss their reasoning. It is also disappointing they chose to move forward on this while the House is in recess, rather than let members vote on the motion. To me, this demonstrates they have no interest in getting any Republican votes or input on the committee of conference report.”
In 2015, Rep. Wallner (D-Concord) was appointed as a member of the committees of conference on HB1 and HB2, with Reps. Eaton (D-Stoddard) and Leishman (D-Peterborough) as alternates.
In 2017, Rep. Wallner (D-Concord) was appointed as a member of the committees of conference on HB517 and HB144, with Reps. Eaton (D-Stoddard) and Leishman (D-Peterborough), Almy (D-Lebanon), and Rosenwald (D-Nashua) as alternates.
None of these Democrat conferees or alternates had supported the House version of the budget bills in prior votes in the House.