New Hampshire Democrat Governor John Lynch announced that he will let a $10.2 billion, Republican-crafted budget for the state become law without his signature.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire sent out a press release congratulating House Speaker William O’Brien and House Republicans for passing a responsible budget that completely reverses the course of previous legislatures and historically cuts spending in New Hampshire by 11.7 percent, setting state government on a new course to fiscal sanity.
The RLC endorsed over 80 of the current elected House members. That coalition, no doubt, has given the Republican House the backbone needed to tackle the budget, Right to Work, and a favorable business climate.
“There is no doubt that this budget is historically positive for the people of New Hampshire,” said Andrew Hemingway, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “Speaker O’Brien and the House members we elected in November [did] exactly what they promised voters they would do by cutting taxes and spending without any budget gimmickry.”
The balanced $10.2 billion New Hampshire budget for Fiscal Years 2012-2013 relied heavily on House leadership’s position that budget writers could not exceed revenue projections. The Senate was only able to shift revenue projections by 0.4 percent from the House projections in January. At the same time, House leadership was also able to convince Senators not to raise new taxes, fees or add additional downshifting to the counties, cities or towns of the state. In fact, the House was even able to secure additional tax cuts to increase business traffic from out-of-state shoppers.
In general and education trust fund spending, the House was able to secure a $4.42 billion budget, a 12.8 percent decline from the previous cycle. The budget cut is the largest in modern history—maybe longer.
“As an organization that understands the principles that lead to the most prosperity for the most people involve less government spending, lower taxes and fewer bureaucrats enforcing senseless regulations, we are looking at this budget as the first gleam of light from a new dawn of common sense governing,” Hemingway said. “I expect the voters of New Hampshire to respond quite favorably to the principled stand taken by House Republicans, and against the scare tactics and deception of those who would prefer politics as usual.”
Not only did this budget historically reduce appropriations by about $1 billion in all funds and $467 million in general funds, it also eliminated 1,500 unneeded government positions (most of them unfilled, anyway), and it reduced some of the more onerous taxes and fees instituted by the Democrats when they were in power, such as the surcharge on auto registrations. The budget also included comprehensive reforms to the State Retirement system—the first step toward eliminating an unrealistic system that taxpayers can no longer afford.
At the same time, the House compromise budget fully funds education by sending $4 million more than the governor’s budget and 9.5 percent more than the current budget to the local cities and towns. As recognition that restorative change takes time, the budget also funds Health and Human Services programs for the developmentally disabled, children in need of services, children with special needs, domestic violence programs and adoption subsidies, while also prohibiting the use of taxpayers’ money for abortions.