Sununu calls budget passed by NH House a 'mess'

Published: Apr. 11, 2019 at 6:11 AM EDT
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The battle over the budget continued in Concord, New Hampshire, Thursday, as members of the New Hampshire House passed a 2-year spending bill.

But it could be short-lived. The governor has already signaled he will not sign the bill.

The $12.9 billion, two-year state budget passed the Democratic-led House Thursday. But Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says it will destroy the so-called New Hampshire tax advantage.

The budget includes about $500 million in additional state spending that Sununu proposed in February. House leaders said the proposal focuses on providing property tax relief to towns and cities, boosting education aid and the state's mental health systems.

House Dems also passed an amendment that will direct $1.25 million to be used to prepare for the construction of a secure psychiatric hospital.

Sununu's budget allocated $26 million for full construction of that unit.

Republicans are criticizing the budget for including a new capital gains tax.

Sununu is calling it a mess. In a tweet this afternoon the governor wrote: "From astronomical tax increases to unsustainable spending, House Democrats created a budget that will destroy the NH Advantage. Their budget slashes local investments and creates $400M in new taxes. I call on the Senate Finance Committee to get to work and fix this mess."

So, clearly, the bill passed Thursday does not appear to be one the governor intends to sign, meaning the budget battle will continue at the New Hampshire Statehouse.