Jun 24, 2015 8:35 PM

Landrigan: Hassan, GOP legislative leaders drift further away from compromise in NH budget


CONCORD - It's still expected. Gov. Maggie Hassan will most likely veto the NH budget being brought to her.

“It’s imperative we come together sooner rather than later to continue to work out a compromise budget,” she said.

Hassan is not likely to get her wish for a quick compromise following a bitter day at the State House.

Business tax cuts and a state employee pay raise were top issues, but once Hassan told Republican legislative leaders last week she would veto their two-year budget plan, the fight became personal.

"But pointing fingers and stating political aspirations are clouding judgment is personal, it’s petty and it demeans the integrity this chamber has earned,’’ said State Sen. Andrew Hosmer, D-Laconia.

Within moments, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, shot back that it was Senate Democrats who first accused Republican lawmakers of sabotaging a budget deal.

The budget cleared the House and Senate in partisan fashion - Republicans for, Democrats against.

Within minutes of bring down the gavel on that debate, House Speaker Shawn Jasper brought forward a six-month continuing resolution to keep state government running as usual.

But Jasper warned that no agreement with the governor beyond that stopgap measure is likely to happen soon.

“I’m think it’s reasonable to assume this is a process that will really begin in earnest probably in October,’’ Jasper said.

But a leading Democrat urged Republicans to come quickly back to the table.

“Vote this budget down, start a new committee of conference, and we can be back here in a week,’’ said Rep. Daniel Eaton, D-Stoddard, and a veteran House budget writer.

One thing is for sure; this stalemate is going to last not a matter of weeks but months.


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