Sep 15, 2015 6:32 PM
Landrigan: NH budget deal done, must still clear two-thirds hurdle Wednesday
CONCORD - Now the hard work faces Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican legislative leaders who must sell their colleagues on the compromise budget deal.
Predictably after a three-month impasse, both sides declared victory as the GOP got the two business tax cuts they had insisted upon while Hassan got the second half of them done away with if the state fails to reach revenue targets.
Hassan also got a pay raise for state workers as part of the package and liberal Democrats were especially happy the final deal did not include a sizable tax break for state up companies that executives with Planet Fitness had boldly lobbied lawmakers to receive in order to remain in the state.
“While this agreement is not perfect and does not include everything that either side wants, it is a fiscally responsible, bipartisan, compromise path forward that includes business tax cuts while ensuring long-term fiscal responsibility and safeguarding our ability to support critical economic priorities,’’ Hassan said in a statement.
The big hurdle is the two-thirds vote needed Wednesday to take up the late-breaking compromise.
NH1 News has confirmed that former House Speaker Bill O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, opposes the business tax cut trigger.
But to block this deal, O’Brien needs to identify as many as 100 lawmakers to go along with him.
In a final, ironic twist for procedural reasons, if this deal is adopted Hassan and lawmakers then have to have the Legislature override the governor’s veto of the state budget.
That’s because the compromise does not include all the agency spending that’s in the vetoed budget and must be revived to complete all of the state’s financial business for the next two years.