New Hampshire Democrats and Republicans are both calling a budget compromise approved Wednesday a victory.
The Democratic-controlled House and Senate were at a stalemate since Republican Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed their fiscal year 2020 budget in June. A compromise was announced Tuesday, and the House and Senate approved it on Wednesday.
The budget does not include a tax increase and increases the state's rainy day fund by $5 million.
New Hampshire GOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek praised the budget after taking a few political swings at possible gubernatorial candidate and Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, calling the compromise a “clear defeat for Dan Feltes and his far-left caucus’ extremist budget."
“This budget does not increase taxes, and will likely lead to a further reduction in employer taxes when revenues come in over estimates due to our solid economic growth,” Stepanek said in a statement. "This budget cut the Democrats’ structural deficit by $70 million and made investments in our Rainy Day fund. It provides property tax relief to our cities and towns, and no general fund dollars are going toward Medicaid Expansion.”
Feltes also praised the budget in a tweet.
“In this compromise deal, Dems in the legislature continue to put NH families and property tax payers first, not out of state corporations” Feltes tweeted. “No compromise is perfect but I support the deal we all reached and encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the same.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, outlined specifics of the bill in a statement.
“New Hampshire should be proud that this compromise budget protects significant increases for education funding and municipal aid that will advance educational opportunities for all students, freeze in-state tuition at state colleges and universities and support our cities and towns by providing critical relief to property taxpayers across the state.”
Sununu called it a “big win for New Hampshire families."
“We have held the line on taxes, returned cash to cities and towns, and provided historic investments into our education system,” the governor said in a statement. “This budget did not make financial promises that could not be kept, and is something the people of New Hampshire can be proud of.”
Lawmakers in June had agreed to a three-month extension to keep the government running and set an Oct. 1 deadline for a budget deal.