The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire offered mixed reactions to the veto of New Hampshire's two-year budget that covers fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
In an interview this week, Senior Vice President of Public Policy David Juvet stressed that the BIA was primarily neutral to the veto decision.
“We did not request that the governor sign … or veto the budget,” Juvet told The Central Square. “There were a number of items included in the budget that the BIA advocated for and supported, [and] there were things … that we did not support.”
Among the aspects the BIA approved of included an increase in funding for both university and community college systems, a higher Medicaid Reimbursement Rate, establishing a Housing Appeal Board, and increased employee job skills training funds. Juvet said he hopes these key features will remain as the budget continues to be debated.
“Our hope is that in the negotiations currently taking place between the Legislature and [Republican Gov. Chris Sununu], that those things remain, but that remains to be seen,” Juvet said. “I think the two sides are not very far apart, but I think it’s a political season and both sides are trying to capitalize on the politics surrounding the budget veto, and eventually I expect the two sides will come together and find some sort of compromise.”
The BIA primarily opposed the Democrat-controlled Legislature’s decision to eliminate both business profits and enterprise tax reductions that are currently scheduled for this year, as well as additional reductions set to occur in 2021.
“Those tax reductions are already in state law,” Juvet said. “Businesses throughout New Hampshire are operating with the assumption that the 2019 rate … will apply. To eliminate those was not something we felt was in the best interest of New Hampshire businesses or the state of New Hampshire.”
Juvet did state that the governor is willing to compromise on this if the Legislature allows the 2019 reductions to occur, and although the BIA has yet to sign off, he referred to it as “a reasonable compromise.”