With special interests like the Koch brothers pouring millions of dollars into our state to try to prolong the budget gridlock, outside forces seem bent on turning New Hampshire into Washington, D.C.
Combine massive outside spending with hyper-partisan attacks on Governor Hassan's fiscally responsible leadership, and it's easy to grow disheartened with the level of discourse in Concord these days.
While it may be in the best political interest of some national organizations to keep us at a stalemate, we cannot let Concord be turned into Washington. We need to serve the people of New Hampshire. They sent us to Concord to solve problems — and that's exactly what we must do.
Last month, Governor Hassan presented a fiscally responsible compromise budget proposal that sought to address the concerns of both parties.
The governor's proposal represents a true compromise. It addresses Republicans' top concern — business tax cuts — while offsetting those tax cuts to preserve our ability to invest in critical economic priorities like combating the heroin crisis, holding down the cost of college tuition, maintaining our roads and bridges, and ensuring access to quality, affordable health coverage. Establishing and maintaining that delicate balance is imperative. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for a meaningful counter-offer, not just "No".
As my Democratic colleagues have made clear throughout the budget process, we believe that any business tax cuts must be paid for in order to protect the state's long-term fiscal outlook and ability to support critical economic priorities. Ironically, the unpaid tax cuts Republicans are demanding are by their own admission more symbolic than substantive.
I appreciate Republicans' offer to fund the state employee's contract and I believe it's an important step toward compromise, but this alone does not resolve our primary concern with the state budget.
We simply cannot support a shortsighted budget that would undermine our ability to invest in critical economic priorities both now and for years to come.
Granite Staters deserve better and future generations deserve better.
To pass a compromise budget plan that truly meets the needs of New Hampshire's people, businesses, and economy, both sides must not imitate the narrow minded political battles played out each day in Washington. True compromise requires both sides to negotiate in good faith and elevate the needs of our state above toxic partisan politics.
The Koch-funded budget stalemate has gone on long enough.
(Democrat Andrew Hosmer of Laconia represents District 7 in the N.H. Senate.)
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