After more than ten hours of debate, the New Hampshire Senate Wednesday night passed a GOP-crafted state budget along party lines.
The budget discussion started at one o'clock Wednesday afternoon and stretched well into the evening.
Most of that time was spent debating a series of Democratic-sponsored amendments seeking to add money to social programs like mental health and developmental disability services. Democrats, such as Concord Sen. Dan Feltes, also sought to remove proposed cuts to the state’s business taxes.
“But again we are coming up short on critical needs as we are undershooting revenue and cutting to big corporations,” said Feltes, who spoke on many of the nearly 30 Democratic drafted amendments. All of them were struck down mostly along party lines.
Republicans like Sen. Andy Sanborn argued the spending plan is responsible.
“We have an obligation to help people but we also have to protect those we are taking from in order to do it because this is not fake money – this is not monopoly money,” Sanborn told his colleagues on the Senate floor.
The House will vote on the plan next week. If House members don’t like the proposal as is, both bodies will go to a Committee of Conference to settle on a final version.