Top Budget Writers Say Discord Over Business Tax Cuts Stalling Deal

Sep 9, 2015

Democrat Senator Lou D’Allesandro and Senate Finance Chair Republican Jeanie Forrester speaking at St. Anselm College in Manchester on Sept. 9, 2015.
Credit Paige Sutherland for NHPR

With legislators scheduled to take up Gov. Maggie Hassan’s budget veto in just one week, a bipartisan deal still appears elusive.

On Wednesday morning at a breakfast event at St. Anselm College in Manchester,  two top budget writers – Democratic Sen. Lou D’Allesandro and Senate Finance Chair Republican Jeanie Forrester – said the debate over the state's two-year spending plan remains stuck on whether to include business tax cuts or not.

Hassan and other State House Democrats argue the cuts are unfunded and will result in future deficits. Republican leaders say they will not sign off on a budget that excludes cuts in the state's business taxes.

During the breakfast, D’Allesandro laughed along with Forrester that the state would have better odds of getting a budget passed if fourth graders were in charge in Concord.

Republicans say they will try to override Hassan’s veto next week. But that seems unlikely. Both bodies need a two-thirds vote to upend a veto, and Democrats are unified in their support of Hassan.