Gov. Chris Sununu likes to label Democrats in the Legislature “extreme.” His vetoes in recent weeks suggest he’s the one out of touch with New Hampshire residents. Here are 10 of Sununu’s 50-plus vetoes:
House Bills 1 and 2, the state budget, that offers nearly $200 million in additional education funding and property tax relief; HB 706, establishing a nonpartisan districting commission to eliminate partisan gerrymandering; SB 10, raising the minimum wage to $10 in 2020 and $12 in 2022 (current minimum wage is $7.25); HB 109, establishing comprehensive background checks for firearms purchases; SB 2, expanding job training programs; HB 564, banning firearms from schools except for police and other authorized people; SB 1, establishing paid family/medical leave in New Hampshire; HB 365, expanding solar energy net metering in New Hampshire; HB 364, allowing medical cannabis patients to grow cannabis at home; SB 5, raising Medicaid rates for mental health, substance abuse treatment services.
“The Governor apparently wants to perpetuate a system where politicians pick their voters and citizens do not get to choose their representatives,” Holder said. “He has disrespected Granite Staters who deserve a government that truly works for them and not just for those who have special connections.”
After the veto, Smith said, “I am devastated that today the Governor chose to veto bipartisan legislation to create an independent redistricting commission in New Hampshire. There is no better example of improving our democracy than was demonstrated in this bill.”
She noted the bill’s unanimous bipartisan support on the two election committees and in the Senate where she worked with two Republican senators to craft a compromise.
“Today the Governor chose to ignore the bipartisan action of the legislature and deny voters the right to choose who they would like to vote for,” Smith said, “and he should be ashamed of himself for doing so.”
Union Leader - Governor rejects nonpartisan redistricting panel; critics say he's 'absolutely wrong'
“This is just wrong, absolutely wrong, and I can’t imagine why the governor would turn his back on the voters this way,” Smith said during a telephone interview. “This is a loss, a real loss for the people of this state.”
The plan would allow lawmakers to vote on redistricting maps but would keep them out of the process of drawing them.
“Only the House minority leader and Governor Sununu worked to keep their party’s best interest above the best interest of Granite Staters. Today the governor chose to ignore the bipartisan action of the Legislature and deny voters the right to choose whom they would like to vote for, and he should be ashamed of himself for doing so,” Smith said.
Senate Election Laws Committee Chairman Melanie Levesque, D-Brookline, said it was one of the most significant bills in the state’s history.
“It is deeply discouraging that with one fell swoop Governor Sununu blocked vital work to take partisanship out of the political process of choosing legislative districts,” Levesque said. “In my district and at the State House, I hear calls for fairer elections every day. Not one person testified against HB 706 at the Senate hearing. It is clear New Hampshire voters are fed up with the status quo in which politicians pick their voters.”
WMUR - NH Attorney General: Contributions from limited partnerships, LLPs remain legal in state elections
Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins said the finding was a major change to state campaign finance law. She said the finding also allows labor unions to make contributions.
In a statement shared with WMUR, she said:
“There’s no question that Chris Sununu accepted nearly $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions, but what the attorney general’s letter makes clear is that the law on the books is different than how the AG’s Office has enforced it over the years.
"In the coming days, our organization will decide whether to appeal the ruling or to let it stand.
"What is most significant about this ruling is that it signals the attorney general’s office will allow both LLPs and unions to make these types of donations.
"We’ve said all along that Sununu would either have to return the illegal campaign contributions or there would be a major change to campaign finance law in New Hampshire, and that’s held true.”
In July, Sununu vetoed legislation that addressed contributions by limited liability corporations, or LLCs. Click here for that report.