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’s policies are out of step with New Hampshire now and New Hampshire’s future. If there was any doubt before, there is no doubt now. We deserve better. We’ve got too many pressing issues to leave our state in the hands of a backwards thinker.
New Hampshire needs an educational system marked by excellence, not mere adequacy, in order to develop a 21st-century workforce. We should be calling on the ingenuity of our citizens to lead on sustainable energy. At a time when progress at the state level is necessary given the dysfunction in Washington, the governor has hitched his star to Donald Trump-style politics. He’s exercised his veto power in unprecedented fashion, 40 times and counting, while gleefully gloating about his obstruction of the will of the people at his fundraising events.
He’s already vetoed bills including the state budget, eliminating the death penalty, paid family medical leave, raising the minimum wage and bills to move New Hampshire forward on sustainable energy. The governor’s joking about standing in the way of progress as a badge of honor reveals the truth underneath his affable manner. He’s got to go.
WMUR - Sununu vetoes 3 gun bills, citing NH's 'culture of responsible gun ownership, individual freedom'
"Unfortunately, Gov. Sununu is once again standing with the NRA to the detriment of public safety," Hennessey said. "Just days before a visit from President Trump, whose racist rhetoric is spurring violent action, Gov. Sununu refused to take action to prevent gun violence but chose instead to scapegoat people who experience mental illness and downplay the common denominator in these mass shootings, easy access to firearms, to appease corporate lobbyists and campaign donors. New Hampshire deserves better.”
Every time we have an active shooter training, or see another tragedy on the news, it breaks mine and my classmates’ hearts, because we are reminded that we aren’t even safe in our own classrooms. The grim reality of school shootings in our country is why I am asking Gov. Chris Sununu to sign House Bill 564 – a common-sense policy that would simply ban guns from schools.
This week, when Gov. Sununu decides whether to stand up for students or shill for gun lobbyists, we will be watching. When he decides whether to sign a bill that could save lives or veto it to satisfy the gun lobby, we will be watching. I’m only 15 years old now, but I still have a voice. Someday I’ll have a vote – and I will be watching.
(Akanksha Vasireddy is a student at Nashua High School South.)
His action was a direct assault on education funding, property tax relief, funding to solve the emergency room boarding crisis, and providing needed mental health services. His veto blocked funds to combat the opioid epidemic, support critical child protection services, and maintain threatened women’s health care services in the state.
And, for what? So he can point to tax breaks, mainly benefiting out-of-state corporations, that were passed in the last legislative session. It is time for Sununu to look out for children, families, and our communities, not just corporations.
Corinne Cascadden, superintendent of SAU 3, Berlin School Board Chairwoman Nicole Plourde and Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier testified before the House Education Committee, the House Finance Committee, the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on the state budget over the course of several weeks. They informed members of these committees about the serious financial struggles the schools and taxpayers of Berlin are having, and that the state needs to provide more support.
Now all they worked so hard to achieve has been thrown into jeopardy because the governor saw fit to veto the budget. Whom had the governor seen and heard? Clearly not the good emissaries from Berlin and countless other communities across the state.
The head of the state’s education association called Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of the state budget “disgusting” and suggested he spend a week in a public classroom to see how existing resources are just not covering all of the needs.
The Democratically controlled House and Senate passed a two-year, $13.3 billion budget that would have given schools the largest increase in almost two decades, but it was vetoed by Sununu, a Republican, in June.
Kim Tucker, a kindergarten teacher in Weare, said in the past 20 years the needs of children have increased tremendously, but the resources have not followed.
Carrie Thompson teaches in Pembroke. “I am furious” with the governor’s veto. “It’s a slap in the face to our students,” she said. “It’s looking at them and saying, ‘we don’t care about you as much as you think.’ There are just so many services we can’t provide.”
Becky Butler of Laconia, who also teaches in Pembroke, said over the years, “the job has not gotten any easier. When we are dealing with kids whose families are dealing with trauma, mental health issues, the opioid crisis.”
She said she can’t blame Pembroke’s property taxpayers “because they are just strapped.”
Greg Leonard, a social studies teacher at ConVal, said that school funding looms over almost every decision teachers and administrators make, whether consciously or unconsciously.
“I have $1.99 million in reasons for wanting the budget to pass in Pembroke,” said Karrie Thompson, a Pembroke Academy teacher, referring to the amount estimated by the Legislative Budget Assistant would go to that school.
The low funding affects life for teachers in the classrooms too, Thompson said. For example, she needed books for her classroom and there wasn’t enough money for it. So she set up a fundraising drive, and turned to her personal life.
“I raised $2,500 from my friends to buy books for my classroom,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to go begging for the books for my classroom.”
Thompson drew a direct correlation between the funding shortfall and the governor’s veto pen.
“Let’s be clear, this veto, it’s a slap in the face for the kids in New Hampshire ... it’s looking at them and saying ‘you know you kids we really don’t care about you as much as you think,’ ” she said. “And I think that just – I think it’s horrible.”
Conway Board member Randy Davison “voiced his displeasure with Gov. Chris Sununu for not approving the proposed budget, which included additional school funding for districts in need, such as Berlin.”