“You can’t always get what you want … but you can get what you need.”
The Rolling Stones must have had the New Hampshire budget in mind when they crafted those iconic lyrics.
The state budget was finally passed in the stateHouse and Senate after the governor initially refused to come to the bargaining table to work out a solution to a budget impasse. This had a harmful impact, including delayed funding for those with disabilities and putting our municipalities and schools into a budget no-man’s land.
Here are just a few of the highlights from the newly minted budget:
• 138 million was allocated to public education, the greatest increase in two decades.
• 40 million was passed for unrestricted municipal aid, which will serve to keep property taxes down.
• ommunity college and university system tuition was frozen for in-state students, significant as our state universities have the highest tuition in the nation.
• ncreased funding to combat homelessness and the establishment of an ongoing affordable housing fund.
• ull funding for child protection caseworkers and supervisors, and a Medicaid expansion deal.
• Funding for a new secure psychiatric unit.
On the “can’t always get what you want” side of the ledger, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a record 57 bills. As The Wall Street Journal noted, it took three governors over seven years to reach this number of vetoes, with the previous record belonging to Gov. Maggie Hassan with 15 vetoes. These vetoes included gun safety measures and a bill to increase the minimum wage. A two-thirds majority was needed to override all of these vetoes, and the Legislature was only able to muster the votes needed on three of these bills.