Gambling bill scuttled, 'Now it is going to be really tough' for budget
Editor's Note : The vote was to rule the bill inexpedient to legislate, so a "Yea" vote is a vote to kill the bill.
"The budget was always going to be tough," said Senate Bill 152's prime sponsor and Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, D-Manchester, "but now it is going to be really tough."
He said the Senate budget will not include any tax or fee increases and he does not foresee any other revenue sources being considered.
Hassan lobbied House members for SB 152 leading up to the vote, including giving a 15-minute speech in Wednesday's Democratic caucus before the House session.
House Speaker Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, said after the vote that while the House and governor disagree on SB 152, they do agree on the need to restore funding for "investments slashed in the O'Brien budget."
"The House budget restores investments in higher education, mental health, developmental disabilities services, and fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, creating jobs and growing our economy," she said. "We need those investments restored to ensure long-term prosperity for our communities and our state."
"We knew we needed the money for the budget; now it's up to the House to make up the difference," said D'Allesandro. "My prediction is it's going to be a long budget process now."
On Tuesday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman and SB 152 sponsor Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, released a list of potential reductions from House-adopted spending on Medicaid expansion, community health centers, the developmentally disabled wait-list for services and in the mental health system, among others.
Bragdon noted the Senate would have made some adjustments in its proposed budget if the bill had passed, but noted the Senate had already agreed to the House level of funding for the University System of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Community College System and a number of other programs.
Then House and Senate negotiators will try to reach a compromise on the operating budget before the next fiscal year begins July 1.
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