We learned that Wednesday was House Budget Day. The NH House spent the better part of Wednesday passing a budget that kept Republican campaign promises. We passed HB1 and HB2, the budget bill and trailer bill, which effectively utilized tax dollars, and cut back government spending while cutting taxes.
This will all be a help to families and businesses in New Hampshire, especially as people have less money now to spend on taxes because of the effects of Covid has had on our economy.
We learned that this budget will cut the statewide property tax by $100,000,000 (yes, $100 million) which will give much-needed property tax relief. This means $100 million will not be collected by our cities and towns and will in fact reduce the amount of SWEPT to be collected and therefore be a reduction in taxes. But then, the Department of Revenue (DRA) will send to the cities and towns the amount that was not collected, so there will be no reduction in the amount of SWEPT that each town and city receives.
We learned that no taxpayer money will go to the funding of abortions. This budget addresses abortion funding consistent with federal law requiring “funding available from the state pursuant to Title XIX of the Social Security Act to the minimum extent necessary to comply with federal conditions for the state’s participation in the Medicaid program.”
This was brilliantly accomplished by the Finance Committee Division 3 which added an amendment to HB2 providing a new financial firewall between family planning programs and abortion services. It requires the physical and financial separation between family planning programs and where abortions are performed. Abortion advocates have long said family planning money does not pay for abortions and this amendment will make them prove that what they have been saying is true.
Of course, pro-life advocates have always pointed out how money is fungible and that the family planning money has always been used to pay for things like rent and electricity, which in turn relieves funds in their organization to pay for the abortion physical plant. Since this amendment was adopted into the budget, we are now hearing that it is “impossible” for Planned Parenthood to separate their abortion services from family planning services because of the costs involved.
Basically with their protest of this amendment they have just proved the point that public money has in fact been paying indirectly for abortion activity in their “healthcare” facilities.
We learned that this budget will begin the 5-year phase-out of the Interest and Dividends tax – which is also known as the “super-secret” NH Income tax.
We learned that taxes will be lowered in this budget to give much-needed relief to our businesses and allow them to invest money elsewhere to grow their businesses. The Business Profits Tax will be reduced from 7.7% to 7.6%. The Business Enterprise Tax will be reduced from .6% to 0.55% and there is also an increase in the filing threshold.
The Meals and Rooms Tax will be decreased from 9% to 8.5%. Most importantly, it contains no new taxes or fees and does not rely on federal stimulus funds.
We learned that this budget will eliminate 226 vacant (and many unfillable) state jobs, saving the taxpayers $22,700,000.
We learned that this budget increases the Rainy Day Fund by $146,000,000 at the end of the biennium – the highest total in our state’s history.
We learned that this budget provides much-needed funding for the Highway Fund, funding for local schools, and higher education.
The budget invests in our state’s continued efforts to improve our infrastructure, ensures adequate public safety, and reorganizes state government by creating a new Department of Energy. Trust me, we’re not growing government here… we are merging the Office of Strategic Initiative with the Public Utility Commission. This will be a good thing and streamline and organize what they do.
We learned that this is truly a Republican budget that includes carefully considered appropriations, based on realistic and conservative revenue estimates. This budget will allow our state to take care of our business community and residents, and it will enable a stronger economy while promoting job growth through reducing the tax burden on employers and individuals, as well as make New Hampshire more competitive.
We learned that overall, this House budget spends 1% less than the Governor’s proposed budget in General and Education Trust Funds and this House budget (FY22-23) spends 1.4% less than the FY20-21 budget in General and Education Trust Funds.
We learned that while some people squawked about there being “policy bills in the budget” like Charitable Gaming bill language (HB626) and Business Tax policy language (HB281), those items are slated to bring in roughly $38 million in revenue over the biennium and allows us to cut taxes even further, rather than increasing spending.
Since passing this budget, we have learned that the Governor is unhappy that the House ditched his Family Medical Leave Insurance program from HB2.
The House also decided to add some changes to the State of Emergency statutes so that the Governor would have to work as a partner with the legislature in troubled times instead of making unilateral decisions.
There’s also language included in the budget from the bill which bans the propagation of divisive concepts (HB544). The House doesn’t think that state employees should be espousing/promoting racist doctrine, like Critical Race Theory, in the name of “diversity training.”
By the way, during this session, Radical NH Progressives (i.e. Leftists) attacked Rep. Daryl Abbas and called him “a disgrace to Arabs” since he supports HB544.
We also learned that the House budget would have been crafted in a very short time in the morning, but House Democrats dragged proceedings into a good portion of the day. They wasted time presenting around 20 amendments in an attempt to destroy many of the good features included in the budget, like tax relief for our citizens and policies that would save money and cut spending.
Worth noting is that every single one of those amendments was defeated by the majority.
We learned that after passing HB1 (205-178) and HB2 (200-181) that the budget will now go to the Senate. Let’s hope the Senate doesn’t undo any of it. In the meantime, please let the Governor and the Senate know how much you really like the House budget. (Big Smile).
We learned that we had time to get to a bunch of other bills on Wednesday. The House passed some really good bills like Historic Horse Racing (HB626), and protection/expansion of gun rights (HB195, HB196, and HB307). We also passed SB43, the bill that authorized the audit of the Windham November elections! Stay tuned for further updates. The House has some really good bills headed for the Senate!
Finally, we learned how tragedy can strike at any time and how fragile life can be. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family of Rep. Gregg Hough, whose home caught fire while he was in session. We mourn with him on the loss of his mother in law who was in the house at the time. We offer our prayers to his family and hope that we all, as a community, can help him and his family through this awful event.