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Steven Cunningham State Representative
Sullivan District 2


February 13, 2010

Representative Steven Cunningham represents Sullivan District 2 in the NH House of Representatives.

Representative Cunningham is a member of the House Committee on Municipal and County Government.

As a new NH state representative, I attended my first State of the State address by the governor. I was surprised to hear that we had a balanced budget. Now the governor finally seems to be ready to admit that the State of New Hampshire can no longer continue with a tax and spend mentality. On Thursday he finally realized what the State House Republicans have been trying to tell him all along—we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The governor called his department heads together and asked them to make across-the-board cuts totaling $140 million through the next fiscal year—a 2% cut through the rest of this fiscal year and 8% in cuts through 2011. Just a short time ago his party lambasted Republicans when we recommended 10% in budget cuts! The irony is that these cuts wouldn’t have been necessary had he been able to rein-in his legislature while they were busy increasing the General Fund spending by 25% over the past three years.

But, even in the face of a huge deficit and the edict from the corner office to make cuts, Republicans have been defeated in our attempts at returning $25 million in revenue sharing to the cities and towns in HB 1274; but we were successful, with the assistance of 25 Democrats, to pass HB 1128 that would send $5 million in meals and rooms revenue back to our municipalities. Unfortunately the legislation must still survive the Senate. The legislation sponsored by the House Republican leadership (HB1664/HB 1672), offers very specific cuts with an impact on the appropriations resulting in a net gain of nearly $28 million. We have been talking about cutting spending for nearly four years and now that we are facing a $250 million deficit, the governor decides it’s time to take action. The problem facing Governor Lynch now, of course, is the fact that we are already nearly a third of the way into the biennium.
Had these cuts been enacted seven months ago, it would have resulted in $200 million in savings. That’s $60 million more than the governor is asking for in cuts from his department heads today. As a result, we could have easily avoided the LLC income tax ($30M).

Steven Cunningham, Representative
Sullivan County District  2

Telephone:  603-271-3317


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