Landrigan: House budget likely to pass and spending advocates don't like it
"In doing so, they have sealed the fate of scores of residents who are likely to die without access to basic treatment and recovery supports that skilled providers in New Hampshire are ready and willing to offer.''
Those are the fighting words of substance abuse treatment advocate Tym Rourke about the proposed House budget that faces an up or down vote Wednesday.
House budget writers say they have no choice but to make cuts because A) There is no stomach among Republicans for raising taxes and B) This budget includes $120 million of IOUs to settle two lawsuits against the state and due to a sharp increase in clients getting Medicaid health insurance.
"The various proposals for tax increases that the governor put forward were rejected by the Finance Committee for that reason,'' said House Finance Committee Chairman Neal Kurk, R-Weare.
The head of the state's largest union says in the past Republicans raised revenue to balance state budgets.
"The recession is over. Indicators show our economy is improving,'' said Rich Gulla of the State Employees Association.
"Large retail chains are giving employees raises. Yet our House Finance Committee is treating our budget as though we are in a depression. I just don't understand it.''
But the House GOP rank and file appear to be sticking together making it likely this controversial budget passes.