New Hampshire Republican Platform Moves Towards Libertarian Ideology

By Mary Anne Broshek

We have  a Republican Governor and Republican majorities in the New Hampshire Senate, House and Executive Council. The current Republicans in control of the state are nothing like the Republicans you voted for 20 or 30 years ago.  Their platform has moved towards a Libertarian ideology. Two of Andover’s candidates – Louise Andrus and Alvin See are endorsed by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance.

Property taxes – In the past legislative session, there was an opportunity to move revenue back to towns and cities to make up for the downshifting of costs in previous years.  Instead, the Republican majority voted to give tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy.  An early draft estimate of lost revenue is 90 million for state fiscal year 2023.  Once the Interest and Dividends tax is phased out – that alone is estimated to lose 117 million dollars of revenue a year. 

Public Education – New Hampshire has the lowest state contribution to education in the country and the highest percent of property taxes going toward education.  It’s a problem, and the New Hampshire School Fair Funding Project states this results in 2.3 billion a year in funds down -shifted from the state to towns and cities.  Instead of addressing the problem, Republicans slipped the “no accountability” school voucher program into the budget with an estimated cost  of $130,000 the first year and 3.3 million the second year.  The actual program costs were 8 million the first year and 14.7 million the second year producing another drain on the Education Trust Fund.  All efforts to protect taxpayer funds from misuse and attempts to establish fair education funding were voted down in the past two legislative sessions.

Reproductive Rights and Public Health Services
The Republican legislature added abortion restrictions to the budget- a first for New Hampshire.  The Republican members of the Executive Council have voted multiple times to deny funding for non abortion services (contraception, cancer screenings, STD screenings).The Commissioner of Health and Human services stated “It is the equivalent to reducing access to health care services for low-income women”. 

In October, the House Judiciary Committee voted against HB1181 being recommended for future legislation by a vote of 12-7.. HB1181 is a proposal which would allow a biological father to use the courts to stop an abortion. Louise Andrus was one of the 7 who supported HB1181.

As for Gov. Sununu, he went along with abortion restrictions, tax cuts for corporation and the wealthy, and nominated the current Commissioner of Education who pushed for the school voucher legislation.

Mary Anne Broshek
East Andover