Louise Andrus’s View from Concord – April, 2023

By Louise Andrus

In the past few months, House Committees have held public hearings on bills, and then voted on the bills in Executive Sessions. The bills then went to the full House Sessions to be voted on with the committee’s recommendation.  Some of the bills passed were designated with FN (financial), and then were sent to the House Finance Committee. That Committee, after reviewing with financial estimates, then added some of the bills to the HB 2 budget bill which is also known as a “trailer bill.”  HB 2, to me, is an “omnibus” bill which in my opinion should not be allowed.

On Thursday, April 6, in the House Session, I voted no on HB 2. My decision was my own and mine alone. I was not influenced by anyone. First and foremost, I could not support a 19% increase over last year’s budget. The taxpayers come first, and it is my opinion that we need to be way more careful spending  taxpayers money. Do you approve of a 19% increase?  Did you receive a 19% increase in your wages?  Next, some of the individual bills that I had previously voted no on in House Sessions, but were passed by the House, were now placed in HB 2.  One of these bills placed in HB 2, I had spoken against in a House Session. If I  had voted yes on HB 2, I would have been a hypocrite.

Then, the Republican and Democrat leaders made compromises in HB 2. The compromise resulted in amendment 2023-1336h (go to New Hampshire General Court website and type in HB 2 and you can pull up the bill and then read about this amendment, and all the other amendments we voted on, and some were passed (30 other amendments to this one bill). The budget bill amendment 1336h passed, and I voted no, and I voted no on budget bill HB 1.  

If the State has all this extra money in the coffer, why don’t we either give it back to the cities and towns or put it in the rainy day fund, or pay off more of the retirement debt? The proposed budgets go way above and beyond “inflation.”  It is time we start asking “what is a need? What is a want?  There is continued talk by business people that there may be a recession later this year and into 2024. The budget bills now go to the Senate. Let all Senators know that you want major cuts to the budgets, HB 1 and HB 2.

If I can be of help to you please contact me, Representative Louise Andrus:  603 648-2510, or louise.andrus@nullleg.state.nh.us. Have a great June!