My Turn: Here’s why I support the House budget
As a freshman state representative, I’ve had lots to learn about our Legislature. I’ve listened and asked questions and have heard from a number of constituents.
The majority of those elected to the Legislature are caring, thoughtful people. We try to find areas on which we agree and move forward. It’s obvious that we can’t agree on everything, so vigorous and respectful debate is part of our process. Most of us believe that this is how good laws are made.
It is most disheartening, however, when there is vitriolic hyperbole. This includes both signed and unsigned emails, rants on the House floor, and the unrelenting anger from a small group of lawmakers.
The two-year state budget approved by the House attempts to rebuild and reinvest in New Hampshire.
It restores support for the University System of New Hampshire, the Community College System, children in need of services, the vulnerable with developmental disabilities, increased mental health services, school building aid to towns, family planning services and the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program.
This budget does not include a broad-based tax, nor does it include fees from a possible gambling licensing. This budget does not come all the way back to previously funded levels, as the revenue sources, such as the tobacco tax, boat registration fees, marriage license fees and others, were reduced in the past biennium. Without adequate revenue, there is less to distribute.
I believe that the people of New Hampshire support the priorities outlined in this budget and that those who have been devastated by draconian cuts in the previous biennium have nowhere to go. The Finance Committee met with citizens from all over New Hampshire in five hearings in the past couple weeks. Those testifying repeatedly told those present about the effects on their families.
I support this budget to reinvest and rebuild New Hampshire.
(State Rep. Christy D. Bartlett is a Democrat from Concord.)