Her most challenging task will be writing a budget that reins in pent up demand by Democrats, particularly in the House, which is now in their control.
At budget hearings in November, Hassan cautioned state agencies that their requests for $321 million in new funding from state tax sources was unrealistic. She later directed agencies to submit new, lower spending requests for the two-year budget taking effect in July. She submits her budget to lawmakers in mid-February.
She asked lawmakers Thursday to embrace her Innovate New Hampshire jobs plan, which focuses on building an educated workforce, doubling a business research and development tax credit and giving technical assistance to businesses.
She repeated her promise to veto personal income and general sales taxes. New Hampshire has neither a general sales nor personal income tax.
“To those of you who believe deeply in an income tax, I ask you to put that aside. I will veto an income or sales tax. And as we build the next budget, though we have much to address, we must acknowledge that we will not be able to do everything all at once,” she said.
“To those on the other side,” she added, “I ask you to recognize there are some things that government must do — not only to help our most vulnerable citizens, but also to provide the platform for economic growth. Needs do not go away simply because we don’t fund them. And opportunities for innovation and growth can evaporate if we fail to make smart investments in a timely way.”
Senate President Peter Bragdon, a Milford Republican, said he expects to work collaboratively with Hassan, a former Senate colleague, to try to find compromise.
“After listening to Gov. Hassan’s speech, I am convinced the emphasis of this legislative session will be on finding solutions instead of fighting,” he said.