CONCORD, N.H. – Democratic leaders will meet with Gov. Chris Sununu Friday to try to reach agreement on a state budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, confirmed Thursday.
The state has been funded by continuing resolution, but if no agreement is reached by Oct. 1 and the continuing resolution isn’t renewed, that could mean a government shutdown, D’Allesandro said.
“And nobody wants that,” D’Allesandro said.
Sununu vetoed the compromise $13.3 billion budget on June 28 citing the familiar red flags of tax increases and a structural deficit.
On Wednesday, the three Democratic Executive Councilors blocked Sununu’s nominee to be chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, by a 3 to 2 vote. That prompted Sununu to withdraw his nomination of PUC Chairman Martin Honigberg to become a Superior Court judge even though it was a likely 5 to 0 win for Honigberg.
D’Allesandro said the two aren’t connected although the negative rhetoric has been heating up between Democrats and Republicans.
After the Executive Council meeting, Sununu brushed away questions about whether there is essentially political warfare in Concord following the budget veto and other issues now simmering between the two political parties.
“Everyone is coming together to the table to get things done,” Sununu said.
He mentioned the meeting with key legislators including D’Allesandro, who is “leading the charge” to get to a budget deal.
D’Allesandro, a longtime Manchester Democrat who is known to have a good relationship with the governor, attended the council meeting in Littleton Wednesday and was acknowledged by the governor during the meeting.
Sununu said, "If there was this division that you are talking about, I don’t think the Democrats would be coming in later this week to discuss this."
Of the differences on the budget, Sununu said: “A lot of it has to do with the mathematics. We’ll get it done.”
The Democratic Party was critical of Sununu and posted a video of him auctioning off a veto at a July 4 GOP fundraiser. On Thursday, the NHDP sent out an email parody that pretends to be Sununu auctioning off more vetoes on eBay.