During this past legislative session, our elected representatives worked diligently and thoughtfully to create a budget that would address some of our biggest concerns in a way that was fair and reasonable. They proposed providing desperately needed funding for mental-health and substance-misuse treatment programs. They had plans to increase school funding by $138 million and to provide real property tax relief for hard working families who are really feeling the pinch.

But here’s the thing. As solid as the budget plan was, Gov. Sununu chose to veto it in favor of tax cuts to his out-of-state special interest donors. If that is where his priorities are, not with the citizens of his state, can’t we do better? I think in November 2020, the answer will be a resounding “yes.”

Of note, too, is the governor’s cavalier approach to his veto power. The budget veto means that all of these programs and many others will only be funded at the level of the last budget. Think about just one issue — the opioid crisis — and it’s need for increased support.

Then consider this. At a fundraiser for a local Republican Party group, Chris Sununu auctioned off a copy of his veto of Senate Bill 1, the Paid Family Medical Leave bill. He boasted: “Listen, I have, like, 40 more vetoes in the next couple weeks. That’s a lot of money.”

I don’t see the humor in a veto that affects so many New Hampshire citizens. I don’t see the humor in vetoes of legislation that represents the hard work and good faith of our elected representatives. Vetoes are not a party game — pun intended — they are a serious tool of government. Boasting about them to his fans and auctioning them of at a fundraiser is unseemly and crude.

Does this look like leadership? Not to me.


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