CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today, Gov. Sununu delivered his State of the State Address to a Joint Session of the legislature. Following the speech, House Democratic Leader Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) released the following statement:
“Under Governor Sununu’s leadership, many Granite Staters are suffering, local property taxes are the highest in the nation, free speech is restricted, and personal freedoms have been revoked.
Governor Sununu tried to paint New Hampshire as the model for COVID response, but Granite Staters working in our emergency rooms, classrooms, and nursing homes know the real truth.
Governor Sununu enabled conspiracy theorists within his party to delay millions in critical funding for COVID-19 relief, while New Hampshire remains the least vaccinated state in New England by far. During the height of the Omicron surge, just two months ago, New Hampshire had the highest rates of COVID nationwide, forcing hospital administrators across the state to release public statements begging for support.
It’s easy to blame Washington rather than take accountability for your own decisions. While New Hampshire has benefitted from a strong national economy, some Granite Staters continue to be paid a paltry $7.25 an hour because Governor Sununu insists on keeping our minimum wage the lowest in the nation. The low wages dictated by Sununu’s policies are exacerbated by the lack of affordable housing, which has priced many families and talented individuals out of our economy.
Governor Sununu claims record funding for cities and towns when in reality, New Hampshire municipalities received more aid last term under Democratic leadership. Right now, Granite Staters pay the highest property taxes per capita in the country, and property taxes will continue to rise because Sununu and Republicans prioritize tax cuts for big business and wealthy donors over public education and local needs. Sununu has taken credit for hundreds of millions in federal Covid funds which he has spent without public input.
Governor Sununu speaks to prioritizing individuals over government at a time that New Hampshire Republicans are forcing government intrusion into unprecedented areas of Granite Staters’ lives. For the first time ever, taxpayers are being forced to subsidize private and religious education. In an unprecedented move, public school teachers are now forced to look over their shoulder, surveilled by bizarre Republican restrictions on curriculum to prevent accurate instruction of history on race and sex in America. Governor Sununu claims New Hampshire is the “freest” state in the nation, while he forces people to undergo medically unnecessary ultrasounds and bans abortions even in cases of rape and incest.
Governor Sununu brags that New Hampshire is a “purple state.” However, Sununu and New Hampshire Republicans are in the process of gerrymandering our districts so that politicians, not voters, decide the outcome of our elections. For months, Governor Sununu has had the opportunity to denounce the gerrymandered districts proposed by Republicans but has remained silent.
Granite Staters are resilient. However, the Sununu Administration’s extremist attacks on free speech, personal freedoms and public education are devastating our state. House Democrats will continue to fight for common-sense policies that move New Hampshire forward.”