For her refusal to tow the leadership’s line on the budget, State Representative Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford) was removed from the Finance Committee by Speaker Shawn Jasper and replaced by State Rep. David Hess (R-Hooksett). We publish a letter Sanborn sent to the New Boston Republican Committee explaining what happened. Below her letter, we publish a statement issued by Jasper regarding the matter.
From State Rep. Laurie Sanborn:
Many of you are asking, so I want to let you know what happened today.
After many conversations with constituents last night, I came to the conclusion that I could not vote for the budget with a clear conscience.
I currently serve on the budget committee as a Vice Chair of a division and today we were Exec’ing the budget bill to send it to the full House next week.
I thought it was important and respectful to let the Chair of the committee know how I felt. He immediately called the Speaker and asked him to meet with me.
The Speaker asked me to consider leaving or taking a walk, but I said no. I am here to vote for what I believe in and not hide from my positions. He then made the decision to take me off of the committee, immediately. I was replaced by Representative David Hess.
As a Republican, I ran on a platform that strongly opposes new taxes and fees, and one that responsibly manages state government spending.
The budget that the House is proposing this week does neither.
I have been surprised and disappointed with the process that has been used in the Finance committee for this budget. Repeatedly I was asked to vote on things without advance communication, without input on strategy, and without details. In fact, yesterday morning all Republicans were told to vote on the other Divisions’ budgets, even though none of us had an opportunity to see or read them. This is not something I can do.
I believe this budget is not balanced, needs more work, raises taxes, and downshifts costs onto towns and property tax payers.
I have been told that I will be reassigned to a different committee.
All the best,
From Speaker Jasper:
“The budget process is a multi-step process that is in the early stages at this point in time. When someone is part of a leadership team they sometimes have to make sacrifices to move the process along for the good of the team. Rep. Sanborn spoke at length with me before a decision was made to replace her on the Finance committee. Rep. David Hess will assume her position on House Finance. His many years of experience on Ways & Means will make him a valuable asset to the committee. I have also asked Rep. Ken Weyler, who is also a veteran of the House Finance committee, to take over the position of Vice Chairman of Finance, Division II.”