Gov hails House vote after it sustains veto of family leave bill he called income tax

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Paid family leave bill veto sustained in House (Courtesy photo)

CONCORD - Governor Chris Sununu today hailed a House vote that sustained his veto of HB 712, a taxpayer funded family leave bill he dismissed as another ploy for Democrats to initiate a state income tax.
"When given a choice between a real, viable paid family medical leave plan and an income tax, the Democrats unfortunately chose the income tax," said Gov. Chris Sununu. "I would like to thank Republicans in the legislature for sustaining my veto of the Democrats income tax. As I have repeatedly said, I support Paid Family Leave and have put forward multiple innovative plans to get it done that are voluntary, affordable, and income tax free."

He noted a portion of the bill that said: "payments shall amount to .5% of wages per employee per week."

"For the second time in as many years, the Democrats have put this legislation, which would establish a state income tax, on my desk," he wrote in his message to residents. "Proponents have dug deep into their thesauruses to engage in linguistic gymnastics to characterize the income tax contained in this program as something other than what everyone clearly recognizes it to be. Whether one chooses to characterize it as a 'premium on wages,' or a 'payroll deduction,' the reality remains that if it looks like an income tax, functions like an income tax, and takes more money out of the paychecks of heard working taxpayers like an income tax, then it is an income tax."

State Senator Dan Feltes, the governor's rival for the corner office in November, wasn't immediately available for comment, but criticized Sununu after he vetoed the legislation in July.

"Chris Sununu is a good politician from a family of politicians that does a decent job at press conferences, but he isn't doing a good job solving the problems working families face right now - far from it," he wrote in an opinion piece in the Concord Monitor. "To do so requires looking out for housing, for health care, for economic security, and for our schools. It requires that fundamental belief we are all in this together, not the approach that you are on your own. And it requires siding with working families when the chips are down, not siding with big corporations, big banks, or big insurance."

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