Sununu touts Medicaid expansion, says he can’t support voting bill in current form

Gov. Chris Sununu says he doesn’t want to tell state lawmakers what to do, but said he’s hopeful they’ll find a resolution on competing and controversial voter eligibility bills. 

On Thursday, the governor praised the approval of a blockbuster Medicaid expansion measure, saying the bipartisan legislation has “a little something for everyone.” 

“We’ve been working very hard over the past year to make sure that we got a New Hampshire driven Medicaid plan,” Sununu said. “I don’t know if a lot of people trusted at the end of the day that we were going to get it done. But we did it. And we did it in a bipartisan way.”

The first-term Republican governor spoke hours after the state House of Representatives voted to extend New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program, which currently provides health insurance for some 50,000 Granite Staters. 

Raving about the bill, Sununu said “we’re saving taxpayer dollars. We’ve got a great work requirement on there. A little something for everyone and most importantly it’s a New Hampshire plan.”

It was also a key piece of his legislative agenda. 

“It was probably the toughest piece of legislation we had to fight and get done the right way and that was making sure everyone had a seat at the table, everyone had a say in terms of what this should look like,” he added.

The bill the House passed by a voice vote made minor changes to the Senate version approved earlier this year. The Senate now could either accept the changes made by the House or call for committee of conference to hammer out a compromise.

A day earlier, the GOP controlled Senate on Wednesday voted along party-lines to approve one of two House bills that mandates only New Hampshire residents can vote in the state.

The measure would end the distinction between full-fledged residents and those claiming the state as their domicile for voting.

Republican supporters argued the current system creates two tiers of voters and changing the definition of residency will restore confidence in elections.

Democrats called the measure a “voter suppression” bill. They claimed it will discriminate against out-of-state students attending New Hampshire colleges and universities, who tend to vote for Democratic candidates and causes.

The Senate made major changes to the original House bill, so it along with a similar bill head to a committee of conference.

Sununu has repeatedly said he has issues with the measure. 

“In its current form, it’s nothing that I can support right now,” he said. “But I’m hopeful they can find a good resolution.”

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