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Governor Hassan Highlights the Clear Choice on Expanding Opportunity and Building a Stronger Workforce at NHTI in Concord

Maggie Hassan

The Governor Restored Funding that Allowed Community Colleges to Reduce Tuition, Havenstein Would Take Us Back to the Bill O’Brien Cuts that Undermined Higher Education

CONCORD—Governor Maggie Hassan visited NHTI, Concord’s Community College, to highlight the clear choice between her bipartisan leadership to expand opportunity and build a stronger workforce, and failed CEO Walt Havenstein’s Koch agenda that would take the state back to the Bill O’Brien cuts that undermined higher education and critical economic priorities.

The Governor was joined by State Senate candidate Dan Feltes and ClassCo Co-Founder and President David Luneau, to highlight her work to restore funding for higher education that allowed community colleges to reduce tuition. ClassCo is a technology, product design and development, and marketing company focused on the needs of the public safety and telecommunications communities.

“As the founder of a high-tech company right here in Concord, I know firsthand the importance of a strong workforce,” said ClassCo Co-Founder and President David Luneau. “My business relies on people being able to afford tuition so they can develop the skills and innovative thinking they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. Governor Hassan understands the needs of small businesses like mine, and that’s why she made freezing college tuition such a key priority.”

“It’s great to be at NHTI as we discuss our efforts to expand opportunity and build a stronger workforce that can fill the jobs that our innovative businesses are creating here in New Hampshire,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Our community colleges are developing innovative programs to provide our citizens with the skills they need to secure high-quality jobs, and that’s why I fought to restore funding that allowed our community colleges to reduce tuition. But my opponent’s Koch Brothers agenda and fiscally irresponsible ‘plan’ could make costs rise again at our community colleges, reversing our efforts to strengthen our workforce and putting a strain on students and families.”

Governor Hassan is fighting to expand opportunity and build a stronger workforce by freezing in-state tuition at our universities and reducing tuition at community colleges, working to modernize STEM education in our public schools, and promoting innovative options for higher education across the state.

Walt Havenstein, on the other hand, is pushing a Koch Brothers “plan” that would blow a $90 million hole in our budget, taking us back to the devastating Bill O’Brien cuts that undermined higher education and critical economic priorities.

NH Jackson Jefferson Celebration: President Clinton Rallies NH Democrats Ahead Of Elections

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Are you ready? Are you ready to vote?

These words covered signs throughout the Center of New Hampshire conference center last night as the New Hampshire Democrats hosted their annual Jackson Jefferson Celebration.

NH Democratic Committee Chair Ray Buckley opened the night with a simple question, “Are you ready to vote?” Buckley continued, “Are you ready to reelect Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter? Are you ready to reelect Congresswoman Annie Kuster? Are you ready to reelect Governor Maggie Hassan? Are you ready to reelect Senator Jeanne Shaheen?”

The standing ovations for each of the candidates proved that the crowd is ready. Ready to get out and vote for Democrats this election. Ensuring that New Hampshire Democrats get out and vote is vitally important.

“Four years ago New Hampshire Democrats stayed home and New Hampshire elected Bill O’Brien as Speaker of the House,” said Buckley.

In 2010, Bill O’Brien was elected Speaker after the Tea Party wave overcame the New Hampshire House. As Speaker, O’Brien slashed the New Hampshire budget, cutting funding to Children In Needs programs, defunded Planned Parenthood and attempted to push through a complete repeal of collective bargaining. “Bill O’Brien is counting on NH Democrats staying home,” said Buckley. If NH Democrats stay home this year Bill O’Brien will become Speaker of the House again.

The President of the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, Dave Lang, was honored with the Kathy Sullivan Courage Award for his decade long fight against the Local Government Center. Lang fought the LGC who were found to be misusing public healthcare funds and taking millions of dollars from taxpayers.

“I accept this award on behalf of the 2000 professional firefighters and paramedics who are out there every day working to make all the bad stuff go away,” said Lang. Referring to the massive budget cuts and anti-worker legislation pushed by the NH GOP in the Legislature Lang said, “This November it is up to you to stop the bad things from happening.”

After the awards were given, the candidates got their chance to speak.

Congresswoman Annie Kuster was first to take the stage. She opened by saying, “You all look beautiful.” Kuster focused on her work in Washington to protect small business, veteran’s benefits, expanding Social Security, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. She highlighted how her opponent, Marilinda Garcia, opposes many of these principles.

“(Garcia) opposes equal pay for equal work,” said Kuster. “(Garcia) voted to repeal the Violence Against Women Act. Marilinda is just a Michelle Bachmann – Sarah Palin wannabe. Marilinda Garcia is too extreme for New Hampshire.”

Prior to her current term as US Congresswomen, Annie Kuster spent twenty-five years as an adoption attorney. She talked about how important it is protect a women’s right to choose. Marilinda Garcia boasted in her support of the recent Hobby Lobby decision that allows your employer to choose what contraceptives are covered by their company health plan. Garcia voted to defund Planned Parenthood, voted to ban abortions — even cases of rape or incest — and even went as far as to criminalize any physician who performs an abortion.

“This is personal and private,” said Kuster. “We cannot let the government or our employers decide when we want to bear children.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter kicked off her speech by saying, “Practice self-defense and vote for Democrats.”

Shea-Porter has been a champion for middle class families through her three terms in Congress. She has worked to protect the 5,000 workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and opposes the draconian cuts proposed by the Republican leadership in the US House. She mentions how the GOP cut research for the CDC. “Clearly a bad move,” said Shea-Porter.

Shea-Porter is also pushing to get the dark money out of politics opposing the Citizens United. Shea-Porter clearly stated, “New Hampshire is not for sale.”

IMG_4798Governor Hassan rallied the crowd with one of the best speeches I have ever seen her deliver. She showed her passion for protecting Granite Staters and growing our economy. Hassan said, “We must restore opportunity by restoring and improving the New Hampshire Minimum Wage.”

Hassan criticized her opponent Walt Havenstien’s proposed plan for New Hampshire, “Walt Havenstien’s plan would blow a $90 million dollar hole in the state budget to give tax breaks to big business.”

Governor Hassan introduced Senator Shaheen by saying, “Senator Shaheen did not just move here, and she always puts New Hampshire first.”

Image from Jeanne Shaheen on Facebook

Image from Jeanne Shaheen on Facebook

Senator Shaheen wanted everyone to know what is at stake this election. “What kind of future do we want?” asked Shaheen.

In the Senate, Shaheen has pushed for Equal Pay for equal work, allowing students to refinance their student loans and raising the minimum wage. “Students should be able to get a college education without drowning in debt,” said Shaheen.

Senator Shaheen took the golden opportunity to highlight a few of the flaws in her opponent, Scott Brown.

It has become widely known that Scott Brown is a well-paid board member of Kadant INC, a company that is known for outsourcing American jobs. “We do not need to import a senator who will export American jobs,” said Shaheen.

Shaheen also highlighted the massive outpouring of money from Brown’s big oil donors. Last week Brown’s super PAC received a $500,000 donation from an actual Texas oil baron. “Scott Brown has so much big oil money, he should have run for the Senate from Texas,” Shaheen jested.

Scott Brown has been relentless in claiming that Senator Shaheen does want to secure the southern border. To the shock of the crowd Shaheen said, “There is one thing Scott Brown and I agree on.” After a few hems and haws from the crowd Shaheen said, “We need to do more to secure our southern border…with Massachusetts.”

Shaheen closed by saying, “Scott Brown can be the first Senator to run for the Senate in two states and to be defeated by two women.”

The highlight of the night was the keynote address by President William Jefferson Clinton.   He reminisced about running around New Hampshire looking for anyone who wanted to shake is hand. My how times have changed.

As President, Clinton created over 22 million jobs by rejecting trickle down economics. Clinton utilized “demand and growth” economics that expanded the economy from the middle out. His presidency saw a 40% growth throughout the middle class, and a minimum of 21% growth in all other quintiles.

President Clinton praised the work of Gov. Hassan, Sen. Shaheen, Congresswomen Kuster and Shea-Porter. He said, “I am comfortable campaigning for, and taking orders from women…it is just like at home.” It was obvious that President Clinton really enjoys campaigning. He said, “I feel like an old race horse who get brought back to the track every two years, given a smack on the rear just to see if I can win one more race.”

President Clinton focused his speech on how important this election is, and how different this election from previous elections. “This is an unsettled time,” said Clinton. “This is an unsettled time, however this is not 2010. They keep selling the same old ideas. This time the voters are just not buying what they are selling.” Republicans are using negative ad campaigns to win voters. “They want you to cast resentment votes,” said Clinton. “Resentment over the Affordable Care Act and resentment over President Obama. They want you to stop thinking.”

Clinton talked up President Obama’s leadership in the wake of a complete financial disaster. He said that if you look at every major financial crash throughout the world in the last 150 years you will see that it takes on average ten years to recover all the jobs lost. He was proud to say that we regained all the lost jobs from the 2008 financial crash in just over six years. “Since the crash the United States has created more jobs than all of Europe and Japan combined.”

In closing, President Clinton talked about voter turnout, and the importance of getting people to the polls on Election Day. “New Hampshire had the largest percentage drop in voter turnout in 2010 from 2008.” He did not have to say anything else for everyone understand what would happen if Democrats do not vote in this election.

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Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire Support Governor Hassan for re-election

Hassan PFFNH

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Manchester – Today fire fighters from across New Hampshire gathered in Manchester at station seven to proudly support Governor Hassan in her re-election campaign. Governor Hassan is the best choice for Governor of this state because she has demonstrated that she prioritizes public safety, and has fought to ensure that fire fighters are supported so they can do their job of protecting the public.

“Fire fighters and Governor Hassan have something very important in common: it is our jobs to ensure that the citizens of this state are protected and out of harm’s way at all times. This is a job that we both take very seriously. It is clear that her priorities align with ours, as she has had a long track record as our Governor and State Senator to prove it. It’s this kind of tested leadership and unwavering commitment to the public that make her the best candidate to continue to govern New Hampshire,” stated Dave Lang, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of NH.

“A Governor’s first job is to ensure the safety of the people of New Hampshire, and it’s an honor to have the support of New Hampshire’s fire fighters as we work together to protect our communities and keep our state moving in the right direction,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Through our bipartisan budget, we’ve worked to strengthen the safety of New Hampshire’s communities and ensure that all fire fighters and safety officials have the support they need and deserve, without a sales or income tax. We need to keep our state moving forward the New Hampshire Way – bringing together Republicans, Democrats and independents to protect our communities and solve long-standing challenges.”

Hassan and PFFNHThe Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH represents more than 2,000 active and retired fire fighters and paramedics from 43 locals across the state.  More information is available at www.pffnh.org.

Governor Hassan, Senator Shaheen Announce Five NH Projects to Receive Northern Border Regional Commission Grant

Maggie Hassan

Grants to Help Spur Economic and Community Development in the North Country

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that five New Hampshire projects will receive grant funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission to help spur economic and community development in the North Country.

Totaling $968,365, the five grants will be awarded to the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN), the Town of Littleton, the Coos Economic Development Council, the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) and the University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program.

“The Northern Border Regional Commission is an important regional collaboration and federal-state partnership that helps spur economic and community development in some of our most economically distressed areas,” Governor Hassan said. “These five projects will address infrastructure and transportation needs and promote business development across the North Country, creating jobs and strengthening our economy. I thank Senator Shaheen, the Northern Border Regional Commission and our regional partners in Maine, New York and Vermont for their efforts to help make this important investment in our people, businesses and communities a reality.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for jobs and the economy in northern New Hampshire,” Senator Shaheen said. “These five projects will support small business growth while addressing important infrastructure needs that are crucial for economic development in the North Country. I am hopeful that with the support of this grant, we will see a rejuvenation of North Country communities and businesses that have faced significant economic challenges.”

“This is great news for the North Country,” state Senator Jeff Woodburn said. “Each of these projects will in their own way contribute to revitalizing our economy, improving life for people and our business community.  I’m grateful to the persistent leadership of these organizations who applied for these grants and work tirelessly to improve our communities, and our national, regional and state officials who advocated so strongly for us.”

WREN will receive a $161,670 grant to create an entrepreneurial training center and “maker space” to serve more than an estimated 75 emerging and existing entrepreneurs.

The Town of Littleton will receive $250,000 to support a Main Street revitalization project, with two businesses already saying they plan to expand once the project is completed. Littleton will construct a multi-use bridge over the Ammonoosuc River, which will connect pedestrians, bicycles and off-road vehicles with downtown and the riverfront.

The Coos Economic Development Council will receive a $250,000 grant to construct a new cell tower on Cummings Mountain in West Dummer, a strategic connection that will provide service in unserved areas of Coos County, encouraging business development and enhancing emergency communications.

The NCIC will receive a $200,000 grant to expand and improve the NH Grand website, an important visitor information portal for Coos County.  NH Grand supports tourism marketing initiatives, and the funding will be used to incorporate new features on the website, including search engine optimization, multi-lingual accessibility, mapping and teletype, as well as a booking system and marketing opportunities via search engine sponsorships.

The University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program will receive a $106,695 grant to extend and enhance its broadband availability and mapping activities to the rural addresses of Coos County. The project will provide data about service availability in unserved and underserved areas in the region, which will be used to prioritize where investment should be focused to expand broadband access and to provide information to people and businesses considering relocating to the region.

The NBRC was created as a federal-state partnership approved in the 2008 Farm Bill, with a mission to address the economic and community development needs in economically distressed communities in the Northern Forest region, which includes New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and New York.

Governor Hassan: “If you continue standing with me, we’ll keep NH moving in the right direction”

Maggie Hassan

Governor Addresses Crowd of Supporters at General Election Kick-Off Rally in Manchester, Presents Vision for Building a Brighter Economic Future

Manchester—Outlining her vision for building a brighter economic future, Governor Maggie Hassan addressed a crowd of supporters at her general election kick-off rally, calling for continued bipartisan cooperation to keep the state moving forward.

The Governor told the packed house, “If you continue standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction,” and discussed her efforts to bring together Republicans, Democrats and independents to expand middle class opportunity and help innovative businesses create jobs.

“Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track,” said Governor Hassan. “We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.”

The Governor outlined how far New Hampshire’s people, families, and communities have come over the past twenty months, highlighting how she worked across party lines to balance the budget without an income or sales tax, to freeze in-state tuition at our colleges and universities, to broker agreements to end expensive lawsuits that threatened our state’s finances and bond rating, reach a bipartisan compromise to expand health care to 50,000 working people, and to develop a plan to fix our roads and bridges, including finishing the completion of I-93.

“I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving,” said Governor Hassan. “Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.”

The Governor also emphasized what’s at stake this November, and how her opponent and his Koch Brothers agenda would be a disaster for middle class families and take New Hampshire’s economy backward to the devastating cuts to higher education, health care and public safety made by the Bill O’Brien legislature.

“By signing his name to the Koch Brothers pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction,” said Governor Hassan.

The Governor added, “He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.”

And she said, “When it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted. He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.”

In her speech, Governor Hassan stressed that “we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.”

To build an even brighter economic future, the Governor outlined that we must continue working to help innovative businesses start and grow in New Hampshire, make higher education, health care and energy more affordable, and help working families make ends meet by restoring and increasing the state’s minimum wage.

“I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done,” said Governor Hassan.”

See below for full text of Governor Hassan’s primary night address, as prepared for delivery:

Thank you.

Thank you to all of you here tonight – you are the force that powers this campaign and that allows us to make progress for the people of our state.  

And thank you Executive Councilor Chris Pappas for that introduction and for once again hosting us here tonight, but most of all, thank you for being a steadfast advocate for our communities on the Executive Council.

Thank you as well to our United States Senator, the incomparable Jeanne Shaheen, who always puts New Hampshire first.

I want to take a moment to tell my family – Tom, Meg, Liz and my mother Peggy who are here with me tonight, and my son Ben who’s following along at home – how much I appreciate the support and love you give me.

And I want to thank the people of New Hampshire, who work together every day to strengthen their families, their communities, and the state we all love.

Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track.

We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.

And we have come a long way together over the last twenty months.   

Two years ago, instead of working to solve our state’s problems, many elected officials had become the problem – because they were pursuing a radical agenda instead of looking out for the priorities of our small businesses and our middle class families.

On any given issue, the only question that seemed to matter to Bill O’Brien’s legislature was simply: what would the Koch Brothers do?

The O’Brien legislature slashed funding for higher education in half, defunded Planned Parenthood, and cut critical services for children and families.

Under that legislature, our roads and bridges were crumbling, our mental health services were severely strained, and our economy was heading in the wrong direction.

Worse than that, the O’Brien legislature turned its back on the traditions that make the Granite State strong: cooperation, bipartisanship and common-sense problem solving.

It got so bad they were starting to make Washington look reasonable and civil.

And so we all stood together in 2012 to say “enough.”  

Now, I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving.

Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.

By working with independents, Republicans and Democrats, we’ve made progress to expand opportunity for middle class families and support innovative businesses so they can create good jobs here in New Hampshire.

We reached out across the aisle and passed the most bipartisan budget in over a decade – with no income or sales tax.

It’s a budget that is making it a bit easier for hard-working people around this state to send their kids to college – because we were able to freeze in-state tuition at our university system, and at our community colleges this fall, tuition is actually five percent less.

That’s helping our families, and helping build the workforce we need to grow New Hampshire’s economy.

To better prepare our young people for jobs in the 21st century economy, we’re working to modernize science, technology, engineering, and math education in schools across our state.

To ensure fiscal responsibility, we came together to tackle the big challenges that were threatening our state’s financial outlook and bond rating.

We ended costly lawsuits by working with both parties to replace our shamefully outdated women’s prison, reach a fair agreement with hospitals to resolve the Medicaid Enhancement Tax issue, and rebuild community mental health services across our state.

To support our businesses, we’re helping them sell their products across the world, we re-invested in keeping New Hampshire a top destination for tourism, and we doubled the research and development tax credit.

And through our “Live Free and Start” initiative, we’re helping make it easier for small, innovative businesses to open in New Hampshire.

In addition, to strengthen our economy, we came together to pass a bipartisan transportation plan, and now we’re fixing roads and bridges across the state and finally finishing the expansion of I-93.

And of course, right now, more than 13,000 hard-working Granite Staters have new health and economic security – because of our bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan.  

While the far right has focused on trying to repeal health coverage, we found a way to bring both parties together to develop a fiscally responsible, New Hampshire solution that will strengthen our families, businesses and economy.

But what good is our work to support middle class families and to get our economy moving in the right direction if a young woman at her first job isn’t paid fairly or if she can’t access the basic health care she needs?

That’s why we passed the bipartisan New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women can receive equal pay for an equal day’s work.

And while we saw the Supreme Court rule that employers can deny women health insurance that covers their full health needs, including contraception – here in New Hampshire we’ve fought to ensure that women and families can access critical health services by restoring funding for Planned Parenthood.

In the last year and a half, we’ve put New Hampshire back on the right track.

And we have come too far to let my opponent take us backward.  

By signing his name to the Koch Brothers’ pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction.

He signed his name to repealing our bipartisan plan to fix our roads and bridges.

He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.

He pledged to the Koch Brothers that he’d support so-called “right to work” legislation – which we all know really means “right to work for less” – while he opposes restoring and improving our minimum wage.  

And when it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted.

He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.

And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.

And if all of that isn’t bad enough, he has criticized our bipartisan budget that reinvests in higher education, and said that he opposes additional state funding for our universities.

In his debate just last week, he actually praised Bill O’Brien and his devastating budget cuts.

It’s clear that my opponent would simply be a rubber stamp for Bill O’Brien and the Koch Brothers.

We can’t afford to return to that disastrous agenda.

 

We’ve worked together. We’ve reached across party lines to get things done. We’re moving in the right direction.

Working together, we’ve set in motion an innovation plan that is strengthening the foundation of our 21st century economy.

Unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 2008 and the private sector has created 10,000 jobs in the last year.  

But we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.

We need to continue to focus on holding down the cost of higher education, on keeping our young people here, and preparing our workforce for good 21st century jobs.

We need to do more to help innovative businesses start up and thrive in New Hampshire, and to make it easier for our existing companies to grow.

We need to build on the new competition in our health insurance marketplace to continue making coverage more affordable and more accessible for all of our people and businesses.

We need to reduce energy costs while protecting our beautiful natural resources that drive our tourism economy and define us as a place and as a people.

And we need to give working families a better opportunity to make ends meet by restoring and improving the minimum wage.

That’s why I’m running for another term as your Governor.  

I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done.

New Hampshire is a rugged, inclusive and beautiful place where we combine a sense of community and individualism like nowhere else.

No story exemplifies this New Hampshire spirit better than the story of Rustic Crust in Pittsfield.

In March, the company lost their old facility in a devastating fire.

But rather than despair, within minutes, Rustic Crust founder and CEO Brad Sterl took a deep breath and said, “OK, we have to rebuild.”

“These employees rely on this business,” he said, as he pledged to rebuild better and stronger, while paying his workers the whole time.

His employees have told me how much that generosity meant to him.

Through the company’s perseverance, ingenuity and commitment to its workers, and with the strength and support of their community, Pittsfield and Rustic Crust rallied together, and just last month, broke ground to rebuild at the same location.

This is the kind of story I see all across New Hampshire.

We are an all-hands-on-deck state. When we face a challenge, the people of New Hampshire roll up our sleeves and we come together to get things done.

That’s how the Pittsfield community is helping to rebuild Rustic Crust.

That’s how we’ve worked to put our state back on the right track over the past 20 months.

And that’s how, if you keep standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction toward an even brighter economic future for all Granite Staters.

Thank you. I ask for your vote. Let’s keep New Hampshire moving forward.

Join Merrimack County Democrats’ For A Harvest Supper

Democrat Doney (Flikr DonkeyHotey)

Merrimack County Democrats will celebrate their unity for the November 4 elections during the party’s traditional Harvest Supper on Saturday Sept. 20, at the Carter Hill Orchards in Concord, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“We plan a family friendly afternoon celebrating Democratic candidates, including U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and State Sen. Andrew Hosmer, who will be keynote speakers,” said Jon Bresler, county party chairperson.

Others invited to take part in the celebration are U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen; Gov. Maggie Hassan; Executive Councilors Colin Van Ostern and Christopher Pappas; State Sen. Sylvia Larsen; House Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff; State Party Chairman Ray Buckley; and candidates for the State Senate, House of Representatives and County offices.

The menu includes smoked turkey, pulled pork, desserts and a vegetarian table for a suggested donation of $25.  The donation is $20 for those who bring a dish to share; children under age 12 free.

“In addition to the usual political fare of speeches by public office holders and seekers, there will be food, BYOB, wagon rides, raffles, apple picking, cider and music,” Bresler said.

The event coincides with the New Hampshire Audubon Society’s Fall Hawk count from the Raptor observatory at Carter Hill Orchard, 73 Carter Hill Road. 

You can contribute online. Order tickets at: http://bit.ly/WlkOnr

Mail checks to:                                    
Merrimack County Democrats
P.O. Box 1741
Concord, NH 03302

Sponsorships available: Please call 724-5715   

Governor Hassan Creates Workers’ Compensation Commission

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Issues Executive Order Bringing Together Experts to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs

Maggie HassanCONCORD – In order to help reduce workers’ compensation costs that are a burden on New Hampshire businesses and ensure that injured workers have access to high-quality care, Governor Maggie Hassan today issued an Executive Order creating the Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs.

“Employers and workers have done their part to increase workplace safety, but New Hampshire has become one of the most expensive states in the nation for workers’ compensation, a burden on businesses across the state,” Governor Hassan said. “By bringing together business leaders and experts from insurance, health care and labor, the Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs provides an opportunity for stakeholders to identify ways to reduce workers’ compensation medical costs and ensure that injured workers have access to quality care. With these reforms, our businesses will be able to re-invest these dollars in growing their companies, creating new jobs and keeping our economy moving in the right direction.”

Tasked with making recommendations to reform New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation system, the commission will review the data behind New Hampshire’s high workers’ compensation costs; analyze efforts by other states to successfully reduce workers’ compensation costs; review how other states ensure continued access to quality care for injured workers; and develop comprehensive reforms that will reduce costs and premiums and improve New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation system while ensuring that injured workers have access to quality care.

According to the Oregon Workers Compensation Rate Ranking Study, New Hampshire rose from the 14th-most expensive state for workers’ compensation coverage in the country in 2008 to the ninth-most expensive in 2012. In addition, data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance shows that workers’ compensation surgical procedures in New Hampshire are 83 percent more expensive than those in the region and more than twice as expensive as they are nationally. For more information on New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation costs, visit  http://www.nh.gov/insurance/media/pr/2014/documents/052214.pdf.

“New Hampshire is among the most expensive states for workers’ compensation, an unnecessary disadvantage for businesses that operate here,” said New Hampshire Insurance Department Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “I look forward to working with the commission to improve our workers’ compensation system by making recommendations to reduce costs and premiums while ensuring that workers have access to quality care.”

Commissioner Sevigny will be the chairman of the Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs. He will be joined on the commission by New Hampshire Department of Labor Commissioner Jim Craig or a designee from the department, as well as a diverse group of experts representing workers, employers, insurance professionals and the health care sector.

The Commission’s final report is due to the Governor on December 1, 2014.

Other members of the commission are:

·         Brian Allen, Vice President of Government Affairs at HELIOS (formerly Progressive Medical/PMSI)

·         Donald F. Baldini, AVP and State Affairs Officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance

·         Pamela Bronson, Administrator at Access Sports Medicine & Orthopedics

·         Paul W. Chant of Cooper Cargill Chant

·         Tammy Denver, Director of Claims & Coverage Programs at NH Public Risk Management Exchange (Primex3)

·         Edward Dudley, Executive Vice President/CFO of Catholic Medical Center

·         Mark Erdody, Director of New England Claims for Cove Risk Services, LLC

·         Marc Lacroix, New Hampshire Physical Therapy Association and Director of Specialty Services at Concord Hospital

·         David Lang, President of Professional Firefighters of NH

·         Mark Mackenzie, President of NH AFL-CIO

·         Peter McNamara, President of NH Automobile Dealers Association

·         Dr. Gregory Soghikian of New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center

·         Ben Wilcox, President & General Manager of Cranmore Mountain Resort

The full text of the Governor’s Executive Order is attached and below.

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
BY HER EXCELLENCY
MARGARET WOOD HASSAN
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2014-7

An order establishing a Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs 

WHEREAS, workers and employers across New Hampshire have partnered together to make their workplaces safer and to reduce on-the-job injuries;

WHEREAS, it is critical that injured workers have access to high-quality medical care and that we recognize medical practices often bear higher costs and administrative obligations when treating and assisting workers injured on the job;

WHEREAS,  while rates are expected to drop slightly in the coming year, New Hampshire was ranked the  ninth-most expensive state for workers’ compensation insurance in 2012, a change driven by increasing medical costs;

WHEREAS, according to a New Hampshire Department of Insurance review, medical costs in New Hampshire have grown to almost 75 percent of total workers’ compensation dollars spent in New Hampshire, compared to about 60 percent nationwide;

WHEREAS, the same review showed that on average workers’ compensation surgical procedures in New Hampshire are 83 percent more expensive than those in the region and more than twice as expensive as they are nationally;

WHEREAS, as an employer, state government pays significantly more for procedures covered by workers’ compensation coverage  compared to the same procedures covered through the state’s group medical coverage;

WHEREAS, higher workers’ compensation costs result in higher premiums that impact employers, workers and the economy by diverting resources that could be used for other priorities such as increased wages, new hires and investments in company infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, most other states have implemented strategies to successfully reduce medical costs for workers’ compensation;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MARGARET WOOD HASSAN, GOVERNOR of the State of New Hampshire, by the authority vested in me pursuant to Part II, Article 41 of the New Hampshire Constitution, do hereby establish, effective September 4, 2014, a Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs, which shall comprise the commissioners of Insurance and Labor, as well as individuals representing workers, employers, insurance professionals and health care. 

FURTHER, the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance shall serve as chair; 

FURTHER, the Commission shall:

  1. Review data and information explaining the basis for high workers’ compensation costs in New Hampshire; 
  2. Review laws, regulations and other efforts undertaken by other states to successfully reduce workers’ compensation medical costs and other workers’ compensation costs;
  3. Review laws, regulations and other efforts undertaken by other states to ensure continued access by injured workers to high-quality health care providers;
  4. Develop and recommend a comprehensive reform to reduce medical costs and premiums in New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation system while preserving access to health care for workers, and
  5. Make any other recommendations the Commission believes necessary to improve New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation system to reduce costs and premiums, improve the care to workers, and to help workers return to the job in a timely matter.

FINALLY, the Commission shall submit its final report to the Governor by December 1, 2014.

Given under my hand and seal at the Executive Chambers in Concord, this 4th day of September, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and fourteen, and the independence of the United States of America, two hundred and thirty-nine.

______________Maggie Hassan_________________________

GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

Governor Hassan, DRED Launch What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest

Maggie Hassan

Contest Partners Middle School Students with Local Manufacturers to Produce Video Exploring Career Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing

CONCORD – In order to engage New Hampshire’s students as the new school year begins and help them understand that there are exciting and interesting career opportunities at manufacturing companies across the state, Governor Maggie Hassan and Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeffrey Rose launched today the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest.

Aimed at introducing middle school students to advanced manufacturing, the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest partners participating schools with a local manufacturer to produce a video that explores career opportunities in manufacturing, how the industry has changed and its importance to New Hampshire’s economy as the state’s largest industry.

“As our state’s largest industry, manufacturing is critical to keeping our economy moving in the right direction and expanding middle class opportunity,” Governor Hassan said. “By creating partnerships between job-creating manufacturing companies and local schools, the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest will help our students understand that they can stay in New Hampshire and find jobs here that are interesting and exciting. This contest will also help build relationships that can lead to a stronger workforce pipeline to fill the jobs that growing businesses are creating here in New Hampshire, helping this critical industry continue to thrive.”

Students and their advisers can begin working with a local manufacturer on the video at the start of the 2014-2015 school year and must submit their projects by December 1, 2014. A winner will be selected in early 2015.

“This video contest is a great introduction for students  to meet their local manufacturers – manufacturers they may pass on their way to school every day,” said Commissioner Rose. “The contest brings both of them together so that these companies can showcase exciting opportunities to the students, some of whom may well become employees in a few years. Advanced manufacturing and our middle school students are the future in New Hampshire and this is a way for them to connect.”

The What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest is part of an effort that the Governor announced in February’s State of the State. Working with an advisory committee from the Divison of Economic Development coordinating the contest, students at Nashua High School South partnered last spring with manufacturer Johnson Precision in Hudson to produce the pilot project.

The pilot video is available at the contest website, http://www.nheconomy.com/manufacturing-in-nh/videocontest.aspx

Teachers interested in taking part can get more information on partnering with a local manufacturer, as well as video contest rules, at www.nheconomy.com/manufacturing-in-nh/videocontest.aspx or by contacting Christopher Way, deputy director, Division of Economic Development at 271-2341.

Governor Hassan Releases New Ad “Problem Solver”

Screen shot 2014-08-06 at 10.37.46 AM

Hassan Campaign Launches First TV Ad Highlighting Governor Hassan’s Work to Solve Long-Standing Challenges and Get Results for New Hampshire’s People, Businesses and Economy

MANCHESTER—Today, Governor Maggie Hassan’s re-election campaign released its first television ad, “Problem Solver,” highlighting Governor Hassan’s work to solve problems the New Hampshire way – bringing people together across party lines to address long-standing challenges and get things done for New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy.

The 30-second ad began airing on New Hampshire television stations today.

“Over the past year and a half, Governor Hassan has helped put New Hampshire back on the right track by restoring the traditions of hard work, collaboration and common sense problem solving in Concord,” said campaign manager Marc Goldberg. “In contrast to the dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, D.C., Governor Hassan has a proven record of working with Republicans, Democrats and Independents to find common ground and get things done to expand middle class opportunity, help innovative businesses create jobs and keep our economy moving in the right direction, without an income or sales tax.”

Since taking office, Governor Maggie Hassan worked across party lines to balance the budget, froze in-state tuition at our colleges and universities, brokered agreements to end expensive lawsuits that threatened our state’s finances and bond rating, reached a bipartisan compromise to expand health care to 50,000 working people, and worked with both parties and the business community to develop a plan to fix our roads and bridges, including finishing the completion of I-93.

The Governor will continue working with both parties to encourage high-tech startups, strengthen our workforce, and continue to invest in priorities like education and health care.

“For me, reaching out across party lines to get results is just common sense, and that keeps New Hampshire working for all of us,” says Governor Hassan in the new ad.

To watch the ad, please click HERE.

The SEA-SEIU 1984 Respond To The Veto Of SB 391, The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board

Sununu Youth Services-Manchester (image by Prime Roofing Corp)

Concord, NH, July 28, 2014 – Earlier today, Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed SB 391, which would have revitalized a legislative oversight committee for Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) and called for the appointment of a director of juvenile justice services at SYSC.

Through the Bill, the inactive Juvenile Justice Advisory Board would be revived, strengthened in composition, and would be given more of an oversight role over the center.  SYSC management changed in 2012 and was placed under the State Director of Children, Youth & Families.

Employees testifying in support of this bill reported numerous concerns about the management of the institution, safety, financial irresponsibility, and employer retaliation. Most recently, on-campus arson and incidents involving youth to youth conflicts have also been reported.

In response to budget cuts, nine staff members at SYSC were reassigned in lieu of layoff (in most instances demoted) or laid off last week.  Six of the nine affected workers were teachers.  This action decimates the education department as a whole.

“We’ve talked with half of the affected employees so far,” said Sean Bolton, SEA/SEIU 1984 Grievance Representative. “Based on our initial analysis, SYSC management inappropriately applied the state’s personnel rules to every affected employee except for one part-time teacher.” SEA/SEIU 1984 will be investigating the matter and taking subsequent action to protect the workers in question.

“The situation at SYSC seems to go from bad to worse,” said Diana Lacey, President SEA/SEIU 1984. “There have been three rounds of significant lay-offs over the last five years; all following shifts in management, philosophy and employees speaking out about their concerns. SYSC seems to be a target for retaliation.  This bill would have leveled the debate and created a balanced approach to management oversight.”

“It’s interesting that the Governor who is the ‘education governor’ and all about special education would support the gutting of the education program.  I guess it’s fine for kids with special education needs who can afford it, but not necessary for these kids,” said Will Flowers sarcastically, one of the teachers who was not affected by the budget cuts.

The veto comes the same day Governor Hassan also vetoed another bill, HB 591, that would have improved management oversight statewide.

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