Govern Hassan Files For Reelection

Gov Hassan Files

Gov Hassan Files

Joined by Dozens of Supporters, Governor Hassan Officially Files Her
Candidacy for Re-Election

CONCORD—Joined by dozens of supporters, Governor Maggie Hassan today officially filed for re-election, promising to continue working to build on our economic progress by solving problems the New Hampshire way – working across party lines to keep our state moving forward.

“New Hampshire is moving in the right direction because we have shown time and again that we can work across the aisle to solve problems. Unlike in Washington, we listened to the people of New Hampshire and brought together Independents, Republicans and Democrats, and made bipartisan progress on our key priorities of expanding opportunity Gov Files Hallfor middle class families, helping innovative businesses create jobs, and keeping our economy moving forward, without an income or sales tax,” Governor Hassan said.

“As we officially start the campaign season, I look forward to listening to people in every corner of the Granite State about their priorities for how we can continue working together to build a stronger middle class and a brighter economic future for New Hampshire,” added Governor Hassan.

In the Governor’s first term, she worked across party lines to pass the most bipartisan budget in over a decade – without a sales or income tax.

The Governor froze in-state tuition to make higher education more affordable, doubled and made permanent the R&D tax credit and signed into law bipartisan measures toGov Files 3 expand health coverage to 50,000 working Granite Staters and finish the expansion of I-93.

She has also worked across the aisle to solve long-standing challenges that endangered New Hampshire’s communities and fiscal future, including passing bipartisan solutions that resolved litigation on the state’s Medicaid Enhancement Tax, mental health system, and women’s correctional facilities.

And the Governor is working to support business growth with her Innovate New Hampshire jobs plan to attract new cutting-edge businesses, help our existing businesses succeed and allow our workers to develop the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy.

Governor Hassan will continue working across party lines to support job-creation at innovative businesses, expand opportunity for middle class families, and keep New Hampshire’s economy moving forward.

Governor Hassan Issues Executive Order to Protect State Budget

Maggie Hassan

Order Directs Freeze in Generally Funded Hiring, Equipment, Purchasing and Out-of-State Travel

CONCORD – In order to help protect taxpayer dollars and the state’s budget, Governor Maggie Hassan today issued an Executive Order directing a freeze in generally funded hiring, equipment, purchasing and out-of-state travel, a preventative and preemptive measure to keep the state’s bipartisan commitment to a balanced budget.

Governor Hassan presented the Executive Order, which requires prior approval of the Fiscal Committee of the General Court, at the committee’s meeting today. The Fiscal Committee unanimously voted to approve the Executive Order.

Through March of this year, the state was running approximately $25 million ahead of it is conservative revenue plan, but general and education fund unrestricted revenues, driven principally by shortfalls in revenues from business taxes and the interest and dividend tax, came in nearly $22 million below plan in April. Despite this drastic drop, state revenues remain above plan for the fiscal year to date, but the revenue surplus was reduced to $3.9 million.

“Given the fact that revenues remain ahead of plan for the year, this is an unprecedented action that will help protect our budget,” Governor Hassan said. “We are taking the fiscally responsible, preemptive step of putting a freeze into place now so we are prepared in case the revenue trends seen in April continue.”

The Department of Revenue Administration continues to analyze data to determine the reasons for the sudden drops in revenue and whether this is a long-term trend. The decreases appear to be related, at least in part, to a number of changes in the state tax code in recent years, as well as to businesses beginning to apply various tax credits and carry forwards accrued during the recession, changes that the Governor proposed to postpone during the last budget process.

“Unfortunately, this Executive Order may only be the first step in the efforts necessary to ensure a balanced budget,” Governor Hassan said. “If June revenues perform similarly to April, we will need to take further action to reduce the state budget. We are examining options for cuts, and I will implement them where necessary and possible through Executive Orders. But some steps may require full legislative approval, and a special session of the full legislature to make reductions may be necessary over the summer. We will continue to communicate with you [the legislature] about these issues as they develop, and as we work to responsibly manage the state’s budget.”

 

Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs in NH Significantly Higher

Image of Catholic Medical Center, not mentioned specifically in post. (Wiki Commons)
Image of Catholic Medical Center, not mentioned specifically in post. (Wiki Commons)

Image of Catholic Medical Center, not mentioned specifically in post. (Wiki Commons)

Concord, NH ­– In the world of workers’ compensation, the fees charged by the health care community are significantly more expensive on average in New Hampshire than in other states, according to the New Hampshire Insurance Department.

“Medical costs in New Hampshire have grown to almost 75 percent of total workers’ compensation dollars in New Hampshire, compared to about 60 percent countrywide,” said Deb Stone, actuary and director of market regulation at the Insurance Department. “It’s my belief, based on actuarial analysis, that the lack of limitation on what can be charged by medical providers and facilities is a major contributor to this trend.”

New Hampshire went from being listed as the 14th most expensive state for workers’ compensation coverage in the country in 2008 to the 9th most expensive in 2012, according to the Oregon Workers Compensation Rate Ranking Study.

Physicians’ services

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, according to data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance. In total, the data included four categories of physician services: surgical, radiology, physical and occupational therapies, and doctors’ visits. Insurance Department actuaries found that medical costs in New Hampshire exceeded those in surrounding states and the nation by a substantial margin in all four categories. For radiology, the costs were 35 percent more expensive than in the region and 66 percent more expensive than nationally; for physical and occupational therapies, the costs were 95 percent and 64 percent more expensive, respectively; and for doctors’ visits, costs were 36 percent and 47 percent more expensive.

The data represent the most common procedures comprising at least 50 percent of the total dollars spent by workers compensation insurance companies on physician services.

“New Hampshire is more expensive, not only on average, but for every single individual physicians’ services procedure reviewed, save one,” said Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “We are among the most expensive states for workers’ compensation, and it makes it more costly for businesses to operate here.”

*The region is defined as Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Data from Massachusetts were not available: Massachusetts does not contract with NCCI. In the study, 35 states were used as the national comparison.

Facilities

On average, the costs for surgical procedures at ambulatory surgical centers in New Hampshire are 37 percent more expensive than the surrounding region and 77 percent more expensive than countrywide. Also, on average, hospital outpatient surgical procedures cost 15 percent more in New Hampshire than in the region and 25 percent more than countrywide. Further, in cases where the same procedure may be performed either as a hospital outpatient procedure or in an ambulatory surgical center, the data show that the cost in the ambulatory surgical center is generally more – in some instances as much as twice as expensive, or even higher. For hospital outpatient non-surgery procedures, NH is 51 percent more expensive than both the surrounding region and countrywide on average.

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that employers are required by state law to provide for their employees. This is to ensure, in part, that people who are injured or disabled on the job are not required to cover medical bills related to their on-the-job injury or illness. New Hampshire is one of just six states that do not have legal guidelines in place to cap the amount that health care providers can charge workers’ compensation insurance companies for services. In addition, current state law (RSA 281-A:24 I) mandates that workers’ compensation insurance “shall pay the full amount of the health care provider’s bill.”

The National Council on Compensation Insurance is an advisory organization that provides information to the insurance industry and to regulators. It provides services to the workers compensation industry in most states. In New Hampshire, it develops rates and advisory loss costs, administers the Residual Market, and provides data for analysis of issues such as the pricing of proposed state legislation and research. It provides similar services to all the New England states except Massachusetts.

Following today’s meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council’s Subcommittee on Medical Cost Containment, Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement:

“As workers’ compensation medical payments soar higher for Granite State businesses, New Hampshire has become one of the most expensive states in the nation for workers’ compensation. Employers and workers have done their part to increase workplace safety, but high workers’ compensation costs remain a burden on our businesses.

“I have supported legislation that would have created a commission to examine these issues and recommend solutions. But that legislation recently died, and I do not believe that we can wait until the next legislative session to begin working on solutions. That is why I will be creating a task force of workers, businesses, insurers and members of the health care community to make recommendations to reform the workers’ compensation system in order to reduce costs for our workers and businesses and to support their efforts to keep our economy moving forward.”

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

Governor Hassan Signs Bipartisan Transportation Funding Bill

Maggie Hassan

Bipartisan Legislation Will Help Finish Expansion of I-93, Advance Critical Road and Bridge Projects Across the State

WINDHAM – In order to help build a solid, modern transportation infrastructure that is the foundation for long-term economic growth, Governor Maggie Hassan signed today SB 367, bipartisan legislation that strengthens infrastructure investment, helping to finish the expansion of I-93 and advance critical road and bridge projects across the state.

 

“Our bipartisan transportation funding bill is the most significant state-level investment in transportation infrastructure in 23 years,” Governor Hassan said. “This legislation is an important step toward addressing our transportation needs, keeping New Hampshire’s economy moving forward by advancing critical road and bridge projects, finishing the long-overdue expansion of I-93 and improving commutes for our workers and visitors.”

 

Sponsored by Senator Jim Rausch, SB 367 was supported by a bipartisan group of legislators from both chambers. In addition, the bipartisan legislation received widespread support from the business community and other organizations, including the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, various local chambers of commerce and the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association, among others.

 

Revenues from the bipartisan plan will help fund transportation improvement projects ranging from Interstate 93 to rural roads in the North Country. Projects also include resurfacing and reconstruction on secondary roadways and municipal bridges. For location-specific information on transportation infrastructure investments funded through SB 367, visit http://www.nh.gov/dot/road-toll/.

 

“I want to thank Senator Rausch for his unwavering commitment to improving our transportation infrastructure and his bipartisan leadership on this important issue,” Governor Hassan said. “I would also like to thank the Business and Industry Association, various chambers of commerce and other representatives of the business community across the state for their efforts to support this critical step forward for our transportation infrastructure.

 

“By enacting this bill, we have demonstrated once again that in New Hampshire, we come together across the aisle to find solutions for our people. A solid, modern transportation infrastructure is the foundation for long-term economic growth, critical to the success of New Hampshire’s people and businesses, and I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation into law so that we can strengthen our transportation infrastructure and boost our economy.”

Governor Hassan and Senator Larsen’s Statements On Paycheck Fairness Vote In NH House

Maggie Hassan

Statement from Governor Hassan on House’s Final Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

CONCORD – Following the House’s final passage today of the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, Governor Maggie Hassan released the following statement:

“With the final passage of the most significant piece of legislation for women in New Hampshire’s workforce in over a decade, Republican and Democratic members of the House have reaffirmed the basic principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.

“Eliminating the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across the state, and I thank Senator Larsen, Speaker Norelli and legislators from both parties for passing this common-sense legislation. I look forward to signing the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act into law and helping ensure that all of our workers earn a fair and equal paycheck.”

Senator Larsen Applauds the House Passage of the NH Paycheck Fairness Act

CONCORD – Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen released the following statement after the House passed Senate Bill 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act.

“Thank you to Speaker Terie Norelli and House Labor Chairman Andy White for their work in guiding this bill through the House. This definitive  action by the House affirms that we must act to close the wage gap in New Hampshire.”

Senate Bill 207 has been cited by Senate and House Democrats as a top priority for the 2014 legislative session. All Senate Democrats have sponsored the legislation with House Speaker Terie Norelli serving as the leading House sponsor along with co-sponsors Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), Rep. MaryAnn Knowles (D-Hudson), and Rep. Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsboro).

“The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act will give the more than 60% of women working in today’s economy, as the primary or co-breadwinners for their families, the much-needed tools they need to combat the wage gap.”

“It’s distressing that, in the year 2014, women in New Hampshire, who are working full-time jobs, still earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. National studies have found that a pay gap exists between men and women in nearly every occupation. With this action today, we are sending a crystal clear message that the Legislature is on the side of all workers guaranteeing a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.”

“I look forward to this bill becoming law, so New Hampshire can renew our commitment to the fundamental principle of “an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.””

 

Governor Hassan Urges Senate Finance Committee to Restore and Increase New Hampshire’s Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage 101

Minimum Wage 101CONCORD – Emphasizing the need to strengthen the economic security of New Hampshire’s working families, Governor Maggie Hassan today submitted a letter to the Senate Finance Committee in support of HB 1403, legislation that will restore and increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage.

“Restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage will help our economy by putting more money in the pockets of hard-working people of all ages to spend at businesses across the state,” Governor Hassan wrote. “Individuals working full-time in New Hampshire should be able to earn enough to pull themselves above the federal-poverty threshold and support their families.”

In 2011, the Legislature passed legislation repealing New Hampshire’s minimum wage law. Now determined by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the minimum wage in New Hampshire is the lowest in New England.

“Truly accelerating our economic growth will only be possible when working families and individuals are confident in their own financial circumstances and able to purchase more goods and services,” Governor Hassan concluded. “By restoring and increasing this important protection, we can improve the economic security of thousands of Granite Staters.”

 

Governor Hassan’s full letter to the Senate Finance Committee is below: 

Senator Jeanie Forrester, Chairman
Senate Finance Committee
Room 103
State House, Concord 

Dear Madam Chair and Members of the Committee: 

I write to you today in support of HB 1403, a bill that will strengthen the economic security of New Hampshire’s working families by restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage. As you know, New Hampshire’s minimum wage was last increased six years ago in 2008, and in 2011, the Legislature repealed the state minimum wage law altogether.  

Restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage will help our economy by putting more money in the pockets of hard-working people of all ages to spend at businesses across the state. Individuals working full-time in New Hampshire should be able to earn enough to pull themselves above the federal-poverty threshold and support their families.

Truly accelerating our economic growth will only be possible when working families and individuals are confident in their own financial circumstances and able to purchase more goods and services. New Hampshire’s minimum wage will remain the lowest in New England even if HB 1403 is enacted, but by restoring and increasing this important protection, we can improve the economic security of thousands of Granite Staters.

Thank you for your consideration of this important legislation.

With every good wish, 

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor of New Hampshire

Tuition Reduction at New Hampshire’s Community Colleges. A Statement by Gov Hassan

Nashua Community College (Cropped) (Wiki Commons)

Nashua Community College (Cropped) (Wiki Commons)Statement from Governor Hassan on Tuition Reduction at New Hampshire’s Community Colleges

CONCORD – Following today’s announcement by the Community College System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees of a five-percent tuition reduction beginning in the 2014 fall semester, Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement:

“Making higher education more affordable for all of our families is one of my highest priorities as we work to build a stronger workforce that will lead to innovative economic growth. I applaud the leadership of the Community College System of New Hampshire for their decision to reduce tuition and their continued commitment to the success of our students. This important step forward for our workforce builds on the progress we made in last year’s bipartisan budget to restore investments in higher education in exchange for a tuition freeze.

“Our community colleges continue to modernize and innovate by developing nimble and cutting-edge programs, offering more online education options, and aligning their programs with the needs of the business community. Through these partnerships, we are developing a stronger workforce pipeline that can help existing businesses grow and attract new companies to our state, and we are helping students develop the skills they need for good jobs in the 21st century economy.

“I thank the Legislature for working with me last year in a bipartisan effort to provide the investment that helped make this tuition reduction possible, and I am grateful that CCSNH took this step to make higher education more affordable. I look forward to working with the higher education community, businesses, and legislators from both parties to continue our progress and ensure that New Hampshire’s workforce is the strongest in the nation.”

 

Governor Hassan Creates STEM Education Task Force

Maggie Hassan

Issues Executive Order Bringing Together Diverse Stakeholders to Help Modernize STEM Education 

CONCORD – Continuing her efforts to help students develop the skills and critical thinking needed for success in the innovation economy, Governor Maggie Hassan issued an Executive Order today creating the Governor’s Task Force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education.

The Task Force brings together a diverse group of stakeholders from the education and business communities to make recommendations for modernizing STEM education in New Hampshire’s schools.

“To help young people develop the skills and innovative thinking needed for jobs that growing businesses are creating here in New Hampshire, we need to come together as a state to ask tough questions about how we can best educate our young people, especially in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” Governor Hassan said. “The members of this Task Force have a diverse background in teaching, school administration, higher education and business, including job creators and innovators in research and development. Their service will help our schools modernize STEM education, providing our young people with skills that our businesses believe in, our educators believe in, and our students and families believe in.”

The Governor’s Task Force includes members with relevant experience in STEM education in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the University System of New Hampshire, and New Hampshire’s private colleges and universities, as well as representatives from New Hampshire’s innovative businesses and a parent of three children who attend New Hampshire public schools.

The Task Force will be chaired by Dr. Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire who is also the co-founder and co-director of the Green Launching Pad, an innovative business incubator that connects entrepreneurs and private industry with technical, scientific and business faculty and students throughout the state.

“For students to succeed, we must work together to strengthen education in the STEM fields,” Dr. Gittell said. “I applaud Governor Hassan for creating this Task Force, and I look forward to working with her and my fellow members to help modernize STEM education in our schools.”

Members will make recommendations to ensure that New Hampshire’s kindergarten through 12th grade STEM education is rigorous and extensive enough to prepare students to compete globally in today’s technology-driven society; examine New Hampshire’s existing science standards and science education practices and consider best science and education practices nationwide; examine New Hampshire’s existing math standards and requirements and consider whether mathematics requirements for high school graduation should be increased; examine current engineering and technology offerings and make recommendations for how to better integrate engineering and technology into existing school activities, how to provide academic pathways for students considering STEM careers and how to interest more students in STEM fields; consider whether improvements to other areas of the curricula, such as arts education, could improve students’ overall success; and identify barriers to implementing more rigorous STEM standards.

Other members are:

 

  • Dr. Brian Blake, Superintendent of Sanborn Regional School District and President-Elect of the New Hampshire Superintendents Association, representing the New Hampshire School Administrators Association;
  • Barbara Couch, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Hypertherm Inc. and a member of the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Education Advisory Council, representing New Hampshire’s business community;
  • Joyce Craig, Manchester Alderman and mother of three children who attend Manchester public schools;
  • Susan D’Agostino, math professor at Southern New Hampshire University, representing New Hampshire’s private colleges and universities;
  • Greg Hallowell, member of the Nashua Board of Education and scientific researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory;
  • Mary Kate Hartwell, District Curriculum Coordinator for Raymond Schools, representing the New Hampshire Science Teachers Association;
  • Joseph J. Helble, Dean of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and a Professor of Engineering, representing New Hampshire’s private colleges and universities;
  • Caroline Herold, Middle Level Teacher at Lurgio Middle School in Bedford, representing the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics;
  • Jeremy Hitchock, CEO & Chairman of Dyn, representing New Hampshire’s business community;
  • Dean Kamen, New Hampshire entrepreneur, President of DEKA Research & Development and Founder of FIRST, representing New Hampshire’s business community;
  • Todd Lamarque, Principal at Lancaster Elementary School and former chair of the science department at Gorham Middle High School, representing the New Hampshire Association of School Principals;
  • Paul Leather, Deputy Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education, designee of Department of Education Commissioner Virginia Barry;
  • Dr. Palligarnai Vasudevan, Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Interim Senior Vice Provost at UNH, representing the University System of New Hampshire.

 

The New Hampshire Department of Education will provide administrative support to the task force and will soon be announcing the first meeting.

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

 

Governor Hassan Proclaims Equal Pay Day, Urges Support for New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act

Image from Governor Hassan Facebook Page

Governor Submits Letter Encouraging House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee to Recommend Passage of Measure to Address Pay Equity 

CONCORD – Highlighting how pay equity will strengthen the economy and improve the financial security of working families, Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed today Equal Pay Day in New Hampshire and submitted a letter to the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee encouraging members to recommend passage of SB 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation sponsored by Senator Sylvia Larsen of Concord that builds on the important equal pay law signed in 2000 by then Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

“Today, well over half of the women in our state are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families. And yet, on average, women in New Hampshire earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn,” Governor Hassan wrote. “This disparity makes it more difficult for New Hampshire families to achieve financial prosperity and save for the future. It also puts further strain on our state budget and hurts our local businesses by taking money out of the pockets of consumers.

“The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 will strengthen New Hampshire’s economic future and improve the financial security of working families by providing the tools and protections needed to ensure equal paychecks for all Granite Staters,” Governor Hassan wrote.

The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act updates state law by eliminating loopholes, increasing transparency in wages, and ensuring that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.

“Eliminating the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across the state,” the Governor’s letter continued. “I thank Senator Larsen and Speaker Norelli for sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act and encourage members of the committee to reaffirm the principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.”

Full text of the Equal Pay Day proclamation

Governor Hassan’s full letter the Senate Commerce Committee is below:

April 8, 2014
Representative Andrew White, Chairman
House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee
Room 307
Legislative Office Building, Concord

Dear Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I write to you today in support of SB 207, the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014, a critical piece of legislation for New Hampshire’s economy and working families. Today, well over half of the women in our state are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families. And yet, on average, women in New Hampshire earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn in comparable jobs. This disparity makes it more difficult for New Hampshire families to achieve financial prosperity and save for the future. It also puts further strain on our state budget and hurts our local businesses by taking money out of the pockets of consumers. 

 The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 will strengthen New Hampshire’s economic future and improve the financial security of working families by providing the tools and protections needed to ensure equal paychecks for all Granite Staters. It builds on the important equal pay law signed in 2000 by then Governor Jeanne Shaheen by eliminating loopholes, increasing transparency in wages, and ensuring that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.

Eliminating the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across the state. I thank Senator Larsen and Speaker Norelli for sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act and encourage members of the committee to reaffirm the principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay. Please recommend passage of SB 207.

Thank you for your consideration of this important legislation.

With every good wish, 

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor of New Hampshire

Much Rejoicing As NH Senate Unanimously Passes Paycheck Fairness Bill

sylvia larsen

“This definitive, bipartisan action by the full Senate affirms that both Republicans and Democrats agree we must act to close the wage gap in New Hampshire,” said Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen.

Senate Bill 207 has been cited by Senate and House Democrats as a top priority for the 2014 legislative session. All Senate Democrats have sponsored the legislation with House Speaker Terie Norelli serving as the leading House sponsor along with co-sponsors Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), Rep. MaryAnn Knowles (D-Hudson), and Rep. Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsboro).

sylvia larsen

Senator Sylvia Larsen

“The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act will give the more than 60% of women working in today’s economy, as the primary or co-breadwinners for their families, the much needed tools they need to combat the wage gap,” stated Larsen.

“It’s distressing that, in the year 2014, women in New Hampshire, who are working full-time jobs, still earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. National studies have found that a pay gap exists between men and women in nearly every occupation. However, with this bipartisan, unanimous vote, we are sending a crystal clear message that the Legislature is on the side of all workers guaranteeing fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.”

Senator Larsen concluded her statement by saying, “I look forward to a quick House action, so New Hampshire can renew our commitment to the fundamental principle of, an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.”

“Today’s unanimous Senate vote to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act is an overwhelming, bipartisan affirmation of the principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay,” stated Governor Maggie Hassan. “This common-sense measure to help eliminate the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across our state. I applaud the Senate for today’s bipartisan vote and encourage the House to pass this critical legislation in order to help all of New Hampshire’s workers earn a fair and equal paycheck.”

“We commend members of the Senate for voting unanimously to remove a remaining barrier to pay equity in New Hampshire,” stated Mark MacKenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO. “Passing SB207 was the right thing to do for fairness and equality, and the right thing to do for the majority of Granite State working families who depend on women’s earnings to get by.”

“We commend the Senate’s unanimous adoption of the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act,” stated Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “This law would give employees the tools they need to challenge wage gaps. Data shows that New Hampshire women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Coupled with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act already in law, these two acts can help to create a climate where wage discrimination is no longer tolerated.”

Along with the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate, community groups helped push legislators to pass this Paycheck Fairness bill.  Below are statements from some of the other organizations celebrating today’s vote.

Kary Jencks, Executive Director, NH Citizens Alliance for Action: “The Senate recognized today that ensuring equal pay for equal work is important to protecting New Hampshire working families.  A woman’s earnings, whether she is married or not, are crucial to family support. Closing the wage gap is the right action for New Hampshire to take for the economic security of Granite Staters.”

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union: “We applaud the Senate’s bipartisan approval of the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act. In approving this critical legislation, the Senate has taken an important step towards eliminating unfair gender paycheck inequities in the state of New Hampshire.”

Dawn Andonellis, Public Policy Chair for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of New Hampshire: “We applaud the New Hampshire State Senate for passing the Paycheck Fairness Act in a bipartisan fashion and for taking this important step toward closing the wage gap and ending gender discrimination in the workplace. Moving this bill forward would give the women of New Hampshire a reason to actually celebrate Equal Pay Day on April 8. Finally, women are closer to achieving equal pay for equal work.”

Mary Jo Brown, Chair of the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative: “The New Hampshire Women’s Initiative applauds the Senate’s unanimous adoption of SB 207. SB 207 is a great step toward reducing the wage gap and promoting pay equity for all Granite Staters. The bill, which includes provisions towards paycheck transparency, honors NHWI’s agenda and findings from our 2013 statewide listening sessions with NH citizens. We are proud to thank Senator Larsen and her cosponsors for the bipartisan support of the bill. We are excited that the Senate has passed this important piece of legislation and look forward to working with the House.”

Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment at the National Women’s Law Center: “This bipartisan vote reflects the simple fact that giving women tools to combat pay discrimination and close the wage gap is a common sense solution that everyone should be able to get behind.”

The NH Senate was realistically the only hurdle this bill faced in getting passed in New Hampshire.  The GOP controlled Senate was the only truly unknown in this bills likelihood of passing.  The bill will now moved to the Democrat controlled house, where I should pass with ease.  I expect the Governor could be signing this bill before May first.