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Chris Sununu Is Sworn-In As NH’s 82nd Governor, Pushes For Right To Work, Democrats Respond

Concord, N.H. – Earlier today Governor Chris Sununu was officially inaugurated as New Hampshire’s 82 Governor.  In his inaugural address, Sununu laid out his very generic agenda and priorities for the coming legislative session.

Sununu talked about public education and creating a “work-ready” labor force.  No mention of expanding Kindergarten to Full Day throughout the state.  He also wants to woo more businesses to move to New Hampshire to create more jobs.  Many of the manufactures have openly said they have jobs available but do not have qualified workers to fill those jobs, for the pay they are offering.

Though he did not specifically say he is going to repeal the Medicaid Expansion, though he has said that throughout the campaign, he said we need more competition in the healthcare market. If he plans to repeal Medicaid Expansion he will meet fierce opposition from his fellow Republicans and Democrats who understand that the program is actually saving the state money while ensuring 50,000 Granite Staters have access to healthcare. 

Sununu has also been an outspoken advocate for passing the so-called Right to Work legislation despite never being proven to create jobs or help workers in any way.

“WE ARE GOING TO GIVE EMPLOYEES ONCE AND FOR ALL THE FLEXIBILITY THEY DESERVE IN THE WORKFORCE BY PASSING RIGHT TO WORK,” said Sununu (transcribed by WMUR). “LET’S TELL THESE COMPANIES NEWHAMPSHIRE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.”

In fact after Wisconsin passed their own Right to Work legislation, they lost over 10,000 jobs the next year.

Democrats offered their congratulations to the new Governor but also offed some sage advice about dismantling key programs within the state.

NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley released the following statement:

“The challenges New Hampshire families are facing need to be addressed over the next two years, from ensuring that 50,000 Granite Staters retain the healthcare they are receiving through our successful bipartisan Medicaid expansion to how we reduce the cost of college for middle class families.

“Unfortunately, Governor Sununu made it clear he wants to make it harder for NH employees to earn a fair wage by tilting the playing field in favor of big corporations, harder for our kids to get a great education by diverting money away from public schools toward private schools, and harder to advance renewable energy by slowing down investments in solar energy in favor of fossil fuels.

“I hope our newly-elected governor will focus on the issues that matter to New Hampshire families and not get distracted by partisan pet issues.”

Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn released the following statement: 

“Later today, I am meeting with Governor Sununu to congratulate him on his inauguration and get to work making New Hampshire a better place by preserving the bipartisan progress we’ve made over the past several years, expanding opportunity for all people, and building a strong economy from the bottom up.” 

“Senate Democrats are ready to work with the new governor, as we have with our Republican legislative colleagues, to craft compromises. But I’m concerned that, so far, Governor Sununu has focused on a divisive template of policies that make it harder for people to make ends meet and harder for people to get ahead.”

“To meet our constitutional oaths to ‘faithfully and impartially’ serve, I will urge the governor to hold regular, bi-weekly meetings with legislative leadership of both parties so that we can identify the seeds of agreement that can grow into fruits of our labor — things like renewing our successful NH Health Protection Program and bipartisan infrastructure investment plan—as well as priorities that strengthen families that Governor Sununu promised to support during the campaign–  like full-day kindergarten, paid family leave, and reducing the cost of a college education.”

“Granite State working families deserve meaningful policies like these and I’m disappointed we didn’t hear more about these issues today.”

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff released the following statement:

“I congratulate Governor Sununu for his success in the November election and his inauguration as Governor of our state.”

“I look forward to working with Governor Sununu and our Republican colleagues on bipartisan initiatives. The House Democratic Caucus stands ready to find common ground on any policies that benefit the working families of New Hampshire.”

“I was encouraged by the Governor’s statements during the campaign in which he expressed support for full-day kindergarten, paid family and medical leave and other initiatives that align with the priorities of Granite Staters. It was disappointing that those issues, on which the Governor campaigned, were not mentioned today in his Inaugural speech which provides a roadmap for the Governor’s policy agenda for the next two years.”

“Equally disappointing was that soon after speaking of not being divisive, Governor Sununu indicated a top priority would be the enactment of “Right to Work,” which is among the most politically divisive issues among both Democrats and Republicans the legislature.”

“It is my hope that when Governor Sununu provides more detail on the policies he wishes to advance, that those policies are aligned with Granite State families and the values of our great state.”

 

New Hampshire Wants Paid Family And Medical Leave Yet Only One Gubernatorial Candidate Openly Supports It

Eighty-Two percent (82%):
The percent of Granite Staters who support paid family and medical leave.

In August, the UNH Survey Center and Kristin Smith released a report showing overwhelming support for paid family and medical leave in New Hampshire. The poll showed that eighty-two percent (82%) support paid family and medical leave.  Among Democrats polls showed over ninety-six percent (96%) support the paid leave initiative.  The poll also showed that over sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans support paid family and medical leave as well.

medical-leave-support-nh-poll

As with any type of legislation there is always a cost aspect.  Kristin Smith and UNH asked workers directly if they would be willing to pay up to $5 a week to have access to paid family and medical leave, the answer was shocking. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of respondents said they would pay $5 a week to have a family and medical leave insurance program.

Not only do the people of New Hampshire want paid family and medical leave, they are willing to pay for it themselves.

Earlier this year, State Rep Mary Stuart Gile and State Senator Dan Feltes filed legislation to make paid family leave a reality in New Hampshire. Rep. Gile has worked on this issue for almost two decades, including a number of study committees.

“After years of study, it’s time to finally move forward with paid family and medical leave insurance, and Granite Staters of all backgrounds and political affiliations agree – in fact, eighty percent (80%) of Granite Staters agree…. Insuring some short-term wage replacement will allow workers to care for an aging family member, care for a new child, and care for themselves, including getting needed substance misuse treatment,” Rep Gile and Sen Feltes said in a joint statement.

So who is against this type of legislation? You probably already guessed it, the corporate “business community.” The same business community that fights against raising the minimum wage and pushes workers down in the never-ending race to the bottom, to maximize their personal profits.

Nationally, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Chamber of Commerce, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) have all come out against paid family and medical leave but could not say what is bad about the program.

The NFIB tried to confuse people by telling a reporter at The Hill, “You’re paying twice for the same labor.” NFIB is implying that the employer must pay a temp worker to replace the worker they are also paying on medical leave. In reality, the worker is paying into an insurance plan. The insurance plan then pays them when they take extended leave. The employer pays nothing for the worker who is out on leave, so their costs would remain exactly the same.

SHRM spokesperson Lisa Horn told USA Today that “Her organization supports companies offering paid leave generally, but prefers incentives for employers to offer it, rather than require it.”

That sounds great but the fact is, as Fortune Magazine points out, “Only 11 percent of American workers get paid family leave through their employers or state programs.”  This is the same tired “free market” garbage that lobbyists use to convince politicians to vote against raising the minimum wage.

Fortune also pointed out that many of the arguments against providing a paid family and medical leave insurance program are completely bogus.  In California and New Jersey, the insurance program costs workers no more than $30 dollar a year for up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.  Forbes noted that in those states with paid leave, ninety-one percent (91%) said “the program has had a positive or no negative effect on profitability and performance.”

It is important to know who is fighting against the will of the people on paid family and medical leave.  This becomes very important when we start looking at the New Hampshire Gubernatorial race.

Colin Van Ostern, the Democratic candidate for Governor, has been outspoken in his support for paid family and medical leave. As an Executive Councilor Van Ostern voted to commission a study to identify “the costs, benefits, alternative models, and public support for family leave policies in New Hampshire, with a goal of identifying the barriers that hold Granite Staters back from fully participating in our economy.”

Van Ostern continued, “As Governor, Colin will work with stakeholders to incorporate the best ideas recommended by this study to advance policies that will help remove existing barriers to workforce participation.”

Chris Sununu has yet to identify his position on paid family and medical leave yet but recently praised his endorsement by the National Federation of Independent Business.

As reported by NHPR: “Bruce Berke, the state director for the business group, cited Sununu’s familiarity with the state’s business climate as a factor in the endorsement.  ‘He knows these issues, he understands their impact, and he has lived these issues as a business owner,’ Berke said.”

In the NHPR article, Casey McDermott specifically cited Sununu’s opposition to raising the minimum wage, another issue supported by eighty-seven (87%) of Americans and seventy-six (76%) of Granite Staters, as one of the policies that NFIB also supports.

Any reasonable person would also expect that Sununu would oppose paid family and medical leave as do his NFIB endorsers.

Again, “Van Ostern says he’d work to raise the minimum wage and promote paid family leave.” Sununu said, “I oppose establishing a state minimum wage” and praises his endorsement from one of the biggest opponents of paid family and medical leave.

Colin Van Ostern Files For Governor Of NH, Focused On Building A Stronger Economy

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“I’m looking forward to working incredibly hard to be a Governor that wakes up every single day focused on building a stronger economy where everyone has a chance to succeed, not just those at the top,” said Van Ostern.

CONCORD, N.H. – Today, Democrat Colin Van Ostern filed his candidacy for Governor of New Hampshire with the Secretary of State. Walking through the State House, flanked by a hallway full of grassroots supporters, Colin and his family formally submitted paperwork to seek the Democratic nomination for Governor.

Afterward, Colin addressed more than 75 activists that showed up to support him and then fielded questions from reporters. Below is a transcript of some his remarks to reporters:

“I look at this race like a hiring process like any other and most of my time here in New Hampshire has been in the private sector. I’ve been on both sides of the hiring table, many times and when you hire someone for a job you want to see both what they have to say but also what they’ve done.

In this race, I’m very proud to have been part of the large team effort to expand Medicaid so that now 50,000 people have health care coverage that didn’t have it when I was elected to the Council. I’ve been a leader in restoring Planned Parenthood funding three out of the last four years – though it’s shut off right now – and whether or not we get that funding restored, depends on whether or not we win this race. I’ve been a leader in building support for solar energy projects across this state – in Plymouth, in Peterborough, Durham and Portsmouth – and I’ve had a chance to work at some great employers – places like Stonyfield and Southern New Hampshire University, which I think is the largest fastest growing employer in the state right now and I think we need more employers like those. I think that when voters look at my record and that of the other candidates running, they’ll see one candidate who’s been part of the progress we’re making.”

Asked about whether he’ll appeal to Democratic primary voters, Colin said:

“I’m proud to have been endorsed by the majority of Bernie Sanders’ steering committee in the state and the majority of the grassroots leadership team of state Representatives that endorsed Hillary. In fact, more than 80 state Representatives in New Hampshire have now endorsed me in this race. The mayors of most of our largest cities – like Concord, Keene, Nashua and Rochester, not just Democrats but Republicans, too. I’m proud to bring a broad, diverse, grassroots coalition to this race and I think that’s what we’ll need in order to win.”

“Voters will judge me based on what I’ve fought for and achieved in office – Medicaid expansion, solar energy, passenger rail, restoring Planned Parenthood funding – these are things that have affected thousands of lives here in New Hampshire. Ultimately, talk is cheap in politics, and a lot depends not on what you say, but the actions you take and the progress you’ve made and that’s how I want to be judged.”

Asked whether Colin sees himself as the most progressive candidate in the race, he said:

“I think that’s up to voters to choose, not politicians to label themselves. I’m proud that Democracy for America – the largest grassroots organization in the state – the bold progressives at Progressive Change Campaign Committee have looked at the field and chosen to endorse me as well. I think it’s because they care less about what the candidates say but what they’ve done and three of the four years I served on the Executive Council.

If you think New Hampshire is moving in the right direction – and I do – and if you want to keep it moving in the right direction, than I hope you’ll consider hiring a candidate who’s been the one in the field who’s been part of making that progress.”

GOP Gubernatorial Candidates To Push ‘Right To Work’ On NH Once Again

Right To Work is Wrong for NH

As Yogi Berra once put it, “It’s like Déjà vu, all over again.”

The Republican Gubernatorial primary candidates just showed how out of touch they are with working families. WMUR reported this week at all of the GOP candidates for New Hampshire’s Governor came out in strong in support of the so-called Right To Work legislation.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas told WMUR that, “we voted for Right to Work when I was in the Senate, so my position is clear.”

State Sen. Jeanie Forrester said, “I think it’s a good place for New Hampshire to be, and I would support that if it came forward again.”

Not to be outdone, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu played up Right to Work as a job-creating bill.

“We haven’t brought a major business into the state in over eight years. Right to work is part of it.”

Right to Work laws do nothing but hurt workers and their communities through lower pay, less benefits, less job security, less workplace safety, less, less, less…

These laws are specifically designed to break unions and tear workers down in the never-ending race to the bottom.

In January of this year, PEW released a blistering new report that showed workers in Right to Work states are less likely to have access to retirement plans than workers in free bargaining states.

“Access to workplace retirement plans varies widely across the states,” said John Scott, director of Pew’s retirement savings project. “Recognizing the savings challenge faced by so many Americans, half of the states are looking at their own solutions.”

Pew found that more than 30 million full-time, full-year, private sector workers ages 18 to 64 lack access to an employer-based retirement plan, whether a traditional pension or a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k).

At 2.6%, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is second in the country behind North Dakota, who is experiencing a boom from newly expanded oil and gas drilling.

Recently, other states have forced their own Right to Work legislation through and what has happened? After passing Right to Work legislation, claiming it would create lots of new jobs, Wisconsin the lost a record 10,000 jobs in 2015.

“We are in the midst of an economic crisis. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs at a rate we haven’t seen since the Great Recession and our middle class is shrinking faster than any other state in the nation,” said Wisconsin Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Thousands of families are struggling to find a job because the policies being pushed by Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans simply aren’t working.”

Policies like Right to Work, are destroying good paying jobs and replacing them with low-wage jobs that continue to hurt working families.

Now the entire Republican Gubernatorial delegation in New Hampshire is campaigning on this failed policy. Granite Staters deserve a leader in the corner office who will stand up for their rights and support collective bargaining that ultimately benefits all workers.

New Hampshire Democrats Unveil Sununu/Trump Campaign Sign

Trump Sununu Campaign SignBecause Healthcare Is For Losers

Concord, N.H. –Today, Democrats led by New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley unveiled a new campaign sign for the Trump/Sununu ticket, highlighting their shared far-right policies of defunding Planned Parenthood, opposing Medicaid expansion and denying climate change. 

Ray PodiumSpeaking at the Legislative Office Building, Buckley, Senator David Pierce (D-Lebanon) and Representative Katherine Rogers (D-Concord) denounced the Trump/Sununu’s extreme ideology, saying it was way out-of-touch with mainstream voters and that it would surely lead Republicans up and down the ticket to disaster in November. 

Polls have shown both Democratic candidates for president leading Donald Trump by large margins in New Hampshire and nationally, spelling certain disaster for Granite State Republicans. Sununu’s father, former Governor John H. Sununu, has said a Trump ticket would doom New Hampshire Republicans and is a leader in the anti-Trump Our Principles Super PAC. Even Republican Governor’s Association officials are admitting Trump will imperil their chances in New Hampshire. 

Below are select remarks from the press conference:

“The fact is that Donald Trump’s out of touch views are shared by Chris Sununu and the whole Republican gubernatorial field,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Some Repiublicans are lining up to denounce Trump because they know how devasting his selection would be for down ballot Republicans. But not Chris Sununu, who said he’ll absolutely support whoever the Republican nominuee is, even if it is Trump. I guess we’re not surprisied since their policies line up so well.”

Rogers Speaking

Rep. Katherine Rogers

“On women’s rights to make their own decisions and have access to health care, Trump has stated, in no uncertain terms, that “Planned Parenthood should absolutely be de-funded,’” said Rep. Katherine Rogers. “Not only is Chris is absolutely on board with that, but he actually did it when he cast the deciding vote to strip Planned Parenthood’s funding here in New Hampshire. What’s even worse, is that in the same meeting he admitted than in his council district Planned Parenthood is the only facility that offers care like low-cost birth control, STD testing and cancer screenings.” 

“On affordable health care for Granite Staters, Trump wants to repeal the Medicaid expansion, vowing to defund the Affordable Care Act on day one,” said Senator David Pierce. “Chris Sununu has already put this into practice. At every turn, Sununu voted to block Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire. As recently as last month, bragged on the radio about fighting to ‘make sure it didn’t even come to the table.’ His actions, voting multiple times to block Medicaid expansion speak louder that he ever will.”

Pierce concluded, “We’ve been talking about the Sununu/Trump ticket today, but the reality is that any of the gubernatorial candidates could have their name on that sign. In fact, it was reported just yesterday that Ted Gatsas would absolutely support Trump were he to be the nominee. The truth is, when it comes to healthcare, women’s rights, and laying the foundation for a sustainable future, it doesn’t matter who it is—they’re all in lock step. They’ll pursue their far-right ideology and extreme views with no regard for the views and well being of everyday Granite Staters.”

Gubernatorial Candidate Colin Van Ostern Asks Lawmakers To Fix NH’s Solar Cap Within 90 Days

Colin Van OsternCONCORD, NH – Colin Van Ostern today asked lawmakers and Governor Hassan to lift a state solar energy cap within 90 days, warning of possible damage to New Hampshire’s surging clean tech economy if the cap is not removed.  The 1998 cap limits home owners, small businesses, and towns from continuing “net metering,” in which solar owners can predictably sell energy back to the state’s power grid when producing more energy than consumed onsite. In some cases New Hampshire’s 50 MW net metering cap is close to being reached or already exceeded, making financing and development difficult and unpredictable for future NH solar projects.

Van Ostern also emailed thousands of New Hampshire voters Monday asking them to join him in adding their name to the request for lawmakers, available online at http://vanostern.com/endthenhsolarcap

“Solar energy projects in New Hampshire are critical for growing good jobs, boosting our clean tech economy, limiting future energy costs, and protecting our state’s beautiful environment and unique quality of life.  We shouldn’t be capping the full potential of our clean tech economy; we should be accelerating it. The time to end the NH solar cap is long overdue,” said Van Ostern, who has been a champion of solar and renewable energy projects while serving on the state’s five-member Executive Council.

“I’m glad that legislative leaders are working hard on a bipartisan fix to this barrier to economic growth, and as they reach resolution on the policy it’s critical we have a short timeline for execution. If they need a special legislative session to do that, I would support it – and if they are unable to resolve this in time for a special session before the holidays, this should be one of several time-sensitive priorities resolved at the beginning of the legislative session in January.”

Solar demand among New Hampshire residents and businesses is at a record high, and New Hampshire’s clean energy jobs pay annual wages 50% higher than the state’s average wage.  Last year, seven U.S. states expanded their net metering programs. [http://www.nhcleantechcouncil.org]. Solar net metering reduces the need to upgrade transmission lines and power stations, in the absence of cost-competitive energy storage systems.

Van Ostern today encouraged legislative leaders to implement a fix to the state’s existing solar cap which:

  1. Ensures a solution before the end of January 2016
  2. Lays the groundwork for a long-term, equitable solution, not just a short-term fix.
  3. Encourages future development of solar and renewable energy in the state

Colin Van Ostern has championed additional development of solar and renewable energy in his work on the state Executive Council as well as in his 2016 campaign for Governor. On the Council, Van Ostern has been an advocate for numerous solar energy projects including projects approved in divided votes for community projects in Durham, Manchester, and Peterborough, as well as one project narrowly defeated in Manchester. Van Ostern included a business leader from an NH solar energy company in the roundtable discussion at SilverTech in Manchester where he announced his campaign for Governor in early October 2015, saying at his campaign announcement:

“I see a future for our state that is accelerated by passenger rail from Boston to Manchester, brightened by solar panels, and supported by growing small businesses…a future where we keep taxes low and bring forward new plans and ideas to attract and keep more young people, young families, startups and growing businesses here in our state.”

 

Colin Van Ostern is running for Governor of New Hampshire in 2016, and works as a business leader at Southern New Hampshire University and also as a publicly-elected Executive Councilor, representing forty-nine towns from Cheshire to Strafford County.  He lives in Concord with his wife and two sons. For more info, visit www.vanostern.com.

Van Ostern Announces Candidacy for Governor of NH

COLIN VAN OSTERN LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR NH GOVERNOR TO BUILD AN EVEN BRIGHTER FUTURE & STRONGER ECONOMY FOR PEOPLE OF NH

Colin_Van_OsternMANCHESTER, NH – In a historic Manchester school building that now houses a growing technology company, Colin Van Ostern will tell a roundtable of business & education leaders Thursday morning that he will run for Governor in 2016 to build an even brighter future for New Hampshire.

“I’m running for Governor to build an even stronger economy and a brighter future for the people of New Hampshire – one where everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” wrote Van Ostern in remarks prepared for the roundtable discussion. “We must keep our state moving forward in 2016 so New Hampshire will continue to be a great place to raise a family and grow a business in the coming decade – one where our kids can attend great schools, graduate from college without being crushed by debt, and find jobs with good wages.”

Colin Van Ostern is a business leader who helped launch Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America, where he currently works, and he has been a champion against the rising problem of student debt.  The nonprofit school partners with employers across New Hampshire and the nation to provide thousands of students the chance to earn an accredited degree, which the vast majority do without taking on any debt at all.

Previously, Colin worked as a business manager at Stonyfield yogurt, where he was responsible for the profitable growth of a $100 million business.  He has managed a consulting business helping dozens of New Hampshire nonprofits and small businesses, has worked at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, where he led business trips to India and Brussels, and early in his career he served as a senior advisor to several New Hampshire state leaders.

“I see a future for our state that is accelerated by passenger rail from Boston to Manchester, brightened by solar panels, supported by growing small businesses, and strengthened by good access to quality health care – whether it’s birth control at Planned Parenthood or addiction treatment services at local health centers,” said Van Ostern. “We will keep taxes low and bring forward new plans and ideas to attract and keep more young people, young families, startups and growing businesses here in our state.”

“That’s been my own life over the past fifteen years – I moved here for a job in my twenties, found a strong community, worked at world-class employers, fell in love with a New Hampshire girl, and we’re now raising two New Hampshire boys whose future means everything to us. I love this state and I’ll work hard to keep it moving forward.”

In 2012, Colin was elected to the state’s unique Executive Council – a five-member board of directors of sorts for the state government – where he has represented a quarter-million New Hampshire citizens from Rochester to Keene. On the Executive Council, Colin has fought to protect access to birth control and cancer screenings at state Planned Parenthood health centers; to advance passenger rail from Boston to Manchester and numerous renewable energy projects; to expand access to healthcare including treatment for addition; and to stand up for NH consumers during the state’s Fairpoint strike in 2014. Colin lives in Concord, NH with his wife and two sons.

ABOUT THURSDAY’S ROUNDTABLE & ASH STREET SCHOOL

Colin will begin his campaign with a roundtable discussion with business leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs from across the state who are working on projects and opportunities that promise a bright future for New Hampshire. The discussion will be hosted at Silvertech, a Manchester technology firm housed in the historic Ash Street school – a public elementary school launched as a public-private partnership between the City of Manchester and Amoskeag industries at the height of New Hampshire’s industrial boom.

In the coming months, Colin will hold a series of roundtable discussion across the state with New Hampshire citizens and community leaders focusing on critical opportunities facing our state:

  • NASHUA: Boosting business growth through passenger rail & clean energy jobs
  • SEACOAST: Creating the opportunity for debt-free college
  • CONCORD: Closing the opportunity gap through early childhood education & support
  • WESTERN NH: Expanding health care access – including drug addiction treatment & prevention and access to women’s health services.
  • NORTH COUNTRY: Strengthening our rural economy

LEARN MORE: www.vanostern.com

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Governor Maggie Hassan Sworn in For Second Term as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire

Image from Governor Hassan's Facebook (all rights reserved)

Image from Governor Hassan’s Facebook (all rights reserved)

Governor Hassan: “We must approach these next two years with a relentless focus on ensuring that every Granite Stater who works hard can find success.”

CONCORD – Pledging to continue working across party lines to build an innovation economy that lifts up all Granite Staters, Governor Maggie Hassan today was sworn in for a second term as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire.

“Together, we can lay the foundation of a brighter economic future with stronger wages and more opportunity to climb the ladder of success. A future where innovative businesses are creating more good jobs, and where more of our young people are staying and thriving,” said Governor Hassan in her Inaugural Address.

The Governor emphasized that in order to make progress for our people, businesses and economy, we must always be looking to find new bipartisan solutions and approaches.

“We know better than to think that any one political party has all the answers,” Governor Hassan said. “At every step of the way, we must ask ourselves how can we reach the middle ground that fuses our individual ideas into something greater, something that will strengthen the economic future of all of our people? How can we find new solutions and approaches, the ones that nobody has thought of yet?”

Governor Hassan underscored that while we have made real progress in building a stronger, more innovative economy, we remain at the beginning of our work to ensure that all of our citizens are included in our shared success and prosperity.

In outlining a new vision for the future, Governor Hassan highlighted the importance of helping innovative businesses create more good jobs, expanding middle class opportunity, and working to attract and retain more young people in our state.

“To widen the doors of middle class opportunity, we must approach these next two years with a relentless focus on ensuring that every Granite Stater who works hard can find success. On building a more innovative economic future that lifts all of our people, in every corner of our state,” Governor Hassan said.

To strengthen the foundation of a more innovative economic future, Governor Hassan emphasized that there is that must be done to build on all of the advantages in the Granite State.

The Governor stressed the importance of modernizing how science, technology, engineering, and math are taught in schools; continuing to hold down the cost of higher education; making the state even more responsive to the needs of new businesses; maintaining the commitment to ensuring access to affordable, quality health care; building a stronger, more affordable energy future; finding a consensus way forward on rail; and finally restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage.

“To those who say we can’t come together to do these things and more, I say to them: you don’t know the Granite State. That’s what we do here,” Governor Hassan continued. “What it will take, throughout our work together, is moving past the inevitable arguments, identifying our challenges, and then finding the solutions that nobody has thought of yet, the New Hampshire solutions that will help build a more prosperous future for all of our people.”

Governor Hassan highlighted the example of Deepika Kurup, a sixteen-year old sophomore at Nashua South High School, whose ingenuity paved a new way forward to confront the scarcity of clean drinking water across the globe. Deepika devloped a system to purify water using solar energy and earned the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Deepika and her family attended the inauguration as guests of the Governor.

The Governor concluded her Inaugural Address with a call to embrace the strong Granite State tradition of refusing to accept that there is a limit to what can be accomplished.

“With that same stubborn determination, we too can do remarkable things. That’s who we are as Granite Staters, and that’s who we must continue to be. I look forward to that challenge, and to the brighter economic future that we will all build, and share in, together.”

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton) released the following comments on Governor Maggie Hassan being sworn-in for a second term:

“I congratulate Governor Maggie Hassan on her inauguration and applaud her for delivering a strong inaugural address that sets the right tone as we begin the new legislative session,” said Senator Woodburn. “Senate Democrats were proud to have worked with Governor Hassan over the last two years and we know that she will keep working across party lines to build an innovation economy that expands opportunity for all Granite Staters.”

 “Senate Democrats look forward to working collaboratively with Governor Hassan as we push ourselves to find new bipartisan solutions to build a brighter economic future.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement on Governor Maggie Hassan’s inauguration for a second term as New Hampshire’s 81st Governor:

“Today, as she was sworn in for her second term, Governor Hassan pledged to continue fighting for the priorities that will support small businesses, expand opportunity for middle class families, and move our economy forward.

“New Hampshire Democrats are inspired by Governor Hassan’s vision for a future where we continue to hold down the cost of higher education, maintain our commitment to ensuring access to quality, affordable health care, and finally raise the minimum wage for hard-working Granite Staters.

“Governor Hassan has proven that she knows how to bring together members of both parties to get results for our people and economy, and Granite Staters know that we are in good hands under the Governor’s strong bipartisan leadership.”

Governor-Elect Hassan Announces Additional Details for Inauguration

Open House at the State House to Include Exhibits by FIRST Robotics, Children’s Authors, Artists and Local Food

CONCORD – Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan today announced additional details for her Inaugural Ceremony and State House Open House on Thursday, January 3rd.

Hassan’s Inaugural Ceremony will begin at noon and will feature poetry, prayer and music from numerous Granite Staters, including performances by the Cecilia Ensemble, a choir of high school girls from Peterborough, and Briana Nadeau, a singer-songwriter from Durham who will sing the national anthem.

“From our rich history and culture to our beautiful scenic landscapes, New Hampshire is a truly special place with much to offer,” said Governor-Elect Hassan. “Our Inauguration features a diverse group of Granite Staters whose talents and commitment are representative of our state’s resources and character.”[mantra-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”right” width=”33%”]“From our rich history and culture to our beautiful scenic landscapes, New Hampshire is a truly special place with much to offer,” said Governor-Elect Hassan. “Our Inauguration features a diverse group of Granite Staters whose talents and commitment are representative of our state’s resources and character.” [/mantra-pullquote]

In addition, attendees will be led in the Pledge of Allegiance by New Hampshire Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan of New Durham. Following the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Morgan, who has been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, has become a nationally recognized advocate in the effort to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars her wife, Karen, from receiving military, Social Security and other benefits that would help her care for their five-year-old daughter Casey Elena.

Following the ceremony and receiving line, Hassan will hold a State House Open House starting at 4:30pm where she will greet citizens from across the state.  During the open house, volunteers from the City Year New Hampshire program will help greet visitors and serve as guides through the State House where the Senate, House and Executive Council chambers will all remain open.

Music will be performed by students from across New Hampshire throughout the open house and exhibits by participants in the FIRST Robotics Competition, an initiative founded by Granite Stater Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, as well as NH LEGO League teams will be set up in the cafeteria.

Children visiting the open house will be able to meet with and bring books to be signed by New Hampshire children’s authors, including Rebecca Rule, Erin Moulton and David Elliott, and Exeter artist Rose Bryant will work with children to create an art installation project.

Food and drink for the State House Open House and inaugural events has been generously donated by numerous New Hampshire businesses, including Common Man Restaurants, Crust & Crumb Baking Company, Lindt Chocolate, Me & Ollie’s Bakeries, Stonyfield Yogurt, Zampa’s, Blue Moon Evolution, and Washington Street Café. For more information about Hassan’s inaugural events, please visit www.hassaninauguration.org.

As Governor, Maggie Hassan will bring people together to keep New Hampshire moving forward by focusing on innovation, fiscal responsibility and common-sense solutions to our challenges. Hassan will work with members of both parties to develop a fiscally responsible balanced budget that protects New Hampshire’s priorities without an income or sales tax. She will work to implement her “Innovate NH” jobs plan, which focuses on building the best workforce in the country, providing tax credits to businesses, and giving businesses technical assistance to help them create jobs. And Hassan will reach out to legislators and citizens across the state to listen to their ideas on moving New Hampshire forward.

Hassan Addresses Voters on Plan to Move NH Forward

Democratic candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan’s campaign released its final television advertisement today.  The new ad, “Pathfinder,” highlights Hassan’s plan to grow the economy, spur job creation, and keep New Hampshire moving forward.

Addressing voters directly, Hassan lays out the clear choice in this election, saying she will move New Hampshire “forward, on the path Governor Lynch has set,” while promising that she “won’t let anyone’s radical ideas drag us backwards.”  Hassan focuses on the economy, pledging to “balance the budget and veto a sales or income tax,” and noting that her jobs plan will “help businesses innovate and create jobs.”

The ad also highlights several important endorsements from around the state, including Governor John Lynch, the Nashua Telegraph, and the Portsmouth Herald.

The full ad can be found on Hassan’s YouTube page:

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