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Senator Hassan Reintroduces Paid Sick Leave Bill

 Healthy Families Act would help hard-working Americans, protect public health, and strengthen the economy

WASHINGTON – This week, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined her colleagues in the Senate and House in introducing the Healthy Families Act, which would allow Granite State workers to earn paid sick leave to use when they are sick, to care for a loved one, to obtain preventative care, or to address the impacts of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Currently, 41 million workers across the nation do not have access to paid sick leave, forcing them to take time off with no pay, and at times even risk their jobs when they or a loved one is sick. 

“Ensuring that our workers have the flexibility to support themselves and their families during times of need is critical to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce and a strong economy,” Senator Hassan said. “I’m proud to join in reintroducing the Healthy Families Act to help ensure that no hard-working American is forced to choose between their health and economic security. I’ll continue working across the aisle to expand paid family leave in order to strengthen our families, our businesses, and our economy.”

The Healthy Families Act would allow workers at businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to 56 hours, or seven days, of paid sick leave each year. This would allow workers to stay home when they are ill, to care for a sick family member, seek preventive medical care, or seek assistance related to domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. 

Businesses that already provide paid sick leave would not have to change their current policies, as long as they meet the minimum standards of the Healthy Families Act. Studies show that paid sick leave can reduce the spread of contagious diseases like the flu and a national paid sick day policy would reduce emergency room visits by 1.3 million annually, saving $1.1 billion a year.

Senator Hassan is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.


Breakfast Panel: Local Climate Impacts on Maple Trees and Syrup

Special Guest US  Senator Maggie Hassan

 DURHAM, NH – Maple syrup is a New Hampshire institution, but climate change could have tragic impacts on the future harvest in NH unless we act now. Concerned Granite Staters are invited to celebrate and learn how to protect this home-grown delight at the annual pancake breakfast on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7:30am. Register for the breakfast here: http://tinyurl.com/hjyy9pf.

DATE: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017

LOCATION: UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH

Doors open at 7:30 AM     

Program starts at 8:00 AM

Join local environmental groups and the UNH Sustainability Institute for a Local Climate Impacts Pancake Breakfast at the UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom in Durham at 7:30am. Hear from local maple syrup producers, scientists, and elected officials about the impacts of a changing climate on the NH maple syrup industry. Then, supporters can take action with local organizations and enjoy pancakes with real New Hampshire maple syrup.

This year, our special guest is US Senator Maggie Hassan and other panelists include Jeff Moore of Windswept Farms of Loudon and NH Maple Producers Association, Ray LaRoche of Maple Meadow/LaRoche Farm in Durham, and UNH Professor Cameron Wake. 

Doors Open at 7:30am and the program will begin at 8:00am. This event is FREE and open to the public.

The Climate Impacts Maple Breakfast is sponsored by Moms Clean Air Force, Environment New Hampshire, Union of Concerned Scientists, League of Conservation Voters, and New Hampshire Sierra Club, in partnership with the UNH Sustainability Institute.

Michelle Obama Encourages Granite Staters To Vote For Maggie Hassan

 First Lady Michelle Obama: “Maggie’s problem solving approach to leadership is exactly what we need in the U.S. Senate”

CONCORD –  Today, Maggie for NH released a new web ad featuring First Lady Michelle Obama encouraging Granite Staters to vote for Maggie Hassan for Senate on Tuesday. In the ad, the First Lady highlighted Governor Hassan’s problem solving approach and record of getting results, including her work to make college more affordable, create good paying jobs, and fight for New Hampshire’s children.

Watch the ad HERE.

“I want to talk about a leader who’s made a real difference for families all across New Hampshire, your Governor, Maggie Hassan… Maggie’s problem solving approach to leadership is exactly what we need in the U.S. Senate. And that’s why I am asking you to vote for Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate. Every vote matters, so be sure to cast yours for Maggie, and make your voice heard.” said First Lady Michelle Obama in the ad.

Maggie Hassan In New Ad: The Choice Is Clear

Maggie for NH Announces New TV Ad, Lays Out The Clear Choice Granite Staters Face in This Election

CONCORD – Today, Maggie for New Hampshire announced a new television ad, “The Choice,” in which Governor Maggie Hassan lays out the clear choice Granite Staters face on November 8th.

“New Hampshire has a very clear choice,” says Governor Hassan in the new ad. “Do we keep going with a Senator who repeatedly votes with the corporate special interests? Or a new Senator who sides with the people of New Hampshire?”

“My focus has always been on creating opportunity for working families, making college and job training more affordable, lowering prescription drug costs, and always protecting a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions,” the Governor adds. “These are my priorities, why I approve this message, and why I respectfully ask for your vote.”

The 30 second ad will run on New Hampshire and Boston broadcast stations as well as on cable and online as part of our ongoing seven-figure ad buy.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte Needs To Explain To Voters Her Opposition To Raising The Minimum Wage

Guest Editorial By Jeff Kramer

Senator Kelly Ayotte and her challenger Maggie Hassan are scheduled to go toe-to-toe on November 2nd, their last debate before Election Day.  As someone who has spent much of my adult life working in a low-wage jobs, I urge the moderators ask the candidates to answer one of the most important questions for working households like mine: whether they will vote to raise the minimum wage.

Working people in New Hampshire deserve to know why, during her time in the U.S. Senate, Kelly Ayotte has voted against every effort to raise the minimum wage. Her opposition to raising the federal minimum wage has kept it frozen at a poverty-level of $7.25 an hour since 2009. The low federal minimum wage is even more significant in New Hampshire because it is the only New England state that ties its state minimum wage to the federal level. Sen. Ayotte’s role in keeping the federal minimum wage low is therefore doubly hurting New Hampshire’s working families, keeping pay low in this increasingly expensive state.

Without action to raise the minimum wage, the adjusted median wage in New Hampshire has declined by almost 7 percent since the recession, a sharper decline than virtually all other states in the nation.  As a result, over 35 percent of working New Hampshirites (225,300 workers) today earn less than $15 per hour, and 155,000 are paid less than $12. The vast majority of these low-wage workers are adults 25 and older, including over 15 percent who are 55 years or older. Most of these workers are women, many raising children – New Hampshire’s future – on low wages. The low federal minimum wage forces hundreds of thousands of working families to seek food stamps and other forms of public assistance each year, costing New Hampshire taxpayers $104 million annually.

As an adult working low wage jobs, I have been struggling to get by. When I went back to college full time to finish my degree, I worked at a fast food restaurant up to 40 hours a week during closing shift, and over 30 hours a week at a retail store to support myself. Even while working both of these jobs, I could not fully support myself. I couldn’t afford an apartment and was still living with my parents at the age of 29. I couldn’t afford health insurance and it was not offered to me through either job. Last year I became injured and I was working at a retail store where I was only offered 5-8 hours a week of work. I was paid $7.25 even though I had a college degree, management experience, and a beautiful resume. I had to rely on government assistance and food pantries to get by until I found new work. I now work for an organization that pays me $15.00. I have an apartment, a car, and am able to independently financially support myself for the first time in my life. Raising the minimum wage to $15.00 would do so much for struggling families. I know earning a livable wage has been life changing for me.  

Contrary to the claims we hear from opponents, raising the minimum wage increases the income of low-wage workers without hurting jobs . The most recent and most rigorous studies to date have shown that any employment effects from an increase in the wage floor are very small. As Goldman Sachs analysts summarized recently, “the economic literature has typically found no effect on employment” from U.S. minimum wage increases.

New Hampshire workers of all ages deserve fair pay and a shot at a decent life. They are frustrated by Sen. Ayotte and the Republican Congress’s blocking any action to raise the minimum wage. Gov. Maggie Hassan, by contrast, has called for giving working families in New Hampshire the long overdue  minimum wage increase they need.  Recent polling shows that nearly three-quarters of New Hampshire voters want a minimum wage increase, and that when voters learn of Sen. Ayotte’s track record on the minimum wage, Gov. Hassan’s lead widens.

With voters demanding action on the minimum wage, other Republican incumbents are reassessing their opposition to raising wages.  Last week, Senators Rob Portman (Ohio) and Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) backtracked on their previous opposition to raising the minimum wage, and Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen backed a $15 minimum wage for Florida.  As she seeks another term in the U.S. Senate, Kelly Ayotte’s should do the same.

Jeff Kramer lives in Manchester and is now a field organizer with Rights & Democracy, a grassroots member organization which is part of the Raise Up New Hampshire Coalition.  

Governor Maggie Hassan Campaigns with Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Outlining the Stakes for this Election

hassan-and-shaheen-campaign1CONCORD – Over the past two days, Governor Hassan was joined by Senator Shaheen at campaign stops across New Hampshire to outline the stakes for this election and encourage Granite Staters to get out and vote on November 8th. 

“It was great to travel the state with Senator Shaheen and talk to Granite Staters who are excited to get out and vote on November 8.” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “New Hampshire needs two Senators who will fight for the middle class, strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, not a Senator who supports the agenda of corporate special interests like the Koch Brothers, as Senator Ayotte has done nearly 90 percent of the time in her first four years in office.”

hassan-and-shaheen-campaign2Senator Shaheen joined Governor Hassan in highlighting the work the Governor has done at the state level to keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction, and said she “can’t wait until [her] vote doesn’t get canceled out” by Kelly Ayotte. As Governor, Maggie Hassan signed two fiscally responsible balanced budgets without an income or sales tax, froze in-state tuition for the first time in 25 years and lowered it at community colleges, and is taking a comprehensive approach to combat our heroin and opioid crisis. 

The Governor will take this same bipartisan approach to problem-solving to the United States Senate to make progress for New Hampshire families and small businesses. She released her Innovate NH 2.0 economic plan, which outlines her priorities for building on New Hampshire’s economic progress and ensuring that all Granite Staters are equipped to succeed in the changing American economy. You can read the Governor’s plan here.

Sanders To Close 2016 Campaign With Coast-to-Coast Swing

Bernie Sanders ( Image by Phil Roeder FLIKR)

Bernie Sanders ( Image by Phil Roeder FLIKR)

BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday will kick off a coast-to-coast campaign swing that will take him to 12 states in the closing days of the 2016 presidential election contest.

“I am working as hard as I can to see that Donald Trump is defeated, that Hillary Clinton is elected president and that Democrats gain control of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate,” Sanders said. “The day after the election, I intend to do everything I can to see that the new president and Congress implement the Democratic platform, the most progressive party agenda of any major political party in the history of the United States,” he added.

Sanders will make stops in 12 states from Maine to California to discuss the Democratic agenda which includes overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, pay equity for women, expanding Social Security, a new approach toward trade, breaking up “too-big-to-fail banks,” making public colleges and universities tuition free for the middle class, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, aggressively combating climate change, raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations, lowering prescription drug prices, a movement toward universal health care and major reforms in our criminal justice and immigration systems.

On Tuesday in New Hampshire, Sanders will campaign for Clinton and Gov. Maggie Hassan, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. The first of two get-out-the-vote rallies is at Plymouth State University. The event will be in the Courtroom in the Hartman Union, Building 117 High St. in Plymouth. The second stop is at 2:30 p.m. at Dartmouth College’s Alumni Hall, 4 E. Wheelock St., Hanover.

Capping the day will be a third rally in Portland, Maine, where Sanders will speak at a 6:30 p.m. gathering in the gym at Deering High School, 370 Stevens Ave, Portland.

On Wednesday, Sanders goes to Michigan and Wisconsin.

In Michigan, he’ll headline a noon rally at in the Miller Auditorium at Western Michigan University, 2200 Auditorium Drive, Kalamazoo, Mich. Then he speaks at a 3:15 p.m. rally at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, 700 Cottageview Drive, Suite 200, Traverse City.

In Wisconsin, Sanders will campaign for Clinton and former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold at a 5:30 p.m. rally at Turner Hall, 1034 N 4th St., Milwaukee.

Leading up to Election Day next Tuesday, Sanders also plans campaign stops in Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and California.

Governor Hassan Participates in Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Forum

 Hassan Outlines Priorities to Help the Middle Class Grow and Thrive hassan-at-cffe-forum1MANCHESTER –  Today, Governor Maggie Hassan participated in a forum hosted by the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, highlighting her commitment to expanding economic opportunity for all hard-working Granite State families. 

“I’m proud of the steps we have taken here in New Hampshire to lay the foundation for inclusive economic growth and to support a thriving middle class,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “To meet the progress we are making here at home, my Innovate NH 2.0 economic plan outlines the steps I will take to Washington to ensure that all hard-working families have the chance to get ahead and stay ahead. In the Senate, I will fight for priorities to help middle class families make ends meet, including providing a $1,000 tax cut for middle class families, helping families afford child care, and expanding paid family leave.”

hassan-at-cffe-forum2As Governor, Maggie Hassan has worked to increase economic opportunity for hard-working families including by expanding access to health coverage for over 50,000 Granite Staters, signing the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act to help ensure that everyone earns equal pay for equal work, and fighting to restore and increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage. And under Governor Hassan’s leadership, New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, with more people working than at any point in state history.

In her Innovate NH 2.0 economic plan, Governor Hassan outlined the priorities she will take to the Senate to foster business innovation and expand middle class opportunity. As Senator, Maggie will fight to end tax breaks for special interests so that we can help ease the tax burden on the middle class. She will also continue fighting to raise the minimum wage, help families afford child care, expand paid family leave, and ensure equal pay for equal work.

Strong Women Leaders Campaign For Maggie Hassan In Durham

Cecile Richards, Ilyse Hogue, Randi Weingarten, Maggie Hassan at UNH Today: Ayotte and Trump Would Be Disaster for Women 

img_8865Durham, New Hampshire – Outlining what is at stake for New Hampshire women and young people in this election, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL, and Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, joined New Hampshire U.S Senate candidate Governor Maggie Hassan at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund-NARAL membership rally on the University of New Hampshire campus.

The four women highlighted the contrast between Kelly Ayotte’s repeated attacks against women’s health, including her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood and year long support of Donald Trump – who has bragged about groping women and called women “pigs” and “dogs” – and Maggie’s commitment to protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, as well as Maggie’s commitment to making college more affordable and supporting K-12 education. 

Statement from Governor Maggie Hassan

“It is an honor to join today with true fighters for women’s health and economic opportunity, and I am grateful for the support of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Here in New Hampshire, I have been proud to stand up for a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions and control her own destiny, including restoring funding for Planned Parenthood at the state-level. But Granite State women and their families deserve better than politicians in Washington like Senator Kelly Ayotte, who has voted six times to defund Planned Parenthood and has consistently blocked women’s access to health care. In the Senate, I will always fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own health decisions and to safely and affordably access health care, and I will stand up to those who want to pull us backward.”

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund

“New Hampshire’s Senate election is ground zero for women’s health. Kelly Ayotte has shamelessly tried to rewrite her record – hoping New Hampshire voters forget her 6 votes to defund Planned Parenthood and promises to take away no-copay birth control. Ayotte’s year-long support of Donald Trump makes it clear she is willing stand with bullies who insult and demean women rather than standing with New Hampshire women and families. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to stand with women leaders like Maggie Hassan and Hillary Clinton, who support the thousands of New Hampshire women who visit Planned Parenthood health centers, push for debt-free college, and work to make life better for women and families.”

Statement from Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America

“NARAL members and pro-choice voters across New Hampshire are proud to stand with Maggie Hassan in her campaign for Senate. As governor, Maggie has defended each woman’s right to control her own destiny and to access basic reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Maggie is the type of leader who works with both sides to get things done for women and our families, and she will be the leader that New Hampshire deserves in the Senate.”

Statement from Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers

“I was thrilled to join Cecile Richards, Ilyse Hogue and Gov. Maggie Hassan today to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton and Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s tenure has been marked by obstruction rather than problem-solving, and time and time again, she has shown she stands with the Koch brothers, Wall Street and big pharma instead of putting the needs of working families first. As Governor, Maggie Hassan has walked the walk for the people of the Granite State: She lowered tuition costs at community colleges and froze tuition hikes, she expanded healthcare coverage to more than 50,000 people, and she has been a champion for public education so our kids have the chance to succeed. Gov. Hassan’s values are working families’ values—she will always fight to ensure the people’s interests become the public interest.”

Polls show that 73 percent of Granite Staters support access to safe and legal abortion , 66 percent support Planned Parenthood, and a majority of Independent voters are less likely to vote for her because of her votes to defund Planned Parenthood). Ayotte has consistently tried to rewrite her record after consistently finding herself out of step with New Hampshire voters. Ayotte was ridiculed in the media for handing out condoms at one of her events, a stunt at odds with her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood and stated commitment to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which gave 55 million women nationwide access to no-copay birth control.

The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence Endorses Maggie Hassan For US Senate

 brady-campaignWASHINGTON – The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence announced today its endorsement of Gov. Maggie Hassan’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Hassan is running against, and outpolling, incumbent Kelly Ayotte.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Brady Campaign as we work to improve gun safety and prevent mass shootings and daily gun violence from becoming the new normal,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “In the Senate, I will fight for common sense gun safety reforms like expanding background checks to all gun sales and making sure that known and suspected terrorists aren’t able to buy guns and explosives. I thank the Brady Campaign for the important work they have been doing on this issue for the past forty years and for their support in this election.”

Governor Hassan has been a leader in the movement to reduce the gun violence that takes 90 American lives every day. As Governor of New Hampshire, she stood with members of law enforcement by vetoing a measure that would have allowed just about anyone to carry a loaded, hidden gun without even having a license. If elected to the Senate, Governor Hassan has committed to expanding Brady background checks to all gun sales and keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign, said, “I’m so proud to endorse Governor Hassan for Senate. For Granite Staters who want a safer state and country, this decision isn’t even close. Only one candidate will finish the job and expand Brady background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands while still protecting Second Amendment rights. With a Senator Hassan, voters will have the confidence of knowing she would actually represent New Hampshire, not the multibillion-dollar gun industry. Maggie Hassan is the ally New Hampshire needs, and every American deserves, in Congress.

“Meanwhile, Governor Hassan’s opponent has proven herself out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Granite Staters. Kelly Ayotte has repeatedly helped defeat the expanded Brady background checks, supported by 89% of New Hampshire voters, that would keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, felons, domestic abusers, and people with dangerous mental illnesses. As senator, Ayotte reliably panders to the most evil special interest of all at the expense of American lives.   

“Not Sandy Hook, nor Orlando, nor the nearly 198,000 Americans who have been shot and killed during her term have been enough for Senator Ayotte to do the right thing. According to the latest polls, Granite Staters have had #Enough of that kind of politics. And unlike Senator Ayotte, they know a man who jokes about gun violence, and tries to incite it, is a role model to no American.”

Time and again Kelly Ayotte has repaid her debt to the NRA by voting against legislation to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, felons, domestic abusers, and those with dangerous mental illnesses. After each of the shootings in Newtown and Orlando, Senator Ayotte voted down every effort to disarm hate and expand Brady background checks. 

89% of New Hampshire citizens, including 81% of New Hampshire Republicans, support expanding background checks to all gun sales.  

The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced the largest national protest of gun violence in U.S. history – The Million Mom March, Mother’s Day 2000.

The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.

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