Another View -- Jeanie Forrester: Celebrating a year of Sununu's leadershipBy JEANIE FORRESTER
January 04. 2018 9:11PM
One year ago, Chris Sununu was sworn in as our state’s 82nd governor. It’s been a great year for the Granite State!
In just 365 days, Gov. Sununu and the Republican Legislature have delivered for the people of New Hampshire. Unlike the mess in Washington, Concord’s catalog of accomplishment under Republican leadership shows us that good people working together can get things done.
Gov. Sununu and the Republicans in the Legislature balanced the state budget with no new taxes and fees. In fact, they cut business taxes by further reducing the Business Profits Tax and the Business Enterprise Tax. These tax cuts helped to drive economic growth, which in turn resulted in the state generating more revenue, not less, as cynical Democrats predicted.
Better still, Gov. Sununu made a priority of investing in local communities across the Granite State. His budget returned $38 million to cities and towns to help finance road and bridge projects. Some in Concord argued this couldn’t happen without a gas tax increase or a toll hike. But Gov. Sununu found a way.
The result of this fiscal leadership coming from the corner office? A 2.7 percent unemployment rate, a 60 percent increase in net migration of people moving to New Hampshire this past year, and the best quality of life of any state according to Stay, Work, Play New Hampshire’s Quality of Life Index.
One area where Gov. Sununu has blazed an exciting new trail is on the issue of education. For the first time, every community in the Granite State will have the necessary resources to fund full-day kindergarten. Recognizing that one size does not always fit all, the governor has worked to expand education options for families. By nominating Frank Edelblut as commissioner of education, he ensured the department would have strong leadership that is responsive to the people it serves, not bureaucrats.
While heartbreaking and tragic stories about the opioid crisis continue to plague news reports, there are encouraging signs that we may be turning a corner on this critical issue. Preliminary information indicates the number of deaths by overdose declined in 2017 after escalating year-over-year for half a decade.
This issue has been a priority for the governor. He fought to double the alcohol fund to combat the crisis; and enacted new laws that give communities the flexibility they need to deal with the problem on their terms at a local level.
There’s more. In February, Gov. Sununu signed the new constitutional carry law, and in June he signed the fetal homicide law. He also protected our ballot integrity by signing Senate Bill 3 in July. This law ensures that only people who live in New Hampshire can vote in New Hampshire.
On Jan. 5, 2017, Gov. Chris Sununu injected much needed energy and optimism into state government in Concord. And the people have responded favorably. Sixty percent of Granite Staters approve of the job he’s doing, according to the most recent Granite State Poll conducted by WMUR. And more than 7 in 10 agree New Hampshire is on the right track under Republican leadership.
Heck, even 50 percent of Democrats think he’s doing a great job!
I believe that’s because Granite Staters know New Hampshire Republicans are different. We’re not interested in petty squabbles or partisan bickering. We’re focused on getting results for the people we serve. No one has personified that spirit more perfectly in the last year than Gov. Chris Sununu.
Jeanie Forrester in the chair of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.