Our families and our state will have a strong and vibrant future if we come together to make New Hampshire an innovative, business-friendly state with the best economy and best workforce in the nation.
That’s why I am running for governor and why I will be traveling to every part of our great state over the next few months to introduce myself to you and to ask for your support.
My dad was a World War II veteran and my mom a high school history teacher. They raised me to believe in the importance of community and bringing people together to solve problems. As an attorney, I worked with businesses and nonprofits to solve complex challenges in the workplace. That experience, along with my role as mom to two great children — daughter Meg and my son Ben, who was born with severe disabilities — led then Gov. Jeanne Shaheen to appoint me to a state committee on education funding more than a decade ago.
In 2004, I was elected to the state Senate and in 2008 was chosen by my colleagues to serve as majority leader. I worked closely with Gov. John Lynch to move our state forward. In tough economic times, we cut state spending and balanced the state’s budget while protecting our citizens and our state’s priorities.
We created the research-and-development tax credit and a program called New Hampshire Working, which became a national model and makes it easier for businesses to avoid layoffs and to hire new workers. We extended public kindergarten to every child in our state, expanded health insurance to more children and worked with small businesses to develop new health insurance alternatives so that more businesses could offer this benefit to their workers.
As governor, I will keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction with an innovation plan that will help ensure that New Hampshire’s economy and workers continue to lead the nation. Let’s make smart investments, like the research-and-development tax credit, and provide the kind of technological assistance to our businesses that spurs innovation, growth and job creation.
Most importantly, I want to reinvest in our people. Innovative companies need an innovative and trained work force, particularly workers skilled in math, science and engineering. For our state to compete — with our neighbors and the world — we need to have the best-trained workers in the nation, and that means we need one of the best education systems in the world.
As governor, I will prioritize education. We have to invest in our schools while also holding them accountable for delivering the results that will attract innovative companies and the good jobs they create.
The current Legislature has made the wrong choices for our state. It cut funding for higher education in half. It cut funding to public schools and cut health care for seniors, all while giving away millions in our taxpayer dollars to big tobacco, tax evaders and private schools. As governor, I will make sure state government spends our taxpayer money on the right priorities, and, like Govs. Lynch and Shaheen, I will balance the budget without an income or a sales tax.
I will also continue to be a champion for women’s health care and civil rights. I will fight any measure that raises health care costs for women — such as denying them access to or coverage for birth control. And I will continue to insist that they be trusted to make their own health care decisions.
I believe that we can build a strong, innovation-based economy for the future if we come together as a state — Democrats, independents and Republicans. That’s how I worked in the state Senate, and that is how I will work as governor. But it also means state government leaders need to focus on our shared priorities.
Our state faces a clear choice in November. We can continue in the direction of Gov. John Lynch, bringing people together to move New Hampshire forward, or we can go in the direction of Speaker Bill O’Brien and the current Legislature, where the needs of middle-class families take a back seat to an extreme social agenda.
I hope you will join me in continuing to move New Hampshire forward.
Maggie Hassan of Exeter, a former state Senate majority leader, is running for the Democratic nomination for governor.