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January 17. 2013 12:34PM

Senate Democrats back economic growth and opportunity agenda

CONCORD - Senate Democrats today aligned their legislative priorities with newly elected Gov. Maggie Hassan: spurring the economy and job growth through innovation and investment in training and education.

"As Senate Democrats we are focused on job creation through economic opportunity, growth, stability and passing a fiscally responsible balanced budget that meets the needs of the citizens and businesses of our state," said Senate Minority Leader Sylvia Larsen of Concord at a press conference Thursday. "We believe government can promote economic growth by supporting education, training, innovation and infrastructure."

Democrats said they also want to support businesses with a predictable and streamlined environment, and through expanded exports, although they did not offer a list of specific bills they would promote.

Sen. Andrew Hosmer, D-Laconia, said the Democrats are all co-sponsors of a bill to double the research and development tax credit from $1 million to $2 million a year and to make it permanent, a bill Senate Republicans also support.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, said after the press conference that Senate Republicans made clear in their campaigns that job creation is the number one issue, and he was glad to see Democrats willing to help.

"We can't tax and spend our way out of this," Morse said. "That is not the answer."


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