Hassan: Keep NH economy moving
Gov. Maggie Hassan gives her State of the State address at the State House in Concord on Thursday. (/Union Leader)
"The great Robert Frost once wrote 'the best way out is always through.' We are out from under the greatest burdens of the recession," Hassan said. "Now, we must keep our state and our economy moving forward, and for New Hampshire, the best way forward is always through."
"Truly accelerating our economic growth will only be possible,'' she said, "when working families and individuals are confident in their own financial circumstances and able to purchase more goods and services."
Republican state Chair Jennifer Horn of Nashua was more critical.
The Speaker liked Hassan's call for pay equity, so-called "Paycheck Fairness,'' and her call to increase the minimum wage and "address the needs of our ailing infrastructure including our roads and bridges.''
"They are real people and families who we all agree deserve the security of health insurance," Hassan said. "People who struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table while earning less than $16,000."
"It's clear that we can work through this together and help working people access critical health coverage," Hassan said, and provides $2.4 billon in federal money for providers over the next three years.
"People with mental illness are our friends, our family members, our neighbors who are simply in need of appropriate care, and they must be able to access that care before they reach the point of crisis," Hassan said. "This is a challenge facing our health care providers, police officers, and communities across the state and the solutions must be pursued at the community level."
More needs to be done to create opportunities for the state's young people and keep them here, Hassan said. She said increased state aid to the University System of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Community College System will help retain the young.
"Developing New Hampshire's own plan for one high-end destination casino will create jobs, boost our economy, and generate revenue to invest in critical priorities," Hassan said. "I encourage all legislators to fully consider the Authority's carefully developed, bipartisan recommendations, recognize that we can do this in a way that works for our state, and vote in favor of authorizing a casino. Instead of funding Massachusetts' needs, let's take this opportunity to invest in New Hampshire's priorities and help grow New Hampshire's economy."
"We know that a solid, modern transportation infrastructure is the foundation for long-term economic growth, and I appreciate that there is broad agreement in the legislature about the need to strengthen investment in our roads and bridges," Hassan said. "We can reach a consensus solution to renew our investment in safe and modern roads and bridges."
Hassan said making progress will require difficult debate and tough choices.
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