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Sununu to Manchester Chamber: Let’s eliminate red tape

Union Leader Correspondent

March 01. 2017 9:06PM
Gov. Chris Sununu speaks Wednesday during his State of the State address before the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce as chamber President Michael Skelton listens at St. Anselm College. (Kimberly Houghton/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

GOFFSTOWN — Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday, in his State of the State address before the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce at St. Anselm College, said establishing a moratorium on new business regulations is one of his first objectives.

According to Sununu, New Hampshire is one of the most heavily regulated states in the country, with licenses and oversight for 130 professions.

Now is the time to get rid of the red tape, Sununu said.

New Hampshire is ranked 30th in the nation for economic growth, he said. There is untapped potential, he said, and the state budget will provide the foundation for growth.

Sununu also praised President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress Tuesday, saying he intends to tackle here in New Hampshire many of the objectives outlined by the commander in chief.

“I was incredibly encouraged by what I heard from President Trump (Tuesday) night. I thought it was the exact speech that he needed to give, and the exact speech that America needed to hear, frankly,” Sununu said.

Sununu spent last weekend in Washington with the President and his administration at the National Governors Association Conference. During the conference, Sununu said 46 of the nation’s governors focused on growing jobs, improving the workforce and decentralizing Washington.

“Here in New Hampshire, we are trying to set a similar tone of just throwing the politics out, being very transparent. I don’t believe in gatekeepers,” he said.

Referring to past state budgets under Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sununu said those spending plans used a lot of trickery.

“There were a lot of gimmicks in the old budget — there really were,” he said.

According to Sununu:

• The state’s corrections system is understaffed and underfunded.

• Local infrastructure projects should be addressed through one-time spending.

• Northern Pass should go forward to help prevent volatility in the energy market.

• All-day kindergarten is long-overdue.

What’s more, Sununu said workforce wages are not where they need to be, and residents are leaving the state to follow the money.

He voiced support for school choice and scholarships to help get students into college. Officials should be looking five or 10 years down the road to help the state’s youth, Sununu said.

New Hampshire must get tough on heroin and fentanyl, according to the governor, who said the existing prevention program in New Hampshire “stinks.”

“They are not dealing drugs, they are dealing death,” Sununu said of local drug dealers, stressing New Hampshire will work with neighboring states to prevent across-the-border drug transactions.

“We can do more. We can always do more,” he said.

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