Hassan Calls on GOP Leaders to Spend on Education, Opioid Crisis

Apr 26, 2016

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

Citing strong state revenue numbers, Governor Maggie Hassan is calling on Republican leaders to act on a number of spending priorities. But top Republicans say much of what the governor seeks is already in the works.

Gov. Hassan and Senate President Chuck Morse agree on this: with growth in state revenue and $30 million dollars from an MTBE lawsuit against Exxon Mobile heading for the state's rainy day fund, that fund's balance could hit $150 million dollars -- the highest level in years.

Both Hassan and Morse also want to boost spending to combat opioid abuse and support drug treatment, and fully fund the state's education formula. Those were among the policies Hassan highlighted in a letter to GOP leaders Tuesday, where she called for "immediate" action on drug legislation.

Senator Morse says he expects the issues Hassan mentioned will get addressed. Some, he said are particularly vital, and will take thoughtful work to resolve.

"I mean, we certainly have legislation in committees that need serious looks and serious leadership," Morse said. "And we certainly don't need to just type a letter, so we can send out a press release while she's out of town again."

Morse says his top priorities are refilling the rainy day fund and shore up the financial footing of state retirement polices. He says those issues are being worked on.