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Mon April 15, 2013
Live Blog: Gov. Hassan's First 100 Days
9:56: On repealing stand your ground, “I continue to be very concerned that we make New Hampshire as safe a state as we can.” Supports a repeal of the law, says it allows people to open fire in public places when other options available to them. “That just isn’t safe.”
9:54: On Medicaid expansion, Hassan says hospitals have come forward and said if you want us to participate, we need to have some of that money to fund our uncompensated care costs, because we are so strained.
9:51: On Medicaid expansion, must be done by 2014, Hassan says last Legislature says we can’t control our own health care exchange, “I’m very pleased we worked with Legislature and have developed a plan for a partnership exchange.” State just got first grant from federal government to help us do that. On fight with hospitals, “Medicaid expansion will allow people who cannot afford private insurance” get care and lower cost for all of us.” Says it would create 700 Granite State jobs.
9:46: Hassan on Northern Pass, “I have said I thought the best option would be burying the lines,” We need to protect our views, tourist industry. All options must be explored to bury the lines; PSNH must listen to people of the North Country. “I am concerned in their first proposal, that there weren’t any clear benefits to the people of New Hampshire.” What is your role as governor in this? “The state has a site evaluation committee.” All of this begs the question of the need for a long-term energy policy.
9:40: “I’m out visiting businesses all the time, and part of the question is what kind of skills are we talking about. “We have a very strong manufacturing sector in New Hampshire,” but they have are having difficulty finding the people with the STEM skills they need.
9:35: On growing own medical marijuana, “It puts law enforcement in position of having to determine whether plants are legal under the bill or someone is growing without a prescription;” I think a dispensary makes sense, I’ve heard some of the concerns raised by advocates of the bill about just using dispensaries, but I do have concerns about the home-grown aspect of the bill.
9:34: On hearing from medical marijuana advocates, “I heard really moving descriptions of what their lives or like with a chronic illness or chronic pain.” I have supported the concept of medical marijuana for some time, but we need “very careful controls” for the dispensing of it.
9:31: Hassan says budget builds in innovation and efficiencies, “It is a very, very lean budget.” Difficulty is there are critical aspects we need to support, so we can move forward with innovation. Try to visit a business each week, they tell me that can’t find skilled worked. University and community college systems took major hits in last budget. “They have been creative, they are trying to innovate.” “At a certain point, you do have to make this affordable for families.” Without $80 million from casino, we can’t do school building aid.
9:27: Have you visited other casinos? “Right now, I haven’t.” There’s a lot on the schedule. “I’ve certainly seen plans and I’ve seen descriptions” and a good idea of what’s proposed in the bill. Plan B for the budget? Realize not everything I recommend will be supported. “I’ve made the best recommendation I can.”
9:24: On sales tax instead of casino, “One of the things we know from data and research in this state and other places, we have an awful lot of gambling in New Hampshire today. “Residents already spend $250 million. We also know about casino proposed draws people higher income, younger people who have disposable income. “Social costs…are going to hit our state anyway.” “Casinos are here; gambling is here…the people of the Granite State…can make their own decisions about gambling.”
9:21: On high-end, highly-regulated casino, “One of things you want to do if you’re going to have a casino, you want to make sure it’s a destination casino.” The bill the Senate passed has a minimum capital investment of $425 million investment. “An entertainment venue that draws people from a distance.” New Hampshire near the Massachusetts border is well situated for that kind of draw. Will it draw business away from other places in the state? “First thing for all of us to realize is that casinos are going to exist in Massachusetts very close to the border.”
9:18: House budget “doesn’t fund critical priorities.” It doesn’t fund school building aid or hospitals.
9:15: On losing political allies because of casino debate, “The agenda we set forth supported strongly by people of New Hampshire…is to make sure we have an innovation economy.” To do that, UNH and community colleges must be able to freeze tuition, invest in Medicaid expansion, get money back to hospitals, supporting mental health system. “We do need to have funds to do that.” We see from House budget, without the $80 from casino, won’t have resources to do those things.
9:12: On budget balancing on casino revenue, Hassan says it’s critical to invest in priorities to grow innovative economy, and bring in revenue as that grows. “That’s what the next two years are about.” Priorities funded through number of things, including increased cigarette tax. “I also said I would support high end highly regulated destination casino.” Gambling here in New Hampshire, it’s all around us. If we don’t have one, we will lose $75 million to Massachusetts. “Rather than be passive…it makes much more sense to grab the moment and develop our own plan.”
9:11: The job has been “just much better than I expected. People in this state have been welcoming, they have been constructive.”
9:11: Reaffirmed commitment to marriage equality by signing on to US Supreme Court cases.
9:10: Hassan she’s pleased to move forward with innovation agenda. “This is a wonderful, wonderful job, honored to have it.” Proposed balanced budget with income or sales tax, invests in higher education and technical assistance for businesses and mental health system.
9:01: Governor Maggie Hassan joins The Exchange today to discuss her first 100 days in office.