NHPR Asks: What's Your State Of The State?

Feb 15, 2018

Governor Chris Sununu will deliver his first State of the State address Thursday. Ahead of his speech, NHPR reporters have been asking Granite Staters to reflect on how things are going in their lives.

Tom Allen of Dover says the state of his state is…

“Great. Business is doing well, I think the financial marketplace is doing well for people, I think the tax cut is going to help a lot of people more than many people think. I think things are good. I think things are looking forward.”

Reporter: “And you’ve been feeling some of that personally?”

"Well I’m retired, I’m not working any longer but I do, my wife still works. She feels secure in her job, she’s still growing in her job. I think things look good.”

Allen says the biggest issue facing the state at large is overspending by state government.

Sarah Sullivan of Dover says the state of her state is…

“Decent. I would say this year healthcare is worse off than previous years. That’s definitely a concern -- just a change in our premiums and what that allows us to do in the rest of our lives. I also bill insurance companies and it’s a nightmare. So on both ends of it, it’s been much less pleasant.”

I've lived here like 12 years and I've noticed the taxes are what they said they'd be, the schools are great, the neighbors where I live at are good people, it's a big difference from where I used to live, Massachusetts.

Sullivan says the biggest issue facing the state at large is the opioid crisis and access to healthcare.

Shelly Girdner of Madbury says the state of her state is…

"It’s a little mucky right now. I teach at UNH where I’ve taught for many years now and I teach in the college of liberal arts and pretty disappointing news came out of our dean’s office this year where we had 17 of our members non-renewed and it was a surprise for most of them. Oh it definitely makes me nervous. My contract is up in a couple of years and I’m not optimistic about the prospects for renewal.”

Girdner says the biggest issue facing the state at large is climate change.

Eddie Tavares, Jr of Derry says the state of his state is…

"I think it's doing good," Tavares said. "I've lived here like 12 years and I've noticed the taxes are what they said they'd be, the schools are great, the neighbors where I live at are good people, it's a big difference from where I used to live, Massachusetts."

Tavares does say he thinks the biggest issue facing the state is the cost of health care.

"If they could at least help out the seniors, because my mom and dad are retired, a lot of seniors can't afford the health care system.

Ghislaine Dematteo of Lyme says she feels like New Hampshire’s doing pretty well … but she’d like more money to go to early childhood education.

“I would like to see full-day kindergarten pass and be state-mandated. So I don’t have to pay for my son’s aftercare and tuition. That definitely is a drain on my personal pocketbook.”

She has two kids: a young son, and a daughter, Cole, age 10. Cole says she has a simple message for the Governor: don’t make any sudden moves.

“I think life’s really perfect here in New Hampshire and I wouldn’t really change anything.”

Nick De la Roca recently moved to New Hampshire from California, where marijuana is now legal for recreational use. De la Roca says he'd like to see legalization here as well.

I think the number one thing for New Hampshire is conserving our state, to really be a great state for people to come visit.

"I think they should legalize weed because that will, like, lower death rates on heroin. Because I've seen heroin and how it affects people and it's sad. People die more on drinking than on weed and you can just chill. Have you ever seen a fight break out on weed? No. Everything is chill. Weed should be legal here."

De la Roca works in Manchester and says he's a fan of New Hampshire's more lax seatbelt rules -- but not its toll roads.

And Mike DeCosta from Hooksett said:

"I think the number one thing for New Hampshire is conserving our state, to really be a great state for people to come visit."

DeCosta also says education should also be a top priority in New Hampshire, so as to remain competitive nationally and globally.