Maggie Hassan

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she would sign a bill to increase the state’s gas tax by roughly 4 cents this year, should it reach her desk.

governor.nh.gov

Last week, Governor Maggie Hassan stepped up to the front podium in Representatives Hall and delivered her first State of the State speech.  Hassan addressed her victories and challenges of her first year, and outlined  her hopes for year two:  she underlined a desire for a ‘high end’ casino, stood firm on her stance against legalizing marijuana and tried to reach out to both sides of the aisle to get work done.But bipartisanship hasn’t been always come easy for the governor.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

9:56: Gov. Hassan on raising the gas tax: “We need a modern and solid infrastructure if we’re going to have a 21st century economy.” There has been growing consensus that we need to address infrastructure challenges. On bill proposing gas tax increase tied to CPI: “In its current form, yes, I would sign it.”

9:52: Gov. Hassan on minimum wage: “Feel very strongly” it is the right thing to do to increase it. 

Governor Maggie Hassan's first State of the State Address touched on a wide range of issues, including energy, infrastructure, and  education.

But the biggest news of the speech was a deal to expand the state’s Medicaid program, announced by Senate President Chuck Morse and Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen shortly before the governor's address. 

Below are the most common words used in the Governor's first State of the State Address.

In her State of the State address today, Governor Maggie Hassan called on state lawmakers to restore and increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage.

The state Legislature in 2011 eliminated the state minimum wage and defaulted to the federal wage of $7.25 an hour.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a Manchester Democrat, agrees the minimum wage should be raised, but knows the debate will be a long and difficult one.

Listen to the full speech here & scroll down for full speech text:

3:10: Hassan's closing statement: "We must continue to prove the strength of our democracy by working through our challenges together. With vigor, but with constant attention to our shared purpose and vision. Because, for the State of New Hampshire, the best way forward is always through."

NHPR

In her state of the state address this afternoon, Hassan’s expected to look back at progress made in her first year in office, and ahead to what she hopes to accomplish. We’ll take stock of how she’s done with some of her top priorities including Medicaid expansion, casino gambling, the state budget and the mental health system.

GUESTS:

Chris Jensen, NHPR News

Gov. Maggie Hassan will deliver her first State of the State address Thursday to a joint session of New Hampshire lawmakers.

Hassan ended her first year in office with decent job-approval ratings – 51 percent versus 21 percent who disapprove, according to a recent poll.

She begins her second with a heightened national profile: In December, she was elected vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association, which spent heavily to help her defeat GOP challenger Ovide Lamontagne in 2012.

NHPR Staff

With a winter storm looming, Governor Maggie Hassan has postponed her State of the State address until Thursday afternoon.

 

The state of New Hampshire has set up an emergency hotline for Fred Fuller Oil Co. customers who are in imminent danger of running out of home heating oil.

Paul Filippov for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan is urging Congress to renew long-term unemployment benefits that expired for 1,350 out-of-work New Hampshire residents last week.

The Executive Council has confirmed four judges for the circuit court nominated by Governor Maggie Hassan.

The state of New Hampshire has agreed to settle a major class-action lawsuit over its treatment of residents with serious mental illness.

Under the terms of the agreement announced Thursday, the state will spend an additional $30 million on expanding services for the strained mental health system over the next 4 years. 

Five New Hampshire companies will get job training grants totaling roughly $72,000.

Governor Maggie Hassan announced the awards this morning.

Phase 2 Medical Manufacturing of Rochester will use a grant of approximately $32,000 to train 67 employees.

And Relyco Sales Incorporated in Dover is receiving $25,700, which will be used to train 17 employees in sales.

D.D. Bean & Sons Company of Jaffrey, Collins Home Innovation Corporation and New Hampshire Auto Dealers Services Incorporated are also receiving grants.

Each company matches the grant.

NHPR

The State Senate couldn’t pass the plan favored by GOP leaders, and then rejected a plan embraced by Democrats on party lines. Ultimately, the Senate adopted a second GOP proposal, before laying it on the table. Two hours later it rejected a Medicaid bill passed by Democrats in the N.H. House.

John Reagan is a Republican from Deerfield:

"I can contend with combinations of vagaries and certainties, but my friends to be steered and rushed is an invitation leading to rueful decisions."

Gov. Maggie Hassan has spent the last several days taking her push to expand Medicaid out side of Concord, and into the districts of GOP Senators.

Speaking at SNHU, in the home district of Republican David Boutin, Hassan said the GOP needs to bend.

"Every time we put forward a compromise, we are told that it’s no good, it’s still their original plan."

Back at the statehouse, Senate President Chuck Morse insisted that’s not true.

"We are open to suggestions.'

Governor Hassan stumped for expansion in Plymouth. That’s the home district of Republican Jeanie Forrester, the senate’s new finance chair.

Last week Hassan visited Hampton, a town represented by Republican Senator Nancy Stiles. And on Saturday night, speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser, Hassan told the crowd of 1000 that the Medicaid proposal backed by senate Republicans simply won’t work.

“The bad deal that the Senate Republicans are offering will hurt our citizens and our state more than no deal at all.”

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Governor Maggie Hassan spoke at a Veterans Day ceremony at the State House this morning.

She says the day is a time for ordinary citizens to show the respect and admiration they have for those who have served.

“I don’t know that we can ever really do anything that matches the commitment and sacrifices that you have all made, but today is one of the ways we try to do that.”

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Ethan Wallace, head down, decisively storms out the backdoor of his group home in Plymouth. He checks on the garden, the shed, and then climbs onto some boulders edging the property.

“One thing about a guy like Ethan,” says Stuart Wallace, “he’s very healthy and very active. And with Ethan, there is no such thing as sitting still and relaxing.”

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

  Lawmakers returned to Concord Thursday to debate a major part of the federal health overhaul law: expansion of Medicaid. In New Hampshire, such a move would provide insurance coverage to an estimated 50,000 low income residents.

For the next two weeks, lawmakers will be in Concord to discuss Medicaid expansion, including an up-or-down vote. Governor Maggie Hassan says she’s open to ideas for how to expand the health program, but wants to make sure any final plan works for the state.

Hassan and leaders of both parties have been meeting privately to discuss ways to expand Medicaid, but as of yet haven’t hinted at a deal.

DavidWilson1949 via Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Hassan is tapping former New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nadeau to lead a review into mental health services in Manchester following two high-profile incidents. 

In July, a 34-year old patient allegedly attacked two staff members at Elliot Hospital while awaiting transfer to the state psychiatric hospital in Concord.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

With the government shutdown now in its second week, there’s growing bipartisan concern in New Hampshire about the impact on state tourism and the local economy.

But there’s a difference of opinion on who’s to blame in Washington.

With Columbus Day weekend approaching, nearly two dozen campgrounds on federal land in the White Mountain National Forest remain closed due to the shutdown.

State Representative Warren Groen of Rochester says the state’s tourists and business owners are paying the price.

New Hampshire's Fiscal Year Finishes With Surplus

Oct 4, 2013

Governor Maggie Hassan says strong fiscal management by state leaders and an improving economy have boosted the state's budget surplus to $76 million for fiscal year 2013.

That figure is $19 million more than the $57 million lawmakers had anticipated.

Hassan also said Friday that a monthly forecast shows the state currently running almost $27 million ahead for the 2014 fiscal year.

The state has a $10.7 billion budget for the current, two-year cycle.

As a study commission nears its deadline to issue its findings on whether to expand Medicaid, Governor Maggie Hassan is urging lawmakers to take swift action once that report is released.

Speaking to members of the Nashua Rotary West Club on Tuesday, Hassan, who supports expansion, says the state can’t afford to wait.

“For every day that we delay expansion beyond Jan. 1, even conservative projections show that New Hampshire stands to lose $500,000 per day in the first year, and up to $1 million per day by 2016.”

NHPR Staff

Contract negotiation between the Hassan administration and the state employees association are heading into a fact finding stage. The move comes eight months into contract talks and after 4 days of mediation failed to produce agreement. State employees association president Diana Lacey says the Hassan administration has been unwilling to provide proof to back up its claims on contracts costs.

"I am not necessarily willing to say that I think it’s bad faith, but the closest I could get to that is to say they are in a different league now."

Some North Country Health officials told Gov. Hassan Thursday that increasing funding for psychiatric services and expanding Medicaid are vital for improving healthcare in the region.

Hassan met with workers at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in Littleton.

Its executive director, Edward Shanshala, told Hassan it is good that she restored funding for primary preventive care.

And he is hopeful that Medicaid will be expanded to help low-income families in the North Country who can’t afford health insurance.

Sean Hurley

Governor Hassan stopped by the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery in North Woodstock to sample the microbrew and ceremonially sign into law HB 253 allowing nanobreweries to serve beer to their customers.  Sean Hurley was there and sends us this report.

Before Governor Hassan cracked open a celebratory bottle of beer, she did a bit of governing, signing into law House Bill 253.

I am very very proud to support this important sector of our economy by signing both these bills, so how about we go do that?

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

State budget negotiators reached accord today on a $10.7 billion spending plan.

The budget still needs approval from the full legislature, but leaders in the House and Senate, as well as Governor Maggie Hassan, agree the proposal meets many shared goals.

NHPR's Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the negotiation process, what's in the final budget deal and its chances when it goes before the full House and Senate next week.

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