In her inauguration speech, Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, touched on many of the same themes she campaigned on – promotion of innovation, technology advancement, and good paying middle-class jobs – while also preserving all that is good about the state of New Hampshire, including low crime, poverty and teen birth rates, making it one of the best places in the nation to raise children.
The speech, which was peppered with pointed talking points that often got Democrats and others on their feet, focused on agenda driven policy positions. But she also attacked acts by the previously Republican-dominated House. Hassan said, as an example, that cutting the cigarette tax was “short-sighted.” She said it hurt the state’s young people, to a standing ovation by Democrats in Representatives Hall.
Hassan called for freezing in-state tuition rates so that young people could become better educated and plan to live their future lives in New Hampshire. She commended her parents for helping her and her family get access to higher education. Hassan said she was glad that members of her family were able to attend the inauguration, including her husband, Tom Hassan, who is a principal at Phillips Exeter Academy, and her children, Ben and Meg, who she said, “Inspired me.”
Hassan also commended and thanked caregivers who had helped her son get an education and participate in his community. She called them “an integral part” of her family.
“You give proof to idea that when we care for each other, we all get stronger,” she said.
Hassan said that all students in the state deserved a school system that rigorously promoted math and science standards, while calling on the business community to help out. She said achieving science and math standards should be “a state priority.”
Businesses in the Granite State must also find new markets, since 95 percent of consumers live outside the United States, she said, adding that she would work to make sure that the state’s exports were sold throughout the globe.
Hassan also called for doubling the research and development tax credit. She committed to building strategic partnerships with universities and businesses to expand economic opportunities.
“We must recognize that there are some tasks that can only be accomplished in partnership with government,” she said.
Hassan said businesses cannot grow without the roads, bridges, broadband, and clean power, they require. She said everyone in the state collaborated all the time and their elected officials must do the same. Hassan called on “commonsense solutions borne on collaboration,” and received a standing ovation when se called for the end of “hasty, reactive government.”
Hassan committed to open dialogue and called on Senate and House leaders to work with her to improve the state.
In the face of fiscal uncertainly, Hassan called on being prudent.
Hassan called on income tax supporters to “put that aside,” adding that she would veto an income tax. She admitted that Democrats would not be able to do everything at once while reminding Republicans that there were things that government “must do” to encourage economic growth.
“Needs do not go away simply because we don't fund them,” she said, “and opportunities for innovation and growth can evaporate if we fail to make smart investments in a timely way.”
Hassan called on ways to make schools and towns “safer and better,” in the wake of the Newtown CT shooting tragedy, congratulated service men and women serving over seas, and committed to promoting an inclusive Granite State.