CONCORD - Democratic House leaders said today on a press conference call that New Hampshire voters cannot afford to go "even further" with the extreme Ovide-O'Brien agenda, as the speaker promised at the State GOP convention this weekend.
"New Hampshire can't afford to go 'much further' with the extreme Ovide-O'Brien agenda of ending universal public kindergarten, cutting state funding for public colleges and eliminating access to birth control and abortion," aid House Democratic Leader Terie Noreli.
O'Brien's statements came during the GOP State Convention this weekend, where he received enthusiastic cheers with his promise that his legislature, if re-elected would go "even further" with their radical, out-of-touch agenda.
Democrats called on the Speaker to come clean with the voters of New Hampshire and say what their "further" would mean for them.
"We can expect more efforts to dismantle our public schools - from repealing public kindergarten to lowering the dropout age," said House Assistant Deputy Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff. "We know we can expect another round of attacks on our workers - the Speaker himself filed the so-called "Right to Work" bill. We know we can expect more devastating cuts to assistance to our most venerable citizens. "
After public outcry and pressure, Speaker O'Brien reversed himself and made the bill proposals for the 2013 session public. I can understand why he didn't want the public to know what they were planning before Granite Staters stepped into the voting booths."
"Even further" could also include continued attacks on women's health care. This ideologically-extreme agenda item would completely eliminate funding for basic, preventive health care services (services such as access to birth control and cancer screenings) received by over 16,000 New Hampshire women, men, and families at Planned Parenthood health centers, some hospitals, and any health facilities that offer full reproductive health care.
"That's the choice in this election," said House Deputy Democratic Floor Leader Cindy Rosenwald. "Will we go forward with the same type of bipartisan, problem-solving approach provided by Gov. John Lynch, or we can go backward with the extreme ideas of Ovide Lamontagne and Bill O'Brien, ideas that hurt our middle-class families and our economy."
"This is not the agenda the voters thought they were getting in 2010 and it's not the agenda that the people of New Hampshire want in 2012," said Rep. Shurtleff.