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Entries in Gov Hassan (262)

Wednesday
Oct152014

NHGOP LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTING GOVERNOR HASSAN'S SUPPORT FOR INCOME TAX & BUDGET-BUSTING SPENDING HABITS 

 

 


 

Concord - Today, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee launched robocalls and a web campaign regarding Governor Hassan's reckless mismanagement of the New Hampshire budget and highlighting her past support for a disastrous income tax: 

 

"Governor Hassan has completely failed to properly manage the New Hampshire state budget," said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn. "She clearly cannot get her own administration's spending under control and it's clear that new taxes will be the only option given her recklessness. With Governor Hassan's past support for an income tax, New Hampshire's middle class should be gravely concerned about what's in store for a second Hassan term. It's time to replace Maggie Hassan with Walt Havenstein, a responsible Republican who understands how to balance a budget, create jobs and grow our state's economy - and will never support an income tax."

 

The transcript of the robocall is below:


 

"Hi, this is Emily. Even though New Hampshire is facing a budget shortfall, Governor Hassan's administration has requested an 18 percent spending increase for the next fiscal year. There's no way to meet Hassan's demands with existing revenues, and the only solution will be to raise taxes. Given her history of repeated support for an income tax in our state, it's clear that she will need an income tax to pay for her lavish spending. Keep New Hampshire income tax free by calling Governor Hassan at 271-2121 to say that the spending must stop! Paid for by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, Robert Scott, Treasurer."


 

BACKGROUND

 

Hassan refused to support a State Constitutional Amendment to ban an income tax. "National taxpayer groups are being invited to join New Hampshire's debate over a proposed state constitutional ban of an income tax... Hassan is opposed."(John Toole, "NH Debate On Income Tax Heats Up," The Eagle-Tribune, 9/23/12)

 

"She also opposes a constitutional amendment that would prohibit an income tax In New Hampshire."(Sarah Brubeck, "Health Care Key Issue For N.H. Gov. Candidate Hassan," Valley News, 10/20/12)

 

Hassan admits that there are circumstances under which she would support an income tax. ""I would only support an income tax if it repeals the statewide property tax" (Lara Bricker, "Hassan takes issue with mailers," Portsmouth Herald, 11/1/02)

Tuesday
Oct142014

NHDP - ICYMI - Concord Monitor: "My Turn: Election noise obscures truth about bipartisan budget" 

Senators Larsen and D'Allesandro Highlight Governor Hassan's Careful Management of Agency Budgets, Call Out Senate GOP for Massively Overspending on Their Own Budget


Key Point: “It is worth noting that as Gov. Hassan was working with state agencies to effectively manage their budgets and beat their savings targets, our Republican colleagues in the Senate actually overspent and missed their own budget targets. [...]

“So the irony is that Republicans were the ones who didn’t respond to their own call to reduce spending: as they were launching attacks against Gov. Hassan’s fiscal leadership and inventing wild – and inaccurate – claims about overspending by government agencies, they were the ones loosening the purse strings. [...]

“But it’s pretty clear that Senate Republicans can’t be taken seriously on the budget right now.”

See here or below for the full Concord Monitor op-ed by Senators Sylvia Larsen and Lou D'Allesandro

Granite Staters know that balancing a budget – whether it’s our family’s budget or the state’s budget – requires making tough choices to protect our priorities while living within our means. That’s what we’ve worked to do at the State House.

Under Gov. Maggie Hassan’s bipartisan leadership, we balanced the budget responsibly, with no income or sales tax. The budget passed unanimously in the Republican-majority Senate and nearly unanimously in the Democratic-majority House.

That’s not something you see too often out of Washington, D.C. – but it happened here under this governor.

It’s a fiscally responsible budget that invests in shared priorities like freezing college tuition, putting more state troopers on the road and revitalizing our state’s economic development efforts.

And it’s a budget that supports the priorities that help innovative businesses create jobs, expand middle-class opportunity and keep our economy moving in the right direction.

While passing a balanced budget every two years is crucial, it is only the first step in ensuring that our state’s finances remain on solid ground. Maintaining that balance requires constant work and attention.

Since we passed the budget, Gov. Hassan has carefully managed state agency expenditures, and she took preemptive action to rein in spending, leading us to end Fiscal Year 2014 with a $20 million surplus. In fact, agencies actually beat their targets for returning funds back to the treasury by $8.5 million.

It is worth noting that as Gov. Hassan was working with state agencies to effectively manage their budgets and beat their savings targets, our Republican colleagues in the Senate actually overspent and missed their own budget targets.

An NH1 investigation found that Senate Republicans “seemed to spend like there was no tomorrow.” They even spent $15,000 on furniture.

So the irony is that Republicans were the ones who didn’t respond to their own call to reduce spending: as they were launching attacks against Gov. Hassan’s fiscal leadership and inventing wild – and inaccurate – claims about overspending by government agencies, they were the ones loosening the purse strings.

We are not surprised to hear partisan attacks as the election approaches. That’s what happens at this time of year. But it’s pretty clear that Senate Republicans can’t be taken seriously on the budget right now.

Going forward, we need to continue to be prudent. As the economy continues to improve, key revenues that indicate economic progress, such as the meals and rooms and real estate transfer taxes, remain strong. However, the last Legislature passed changes to tax laws that went into effect in the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2014.

Since those changes went into effect, we have seen business tax and interest-and-dividends tax revenues regularly fall below plan. Even though overall revenues are running slightly ahead of plan for the year, the trend in business and interest-and-dividends revenue could be a sign of challenges ahead.

That’s why we supported Gov. Hassan taking preemptive action last week by sending all state agencies directions to reduce expenditures in their plans for the year ahead. That was the right thing to do.

At the same time, the Legislature will also need to continue to work together across party lines to exercise discretion while focusing on important priorities. Remember, the state is only spending on the bipartisan priorities that have been supported by legislators from both parties, either through our budget, through the Legislative Fiscal Committee or through other laws passed with bipartisan support.

We hope that after the election hoopla is over, the Legislature will go back to doing what we did last year, and work closely with agencies and under the leadership of our governor in a bipartisan way to develop a final plan that ensures a balanced budget for next year. That’s what has helped keep our state on track.

(Sylvia Larsen is a state senator from Concord. Lou D’Allesandro is a state senator from Manchester.)

 

Thursday
Oct092014

NH GOP - NH DOJ: UNION PAC BACKING HASSAN VIOLATED STATE LAW 

Concord - The New Hampshire Department of Justice today announced that the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union PAC (Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC) violated State laws by refusing to report donations made to Governor Hassan's political campaign. The ruling comes in response to a complaint filed by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee on August 6, 2014.

 

"The Attorney General's Office has completed its review of the complaint, and we conclude that the LU 131 Committee has violated state law," wrote Associate Attorney General Richard Head in a letter sent to Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC Chairman David Pelletier.

 

"Today's ruling confirms that Governor Maggie Hassan's union allies broke the law by refusing to report tens of thousands of dollars in tainted donations to her campaign. Governor Hassan has already been caught red-handed accepting $33,000 in illegal contributions from other Big Labor PACs, and her behavior raises serious ethical questions about her administration," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "The dark ethical cloud hanging over the Hassan Administration has undermined public confidence in state government and called Governor Hassan's integrity into question. Given the troubling implications of this scandal, Governor Hassan should immediately donate the $41,000 in tainted contributions she has accepted from the Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC to charity." 

 

Over the summer, Governor Hassan was forced to return $33,000 dollars in illegal campaign contributions from union PACs. The governor still has $41,000 in donations - a $25,000 contribution made in 2012, a $15,000 contribution made in 2013 and a $1,000 contribution made in 2014 - from the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union PAC in her bank account.  

Wednesday
Oct082014

NHGOP FILES RIGHT TO KNOW REQUEST REGARDING HASSAN'S KNOWLEDGE OF NH UTILITY CRISIS 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent the following Right to Know request to Governor Maggie Hassan today regarding her potential knowledge about the electric utility crisis facing New Hampshire this winter.

 

The Honorable Maggie Hassan

Governor of New Hampshire

State House

107 North Main Street

Concord, New Hampshire 03301

 

Dear Governor Hassan,

 

This is a request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A.)

 

I formally request that you provide me with all records containing any and all communication between your office, Office of Energy and Planning and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding the approved winter rate hikes requested by Liberty Utilities, Unitil Corporation and the New Hampshire Electric Co-Op. This includes any written or electronic communications from you and your staff and New Hampshire Public Utilities Commissioners Ignatius, Scott and Honigberg, their staff and their legal counsel.

 

In the past, you have asserted that New Hampshire's Right to Know Law does not apply to you as governor. Our attorneys can find no such exemption in the law. Should you decline to provide any requested communications, please provide the specific provision under RSA 91-A that exempts such public records from the Right to Know Law.

 

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the New Hampshire PUC "approved a 99 percent winter rate hike requested by Liberty Utilities." Further, the New Hampshire Electric Co-op has stated that "its power rates will rise 29 percent, and Unitil [Corporation] says it will go up 84 percent."

 

News media outlets across New England have reported on the serious hardship to be faced by New Hampshire residents in the coming winter season.  Already, the PUC has received numerous complaints and requests for assistance, according to PUC Consumer Affairs Division Director Amanda Noonan. In a recentarticle by the Concord Monitor, Noonan said, "People are concerned about how they are going to manage this and whether they have any options.  It's a huge increase for them." In addition, the PUC expects that "higher electric rates will take a toll on the state's low income residents," according to Shannon Nolin, who oversees the Community Action Agency's Electric Assistance Program.

 

New Hampshire communities and businesses are bracing themselves for the coming energy crisis. For example, the Concord YMCA anticipates that it will have to pay 50 percent more for electricity this winter, forcing this non-profit organization to seek new revenue streams in order to maintain programs vital to the community,according to the Concord Monitor.

 

Further, there are growing fears that New Hampshire and all of New England could face rolling blackouts this winter,according to ISO New England. It goes without saying that this is an unthinkable disaster, and many lives will be in very serious danger should the predicted blackouts occur.

 

It's abundantly clear that New Hampshire is on the brink of an across the board energy crisis this winter. Working class families, already struggling to make ends meet as a result of the gas tax hike you signed into law earlier this year, will be forced to make a choice between safely heating their homes and putting food on their table. This is a very perilous choice for New Hampshire families to make, considering that the Farmer's Almanacpredicts this winter to be "another article blast with above-normal snowfall."

 

To date, you have yet to make public statements regarding the forthcoming utility cost crisis this winter. At the annual New Hampshire energy summit, you were given the opportunity to prepare Granite State residents for the upcoming energy crisis, and you chose to ignore the problem, saying that "it's helpful to think of energy efficiency as a source of energy itself." These comments do nothing to address the crisis faced by New Hampshire families and businesses, and serve as an incredible insult to Granite Staters who will be in danger during the upcoming winter season.

 

As such, I respectfully submit that you release all communications regarding the electricity rate hikes approved by the PUC, and any rate hikes that are pending before the PUC and have yet to become public domain. Granite State residents have the right to know whether you were aware of the forthcoming energy crisis, did nothing about it and deflected questions regarding it, or if you were simply asleep at the wheel on this issue. Either way, New Hampshire residents deserve better than a governor who will leave them out in the cold.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Horn

Chairman, New Hampshire Republican State Committee

Wednesday
Oct082014

NH Senate Republicans - Morse urges Governor to share $70 million in budget cuts 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Calls for swift action to address growing spending problem

 

Concord, NH – Senator President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) today issued the following statement in response to increasing evidence that New Hampshire is in the midst of a growing budget problem:

 

"Governor Hassan's actions last week demonstrate that she has failed to keep spending within current budget limits, resulting in a $22 million shortfall in FY14. The Department of Health and Human Services reports a $42 million shortfall in FY15, combined with the $30 million in cuts that the Governor is seeking from other departments. That would require at least a 4% across the board cut to all departments.

 

"We can't kick those costs into the next budget. Delaying action will only force deeper and more painful cuts. I urge Governor Hassan to share her proposals to save $70 million by the end of this month."