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Entries in Gov Hassan (323)

Friday
Apr172015

Public Policy Polling Media Alert: NH Senate, Governor's Race Both Look Like Toss Ups if Hassan Challenges Ayotte 

Public Policy Polling's newest New Hampshire survey finds that a high powered match up between Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte and Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan for the Senate next year would start out as a toss up. Hassan gets 46% to 45% for Ayotte. Independents split evenly in such a contest- Hassan has the slightest of advantages because she wins over 12% of Republicans while Ayotte only gets 8% of Democrats.

There's a much greater spread between Hassan and Ayotte when it comes to approval ratings. Hassan is popular with a 53/34 spread, while voters are considerably more divided on Ayotte with her coming in at 40/43. A large part of the disparity comes from how popular the duo are within their own parties- 85% of Democrats think Hassan is doing a good job compared to only 64% of Republicans who approve of Ayotte. Hassan also has more support across party lines though with 26% of GOP voters approving of her to only 15% of Democrats who give Ayotte good marks. But since most voters ultimately choose their party in a head to head, that's much closer.

Hassan running may be vital to Democrats' ability to make the seat competitive. In a hypothetical contest with the state's Democratic member of Congress, Ann McLane Kuster, Ayotte leads by a 49/38 spread. There has been some discussion about a primary challenge to Ayotte by 2010 foe Ovide Lamontagne but she's not too vulnerable to that, leading him 57/32 in a hypothetical contest. Lamontagne actually does lead Ayotte 53/38 among Tea Party voters, but that's only 21% of the Republican electorate at this point and Ayotte easily dispenses him with everyone else. It's good news for Republicans that Lamontagne's not well positioned for a primary challenge because he trails Hassan 54/35 and Kuster 43/39 in prospective Senate contests.

If Hassan runs for reelection as Governor instead of for the Senate she'll start out in a very strong position. We find her leading the trio of Republicans we tested by anywhere from 17 to 30 points- it's 52/35 over Chris Sununu, 53/36 over Jeb Bradley, and 55/25 over Donnalee Lozeau.

If Hassan doesn't run things look pretty darn wide open. The Democratic alternatives we tested- Jackie Cilley and Colin Van Ostern- have very low name recognition at 27% and 20% respectively. The Republicans we tested aren't really terribly well known either- Sununu comes in at 61% name recognition, Bradley at 53%, and Lozeau at 20%. Match ups between these 5 feature lots of undecideds. Bradley leads both Cilley and Van Ostern 37/31. Sununu leads them by smaller margins- 37/34 over Van Ostern and 37/36 over Cilley. The Democrats- 32/26 for Cilley and 31/27 for Van Ostern- have small advantages over Lozeau. But at any rate the Governor's race looks pretty wide open if Hassan moves on.

 

This analysis is also available on our website:

 

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2015/04/hassan-ayotte-match-would-be-tightly-contested.html

 

I’m not attaching the full results because the file is so large, but you can see those here:

 

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2015/PPP_Release_NH_41615.pdf

Thursday
Apr162015

NHDP - ICYMI: Governor Hassan Continues Traveling State Pushing for Responsible Budget

ICYMI: Governor Hassan Continues Traveling State Pushing for Responsible Budget, Coalition Speaks out Against Business Tax Giveaways  
 
Concord, N.H. – As Governor Hassan continues to travel the state pushing for a responsible budget, a diverse coalition spoke out yesterday against Senate Republicans’ plan to give more tax giveaways to big, mostly out-of-state businesses while making small businesses and middle class families pay the price.
 
See coverage roundup below:
 
Eagle Tribune: “Hassan seeks more socially responsible budget”
 
… The cuts engineered by the House Finance Committee would devastate the economy, health care, infrastructure and the New Hampshire way of life, Hassan said. Even the plowing and sanding of roads would be affected, she said.
 
So, the governor hit the road to get her message across that the House budget is insufficient and intolerable. Her stops included Department of Transportation Patrol Shed 213 in Sunapee, which fears losing more employees if the cuts are enacted.
 
Hassan continued her speaking tour Tuesday, speaking to The Eagle-Tribune editorial board in Derry.
 
"Right now, I'm very concerned," she said. "The budget they passed was irresponsible on any number of levels."
 
Hassan said she's eager to work with the Senate to come up with a final budget plan that would best serve New Hampshire residents — without sacrificing crucial needs and social service programs. 
 
"I encourage both parties of the Senate to build on the bipartisanship of the last budget," Hassan said. [Full article]
 
Union Leader: “Diverse coalition urges no cuts in business taxes”
 
Groups opposing business tax cuts, one of the Senate’s top priorities, say the rate reductions will mean the state will be ill-equipped to meets the needs of citizens, transportation infrastructure and workforce development.

At a news conference Tuesday, representatives of small business, nonprofits, educators and religious organizations said the cuts will benefit large, multi-national corporations but hurt the state’s economy because needed investments will not be made.

About 40 members of the group, including 18 small businesses, sent Gov. Maggie Hassan a letter expressing concern about the business tax cuts and asking her to veto the budget or any other bills that would reduce the tax rates.

… “I calculated how much these proposals would save my company when they are fully implemented, and it came to less than $150 per year,” said Tom Strickland, president and co-founder of Sequoya Technologies Group, a small IT company with eight employees. “$150 out of a million dollar budget isn’t going to influence my business decisions. I won’t be hiring new employees or buying new equipment as a result of this tax cut.”

He noted 93 percent of the state’s businesses are the same size as his company or smaller. 

Strickland said he moved his family to New Hampshire 18 years ago attracted by the state’s quality of life. He said the state should invest in high-quality schools, well-maintained roads, and high-speed broadband internet, which will benefit all businesses. [Full article]
 
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Friday
Apr102015

NHDP - ICYMI: Governor Hassan Tours State Pushing for Responsible Budget

Pressure Continues to Mount on Senate Republicans to Take Bipartisan Approach

Concord, N.H. – As Governor Hassan tours the state to discuss her fiscally responsible budget proposal with local communities, pressure continues to mount on Senate Republicans to work across party lines to pass a responsible budget, including undoing the renewable energy fund raid and restoring funds for health and human services.

See coverage roundup below:

Eagle Times: “Investing in New Hampshire's future: Gov. Hassan talks state budget and goals at Kiwanis meeting”

Hassan has been touring the state over the course of the last week, discussing the state budget with communities in an effort to spread the word about the current division along party lines in Concord and how it could affect people going forward.

… The focus of Hassan’s budget is to attract young professionals and businesses from out of state to immigrate and improve the state’s economy while also retaining the youths that grow up in the state so that they can continue to live and prosper in New Hampshire, which is facing an increasing average median age.

To do this, Hassan’s budget would focus on improving infrastructure, healthcare, and education while also avoiding sales and income tax, something which she believes attracts young people to the state.

… Hassan had strong words for her Republican counterparts in the House… Their budget includes cuts almost $10 million from the rainy day fund, $50 million from the renewable energy fund and nearly $8 million from Hassan’s proposal for the community college system. It also gives nearly $8 million less per year to the university system, which currently receives $84 million. [Full Article]

Union Leader: Dave Solomon's Power Plays: “House budget, if passed, would kill energy fund"

As the new head of the state’s Renewable Energy Fund, Karen Campton finds herself presiding over a program that could be erased by the state Legislature if House budget writers have their way.

… Kate Epsen, executive director of the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association, called out the House for backing away from a promise to leave dedicated funds alone.

“Raiding the dedicated renewable energy fund will strip ratepayer funds intended for cost-saving and job-creating energy projects, thereby creating a hidden energy tax,” she said. [Full Article]

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript: “Deja Vu All Over Again”

It’s deja vu all over again for parents like Kathy Manfre of Peterborough. Four years ago, Manfre was fighting a for a state budget that would give services to people with developmental disabilities after they left the mandated education system. Now, she explained, pausing as her voice broke, she is once again in the position of having to advocate for a budget that will allow her 24-year-old daughter to continue living on her own, which she can only do with help from a support staff.

“She stands to lose much of her independence and personal growth that we have fought so hard for,” said Manfre, referencing cuts to the Health and Human Services budget that could directly affect home care for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Manfre’s concerns were echoed by other parents of individuals — both children and adults — with developmental disabilities who worried about the impact of the cuts, including Linda Quintanilha of Bennington and Lisa Beaudoin of Temple, who both spoke in favor of maintaining independent living with community involvement for those with developmental disabilities. [Full Article]

 

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Saturday
Mar212015

NH GOP - SUNSHINE WEEK: WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT HASSAN'S SECRET ADMINISTRATION 

All Of This Is Bad"; "What Could She Be Hiding"; "Nixonian"; "Hardly Transparent"; "Actions Fall Far Short Of Her Words"; "Troubling"

 

Union Leader: Executive secrecy: Hassan's Nixonian move

 

"Gov. Maggie Hassan will not let the public see public budget documents. The people ought to wonder why."

 

"If the governor gets away with creating a new legal precedent here, the public's right to know will be permanently damaged. What could she be hiding that would be worth that price?"

 

Nashua Telegraph: Two sentences in the state Constitution

 

"If the governor attends a political fundraiser or some other event in another state, the people of New Hampshire should know that. The dissemination of such information is one of the ways people can be sure that the state isn't being run by an absentee governor or one who is being unduly distracted by political considerations...the governor's claim that she isn't bound by the Right-to-Know Law is troubling"

 

Concord Monitor: Despite claims of transparency, Gov. Hassan refuses to release proposals to make state government more efficient

 

"Gov. Maggie Hassan says she's all about government efficiency and transparency. But when it comes to efficiency in government spending, she's hardly transparent."

 

"Ultimately, this fight is about more than the information contained in these government documents, it's about whether Hassan walks the talk and allows New Hampshire's government to be open and responsive to its people."

 

Union Leader: Hassan's hide & seek: Playing games with public records

 

"Gov. Maggie Hassan is going to extraordinary legnths to deny the public - and lawmakers - access to public records. Why?"

 

"All of this is bad, but the governor's next step ices the cake. The Monitor has reported that the governor asked her department heads to forward all requests for the budget documents to her office. She is deliberately trying to shift public documents from the public domain to the corner office, where they will be shielded from the right-to-know law, and thus from public scrutiny."

 

Nashua Telegraph: A rooster crows at the Statehouse

 

"Gov. Maggie Hassan has a credibility problem. The governor, who is just starting her second two-year term, likes to talk about "transparency," but a story in the Concord Monitor on Sunday makes it clear that her actions fall far short of her words."

 

"Then again, given the gap between what the governor says and what she sometimes does, that may also be the reason she wants to keep them secret."

 

Tuesday
Mar172015

NHDP - ICYMI: Concord Monitor Op-Ed: State’s citizens deserve more efficient government 

Key Point: "The Governor’s Commission on Innovation, Efficiency, and Transparency, on which we both served with 16 leaders from the business, nonprofit, higher education, and state and local government sectors, was empaneled to better understand and to improve the way state government operates."

"...The foundation for all the commission’s recommendations is the appointment of a chief operating officer for the executive branch, reporting to the governor with appropriate responsibility, resources and authority to drive innovation, efficiency and transparency across the executive branch."
 
Concord Monitor: My Turn: State’s citizens deserve more efficient government
By Eric Herr and Ed DuPont 
http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/16074524-95/my-turn-states-citizens-deserve-more-efficient-government
 
(Eric Herr was chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Innovation, Efficiency and Transparency. Ed DuPont, president of the DuPont Group and a former state senator and president of the Senate, was a member of the commission.)

New Hampshire is the “Live Free or Die” state by word and action. Yet the small state government that the Founding Fathers envisioned and that we embrace still has grown to be a large, complex institution with thousands of employees, nearly $6 billion in annual expenditures and hundreds of partners.

But the state government’s operating management structure, tools, processes and technology have not evolved with the increasing scale and complexity of state government. That failure comes at a price in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, and the citizens of New Hampshire bear the price. For them, it means a state government that is costlier, slower, less innovative and less responsive than it could or should be. What they deserve is state government that is innovative, persistently drives efficiency and is fully transparent, rather than one committed to management by momentum.

The Governor’s Commission on Innovation, Efficiency, and Transparency, on which we both served with 16 leaders from the business, nonprofit, higher education, and state and local government sectors, was empaneled to better understand and to improve the way state government operates. Our charge was to address the way state government operates, not the essential political task of deciding what state government does.

Two observations became clear quickly in our deliberations. First, doing things the same old way, with even fewer resources and just lower expenses, will not make state government more efficient or produce better results for the citizens of New Hampshire. Rather, managing via momentum will merely extend and deepen the state’s fiscal distress, accelerate pressures to reduce services, and further strain the state’s workforce.

And second, there is no silver bullet, no single action that will deliver the state government of the future that the citizens of New Hampshire deserve. So the commission proposed a series of changes, some small and others quite significant, that taken together would begin to transform the way state government operates: its operating structure, processes and culture.

The foundation for all the commission’s recommendations is the appointment of a chief operating officer for the executive branch, reporting to the governor with appropriate responsibility, resources and authority to drive innovation, efficiency and transparency across the executive branch.

Why this action? Why this investment? Because transforming the actions of an institution as large and complex as the executive branch requires dedicated, senior focus on operations. The incumbent must be someone the most senior executives in the branch will regard as a peer, someone who can be an effective junior partner to the governor and earn the trust and confidence of the Legislature and Executive Council. It requires the expertise to bring a seasoned financial, operating and technology perspective to the decisions of the executive branch. It will require an executive capable of making investment decisions to drive innovation and yet also stimulate innovation from the people who really do the work. It will require the diplomatic skills to enable the executive branch to capture economies across departments and agencies. It will require the skill to broaden the branch’s near-exclusive focus on expense control to include results and resource productivity. In short, it must be someone capable of driving specific innovative efforts and yet also capable of beginning to transform the culture of the executive branch.

True, this is no “free lunch.” This is an investment built on the pragmatic assumption that dedicating senior operating management to innovation, efficiency and transparency will produce significant returns. Even a one-hundredth of 1 percent annual improvement in efficiency driven by this effort will more than pay for the investment. The proof, of course, will be in the results, which should be closely monitored by the governor, the Executive Council and the Legislature. It is clear from our work on the governor’s commission that ample opportunities exist, yet they are not being realized. If nothing changes in the operation of state government, they won’t be.

Some will argue that now is not the time, that current fiscal constraints are just too severe. We would argue that now is precisely the time, because without significant change in the way state government operates, the fiscal pressure will continue to spiral upward and operating performance will drift lower.

The essential first step in this journey is the creation of the office of the chief operating officer with job descriptions, adequate budgets and tangible targets for innovation, efficiency and transparency improvements.
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