We Have New “Conservative” Republican!
by Ed Naile

Behold the “change” in Maggie Hassan from progressive to Republican – in a Blue State? I thought we were past all that conservative stuff.

Just as Governor Lynch was labeled “popular” in every news article ever written about him, we now see the transformation of a former tax and spend legislator into a “conservative.”

My, what does their polling tell them about NH voters?

The Office of Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan Sets Conservative Baseline Targets of 97%/100% of FY13 Budget to Allow State to Respond to Federal Changes; Focus on Priorities

CONCORD – As part of her efforts to develop a fiscally responsible balanced budget that will help build a more innovative economy, while protecting New Hampshire’s priorities, Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan instructed state agencies today to submit reduced budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2014 and 2015.

For Fiscal Year 2014, Hassan asked agencies to submit budgets that spend 97 percent of their adjusted 2013 appropriation. For Fiscal Year 2015, Hassan asked for budget proposals that are 100 percent of the adjusted 2013 appropriation. She asked agencies to meet the targets for all general, liquor, sweepstakes, highway, turnpike and fish and game funds.

The conservative 97 percent budget targets will serve as a baseline that will allow Hassan to better identify priorities as she brings people together to make the difficult, fiscally responsible decisions needed to invest in innovation while balancing the budget without a sales or income tax.

“While we are beginning to see signs of recovery and revenue growth, we face fiscal uncertainty, particularly around how decisions in Washington and the so-called fiscal cliff will impact New Hampshire’s state budget, economic growth and revenues,” Governor-Elect Hassan said in a memo to state agencies. “There are also investments that we must make as a state in the coming two years in order to protect the health and safety of our citizens and to build an innovative economy that will ensure long-term growth. These budget targets will give us options and flexibility to assess and respond to unfolding economic and external events.”

Hassan emphasized that going forward these targets, as well as individual agency budgets, may be adjusted upward or downward depending on revenues, federal actions and state priorities as she constructs a balanced budget to submit to the legislature by February 15th. However, she stressed that agencies’ 97 percent budgets should not include cuts that will violate maintenance of effort requirements or federal laws or regulations and should focus on identifying reductions through innovation and efficiencies, not across-the-board cuts.

“I recognize that many state agencies have faced significant cuts in recent years and reaching these targets will be challenging,” said Hassan. “In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with many of you and I’ve been impressed by your creative efforts and ideas for making government more efficient, reducing unnecessary and duplicative tasks, and improving service to our citizens. I ask you to continue those efforts through this process. We need to continue innovating in how we provide state services to adapt to economic realities and to reflect changes in how our citizens live and work.”

As Governor, Maggie Hassan will bring people together to keep New Hampshire moving forward by focusing on innovation, fiscal responsibility and common-sense solutions to our challenges. Hassan will work with members of both parties to develop a fiscally responsible balanced budget that protects New Hampshire’s priorities without an income or sales tax. She will work to implement her “Innovate NH” jobs plan, which focuses on building the best workforce in the country, providing tax credits to businesses, and giving businesses technical assistance to help them create jobs. And Hassan will reach out to legislators and citizens across the state to listen to their ideas on moving New Hampshire forward.