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Incumbent legislators earn failing grades
To the editor:
Recently, I was at Maggie Hassan’s ice cream social and there was a standing room only crowd to hear the gubernatorial hopeful. When she shared some of the votes that had been passed by the current state legislature, there were some audible gasps in the audience. I was a little surprised that this group of engaged citizens wasn’t more aware of what happened in Concord during the last two years, but then our state representatives and senator haven’t really been shouting their exploits from the rooftops. Let me fill in some of the gaps:
Despite their campaign promises about focusing on jobs, this legislature has prioritized weakening workers’ rights and public education, and sticking their nose into women’s health choices. From the first day on the job in 2010, they have voted to expand access to guns, even against the recommendations of law enforcement. Among those representatives running for re-election, some voted to eliminate the requirement for public kindergarten, to eliminate workers’ rights to organize, to permit 16-year olds to drop out of school, and to cut the cigarette tax costing New Hampshire $20 million in lost revenue.
According to CNBC’s annual list of top states for business, New Hampshire’s ranking dropped in infrastructure, transportation, and education – all areas that received drastic cuts in the GOP’s state budget. New Hampshire’s overall “economic” ranking suffered the biggest drop of all, sending us from 10th to 34th.
New Hampshire’s unemployment rate has dropped only 0.7 percent since the 2010 election, less than half the national average. Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and 33 other states have added jobs at a faster rate, leaving New Hampshire an embarrassing 37th in job growth. Good for business? I don’t think so. Good for New Hampshire? Even less so.