EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

August 25, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

Hassan is off to a great start

To the editor:

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan deserves unalloyed kudos from both sides of the aisle for the stellar performance she and her team have submitted in eight short months for the Granite State. Carrying on in her predecessor John Lynch’s footsteps, Hassan has amassed an impressive body of legislative work in a remarkably short time.

Countering the two-year assault on our state education system by Bill O’Brien and the rest of his Republican tea party House cohorts, Hassan in June instituted New Hampshire’s first in-state college tuition freeze since 1988, as well as restored immediately upon entering office all of the funds cut to our universities by the then-Republican led House in 2011. The governor’s words were telling after the freeze implementation: “From the start of the budget process, we set out to restore the deep cuts made by the last legislature to our community colleges in exchange for a tuition freeze that would make a higher education more affordable for more Granite Staters, and I applaud the leadership of the Community College System of New Hampshire for their quick action.”

On July 11, Hassan delivered on her campaign promise to be a jobs facilitator by signing her “Pathway To Work” initiative (SB 143), which extends a helping hand to unemployed workers to start their own small businesses, always the main foundation for American economic prosperity. This act, sponsored by Sen. Sylvia Larsen among others, gives qualified entrepreneurs technical assistance and counseling through the state’s Small Business Development Center, and like every program in this article was enacted by bipartisan cooperation.

One of the many ugly “changes” the GOP legislation made upon taking over Concord in 2010 was to decimate the CHINS (Children in Need of Services) plan, an innovative, bipartisan (pre-tea party, naturally) program that provided counseling and employment assistance to troubled youths as well as to younger children with severe behavioral problems. The Republicans’ slashing of funds for this initiative was especially galling to many Granite Staters due both to its social importance on so many levels as well as its relative inexpensiveness (about $8 million annually). Most thinking people realize that a little assistance early on in life to kids who need direction is preferable to a cornucopia of economic and social problems later. Thanks to Hassan, CHINS will take effect again on Sept. 1.

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