US Senator Kelly Ayotte made her bid for re-election official today and joined Chris on NH Now to discuss.
A day after tweeting a invitation to NH business owners to relocate to Texas after Governor Hassan’s veto of the budget. Texas Governor Greg Abbott joins Chris to explain his rationale for making the invitation. (Photo courtesy of Texas Monthly)
Chris talks to Red Sox rookie starter Eduardo Rodriguez who’s off to a amazing start for Boston and pitches tomorrow afternoon against the Orioles at Fenway Park.
State Senator Dan Feltes (D-Concord) joins Chris ahead of Wednesday’s full House and Senate votes on the state budget to talk about Governor Hassan’s expected veto of the GOP produced spending plan.
Governor Maggie Hassan and Senate Majority Leader, Jeb Bradley appeared in separate interviews to discuss the proposed state budget. The governor is threatening to veto. Governor Hassan has three areas of concern about the proposed budget. She feels that it is not a balanced budget; and, in some instances, it is unclear about what it is funding. The governor also wants the budget to address what she identifies as key priorities needed to keep New Hampshire’s economy moving forward. Keeping down the cost of higher education, for example. Senator Bradley feels that it is an honest and balanced budget which generously meets the needs of the Granite State.
An important sticking point for Governor Hassan is that the business tax cuts which are being proposed are not paid for in the budget. She suggests that some tax loop holes be closed in order to offset the business tax cuts which are important to the other side. She stated several times that she is willing to meet and to discuss similar areas of compromise. She is also concerned that out of state corporations would be benefiting from the cuts. Senator Bradley considers the tax cuts to be of critical importance for job security and development in New Hampshire. He maintains that the important factor is not if the corporation is headquartered out of state. It’s more important that the jobs are in New Hampshire. Bradley is concerned that New Hampshire currently has the country’s 48th highest business tax rate and is even higher than Massachusetts. He is worried that many New Hampshire businesses will move south to the Bay State. In addition, Sen. Bradley cited that New Hampshire is 10th worst in job growth. In addition to improving the tax climate, he believes that it is vital for New Hampshire that work has to be done to lower the costs of energy, workman’s compensation, and health care. The senator stated that the lost revenue from the cuts will come to $90 million, but it would be mitigated by being spread out over a 9 year period. In addition, if there is job growth as the result of the lower business taxes, that would help to close the short term loss of revenue.
An additional sticking point in the budget would be possible raises for state employees. Governor Hassan believes that the should get their raises now. Senator Bradley held out the possibility of giving raises to state employees by next January. To some, it seems that this is the tipping point of the budget. Should there be raises for state employees or tax cuts for businesses?
Meanwhile, the June 30th deadline is looming. Governor Hassan does not see a continuing resolution as a viable solution because it does not fully fund state programs at the amounts projected in the new budget. Senator Bradley seemed more comfortable with a continuing resolution. He stated that on July 1st government services would be in place. However, he agreed that the amounts would not include the 5% budget increase rate. He pointed out that a continuing resolution would give the legislature and the governor a six month window to work things out.
So, at this point, Governor Hassan is threatening to veto the budget. Senator Bradley sees this as a political ploy by the governor as part of positioning herself for a run at higher office, US Senator Kelly Ayotte’s seat.
Time is running out, and time will tell.
Braves left fielder and Red Sox World Series hero Jonny Gomes sits down with Chris to reminisce about 2013 and talk about where things have gone wrong for Boston.
New Hampshire State Director for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign Mike Vlacich joins Chris for a substantive interview.
Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican presidential candidate, spoke at a house party in Londonderry on Monday night. Fiorina, as the lone female candidate in the growing pack of Republican candidates, has attracted attention due to her willingness and ability to criticize Hillary Clinton. For many disgruntled voters, the fact that she is a political outsider is also a plus. Fiorina discussed how her situation is really not the opposite of Barrack Obama’s skill set when he became president. Many feel that Obama was a skilled politician who lacked executive experience. Carly Fiorina does have a wealth of business and executive experience, but she also feels that she has enough political experience to be job ready on day 1.
One proof that Fiorina is politically savvy would be that she has enough sense to avoid the third rail of politics–Social Security. She believes that before government attempts to reform important entitlement programs it needs to fix or eliminate poorly performing agencies. She is critical of the Small Business Administration which she says does nothing for small businesses. She also singled out the Job Corps Program as a failure. Other priorities for President Fiorina would be to fix the Veterans Administration and the legal immigration system. She believes that government needs to show that it can be competent before the people will trust it to reform the entitlement system.
Fresh from his latest battles in the Senate over the NSA’s (National Security Agency) gathering of phone records, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul made an appearance at the Republican Party’s Pies and Politics Event in Concord yesterday. By passionately citing civil liberties concerns, Paul stood up to many Republican senators to block continuation of the some of the provisions of the Patriot Act. As a result of this dramatic showdown, Rand Paul has been attacked by many members of his own party both in the Senate chamber and by fellow candidates on the campaign trail.
If Rand Paul is the most unpopular man in Washington, D.C., he wears it like a badge of honor. As he puts it, “Popularity in D.C. is inversely proportional to popularity outside of Washington.” He feels that many in Washington are simply out of touch with the American people which explains why Congress only has a 10% approval rating. Senator Paul feels that his goal is to run against the Washington Machine. Ironically, if he were elected president, President Rand Paul would have to use his power to dismantle much of the government. Nevertheless, he intends to maintain his commitment to smaller government and would push for reforms like term limits and returning more power to the states. This would be his approach to the Common Core education debate. Paul would leave the decision making process and the establishment of standards to be determined on a state and local level. He sees economic recovery as a purely local matter. He believes that the economy has two sectors. There is the productive sector or private sector and the non-productive sector or government sector. For Senator Paul the only way for the economy to move forward is to take money away from the non-productive sector by cutting spending and decreasing taxes so there will be more money available for the productive sector.
Senator Paul plans to give an outline of his tax proposals in the coming weeks.
John Kasich has an impressive resume. He has been governor of Ohio since 2011. Kasich won by a narrow margin in 2010, but he was reelected by a landslide in 2014 by 64-33% margin. The state budget had a shortfall of between $ 6-8 billion when he took office and Ohio has a surplus of about $ 1.5 billion today. The economy of this rust belt state was revitalized by cutting taxes and encouraging small business growth. He established a private, non-profit organization designed to manage economic development in Ohio called “JobsOhio.” During Kasich’s first term in office, 316,800 new jobs were created in the state of Ohio, and the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4% to 5.1%. In the interview, he described this accomplishment as changing Ohio from a dying state to one that is alive and well.
Kasich is also proud of his accomplishments as a US Congressmen (1983-2001). When he served as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, John Kasich was the architect of a balanced budget. After Congress, he worked for 10 years in the private sector–most notably as an on air personality for Fox News. He also worked for Lehman Brothers as a managing director.
Ohio is considered to be a swing state because its electoral votes are critical to whoever wants to be president. John Kasich is the key to winning Ohio. That’s the main reason why he can afford to wait. At this point, Governor Kasich has yet to announce, but he is acting like a candidate. This is his fourth trip to New Hampshire. His state committee is headed by none other than John Sununu. He and his team agree that the field is wide open, so there is no advantage to his making an announcement at this time.
Governor Kasich had an interesting take on why Jeb Bush hasn’t run away with the field. “It just hasn’t happened for him.”
Because the field is so open, John Kasich likes his own chances. As he says, “If it wasn’t doable, I wouldn’t be doing this.”
In the interview, Kasich also called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He feels that from top to bottom, it’s a bad program that doesn’t control health care costs, causes business uncertainty, and has driven up insurance costs. “It’s got to go!”
On the economic front, he described measures that he would take to improve the situation of the middle class. These steps would include training programs to improve the skill sets of our workers and ways to encourage businesses to invest improving plants here in the US.
The Kasich foreign policy would not be accused of leading from the rear. He would rebuild the western alliance by strengthening our traditional relationships and showing that we are committed to leading. “Don’t draw red lines in the sand and then walk away.” He would stand up to Putin who he compared to Pacman. Also, Kasich would support and not undermine our allies, like Israel. He would be in favor of strengthening our military while reforming how we fund it.