For Immediate Release
January 3, 2013
CONCORD - Pledging to bring people together to grow the economy through innovation and commonsense problem solving, Maggie Hassan today was sworn in as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire.
"I know that, together, we can build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire, a New Hampshire where all of our citizens are included in our shared success and prosperity," said Governor Hassan in her Inaugural Address.
"To our very core, we value freedom, independence, hard work, fiscal responsibility, family and community," Hassan continued. "We live these values in our personal lives and in our workplaces. And every citizen, regardless of circumstance, should have the opportunity to live them too - to hold a good job, work hard, raise a family, and share in the high quality of life we enjoy in New Hampshire. When they do, they become empowered and our state grows stronger. Our ability to accomplish this goal lies in our willingness to innovate - not only to develop innovative new products and services, but to innovate in other areas as well: in the operation of our traditional industries, in the way we educate our citizens, in the way we deliver government's essential services, and in providing the tools that support growing businesses and create good middle-class jobs."
Hassan called for implementing her "Innovate NH" jobs plan, which focuses on building the best educated workforce in the country, doubling the research and development tax credit, and giving businesses technical assistance to help them create jobs.
"New Hampshire has many distinctions we can be proud of. We have the lowest poverty rate and lowest teen birth rate in the country," Governor Hassan said. "We are consistently rated as one of the safest states and one of the best places in the country to raise children. We are uniquely suited to seize the promise and opportunity that innovation presents. But adapting to the demands of an innovation economy presents immediate challenges, too."
Hassan pledged to work in the state's tradition of openness, bipartisanship, and collective problem solving and to foster an open dialogue across party lines.
"To address our challenges and seize the opportunity of innovation, we must summon our best traditions of cooperation and problem solving," said Hassan. "The people of our state collaborate and make things work all the time, and their elected leaders must be able to do the same. The people of New Hampshire have made it clear that they want to restore balance, that they want us to work together."
As she has emphasized throughout the transition, the Governor made it clear that one of the most pressing challenges ahead is balancing the state budget, without a sales or income tax, and that the state must innovate to provide services more efficiently.
"While we are seeing signs of recovery and growth, we still face fiscal uncertainty," Governor Hassan said. "We will need to be prudent as we develop our budget. And I am mindful that innovation is not confined to the private sector. We need to continue to find ways to innovate in state government, so that we can honor our tradition of fiscal responsibility while serving the people of New Hampshire effectively and efficiently."
"Granite Staters are frugal and the history of our state government reflects that," Hassan continued. "To those of you who believe deeply in an income tax, I ask you to put that aside. I will veto an income or sales tax. And as we build our next budget, though we have much to address, we must acknowledge that we will not be able to do everything all at once. To those on the other side, I ask you to recognize that there are some things that government must do - not only to help our most vulnerable citizens but also to provide the platform for economic growth. Needs do not go away simply because we don't fund them. And opportunities for innovation and growth can evaporate if we fail to make smart investments in a timely way. But if we work together we can fund our priorities and balance the budget."
And Hassan emphasized that we must take an inclusive approach to moving New Hampshire forward, highlighting rich history of inclusiveness in our state.
"What I love most about New Hampshire is the all-hands-on-deck ethos of our people. Whenever there is a challenge, our people are ready to help and pitch in. We are a state that combines independence and community as nowhere else. But that ethos requires that we fully include all people of talent and energy in the life of our State.
As has been true throughout our history, every time we bring more people in from the margins - into the heart and soul of our democracy - we get stronger. We believe in freedom and the value of every person. It is our duty and our destiny to extend the same freedoms we enjoy to all our people.
The Governor concluded her Inaugural Address with a call to action to work together in addressing the challenges ahead.
"Addressing our challenges will not be easy. It will be hard. But we are Granite Staters and Americans and we are supposed to do hard things," said Governor Hassan. "Scripture refers to something called, ‘gladness of heart,' an appreciation of the opportunity and freedom to do difficult things. In this time and in this place, let's choose to move our state forward with the optimism and pragmatism that is our hallmark. With ‘gladness of heart,' let's choose to remember what a gift it is to be citizens of the Granite State."