Today on The Exchange, a conversation with Steve Marchand, who's launched his campaign to be the Democratic challenger to Governor Chris Sununu in 2018.
Marchand, who served as mayor of Portsmouth from 2005-2008, lost the gubernatorial primary to Colin Van Ostern in 2016. (Click here to see NHPR's coverage of the 2016 race and click here to find out where he stood on the issues.)
Note: This story includes audio, video, and transcripts of the interview and our special Facebook Live "overtime" interview with Steve Marchand.
Listen to the broadcast audio (transcript below):
Listen to the "overtime" segment after the show (transcript below):
Watch the Facebook Live overtime segment here:
Note: We've posted transcripts of both the regular show and the "overtime" segment. These transcripts are machine-generated and contain plenty of errors. Please refer to the audio when quoting Laura Knoy or Steve Marchand.
Transcript of the hour-long broadcast show:
[00:00:31] From New Hampshire Public Radio. I'm Laura Knoy and this is The Exchange.
[00:00:45] Our guest today is Steve Marchand. So far the only Democrat running for governor against Republican incumbent Chris Sununu. This is not Mr. Marchand's first foray into politics besides serving on the Portsmouth City Council and then as mayor he made a last minute run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2016 which he cheerfully lost to Colin Van Ostern recognizing that he came late to the game. But this time Marchand is the early bird. He announced his campaign almost a year ago and has been traveling around the state ever since. He's in our studios this morning. You can listen as usual or you can watch us on Facebook Live. Just search for NHP are on Facebook to join us there. We welcome your questions. Our email exchange at any dot org responde on Facebook or Twitter at NHP or exchange a call at 1 800 8 9 2 6 4 7 7 and Steve Marchand welcome back to the exchange.
[00:01:37] Thank you Laura. So you announced you're running for governor in April of last year almost a year ago.
[00:01:42] Why so early. Well in part because we had made the decision early and there was no sense being coy about it. As you noted in your introduction and I appreciate the opportunity today we got in very late in 2016 and really was only an active candidate for about three months. Got outspent 17 to 1 by Colin and outspent 5 to 1 by the gentleman I beat only Mark Connolly another great guy. It was a great experience and we exceeded expectations by most accounts got about a quarter of the vote finished second. Soon after Donald Trump was elected and Chris Sununu elected as well. My family knew what the experience was like and about 20000 people who voted for me almost sight unseen. A lot of them came up after in the weeks after and said you'd be a good candidate do it again. Don't start so darn late next time. And once we made that decision Christodoulou has been disappointing from the word go on a lot of issues. Conceal Carry and right to work in SB 3. That stuff happened in the first month or two. It was an easy decision and we've done over 180 meet and greet since then with many more to go with thousands of additional new supporters identified and so starting early has had many benefits and we've enjoyed them.
[00:02:55] As you know only one governor in more than 80 years has failed to win a second term. That was Craig Benson back in the early 2000s. What makes you think Steve that you can beat those odds especially since most polls show the current Governor Chris Nunu is pretty popular.
[00:03:10] Well on a surface level Christodoulou is popular. But here's the thing when you then ask the second question I know you say you like him but would you vote for him which is actually what matters right. Forty two percent. And anybody in the world of political science will tell you when an incumbent is below 50 percent in a hypothetical head to head that's a real red flag and he's at 42 in the recent New and age poll the only head to head polling we've seen so far that's consistent with our internal metrics as well. So 61 Yeah but would you vote for him. Maybe not so much.
[00:03:42] But the thing is you're right it is hard to beat an incumbent. And that's why you have to do it differently or else you should not be surprised if you get a similar disappointing result as a candidate. Most people wait till early in the election year. They way they kind of put their finger in the wind they see if it's blowing in the right direction and then they jump in and then we act surprised that they lose all but one time in the history of New Hampshire. So I said once you know you start early you do it in a way that I think is much more effective will make me better as a governor certainly better as a candidate. And it means that we already have over 26000 Democratic primary voters who said they'll support me in September and obviously in November.
[00:04:22] Are you still working as you campaign.
[00:04:25] I believe you are director of corporate relations at U.N. HQ still working you campaigning full time so I left you định a few years ago and up until recently was continuing to do some of the performance auditing work of city county and state governments that I've been doing off and on for the last 20 years. I'm a CPA a Master of Public Administration a guy by training and that's what I'd been doing auditing cities which I would argue makes me pretty uniquely qualified for understanding what we could do to make New Hampshire an amazing place. Even better than it is now. But at this point and for the last few months this is it. It is full time because it has to be if you're going to beat an incumbent even somebody at 42 percent in a head to head well or who's extremely popular in general where Chris Sununu is numbers are more like 60 or 70 percent. Well that's true but it's very clear. You can elect somebody and not vote for them and in fact we have a lot of evidence of that in 2014. Maggie Hason was governor well liked 63 percent approval rating entering Election Day ran against a honorable person but not a strong candidate and Walt Havenstein she got less than 54 percent.
[00:05:27] John Lynch 63 percent in 2010 a tough year for Democrats that year. John Steven not an unbelievable candidate. Lynch was well above 60 percent approval. He got 54 percent. So people tend to focus on the personal likability and that's fine. I like Chris. But that's not how they vote. What they what matters is how you vote. And in the polls right now it says 42 percent of people would vote for Chris Sununu if they had to make a decision today.
[00:05:56] Steve Marchand is with us this hour and we're taking your questions and comments Steve Marchand former Portsmouth mayor city councilor former director of corporate relations that U.N.. And as he tells us a business person. We'll take your comments and questions send us an e-mail exchange at NIH PR dot org exchange at NIH PR org respondent Facebook or Twitter. It's NHP our exchange or give us a call 1 800 89 2 6 4 7 7. So far Steve Marchand is the only Democrat challenging incumbent Governor Chris Sununu. So let's get into some of the issues Steve because there's so much to talk about and your campaign has talked a lot about gun violence you have a detail platform on this. You support for example what are called red flag laws. These are being looked at by other states as well. These basically allow a judge to take guns from someone who's making escalating threats who seems dangerous to the community. How does the judge make that determination. Who gives the judge that information because opponents say whoa no due process. What if somebody has a grudge against somebody else. We need to be careful here.
[00:07:04] Well the good news is other states have already done this and it's not just in quote blue states like Connecticut which was the first state to do it to have a red flag right in 1999 but also states like Mike Pences Indiana pretty red state they have it as well. And so we can look at the best practices of states that already have it because it goes through a process that involves a judicial system a parent a guardian a member of law enforcement can begin the process but eventually it goes into a process where things that are confidential that a lot of folks are justifiably worried about can be kept in that fashion while their determination is being made and at a certain point if it's determined that enough red flags are being flashed at that point there could be a short term holding back of weaponry while it's being adjudicated. And obviously if it's found to be without merit at the end of that process the firearms are returned. But what we find is particularly in the case of domestic violence and suicide which I spend more time than the typical politician talking about when we talk about gun violence this is particularly effective in the States.
[00:08:12] The six states so far that have red flag laws because we focus a lot on these mass shootings. But a lot of gun violence is people killing themselves with guns. Laura this is it. Sixty five percent of gun deaths in America are suicide. Ninety three percent of gun deaths last year in New Hampshire were suicide 93 percent.
[00:08:30] So who has the right to waive those red flags Steve. Because again you don't want. You know I don't like my neighbor.
[00:08:36] I don't like the color he painted his house. You
[00:08:37] know I'm going to start making charges in most states is pretty well-defined. It's a family member a direct family member a guardian. In the case of a minor answer and a member of law enforcement. But just because you do use your language wave the red flag does not mean the firearms are taken away. That's why there is a process involving the judicial system as there should be. It shouldn't be easy to do it but it should be something that is available because unfortunately we find in a lot of cases where people harm themselves or others that we could see signs but they did not cross over a line where they committed a felony for example or multiple misdemeanors or something like that. This is a way to say whoa hold on a second. There's just too much data suggesting these kinds of flags tend to lead to very violent outcomes. And if it turns out to be without merit their firearms are returned.
[00:09:26] The New Hampshire Republican Party has launched a website called Stop the gun grab dot com. It names you specifically Steve saying that you quote proposed an invasive gun ban that violates the Second Amendment of Granite Staters. As this campaign heats up how are you going to respond that your plan is not a quote unquote gun grab.
[00:09:45] Well we've already begun to respond. I appreciate they're even handed approach at responding to my plan.
[00:09:52] The reality is this in politics when I wake up in the morning as a Democrat the NRA gives me a D D for Democrat.
[00:10:00] And then as soon as I open my mouth it turns to F and my attitude is once you know that you can't worry about it. There are five million members in America who are NRA members. There are 300 plus million people who are not the vast majority of NRA members support those seven points at 55 to 97 percent approval for each of those various measures. These are extremely mainstream. But a lot of politicians on both sides of the aisle have been afraid to have some of these conversations out loud because they're afraid that the NRA is not going to is going to give them a poor grade or is going to hit them over the head. The reality is they're going to hit me over the head no matter what I do or I don't do. And I'm a data driven guy from my MBA background. We know that elements save lives. Lower the risk of violence and they improve the quality of life of people in New Hampshire just out of curiosity are you a gun owner.
[00:10:56] Do you have any experience hunting or you know I do not own a gun. OK. A couple more questions about this your campaign as I said has this detailed platform. There has been some concerns about it among gun owners. One thing that you talk about a lot Steve is if elected you would bring back the permitting process that Republicans and Governor Sununu got rid of pretty early on. This is the permit that you used to have to get for concealed carry so you could carry a gun openly even if you wanted to carry concealed you'd have to get a special permit from your town. You said you don't like that at all. You would bring back the permitting process. Let's hear from Governor Sununu first on the exchange recently talking about why he signed this concealed carry permit repeal into law.
[00:11:43] What we found was a lot of it was very arbitrary. You know whether you could go in and get a permit or not they really didn't have to be any real justification why someone wouldn't give you a permit. It could be that the chief simply didn't like you if he wanted to and he was just going to hold up that permit and not allow you to have it. So when you heard story after story of that happening and you realized you know at the end of the day you know folks in New Hampshire are walking around with essentially permitted or now even not permitted concealed carry. It's been going on for ages. By pulling it removing the permit system from being implemented at the Chiefs level what we just took away was the ability for folks to make arbitrary decisions and supporters of that permit repeal often point to states like Vermont which have no permit requirement for concealed carry.
[00:12:32] Very little gun violence. Also we've had this lack of a permit for a full year here. We haven't seen you know thank heavens anything terrible happened because of this. What's the evidence to show Steve that reinstating this permitting process would really make a difference.
[00:12:49] Well first this is as much about risk assessment as anything else. The absence of something happening in a limited window does not prove or disprove somebodies point. Here's the thing Chris didn't sign that bill because of the policy he signed it because he wants to keep Jose minus rating with the NRA and he wants to placate the base of his party that he's been afraid. We'll see him as insufficiently conservative. If he doesn't throw them some red meat once in a while it's the first bill that he signed in a public setting as governor. Now the police chiefs said that they wish we had kept the permitting process and we should listen to them. They're the experts in the situation. Chris implies he says flat out that it was an arbitrary process that the police chiefs opposed getting rid of the process because they wanted to keep their wedge of the power grab. That's pretty insulting and it's just dead wrong. Very few people are refused the permit in the history of having it but it is another layer that basically says we're not trying to take anybody's gun away. What we're trying to do is minimize the risk that somebody that is at high risk of committing violent crime to themselves or to others can have dangerous weapons in their hand.
[00:14:00] If when the police chief say this is a good idea we should probably listen to him just like Chris thinks that we should arm teachers in a classroom. The teachers don't want to be armed in a classroom. But Chris doesn't want to listen to them. And when the school boards say I want the right to have a gun free zone in my school. And Chris says I don't want to listen to them. My job is to listen experts and to make their decisions. Chris does not exhibit that kind of behavior.
[00:14:21] Well a couple more questions on guns and then we should get to other issues including your thoughts on universal healthcare marijuana legalization.
[00:14:28] I also want better listeners to join us exchange at NHP dot org is the email. Well give us a call 1 800 8 9 2 6 4 7 7. I have an e-mail here from Kyle who says if you win would you implement the carry permit. The Governor Sununu took away because I like that he got rid of that so there's Kyle saying he likes the fact that we don't have this concealed carry permit anymore.
[00:14:51] Also up in the Upper Valley Steve you spoke at an event and some gun owners came out they said they were not happy with your platform let's hear from one of them. This is Travis toner. He attended the event in Lebanon. He said your gun control measures won't limit people who you know have the mindset to commit a mass shooting that's here.
[00:15:10] So what makes you think that they're going to abide by gun laws and background checks and different things that we all will. All you're doing is limiting law abiding citizens. You're not limiting these people that are going to commit Cardinal since they don't care.
[00:15:24] So what about that point Steve that comes up a lot that you know we can pass these bans we can pass these limits but if somebody is angry enough and you know just out of control enough to commit a mass shooting shooting some ban isn't going to get in their way.
[00:15:37] Well first of all again a lot of this is minimizing risk of it occurring. And if you look at the seven points virtually all of them do not get at trying to remove weapons of some kind. They are deal much more with trying to create layers to identify people early before they can commit violent crime that they are at high risk. And so you know I told somebody there last Tuesday they said are you going to take my gun away. And I said Have you been arrested for a domestic violence charge in the last 21 days. If you have been yes and if you have not and you haven't done these sort of things you have nothing to worry about. Here is where we found agreement last Tuesday with gun toting people that showed up last Tuesday stared me in the eye and I stared them right back about this 93 percent of gun deaths in this state are suicide. 90 percent of people who try to commit suicide with the gun are unfortunately successful. Somebody who tries to commit suicide with a drug overdose. Two percent successful. I spent a lot of time on this over the years with loved ones who have had to go through the system themselves. I know it firsthand. And the reality is for most people the way we find out they were having suicidal thoughts is when we discover them from a failed attempt. And then luckily they usually get the help they need and they usually do not attempt again. The problem with guns is that there is no second chance. Unlike any other way people try to commit suicide.
[00:16:55] So yes in the case of these regulate these ideas these proposals what they do is they greatly minimize the chance of the number one reason people dying by a gun occurring in the future.
[00:17:05] Last question on this Steve and then I got some e-mails about the north country economy about the environment about the Seacoast. But you mentioned domestic violence so I did want to ask you your gun plan includes a 48 hour waiting period for gun sales. Again neighboring states Vermont Maine Massachusetts have no waiting period. Let's say a woman has a dangerous ex boyfriend stalking her she wants a gun for protection. Should she have to wait 48 hours she's terrified.
[00:17:32] Well this gets us back for example to the red flag was that bait in your specific example may or may not apply it depends on more detail. But here's what I'm going to say about the 48 hour wait period which by the way most of the gun toting people there last Tuesday were open to that part. Why. Because we know most people that try to commit suicide consider doing it within five hours of the actual attempt in the states that have a 48 hour wait period. We see a 52 percent reduction in gun related suicide and a 27 percent reduction in overall suicide in America. We could save if everybody did. What I'm talking about just on the 48 hour wait period. Nothing else in my plan. We could save over 10000 lives in America a year if we simply did that. And in New Hampshire where 93 percent of gun deaths are suicide related. We could dramatically cut the number of overall gun deaths in our state if we simply did the 48 hour wait.
[00:18:26] And I understand the suicide numbers and we've talked a lot about that on this program. But what about that terrified woman with this scary ex boyfriend does she have to wait two days to get a gun.
[00:18:34] Well there are ways to in other states there are ways to a waiver opportunities. But if you're at a point where this is your hypothetical the red flag law may kick in as well. What we're trying to do is when we see a high danger situation sounding like the one you're describing some of the other proposals get at other ways to greatly minimize the risk of it ending in a violent fashion.
[00:18:56] All right. Coming up we will switch gears. We've got some questions from folks about climate change about water quality about the north country economy. We welcome your questions for Steve Marchand. 1 800 8 9 2 6 4 7 7. Send us an email exchange at NHP our dot org Marnham Moman.
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[00:20:31] This is the exchange. I'm Laura Knoy. Today, Democrat Steve Marchand of Portsmouth who is running for New Hampshire governor. Send us an email with your questions and comments for Mr. Marchand exchange at NHP dot org respond on Facebook or Twitter at NHP exchange. The number is 1 800 89 2 6 4 7 7. You can also watch our conversation on Facebook. Live today to do a search for NHP or on Facebook. So check it out. And Steve let's jump into healthcare. A big big topic here in the state Fred sends us an e-mail from Canterbury. There were bills in the legislature to study universal health care for New Hampshire. Fred says it's not clear that any will pass. What would a Marchand administration do to move universal health care forward for New Hampshire either legislative or within the executive branch. Fred thank you for the question.
[00:21:22] Go ahead Steve thank you for the question Fred. Thousands of people I've spoken with in an increasing number of disaffected Republicans people like whole Romney Clinton voters they're not Democrats yet but they sure as heck are open for business for the right kind of message for a generation from a Democrat. And this is one of the reasons why they're open. I talked openly about the need for universal health care. And the reason is not just because it's the right thing to do. I grew up in a house where we've had to file bankruptcy because we had a healthcare crisis when I was in high school. We lost our jobs in the home that my mom had a heart attack at 39 years old. Eighty thousand dollar medical bill from a Manchester based hospital. And they said you pay the bill or you file bankruptcy. Nobody running for governor has felt it. When you don't have that net the way that I felt that it changed her life so we can do something about it. And here's the thing. It is the most pro growth entrepreneur idea you can have. Eighty percent of jobs in this country get created by new businesses. And the number one reason people don't leave a company to start a business is because of the way we do healthcare in this country it's antiquated IT KILLS dynamism and the fluidity that we need to get growth and entrepreneurship so people don't start new jobs new companies because they need to stick around to keep health care for their families although you know America is still a pretty dynamic entrepreneurial place.
[00:22:41] We have seen a collapse in this country and entrepreneurship. By any measure in the last 40 years that includes New Hampshire Krisnan who has no idea about this information because he hasn't spent time on it. For him getting elected governor was the end zone. I want the job not the title and that means you've got to look at the information we have to increase entrepreneurship. And one of the best ways is to attach insurance to the individual instead of to the employer. Now there's a federal component that's very important to this. So I am looking at what other states are doing while we're watching the cacophony to be complete about it in Washington.
[00:23:14] So how would it work Steve. Because as you know you know Vermont tried to institute universal health care a couple of years ago it didn't work. Even Governor Shumlin who was a big supporter in the end said it's too expensive. I can't make it add up. So why would you be more successful than Vermont.
[00:23:28] Well first there are a number of states trying different models. We need to learn for example a Republican governor Brian Sandoval in Nevada vetoed but express interest in another version of Medicaid for all program basically a public option. There are good things and bad things about it. Good thing. More state control rather than relying on exclusively federal dollars. The bad news is lower reimbursement rate and that may take some people and bump them out of play in terms of providing the care. You're right. Vermont California a lot of states are trying different things. So are other countries and you can find examples of countries that provide universal preventative maintenance you know preventative care and catastrophic care but then have health savings accounts in the middle to cover the distance. The problem with health savings account is the s in it if you don't have savings the HSA doesn't mean anything to you. And so they have a means tested element to help with folks up and down the income scale if they have an HSA so that if you're somebody at the low end of the scale you get preventative care covered catastrophic care covered. And then it depending on your financial situation the HSA may or may not have funds in it so that you can get the access you need. Now even a state like New Hampshire is likely too small to do something like that.
[00:24:39] That's without question and that's part of the problem. Vermont I think had. How do you do it on a state basis. So it may be something that is tied up in this federal system and it's going to take.
[00:24:48] Ultimately this would be best addressed at the federal level because of scale in New Hampshire what we may have to do is collaborate with a number of other states. That would be open to a similar system in order to create the kind of scale you would need to bring the cost down in a way that I think Vermont has found they could not do in a small state. So what I tell everybody is you have to be very intellectually curious about what other states are doing. You have to be cognizant of what's going on in Washington. So I know what cards are in my hand in January of 19 and then in the meantime do not even want to study what you might be able to do which you alluded to with different bills. These were not bills to create universal health care. These were bills to study it. I think one of Governor Souter's biggest weaknesses is a lack of intellectual curiosity. I think that's true of the GOP in general these days. It's why a lot of Republicans are coming to my events. They want somebody with my background intellectual curiosity and competence to be able to ask big questions and try to answer them.
[00:25:45] Well Fred thank you for that question. And on health care since we're talking about it Steve. Leaders at the State House as you know are working on a compromise to keep expanded Medicaid funding and I just want to give folks a brief description of what this includes. It would extend expanded Medicaid for five years. It would move folks in that program to a managed care model. This is the same approach used for most traditional Medicaid were private companies are involved. It also asks the federal government to cover some of the costs. It expects additional revenue from state liquor profits and existing revenue from the states premium tax and high risk pool so that's a brief description. What do you think of this approach Steve. Is this the way to do it.
[00:26:24] Well there are two basic problems I have as constructed. First is it the current suggestion I believe is a five year extension. And if you talk to people for example in the long term recovery area of policy they'll tell you that the amount of money they need is one issue the predictability long term sustainability of the money is at least as important as the amount of money. And that's because they need to hire people that they have to be able to look in the eye and say to a mental health professional who would work in a recovery center. How am I getting paid the second or third year. You have to have a good answer.
[00:26:59] And so this is five years. That's more than that years that this has been.
[00:27:03] This is typical CoRSU don't know what's going on is he's trying to placate the Republic base by saying look I'm tough I'm fiscally conservative. I won't make it permanent. It implies sort of an accountability. On the other hand he's trying to sound like Charlie Baker or Phil Scott Massachusetts or Vermont and look like a happy warrior moderate. The policies look a lot more like page than they looked like.
[00:27:24] BAKER Well this is coming more from Jeb Bradley and chuck more than that but trust me Chris is totally fine with it.
[00:27:30] Chris is guilty of either agreeing with this or standing on the sidelines as he said last night about the beachwear of 64 the voter voter suppression I would call it. He said I'm going to monitor it being governor is not about monitoring. It's about leading. What do you want Medicaid to look like in the long term. The more specific you are as a candidate or as a governor that's leadership and gives you the capital to spend to get the things that matter most. DUNN So on this it should be made permanent. That should be clear. The practitioners in the medical community say that we would spend the money in a more optimal fashion if we would do it in a permanent way rather than one two even five year basis and then the other part is I think that we have to. If we're going to use money from liquor sales if we're hoping to get additional money from the federal government that is not guaranteed at this point. It further destabilizes an area of our economy where the destabilization is already part of the problem.
[00:28:30] One more question about Medicaid and then a bunch more questions for you Steve. From our listeners again you can join us exchange at NHP dot org. Give us a call 1 800 89 2 6 4 7 7. On this Medicaid expansion that I described earlier Republicans want to include a work requirement or what their proposal calls a work and community engagement requirement as a condition of coverage. But it's not a blanket requirement for everybody their opt outs for moms of young children. There are options besides work volunteering education being in substance misuse treatment would count. So how do you feel about this work requirement that isn't as harsh as a lot of the other work requirements are said to be.
[00:29:13] Well on one level I'm generally leery of the work requirement as this flag to stand next to because there is an implication. Sometimes it's very explicit that says that part of the reason why people are in the situation they're in is because they're lazy. And I think if you spend as much time as I have talking to real people thousands of them around the state that is not the case. That's very rarely the case. So you'd have to look at the exceptions and you alluded to a few of them. I was like there's a lot of those a lot of them. We want to see the final product but I'll be honest I begin from a sceptical place because of the history in other states about what it typically ends up meaning an implication that I think is not accurate when you talk to people on the ground.
[00:29:55] If someone is able bodied doesn't have children at home that they need to take care of their low income they need Medicaid should they be required to work.
[00:30:07] Well they certainly should be encouraged to. And there are opportunities in other parts of state and local government to help them get to that place. Local welfare departments county opportunities. So obviously we have other places where we need to get people plugged into the economy. Keep in mind there are. The problem we have in New Hampshire is a lack of workforce. More than anything. And so both in public sector and local public sector private sector helping make those connections. We already have a lot of mechanisms for doing that. I don't think something like this unless done in a very thoughtful way does anything other than imply that people are flat out lazy and that's not accurate.
[00:30:45] Let's take some calls and Mike is in Portsmouth. Hi Mike you're on the air with Steve Marchand go ahead.
[00:30:50] Hi Mr. Marchand. Mike and I was curious with the Northern Pass recently defeated and New England seeing higher rates for their electricity in general. Is there any plan for either renewables or depression somehow to get a little bit of early and spurt in the economy hopefully through a little bit of innovation in our energy.
[00:31:14] Well I love the question. Thank you Mike because we do hear from businesses again and again and again about the high energy prices and some business groups were quite upset with the Site Evaluation Committee rejection of Northern Pass. So first of all what was your reaction to that decision. That is today. I was thrilled ecstatic. I love it.
[00:31:34] Absolutely love it. Pit against Northern Pass for seven years. My aunts a retired dairy farmer in Pittsburgh. My grandpa lived to West Stewartstown. That part of the state is very important to me on a personal level. That's how he became exposed to it seven years ago. Then I saw the policy and I became even more opposed to it. It would not have lowered rates by any meaningful margin for the people or businesses of New Hampshire. It would have degraded property values in the communities affected and it would have been too much. Question indirectly it would have actually stilted it would have stunted where I think the future of the economy entrepreneurship and energy policy is. So I was thrilled with that decision. I was at the FCC hearings the day before that decision was made and I think it was the correct decision. So and I think that in the 2018 election Northern Pass whether or not it is dead by November there's still some efforts to do something with it. I think it's very important that there is a clear choice on that issue. And I plan to make that well-known that clear decision. The difference between Chris and myself on the issue though I told my auntie Northern Pass friends fellow supporters of that position it's not enough to tow what you are against too much point because electricity is expensive and New Hampshire. The future is not large scale natural gas from the West or something like that. It's going to be upgrading the electric grid as other states and other parts of the world have done.
[00:32:53] It's not just a supply issue it's a demand issue. And technology allows us to reduce demand in meaningful ways that will lower your listeners electric bills whether it's their business or their home by 15 to 20 percent when fully implemented and it allows things like solar and wind without public subsidy to be able to plug in in real time and to be able to be a profitable part of the regional energy economy. That's the future of energy. And we can lower your rates 15 to 20 percent.
[00:33:21] Well if you as you say Northern Pass would not have lowered electric rates. Why were some of the state's key business groups so supportive of Northern Pass and so upset with this decision.
[00:33:34] They don't see it the way you do. Well I guess there are a few reasons. One is one of the primary entities that voiced it ever source in this case is sponsors. One of the big sponsors of all the corporate and civic events very active with the CIA they are a very disproportionately loud voice in the the political the policy body of New Hampshire civic life. And so they've had a dominant role over seven or eight years. Remember the folks that want the project have spent 250 million dollars up to this point in trying to get that project done. So the real question is not how come their voice was being heard. It's how on earth were the rest of us able to have our voice heard with a quarter billion dollars being used to shout out against it. Well
[00:34:18] in addition to the CIA political leaders in places like Berlin and Franklin were very upset with this decision and a lot of people who supported Northern Pass say you know New Hampshire is getting a bad reputation as the land of no when it comes to energy projects where NIMBYism rules where it's impossible to get anything new approved. How worried about are you about that reputation Steve.
[00:34:40] Anybody that hears me knows I spend a lot more time telling you specifically what I'm for whether it's guns or opiates or economy or energy the future of electricity these folks you're talking about they want their electric bills to go down. My proposal lowers your electric bill by five six seven times more than any of these large scale projects ever would. And it is upgrading the electric grid. We can lower demand overall that will lower their bill significantly.
[00:35:08] So no new projects just update the electric grid that is that they're going to be small.
[00:35:11] But here's the thing with an upgraded electric grid you do get new projects but they are much more small to midsize localized more diverse. One of the things with these natural gas projects not Northern Pass but others is we already are north of 50 percent of all of our electricity comes from natural gas from like Canada and Western New York and all. If we did the projects people wanted that would be north of 70 percent. And regardless of how you feel about natural gas if you over rely on any one source that means you're subject to shocks in the market and electric. Your electric bill can fly up and down the more diverse your energy stock the more local the more small to mid-sized the more you focus on conservation upgraded technology the cheaper rates will be I'm sorry bills will be and the more sustainable those lower bills will be. My proposal isn't there because NIMBY it's because I want to lower your electric bills significantly in a sustainable way.
[00:36:06] Well we have two questions on climate change from listeners. Fred says Excuse me. Gary says as we anticipate another major northeaster the second in less than a week. Please ask Mr. Marchand if he believes in global warming and whether the burning of fossil fuels is the main driving force. If he does believe the burning of fossil fuels is the main driver what are his proposals to deal with it and will he make it a campaign issue between himself and Governor Sununu said. That's from Gary indorse also asks what responsibilities does the governor have to address climate change. What would you do differently differently from Governor Sununu elements to that.
[00:36:42] First I believe climate change is real. I believe humans play a very significant role in it and thus we have a responsibility to do something significant about it. Let's start with that there's a short term and long term. What I just describe for what I see the future of energy and new Hampshire's role in it clearly has a significant impact. At least that we can control on reducing carbon emissions because I want to move to something that focuses on the cleanest unit of energy that you can use the one you don't use because of energy efficiency and conservation. That's always the best. It's also the cheapest. The reality is in the Seacoast we've already had to change our 10 year capital plans. Even back when I was mayor because we've seen the rising waters. And so when we look at revising zoning when we look at what we're going to have to do for capital and infrastructure needs. The reality is we already are spending a lot of money to deal with climate change. And so at the same time that we do what we can as a little state to help reverse those trend lines. We also have to do what we have to an infrastructure to to deal with the reality that it's already happening.
[00:37:49] I've got an infrastructure question for you actually. Stephen I want to remind our listeners that you can join us by e-mail exchange at NIH PR dot org or give us a call 1 800 8 9 2 6 4 7 7. You can respond on Facebook or Twitter. It's an exchange. And by the way we're on Facebook Live today. So search for NHP on Facebook and you can listen and watch our program today. Here's an e-mail from Bill he says I wanna know your stance on the gas tax speaking of infrastructure. It's been years since the New Hampshire gas taxes increased the state of our roads and bridges show it Bill says. The last data I find shows we have 151. Read the state budget in the state and the number is growing. Bill thanks for the evil the e-mail gas tax yes.
[00:38:33] Jeff I've got a very specific answer on that. First you asked about the climate change. I don't want to I'd be remiss with Chris. Yes it is a campaign issue. Shame on Chris as an environmental engineer who would not say what he said that this is real. He tried to use his background but then he runs away from data. We do need to increase the gas tax. We have 350 additional Redlegs bridges coming on board the next 10 years. If you want stuff you have to pay for it. If in your town I say you have eight bridges and six of them are doing just fine. How you feel about that. The job of governor is to lead a gas tax is the least bad way to take care of it in a direct way. And we can do it in a statewide basis because the need is state wide.
[00:39:11] Coming up I'm going to ask you to give us a number. How much that gas tax we'll take more of your e-mails. Bill thank you so much for that one this is the exchange on an. Muses.
[00:39:31] And age PR. It's 939. The president is pushing hard for tariffs on steel and aluminum. America's allies don't like the idea nor did the markets but the White House says the current setup penalizes those who matter most.
[00:39:45] You go to Ohio or Pennsylvania or go to the heartland of America Mainstreet universal support pleasing the base and feeling the backlash.
[00:39:54] Next time on one end that's this morning at 10:00 here on NHP our Ford for an age comes from you our listeners. And when Douglas offering three levels of walking care for life's little ailments and more serious illnesses and injuries in Portsmouth Dover and Lee information at W.D. hospital and Hong Kong and New England investment and retirement group assisting clients through the process of selling a business by creating and implementing personalised solutions. More had and I are green dot com. This is an HPI.
[00:40:31] This is the exchange I'm Laura Knoy tomorrow on our show. Ron Elving NPR political editor joins us. And later any Pierres any Ropeik will explain the Atlantic Drilling proposal that's been huge news in the Granite State. So that's tomorrow on the exchange. Join us for that. This hour Steve Marchand Democratic candidate for governor. Send an email from Mr. Marchand in exchange at any artwork or respond on Facebook or Twitter and each exchange will give us a call 1 800 8 9 2 6 4 7 7. You can also watch us on Facebook. Live today so go to Facebook search for any JPR. And remember our conversation continues on Facebook live after the show. There's a special overtime edition of this interview and we'll get to those questions that we didn't have time for in the full hour this morning so stay with us for that. So Steve Marchand to our conversation about the gas tax we were to an e-mail from Bill how much would you increase it by each penny raises between seven and eight million dollars.
[00:41:29] It's a legislative process. So I have to work with a lot of people. It would seem to me at least four cents. I mean that doesn't sound like a lot but I have to deal with the legislative process so I can tell you how much it raises per penny. I know that it would not be possible nor would I suggest that you should raise it by enough that you could single handedly knock out 300 and 52 Redlegs bridges and roads that will come on in the next ten years. But I will do whatever I can given the legislature that will have to deal with next year.
[00:41:58] So you would push personally several more sense several cents several cents to three for something like that. OK. Let's go back to our listeners. James is in Albany. Hi James you're on the. Thanks for calling in.
[00:42:12] Hey how are you guys. Fine. Go ahead James.
[00:42:14] Well Chris who receive the opiate epidemic that we've got just running rampant in New Hampshire especially. I'm a firefighter paramedic so I believe that on the first line where we need to know is what is your concern and what is kind of what is your game plan for kind of stopping this or helping some of these people. Because I've dealt with people on overdose situations in a 24 hour shift Fire Department. I've been called to the same person as much as three times in a shift.
[00:42:47] Wow. James thank you. It's the same thing. Yeah I know. And give me a giving the people that are can free prescriptions. Yes that helps. But it's not stopping the situation. I've talked to police officers on the job.
[00:43:02] And everybody is looking for this one big drug dealer who's bringing in the pills here. And that's the cases these kids that are I know for a fact are going down into areas states south of us into Massachusetts unfortunately and bringing the smaller quantities. These people are overdosing and there's no repercussions for these people I mean through everybody in jail. But there has to be something. These methadone clinics that we are using and you know Downend Somersworth Druce's it's a revolving door. There's people that are down here for three four five years and they're not lowering their dosage.
[00:43:37] Wow. Is to keeping those keeping the system going in a negative in a negative direction.
[00:43:42] James thank you so much for the call and for your service to your community and our state. This is a really important issue and I know firefighters and treatment providers and police are all dealing with this on the frontlines as you say so thank you. And go ahead Steve. I did want to ask you about opioids and your philosophy and I have another question.
[00:44:02] Well I echo Laura your gratitude to the work he does and they do see it firsthand in a way that the rest of us don't. I mean the moment of crisis. Big picture. Here's the reality. We are slowly moving away from a model that is law enforcement driven and 28 day kind of revolving door because the insurance company will pay that many days and so forth. And we have to accelerate the move to a hub and spoke model that is medical in nature and that really acknowledges it's a lifetime of recovery. It's not a short term thing. A friend of mine who runs a recovery center in the Seacoast area says remember this in policy the opposite of addiction is not sobriety the opposite of addiction is connection. And as James says until you get people off of the revolving door and reconnecting mental health physical well-being the economy and their ability to get and hold a job the people they love being reconnected. It is very intensive in terms of operating costs. It's not a capital it's extensive it's operating cost it matters. Sitting down with many different people that run centers. The biggest challenge we have is the lack of sustainability in being able to hire the professionals they need that allow more of this hub and spoke idea because they can't guarantee that the funds will be there. They're relying on one time sources philanthropy some private sector even the public money is often for short term as we talked about earlier this is causing instability in our treatment infrastruture that we hear so much about.
[00:45:32] And when you look at how you need the money they need the money. But what I think six to eight million dollars of additional sustainable state money actually would make a huge difference because we could do it in a sustainable way unlike the way they get the money right now. You're largely replacing one time money they're getting from philanthropy private sector other sources with sustainable state money. The sustainability matters as much almost as the amount of money because it would allow them to hire the full suite of professionals needed to do the kind of holistic lifetime of reconnecting that is going to be necessary for us to be successful.
[00:46:06] So I kind of got a vibe from James that too we've been too easy with our can. You know he says I revive the same people over and over and over again. How do you stop that cycle.
[00:46:17] Well this goes back. It is a cycle. And so unless we if we continue to treat it as a short term intervention that will not be sufficient. Remember at the point where folks are at this level of addiction given what we know they're clearly in a very difficult place. And so it's going to take more than a short amount of time or a couple of Narcan shots to get them out of the loop that has dysfunction and risk and pain. And that's why we have to move more to a model of intensive and holistic treatment. The lack of doing that we got some great best practices going on in New Hampshire at the local level. Other states are looking at New Hampshire and asking questions in a positive way how can we do some of these things. The reason we're not getting where we need to go. And 12 states saw a reduction in opiate deaths last year to year. We were not one of them. We were one of four states that lost net jobs in the country but unfortunately we're one of 12 still not one of the 12 that reduced or opiate deaths.
[00:47:16] So we need to increase our workforce basically in this area.
[00:47:19] It's actually the treatment workforce that I talked to businesses director of corporate relations. All I did was talk to businesses Chris says he did. He did not. That was my job and they said I need America's best preacher through 12 education investment in infrastructure a culture of entrepreneurship and they talked about this addiction issue in the holistic way is actually an economic problem because it's hurting our workforce.
[00:47:41] There is a fair bit of money at the federal level and at the state level going towards this crisis ready. Some people say look let's make sure that this money is being well spent that there isn't enough oversight onto this system. What do you think about that Steve. Is it not so much that there isn't enough money. It's more that it just isn't being well spent.
[00:48:02] It's a little bit of both. To be honest and this is from visiting many centers because the nature of the funding is so short term often it's almost spontaneous is difficult to do long term planning. It is difficult to hire and retain the kind of management and the kind of professional mental health and so forth that are needed to do this in the way that most experts know. We need to do it. So it's the amount of money but it's also the sustainability of the money and the lack of sustainability is having an indirect impact on being able to retain the kind of management that you need so that you can run these in an optimal fashion.
[00:48:37] We've talked about opioids drug addiction countless times here on this program. And one theme that comes up Steve that I want to ask you about is a lot of people in this field say this is not the time to legalize marijuana. Now that is something that you support but they say look in the midst of a drug addiction crisis making another drug legal is absolutely the wrong way to go. What do you think.
[00:49:00] Obviously I disagree. That's what Chris Sununu says the problem is data. When you look at it the true gateway drug to what leads to opiate addiction heroin and so forth is prescription drugs the overprescription Mal prescription of prescription drugs opiates has been a dominant factor in the place that we're in right now. Keep in mind most of your opiates there are prescribed not to cure but to mask over pain. It's pain relief. And in many I would argue most of those cases other ways that are far less addictive. One of them being legalized cannabis would be a way to dramatically reduce the entry the gateway the pain to this pain relief. And a lot of cases do expand that ability to access that will dramatically lower. What ends up being the ultimate gateway that leads to heroin fentanyl Mal use of prescription opiates and so forth. So to me it's not a choice. It's actually one of the tools to help deal with the problem.
[00:50:00] You talked earlier about you know listening to law enforcement listening to the people involved law enforcement mostly tells us that they still think this is a bad idea a drug of choice gateway drug. One more problem for them to deal with on the front of people being high or stoned or whatever. So you're not really listening to them in that situation.
[00:50:19] No quite the opposite. It's because I'm listening so much. It's there. I talked to law enforcement officials on the ground in all these communities in which I visit. And when you get off of national level at the state level and you actually grind it out and talk to people on the ground. Overwhelmingly people on the ground on the force will say that they're either neutral or they actually think it's good public policy in the long run because they're spending so much of their time chasing around something that if done right actually could be a net positive for the state of New Hampshire.
[00:50:49] Couple more topics I'd love to tackle with you. And one is school choice you've been very outspoken against SB 193 a school choice bill. Supporters of this Bill tell us they like the idea of choice that for some kids the public school system just isn't the right fit. Governor Sununu is a big supporter of this bill. Let's hear what he said about this on the exchange recently.
[00:51:11] So let's say there's 10 students in a classroom and one walks walks away. That's three thousand dollars that comes out of that classroom. That's about seven or eight thousand that stay in the classroom for a student that isn't even there right. That local money is still there in that classroom. But the student isn't. So the dollars per student in the classroom actually goes up. That's the reality of what we're doing here and the opportunities in the doorways. Look this is this gets down to the crux of what I believe government needs to be about the individual. Are we going to be a government that has those money systems and creates new programs and claims victory with a headline. Are we going to go to families and go to students and say What do you need. What opportunity can I provide you as an individual and therefore create a policy that doesn't blow the whole system up but that provides an avenue for them to be the best they can be. That's what I believe government needs to be.
[00:51:57] So the governor's point and the point of many supporters is that the local money is still there in the school system. It stays in the school. It's just that 3000 ish state adequacy grant that's going to go away. So the schools the governor argues still make out. So what's the problem with SB 193.
[00:52:14] Well first it will be more than 3000. So let's just say that off the top. The second thing is you can't wait. How so. Well now they're working on it. But for certain kinds of students you could be north of 4000 per student and the average that most of what I see is closer to 4 between 3500 and 4000. So that's the first thing. But that's actually the secondary point. The primary point is you can tell Chris has never been a local elected official. You can kind of tell we haven't had an ex mayor as governor since Judd Gregg's father Hugh Gregg was governor a long time ago. Because you do understand the two biggest concerns people have are how high their property taxes are and how good their local public schools are. There is no bill you could create that would do more to raise your local property taxes and threaten the quality of your local schools public schools then SB 193 we have seen a collapse in the number of school age children in the last 15 years or demography is getting us down that road and we're finding more administrative units. So what Chris fails to mention in there is that yes some of the money stays in the district the local Mussulman state adequacy but the local money. But what happens is your administrative costs goes up per pupil. Most what we already have the second highest per pupil cost for administration of any state in America because we're losing students but adding s.a. So maybe that's the problem. That's one of the problems.
[00:53:30] And so part of what I proposed in education I need to keep as high a percentage of our local Ed dollars in the classroom what they called direct education spending and to get it away from indirect or administrative costs and SB 193 which Chris Sununu supports will increase your administrative costs for somebody who says government can be the problem. He sure enjoys more administrative costs.
[00:53:53] Well if the administrative costs are the problem why not tackle that and then maybe there's enough money around to kind of let the kids take the adequacy grant if their parents want and if they want to stay in the public schools fine. I mean maybe you're barking up the wrong tree here.
[00:54:08] Well first of all it's not mutually exclusive. You can both done right. Opposing SB 193 and providing incentives to consolidate back room operations between school districts. These are two elements of it. But here's the thing when you actually talk to businesses around the state as I have for years they'll tell you the dominant factor in attracting out a state talent young talent which we desperately need in New Hampshire. The dominant factor the quality of prepaid 312 public education. If you got it going on in a high quality way in your community you win tiebreakers and if you do not you can throw all the money you want in other ways and you will not make up for that deficit.
[00:54:47] Well even if SB 193 fails and you know the bill has taken a number of twists and turns.
[00:54:51] The school choice movement as you know is strong in New Hampshire so if you're governor what do you have to offer them.
[00:54:58] Well first of all if were yesterday a bill failed in the House that would have increased accountability for example home school. To me the idea that we would remove three to four thousand dollars per student to a student that would be homeschooled. But at the same time not say if you're going to support that then it seems to me you would also support will additional accountability because of the public money involved in making sure that those students are getting educational attainment and what they need.
[00:55:25] Overwhelming opposition to that bill. I'm sorry. Overwhelming opposition to that homeschooling accountability bill. Yes.
[00:55:32] You know representatives hall was filled had to move the hearing from a hearing to the hall as well among folks that are in that community. It's a very passionate community. The Commissioner of Education Frank Guettel blue is somebody who's very passionate about it. On a personal and a policy level himself. And I think that one of the poorest decisions that Governor Sununu has made was when I would argue for political reasons because he almost lost to him. He took Commissioner ETL blew it put Frank it put him in as commissioner of education. And this is driving the move away from public education into places that will hurt the state of New Hampshire in the long term.
[00:56:07] When we hear on the exchange have been trying to get Frank Guettel blue on Commissioner Adam blue we typically talk to the education commissioner. Haven't been able to make that happen yet but we would love a chance to sit down talk to him about that. Last question for you Steve in this regular hour and then I want to remind everybody that our conversation is going to continue on Facebook live in just a few minutes we'll get to all those questions that we didn't get to now. But last question for you now in the spirit of bipartisanship What is something that Governor Sununu has done so far in his first term that you think has been good for the state.
[00:56:37] Well I guess there are a couple of elements. One is on a personal level and for your listeners that may say you've called the Governor Crist a fair amount of times I've known Chris Sununu for a long time. I do not run for governor to attack him as a person. I just think he's not a very good governor at a time when the opportunities are tremendous and the risks are increasingly evident as well. So that's where that's at. So on a personal level I appreciate that he thinks that full day kindergarten is important. I disagree with the way he did it in New Hampshire. Full day K that case stands for Keano.
[00:57:08] And in a 6 billion dollar your operating budget if you think kindergarten is that important you find the money in the operating budget rather than Keano which I think runs counter to being the best state in America to start to raise a family or to start and grow a business. So his instinct for full day kindergarten. I agree with very much. I just think that we needed more courage vision and competence in order to get it done in a sustainable way.
[00:57:30] Well Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand thank you very much for being with us. And again remember our conversation continues on Facebook live in just a few minutes. We'll get to all those questions that we didn't have time for this hour. And we'll take more questions from our Facebook Live viewers so join us search for NHPR on Facebook. Check out our special overtime segment with Steve Marchand. This is The Exchange on New Hampshire Public Radio.
Transcript of the overtime segment:
[00:00:16] Welcome to a special post show edition of the Exchange on Facebook Live. I'm Laura Knoy. We've been sitting down with Steve Marchand for a few minutes we're going to answer those questions we didn't get to during our regular hour and take more questions from our Facebook Live audience. So if you're just joining us Steve Marchand is so far the only Democrat announced running for New Hampshire governor against incumbent Republican Chris Sununu. And Steve thanks for sticking around for a few more minutes for Facebook live audience and our Facebook Live viewers have already been sending in lots of questions. Here's one from Shawn wages in New Hampshire a largely divorced from the costs of living especially for young people in entry and lower level jobs. Given the lack of youth representation in the legislature how you fight to keep young people in the economy. Sean thank you for the question.
[00:01:04] Well he identifies first a process problem we have because of our volunteer legislature making a hundred dollars a year and so forth. You had a lot of wonderful people on both sides of the aisle willing to basically volunteer their time. But it also means huge swaths of the electorate of the population would have a really tough time getting engaged and this includes younger people. So I think that we see that in the policy. I think he's right about that. So look the number one thing businesses told me is it's talent. They didn't ask for a cut in the business profits tax they didn't ask for no minimum wage. They didn't ask for right to work what they asked for was get me more talent. And so there are a number of ways we get it. And I alluded to it near the end of the radio broadcast the number one way to attract young people. Thank you. And and keep them is actually Praet K through 12 public education people in their 20s that are trying to figure out where do they want to set up their life so that they may not have kids yet but they're thinking about it. You've got to connect that with commuter rail. And I think a lot of times we talk about commuter rail in southern New Hampshire but we don't connect it to local quality education as a one two punch. Education is what often attracts or retains young people aspiring to build a life together but then connect to get to one of the two or three best economies in the country.
[00:02:22] The 128 belt Boston that's not a problem. Christa Dunu often criticizes Massachusetts because that's what we do in New Hampshire except for it's been one of our assets our proximity to this amazing economy the health care system they have the higher education. This is a good thing and we should take a straw that is commuter rail and plop that thing right into the orange. That is the greater Boston economy about commuter rail as a straw. So
[00:02:48] OK so people would love commuter rail if it were free. But the costs that always you know always comes up and anywhere of and 50 million to 300 million dollars to build this thing. So where does that money come from.
[00:02:59] Well a few things. First of all I do think this is a place where in the long run there are some federal resources that may be available that can help bring that sticker price down. Certainly on the front end the construction of it at the Trump administration which has not been friendly to rail. Well keep in mind the earliest I'm getting in is 2019 and this is going to take a while before shovels hit the ground. So part of this is that we'll see if Donald Trump gets a second term or not. Right now I think the folks feel like they're interested in that again will be the equivalent of reaffirming or UN affirming how Trump did in 2016. But beyond that look there's a lot of other forms of infrastructure that we don't call subsidy but they clearly have a public funding element to it. When you drive up and down 93 that that's not free. That's that is that is paid for by the public sector and there's not even a toll on that section of 93. When you look at clean water when you look at Reliable wastewater and water functions when you go sidewalks everything we think of there is a public funding element to it. And we have to have that conversation as it relates to rail as well paid by gas taxes or property taxes or whatever or general fund and a lot like if you think about local government services most local government services be they police fire standing and salting of roads education. They're paid for not with a user fee. Right.
[00:04:19] Only one out of five households in New Hampshire have a school age kid but we don't tell the other 80 percent that you don't pay for education.
[00:04:25] So Nashwa wants this. Manchester wants this. Concord has been looking at it but north of Concord. Why should people chip in to commuter rail if they never take it.
[00:04:36] Well for the same reason that people in southern New Hampshire should chip in in other ways that we help out the northern part of the state's economy. As I said in the in the radio broadcast I've got a lot of family a lot of routes up way up. Some people think you know like Franklin is northern New Hampshire. Give me a break. Come to Pittsburgh words. Forty five minutes from the time you enter the town to the time you get to my aunt's farm. Also in Pittsburgh that's cross county. And when I look at places like Holbrook and Lancaster in Whitefield at Berland and Goram in Grove TN they have wonderful skeletons of downtowns that places like wind him would kill to have but they cannot build. And if we put the right infrastructure at the state level that allows them to attract entrepreneurs over a period you can create dynamism in those economies that is not simply tourism but that takes sustained support disproportionately. Most people live in the southern part of the state. So we all what if we are the least efficient state in America. Laura We are the least efficient state in America. No state in America has less of a fiscal relationship between state government and local government than the state of New Hampshire. And it means we use scale less than any state in America. I audit cities counties and states for a living.
[00:05:45] My friends who've done it for 40 years tell me when they want to see what 19th century governance in America looks like they come to New Hampshire today when they U.S. News and World Report study comes out. You know and they say we're number five or number three went down to five this year. We do great in all the categories except for one governance. We're below average nationally in one category. It's the only reason we're not U.S. News's best state in America every year.
[00:06:11] Well on the other hand one could argue low unemployment low crime decent schools often voted as you said on those lists among the top 10 you know high rates of income you know among the top 10 per capita income so maybe this system you see is inefficient and antiquated isn't doing so badly.
[00:06:33] Number one we're heading in the wrong direction in a lot of metrics. Remember one of four states that lost net jobs in 2017. We do not have her hands around the opiate crisis. Second highest median age lowest birth rate. No state lost a higher percentage of its high school population in the last 10 years than the state of New Hampshire. We lost a quarter of our case through 12 population in just 15 years. And it is freaking out the private sector because they have no idea who they'll hire if they invest in New Hampshire. We are the frog and slowly boiling water. It feels OK right now we are buoyed by the Greater Boston's very strong economy that helps us indirectly. But if we do not get proactive look at the best practices get somebody as a leader as governor who actually is the guy you didn't want to see because I'm the auditor that comes in that's who you want as a governor because I can identify it the way we talk about it. The vision to know what to do the competence to know how to do it the courage to say it out loud.
[00:07:27] Well Sean thank you for that question. Again we're taking some questions that we didn't get to in our regular hour and some questions from our Facebook Live viewers this is a special overtime edition of the exchange with Steve Marchand's. Sean thank you for that one. Timothy also sent us a question on Facebook Live. You've already addressed it. Steve I think but how does Mr. Marchand hope to keep and or get a young workforce in New Hampshire. This is something New Hampshire has had trouble with signed a millennial in New Hampshire's workforce. Timothy thank you for that. And here's another one on a similar vein that came in during the regular hour. We didn't get to this is Jacob in Manchester. As a student at NH Manchester with friends that go to both you NH Manchester New NH Durham what would you do to reduce the cost to attend college in state. Jacob says 15000 per year to attend the flagship universities a lot of money especially when you factor in additional fees depending on college room and board. And I've been look at this myself because I have an 18 year old and it's full freight units. Thirty thousand dollars.
[00:08:24] Wow. Yes. First we often compare New Hampshire to last year's New Hampshire and next years New Hampshire. But the work I do makes me look around the country. The most conservative lawmaker in Wyoming or Mississippi votes for higher levels of state support for higher education than the most liberal members in New Hampshire.
[00:08:45] It is hard to overstate how much of an outlier we are nationally in this regard. We have to look at higher ed and by the way that's Community College. That's traditional for a year and the way we even look at trade schools because of the tremendous need and a lot of the building trades. My dad's a carpenter. It brought us into the middle class with an eighth grade education. It is the real thing with good money to be made there too. And it's not dirty work. It's tremendous work. We should say that in all of these places the combination. You know when I went to college in 92 I got into a H. And they said good news you're in. Thirteen thousand dollars. Now today that sounds wonderful but in 97. My problem is a family that had recently filed bankruptcy even though I was a straight A kid and a straight arrow guy. My problem was twelve thousand dollars ago. So like freezing tuition or slowing down. That doesn't help the first generation college student. So I'm not just trying to find ways to slowly increase state aid to higher ed that helps on the margins.
[00:09:45] I have a pilot program on my website Steve Marsh and Tom that can deal with simultaneously keeping young people in state dealing with student debt as this question gets at and tax the mismatch between talent and needs in the economy by providing a matching program that can provide debt free instate tuition at our public universities for those that go into a five year co-op style program like they have in North-Eastern which is one of the best in the country and it gets people ready for work.
[00:10:15] We think about the employee. You know how hard it is to get through college. The employers taking a lot of risk when they make a hire and when they get a chance at a co-op model to kick the tires on somebody they can figure it out for themselves and the person they would hire is getting real job skills often paid some pretty decent money. That helps them in the interim to be able to minimize the bills they may be incurring. When we look at best practices we can actually get to debt free college in selected places and a pilot program I have.
[00:10:44] Well Jacob thank you for the e-mail and I feel like I keep asking you this question Steve but OK so more money for higher education. Where does that money come from. I mean again we're a low tax state. I'm assuming you don't support a broad based sales or income tax but maybe I'm wrong. I know that's correct.
[00:10:59] OK. However a few things on the infrastructure which we talked about a gas tax increase kind of snuck into that pretty directly. We should reverse the recent rounds of the business profits tax cut. The businesses I talked to did not ask for that.
[00:11:15] But you know what they did ask for America's best pre K through 12 public education. They asked for connection with higher ed. They asked for infrastructure improvements. They asked for real means of attacking the opiate challenge and addiction challenge that we have so we can pay for a large amount of that by repealing the tax cut that they did not ask for. Well I don't know about that.
[00:11:38] Pretty early on the legislature signed into law a series of tax cuts that come you know one at a time sort of over a period of time and I think there's two more slated to go into effect.
[00:11:51] You would stop when you stop those kind of reversed the last ones.
[00:11:56] Now I want to be clear that's not going to sound good. People are going to say Adsteam are shandies raising your taxes.
[00:12:01] Don't believe me believe the businesses I talked to because when we say oh it's too bad we don't have the money to do mental health the right way and we have an ombudsman basically saying we're not really getting it done. When we talk about D.C. Why. And we go that's too bad. We got rid of the voluntary program. You know it when when we look at the Sununu center and we say oh we're three point six million short. I guess we'll have to use the underfunded alcohol fund redefine its uses and then pay for it that way. That's the New Hampshire way. We we stopped the school building aid program. We steal from eldership we stop with the tobacco settlement fund to use it for general fund purposes when that was not his intention. We got rid of the wastewater treatment plan. We do this all the time and we end up pushing down responsibilities without the check attached to the local level and the number one tax in terms of state and local that most New Hampshirites pay most entrepreneurs and new businesses pay is the one that they are increasing with these policies.
[00:12:55] Your local property tax if you will back those business tax increases. All of them how much money is that. I mean you have a long list of priorities that a million of your here's another question about education from Nathan on Facebook. Thank you Nathan. He says what about technical education welding plumbing auto mechanics cetera. Would Mr. Marshon work to bring more of that back into school and this is a great question that we've heard from other people that there used to be a lot more of what used to be called vo tech programs in high schools. Anybody could take them. Those have been reduced and sometimes those avenues are cut off.
[00:13:32] You know culturally and I alluded to this a moment ago. So my mom doesn't have a high school degree. My dad didn't go to high school French is the first language of her home. Everybody's from small communities near Sherbrooke Quebec and they came down as is legally required in the Westside of Manchester from Quebec in the 60s. But with that limited formal education my dad is a carpenter since he he's 14. He's 72 he's still working.
[00:13:57] The work ethic unbelievable of our immigrant population by the way. They are an entrepreneur machine. But the trades. There is such demand. But I think what we've done culturally over a few generations in our education system is we have implied that if you go to a high end for year on campus experience you are a success and if you do not you're somehow less successful like a two year student at a at a you know a technical school or community college. There's this implication over several decades that you're not quite as successful. And then if you don't go to there and you go into the trades somehow it's dirty work. I'll tell you what the dirty work does call a plumber call an electrician. I did sheet rock with my dad and I did carpentry with my dad. It's really hard work and because of the supply and demand curves that we have in the state and country you're making really good money for necessary work that cannot be outsourced.
[00:14:53] So what's your answer to Nathan's question would you tell schools they need to do more of this. Would you give them more money to do it. Would you open up more pathways.
[00:15:01] So at the earliest ages I'm talking our guidance counselor system and I talk to guidance counselors on this. You're seeing some best practices around the state in this regard. At an earlier age we need to introduce the a not just here's where you can get a scholar a local scholarship to help you go to college.
[00:15:18] That's fine. That's great. It needs to be more about. Here's where the economy is here's where the needs are. Where are your passions. Where are your skills. And let's begin it even earlier ages making that match between skill passion and need in the economy. And what we find in a lot of places is that if we don't discourage but instead we encourage a lot of the building trades as a place where you can get a great career in state making really good money. High five figures six figures in some cases we need to introduce that to young people and their families at far earlier ages than we do right now.
[00:15:52] Well Nathan thank you for the question. Couple more questions from our Facebook Live viewers and I want to thank everybody for participating. I've got more questions here than we have time for so that's great. Here's one from Zach. Would you push for an offshore wind farm.
[00:16:07] Do you support offshore wind.
[00:16:09] And how far off shore. Because some people don't want to see that from you know from Hampton beach or wherever.
[00:16:13] I'll be honest I would need to understand the science better because I don't want to give you a number from somebody that's not my background. So this is you know you're an expert in a couple of things when you run for governor and everything else. You're in that constant state of learning evaluating deciding and then leading. So on this I certainly support the concept. I've talked to folks who have given me enough comfort that I can say it as I did to you. But in terms of the specifics that's where I need to talk to those experts more to make sure we don't do something that would be ineffective or that might have some negative environmental impact or something like that.
[00:16:45] But at this point offshore wind sounds OK to you. I generally favor it because I'm sure you're aware they tried to do this off the off Cape Cod or in Massachusetts and it took a long long long time people said I don't want to see those towers out there. I want to see my beautiful ocean view right.
[00:16:58] But in large parts of the country where obviously on the coast they have found ways to strike this balance. And and I'm optimistic we could as well. All
[00:17:07] right Zach thank you for that one. Here's one from Collin. When was the last mass shooting in New Hampshire. I can't recall of any at all. New Hampshire is consistently ranked one of the safest states in the country. Why. Collen asks Are you pushing gun control laws to fix a problem that we don't have. Thank you. Well
[00:17:24] note I don't call it gun control because that implies I'm trying to take your guns. It's reducing gun violence and I'm very straight up at the beginning of the radio program. We talked about it almost over 90 percent of gun deaths in New Hampshire are suicide. And so while the attention tends to be drawn to the most dramatic and widespread mass shooting domestic violence and homicide the reality is that in New Hampshire and to a lesser extent in the country if we don't have a serious specific conversation about reducing gun related suicide we're not really going to get at the greatest amount of gun deaths occur. And I would bet as I found out last week in Lebanon with some very passionate Second Amendment zealots this is a place where we did find agreement. And so a 48 hour wait period that's a gun control if I know that we can save dozens of lives a year in New Hampshire and if done nationally thousands of lives a year simply with a 48 hour wait period. Like many states have done I will take that that choice. Eight days a week. And in the other areas they largely simply say how do we reduce the risk of mass shootings and other forms of gun violence.
[00:18:32] Well and Colleen I remember a mass shooting in New Hampshire back in 1997 in Colebrook. Four people were killed a newspaperman a judge and two police officers two state troopers. So you know by Colebrook standards that sets a mass shooting for and it doesn't happen very often obviously.
[00:18:49] And as I said in New Hampshire there were only about 10 deaths last year that were not suicide at the barrel of a gun. So this is less about trying to stop something that is happening outside of suicide in a rampant fashion. It's about recognizing the best practices of other states and mitigating risk of it happening in the future.
[00:19:07] I want to close out with a political question for you. And here's an e-mail that came in earlier from Jerry in Dover who says unfortunately the voters of this state vote for names they know which Jerry says is how Sununu was elected. He says unless a Democratic candidate has a recognizable name they will not be elected. Here's my question in the first district where you've lived most of your life. You've raised your family you were born there you lived there you worked there. How do you feel about the announcement of Levy Sanders who lives in the second district coming to run in the first district where he doesn't live and never has.
[00:19:44] Well I know Levy reasonably well and he's going to have to answer some questions that have arisen that you're alluding to. People are going to run in the city. But I know this that within the context of this very diverse and still growing. First field it is absolutely helping me as a candidate because of the additional interest is generating from all pockets of the potential Democratic base and whether it's Sanders or one of the other candidates a very deep and rich field of candidates that I think is going to draw people out. And I think that's obviously beneficial for me as a gubernatorial candidate.
[00:20:22] Well Steve Marchand you've been very generous giving us a little extra time in this special Facebook Live overtime segment thank you very much. Thank you Laura. Steve Marchand again so far he's the only Democrat running for governor here in New Hampshire. Thanks to all of you who joined us who contributed questions for this special posto edition of the exchange on Facebook Live. I'm Lara Knoy and this is NHPR.