Governor Hassan Inaugurated For Second Term: Live Blog, Analysis & Republican Response
Today, Governor Maggie Hassan begins her second term facing a far different political landscape than she faced two years ago. Scroll down for real-time updates from the Statehouse featuring news, tweets from NHPR reporters and photos by Allegra Boverman. Click through additional photos in the gallery above.
Visit the official inaugural committee website here.
Listen to our full special inauguration broadcast:
Listen to Governor Hassan's speech only:
Listen to Rep. Gene Chandler's Republican response only:
Listen to NHPR's Josh Rogers report on the speech and lawmaker reaction:
Unlike the overflow crowd at Governor Maggie Hassan’s first inaugural two years ago, there are some empty seats at Representatives Hall as we await the start of the governor’s second inaugural.
Members of the Hassan family were just introduced and escorted into the room, followed by Hassan and her husband, Thomas, to loud and sustained applause.
Newly elected Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper introduces the Rev. Father Robert Archon of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Portsmouth for the invocation.
Everyone is standing for the posting of the colors by the New Hampshire National Guard and the New Hampshire Colonial Color Guard.
The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Shane Riley, son of the late Stephanie Riley, a Lieutenant Colonel with the New Hampshire Air National Guard, who died earlier this week after a battle with cancer.
Here is the official program for Hassan's inauguration ceremony:
Jasper introduces Chief Justice Linda S. Dalianis to administer the oath, mispronouncing Gov. Hassan’s name as “Has-SAN.”
Speaker Jasper apologizes after pronouncing the governor's name Has-AHN when calling her up to take her oath of office.— Sam Evans-Brown (@SamEBEnergy) January 8, 2015
Cheers and standing applause as Hassan competes the oath of office. The governor smiles and acknowledges the crowd as husband Thomas stands by her side. Speaker Jasper draws some chuckles as he again picks up the proceedings in the wrong place.
Hassan now swearing in the Executive Council, which features a newly elected member, David Wheeler, representing District 5. Wheeler’s election gives the Council a 3-2 Republican majority.
In her “Prayer for a Successful Administration," Rev. Kathleen Brownback of Philips Exeter Academy says being governor requires “an endless endless ability to focus on the big picture.” Purpose of the job, Brownback says, is to “manage our common life in a way that supports the potential of all… No one does this job alone.”
Paralympic Gold Medalist Victoria Arlen of Exeter now reading “Inaugurate” by state poet laureate Alice B. Fogel.
12:21 Hassan steps to the podium for her second inaugural address, welcomed by a standing ovation in Representatives Hall.
12:22 Hassan addresses Speaker Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morris: "I am ready to roll up my sleeves and I know you are too. I look forward to working with both of you, and with all members of the House and Senate, to keep our state moving forward.”
This line met by the first of what is sure to be many rounds of applause.
12:25 Hassan says her first inauguration came at a time when the state was “reeling from the worst recession our nation had known. But, in past two years, lawmakers did not allow the “partisan divide to be an obstacle to getting things done.”
Striking a tone that marked her re-election campaign, Hassan emphasizes the bipartisan work of the last legislative session. “Democrats, Republicans and independents worked together, and we found that when we did, the sum of our progress was far greater than our individual ideas or perspectives."
"After vigorous debates, we emerged stronger. From health care to higher education to transportation, by working together, we found a new way forward on our most pressing challenges.”
Hassan quotes Deepika Kurup, a sixteen-year old sophomore at Nashua South High School, who spent a family vacation in India developing a system to purify water using solar energy.
According to Deepika, Hassan says, “Science has the enormous power to help people find solutions to problems we never thought could be solved. And she would know.”
There's a nice round of applause as Deepika is introduced by Hassan.
Hassan will use the word “together” thirteen times, according to an advance copy of her speech, and "bipartisan" five times.
“Together, while ensuring fiscal responsibility, we have already made real progress in building a stronger, more innovative economy. But as we gather today, we remain at the beginning of our work to ensure that all of our citizens are included in our shared success and prosperity."
"The good news is that thanks to our bipartisan progress, we’re in a better position than most other states. Our unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2008, last month New Hampshire’s credit outlook was restored to “stable,” and our private sector has recovered all of the jobs lost in the recession.“
Hassan: “When young parents read that our state is the best place to live and raise a family, we need to ensure that they can see a path for themselves and their children to share in our high quality of life and thrive economically.”
"Yet, there are citizens who do all the right things, but cannot afford the “essential components of a thriving middle class life - college tuition, health care, owning a home – is growing faster than their paychecks.
"To widen the doors of middle class opportunity, we must approach these next two years with a relentless focus on ensuring that every Granite Stater who works hard can find success. On building a more innovative economic future that lifts all of our people, in every corner of our state."
12:34 Hassan vows New Hampshire will continue to balance the budget without a sales or an income tax.
Hassan says education is where the needs of families and business intersect most meaningfully.
“Last year, we brought together a Task Force to modernize the way we teach science, technology, engineering, and math in our schools.
"It’s time to bring our standards into the 21st century to ensure that our students are prepared to compete for jobs in today’s global economy."
Hassan says restoring higher-ed funding allowed a tuition freeze and lowers costs of attendinng community college.
“But that must only be the beginning. In our next budget, we must work as hard as we can to continue to hold down the cost of higher education.
"We must make sure that tuition at our universities is affordable enough to help attract and retain young people, rather than drive them away. And when our students finish college, we must continue to find ways to keep more of them here."
Hassan proposes updating state’s securities regulation act to encourage innovative businesses to raise capital “to grow and flourish.”
“We also must respond to what our businesses, young people, and families, are telling us about how they see themselves and the part they play in the 21st-century economy.”
Hassan breezes through first mention of high electric rates in her speech. Will be a big focus of this session for Republicans.— Sam Evans-Brown (@SamEBEnergy) January 8, 2015
Loud applause when Hassan proposes bringing commuter rail to New Hampshire.
“Our business community understands the many benefits of commuter rail, and that is why they are calling on us to act. We must find a consensus way forward on rail that will build on our many advantages and help set the stage for a new generation of economic growth by keeping more of our young people right here in the Granite State."
Turning to health care, Hassan notes that more than 30,000 residents received coverage through the “bipartisan” New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which expanded Medicaid.
"This uniquely New Hampshire solution is helping reduce uncompensated care and the resulting cost-shifting to New Hampshire’s families and businesses. And we must recognize that the benefits of our expansion plan are a critical component of our economic future."
Hassan says affordable energy has “eluded our state” for too long. In addition to conservation and efficiency measure, state needs to diversify energy sources and increase supply of natural gas.
“Working with local communities, we must find solutions while protecting our beautiful places, our natural resources, and the character of our state. We will not capitulate to plans that aren’t right for New Hampshire. But we must innovate, negotiate, and get to solutions that lead to a stronger, more affordable energy future.”
Now the energy section: governor says we must increase natural gas pipeline capacity. But we will "not capitulate to plans not right for NH"— Sam Evans-Brown (@SamEBEnergy) January 8, 2015
Noting that wages have failed to grow with costs families must pay, Hassan says raising minimum wage is an important step on the “path forward.”
"Increasing the minimum wage will have a ripple effect on wages higher up the pay scale, while supporting businesses and encouraging job creation by putting more money in the pockets of consumers so that they can buy goods and services. It is long past time that we take this critical step forward for our economy."
Increasing the minimum wage another big applause line. If the makeup of the Gen Court was like that if this room, that might have a chance.— Sam Evans-Brown (@SamEBEnergy) January 8, 2015
Hassan says that part of responsible, frugal approach to budget, “we must also recognize that there are certain basic responsibilities of government that must be met for our people, our businesses, and our economy to thrive."
Hassan again urges lawmakers to work together to get things done.
“We will, of course, face difficult choices ahead. And when we do, we will work to bring people together to find a new way forward – to solve our biggest challenges in a fiscally responsible way that expands middle class opportunity and keeps our economy moving in the right direction."
"To those who say we can’t come together to do these things and more, I say to them: you don’t know the Granite State. That’s what we do here."
NH residents "tough, daring... rugged... close-knit... stubborn." Let's live there.— Sam Evans-Brown (@SamEBEnergy) January 8, 2015
Hassan puts a cap on an approximately 45 minute address by harkening back 230 years to “a clockmaker from Concord” who invented the alarm clock and drawing a line to the present and a teenager from Nashua who conceived an idea that could change the world.
“With that same stubborn determination, we too can do remarkable things. That’s who we are as Granite Staters, and that’s who we must continue to be."
"I look forward to that challenge, and to the brighter economic future that we will all build, and share in, together. Thank you."
Hassan priorities: commuter rail, no sunset of Medicaid expansion, more natural gas, higher minimum wage. No casino talk for now.— Josh Rogers (@joshrogersNHPR) January 8, 2015
Rep. Gene Chandler gives the Republican reaction to Hassan's speech.
We've posted his interview at the top of this story.