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N.H. Lawmakers Delay Launch of Hassan's 'Gateway to Work' Program (Again)

Allegra Boverman for NHPR
Gov. Maggie Hassan introduced the "Gateway to Work" iniatitive during her final State of the State address in February at the State House.

New Hampshire lawmakers Friday declined to move forward with a workforce development program championed by Gov. Maggie Hassan.
The initiative, which was scheduled to start last month, would use unspent federal money to provide job training for welfare recipients.

Democrats say the Gateway to Work program will boost economic opportunities for New Hampshire's neediest families. But Republicans say they're uncertain about its long-term costs. The legislature's Joint Fiscal Committee voted against acting on the program at its meeting Friday.

Republican Neal Kurk of Weare said after the meeting he’s not necessarily opposed to the project but thinks more lawmakers should weigh in.

“This is a major program proposal, it should be considered by the entire legislature and alternative uses of that money should be considered rather than just this one use,” Kurk said.

Hassan has been critical of this delay, blaming Republicans for playing politics with this "common sense" program. 

Gateway to Work is estimated to spend roughly $15 to $20 million of federal funds. The program will remain in limbo until the committee meets again next month.

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