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Biography

Maggie Hassan (D)

Experience: Former NH Senate Majority Leader, State Senator 2004-2010
Residence: Exeter
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Brown University; JD, Northeastern University
Official Website: www.governor.nh.gov

Maggie Hassan, born February 27th, 1958, is a Democrat and the former Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate. She earned her BA degree from Brown University and received her JD from the Northeastern School of Law.  She defeated her Republican opponent, Ovide Lamontagne, on Nov. 6, 2012. For a sample of her voting record, click here.

Hassan began her public service in 1999 when then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen asked her to serve as an advocate on the Advisory Committee Adequacy of Education and Finance Commission. Shaheen said she felt Hassan was prepared for this position because of her experience as an attorney and her role as a parent of two children, one of whom has severe disabilities. 

In 2004, Hassan was elected to the New Hampshire Senate, where she served as the Assistant Democratic Whip, President Pro Tempore, and Majority Leader of the State Senate during her 6 years in office. She lost her seat in the 2010 general election to Republican Russell Prescott, a year which saw a large tide of Republicans sweeping into the Statehouse. In October 2011, she announced she would run for governor. She has supported Gov. John Lynch, and has been very critical of Speaker Bill O'Brien. She vowed to keep taxes low and veto any sales or income tax as well as balance the budget.

She and her fellow Democratic candidates -- Jackie Cilley and Bill Kennedy -- engaged in a primary campaign marked by politeness with differences emerging primarily on the question of taxes. Hassan was an adherent to the so-called "pledge" against a broadbased sales or income tax. Cilley and Kennedy did not take the pledge.

Hassan beat her Democratic rivals in the Sept. 11 run-off with 54 percent of the vote, compared to 39 percent for Cilley and 7 percent for Kennedy.

In her acceptance speech, she drew a line in the sand with Republican nominee Ovide Lamontagne, calling his policies "divisive" and often comparing her "New Hampshire way" policies with the "Tea Party way" of Lamontagne.

Through the campaign, the candidates met at least a dozen times in various public forums/debates, with Hassan promoting an economy/jobs plan -- called Innovate NH -- that focused on creating a stronger educational core to help better prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. That plan included restoring funds that had been cut from the University of New Hampshire System in exchange for tuition freezes. Lamontagne argued an economy jobs plan that relied less on government intrusion with business playing a greater role in policy and education.

They argued on the stump over health care, with Hassan advocating the Affordable Health Act option expanding Medicaid, while Lamontagne campaigned on an idea that would have replaced the government program with state program that partnered with the health care industry.

In the end, as close as polls indicated the race might be, Hassan handily defeated Lamontagne, 55 to 43 percent.

Hassan took the oath of office as the 81st governor (and the second woman governor) on Jan. 3, 2013. Read her inagural speech here.

Position on the Issues
As a senator, Maggie Hassan's legislative focus was on keeping taxes low, job creation, balancing the budget, improving access to high quality and affordable health care, ensuring a quality education for every child, developing regional approaches to meet infrastructure needs, environmental protection and the development of a green economy.

Economy, Budget, & Taxes:


  • Against broad-based sales or income tax
  • Creator of LLC tax, an income tax on New Hampshire small businesses (repealed)
Civil Issues:

  • Hassan helped to pass the same-sex marriage law, which allows gay marriage
  • Wrote a law mandating notice of plant closings
  • Created a commission to examine the pros and cons of the death penalty
Expanded Gaming:

"Maggie Hassan would consider a 'well regulated, high-end casino,' that would stem the flow of revenue to other states, but was also concerned about social ills associated with gambling, according to a campaign spokesman."  - Eagle-Tribune, July 9


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2010 Data

Sen. Maggie Wood Hassan, D - District 23
Committees: Capitol Budget; Finance; Commerce, Labor and Consumer Protection

The LFDA sent the following questions to all candidates running for state Senate, House of Representatives and Governor. These results are for the 2010 survey; the LFDA is soliciting Hassan's responses to its more recent survey.


Which of the following sources of revenue should be pursued by the state?

Well- regulated, limited expansion of gambling will, according to the Governor's Commission on Gambling, bring jobs and revenues to the state, even after accounting for the social costs that will come with it. Since sixty percent of NH residents say that they gamble, and since we already absorb those social costs, it seems reasonable to me to acknowledge that gambling occurs in the state and get the revenues that are available from it. Moreover, recent research shows that the majority of people who gamble are upper and middle income, which alleviates some of the concerns I have had about gambling. I do not think gambling will solve all of our revenue issues -- no single source of revenue will. We need to do our best to make government more efficient and use innovative ways of reducing costs, but I also think we should do our best to avoid raising taxes where we can, especially in the current economy.

Adopt a cap on property taxes? NO

A recent study by a conservative economist found that tax caps create a "race to the bottom" , causing businesses to leave communities where caps have been enacted because municipal revenues aren't able to fund basic educational and other infrastructure needs that are essential to economic development and growth. Caps are tempting as a short term solution to property tax increases, but in the long run, they can really hurt a community and the taxpayers who live there. Taxpayers need to be vigilant to control tax increases, but one-size-fits-all solutions aren't the answer.

Reform retirement benefits for municipal & state employees? YES

Yes, I think there's a consensus that we need to reform the pension system and we've already taken steps to begin reform. But it's also important to recognize that this solution will take some time and that we need to achieve reform in a way that allows us to keep our promise to public employees -- who took public jobs and continued in them-- relying on a promise that they would have a defined benefit pension. This concern has to be balanced with the reality that taxpayers can't make up all of the gap, even though it appears that municipalities were undercharged for their share during the 1990's (they paid less than they would have for social security if the employees were enrolled in social security.) So this is a considerable challenge, but we've begun to make progress on it and we will continue to.

Repeal the gay marriage law? NO

Gay and lesbian citizens should have the same responsibilities and rights as heterosexual citizens do. Making gay marriage legal is consistent with our long tradition in NH of supporting civil rights for all.

Have mandatory automobile insurance? NO

I answered "no" because I'm not sure whether there is evidence that making it mandatory would increase the number of folks who carry auto insurance in our state -- other states that have mandatory coverage have lower percentages of coverage than we do, and I am concerned about whether people who are unemployed right now can afford it. That being said, those who don't have coverage and who harm others and can't pay for their share of the damage are, in essence, taking advantage of the majority of residents who do carry insurance -- and that is unfair.

Have a mandatory seat belt law for adults? YES

I realize that Granite Staters are proud of our libertarian tradition, and to many, making the use of seat belts mandatory seems at odds with this tradition. On a personal level, I don't like the idea that we need a law to tell people to exercise common sense. So, I used to think that mandating the use of seat belts wasn't necessary. I have since learned though that today's cars are designed to be better controlled by those using seat belts, and I have also become aware of how expensive it is to treat the severe injuries that occur when people don't use seat belts; few insurance policies cover the cost of head injuries in full, for example, so the rest of us end up paying for the care of people who don't use seat belts and get in an accident. So, both because drivers who don't use their belts aren't as able to control their cars during a skid or accident, and because the rest of us end up shouldering the cost of caring for the severely injured whose injuries would have been avoided by using seat belt, I think a law makes sense. I am also the mother of a son with a brain injury, and have seen the impact of severe injuries on my own families and others -- I think a mandatory law could really help families and individuals avoid great pain and difficulty and that, on balance, avoiding serious injury is worth the modest limitation of being required to wear a seat belt.

Adopt a mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders? NO

I am not convinced that motorcycle riders without helmets are a threat to other drivers on the road, and I also think riders are more aware of the dangers that they risk when they don't wear a helmet. I would like to better educated about this though -- it hasn't come up in the senate since I've been in office.

Decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for adults? NO

I think this is very difficult to do without harming adults and children, especially where we don't have a lot of resources for those with addictions. I also think that this would be difficult to enforce, so I would want to hear more from our law enforcement community before considering this further.

Legalize medicinal marijuana? YES

With the proviso that we have to regulate the way in which the prescribed marijuana is distributed. Other states have done this with mixed results -- California's model is terrible, but other states have done this without significantly negative consequences. For some people with chronic or terminal illness, marijuana is the only drug that helps them deal with their symptoms AND function with anything near normalcy.

Restrict the use of windmills and windfarms for power generation, based on:

  • Amount of subsidies: DID NOT ANSWER
  • Aesthetics: DID NOT ANSWER
  • Environmental impact: DID NOT ANSWER
I'm not sure why you would restrict wind power based on the "amount of subsidies" and I need to understand what kind of environmental impact or aesthetic objections exist before answering the question with "yes" or "no" answers. We passed a bill in the 2007-08 session that requires that municipalities allow residential windmills that meet certain aesthetic and environmental criteria. I believe there are ways to balance all of the concerns suggested by your question while encouraging the use of wind power as an alternative energy source.

Repeal the death penalty? YES

As a matter of conscience, I oppose the death penalty. I know that there are strong feelings about this issue but I also think it's important that people understand what my position is.

Adopt constitutional amendment that reduces the role of the courts in the school funding challenge? DID NOT ANSWER

It seems to me that there's an assumption behind your question that I don't agree with, so I haven't answered "yes" or "no". I support a constitutional amendment that allows the state to target aid to communities that needed the money the most; thus reducing the amount of school aid that the state needs to raise from state taxpayers for education. But I don't think this is the same thing as "reducing the role" of courts in the school funding challenge Courts should still have their constitutional role in determining whether the legislative and executive branches are meeting their constitutional obligations according to the standards set in the constitution. The legislature, Governor, and public have the right to amend the constitution, but we still need the court to play its role as referee.

Amend NH constitution to permit citizens to vote on statewide issues in a referendum? NO

We have the most vigorous and representative democracy in the world and the one of the world's largest legislative bodies. Under our system of government, elected officials have the responsibility and authority to solve our challenges through open debate, with lots of public input, and a vote. Referendum means that the legislature will still have the responsibility of solving problems without the authority to do so -- that's unworkable. States that have a referendum -- like California -- have proved how poorly the use of a referendum works.

Adopt a top 2 primary system? DID NOT ANSWER

Don't know, need to learn more about it and consider whether it would work in this state. I'm open to the idea, but would want to understand how it's worked elsewhere before forming an opinion.

Leave immigration laws to federal government? YES

This is a tough question, and I don't think the federal government has done its job well in this area -- we need reform. But I am concerned that 50 different sets of laws in 50 different states will wreak havoc with our economy and with the lives of legal as well as undocumented workers.

 

Voting Record:

2010 - SB 489 Gambling Expansion – voted for

2009 – HB 436 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage – voted for

2009 – HB 383 Mandating Seat Belt Use – voted to table

2009 – HB 556 Abolishing the Death Penalty – voted to table

2009 – B 648 Medical Marijuana Legislation – voted for

2010 – SB 497 changing the business profits tax deduction for reasonable compensation for partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietorships– voted for

2010 – HB 1607 establishing certain requirements for the reasonable compensation deduction under the business profits tax – voted for
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Videos

Maggie Hassan spoke with supporters at the Nashua home of State Rep. Cindy Rosenwald on April 2, 2012. The former state senator discussed her family, children and entrance into public service. Hassan also spoke on her accomplishments during 6 years in office. 

View additional Maggie Hassan videos.

Campaign Finances

2012 Campaign

Raised
$747,602.38
Spent
$681,944.31
Balance $65,658.07
Report Date Oct. 31, 2012


Source: NH Secretary of State

Contact Information

Office of the Governor
State House
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-2121
Email: Click here
Website: www.governor.nh.gov

Gubernatorial News

Registration with individual sites might be required to view some news.

July 27, 2014
Union Leader: Governor, U.S. senators praise Easter Seals' support of NH vets
Union Leader: NH gubernatorial candidate Hemingway favors business flat tax, smaller state government

July 26, 2014
Seacoast Online: Gov. Hassan seeks federal evaluation of Pan Am rails

July 25, 2014
Nashua Telegraph: Hassan called out on real estate tax

July 23, 2014
Nashua Telegraph: Parties cast blame as NH slips in Kids Count rankings
Seacoast Online: New Hampshire to celebrate 100 years of primary

July 22, 2014
Nashua Telegraph: GOP candidate for governor ran firm while PAC gave $512K to Democrats

July 21, 2014
Eagle-Tribune: Top NH political races heat up

July 20, 2014
NHPR: FEMA denies emergency funds for North Country flooding

July 19, 2014
WMUR: Appeal for flooding emergency funds denied

July 18, 2014
NHPR: Republicans accuse Hassan of taking illegal campaign contributions
NHPR: Hassan says feds haven't requested NH shelter immigration children
Union Leader: Hassan donations put GOP on attack
Union Leader: Dueling Hassan Northern Pass pictures draw attention
WMUR: Hassan campaign calls for quick review of finance complaint

July 17, 2014
Union Leader: GOP questions $25,000 PAC donation to Hassan
WMUR: Havenstein attacked over speech quoting Obama
Concord Monitor: Republicans call for investigation into $25,000 contribution to Hassan
Foster's Daily Democrat: GOP challenges $25K contribution to Hassan
Nashua Telegraph: Republicans question Hassan accepting $25K from pro-Northern Pass electrical union

July 15, 2014
NHPR: Not much for 'Kremlin watchers' at meeting between N.E. governors and Canadian premiers
Seacoast Online: Gov. Hassan signs bill seeking pay equity
Union Leader: N.E. govs., Canadian officials meet,talk energy in the future
Concord Monitor: Energy a focus as leaders meet in New Hampshire

July 13, 2014
NHPR: New England governors to meet with Canadian premiers

July 12, 2014
NHPR: Hassan signs $11 million mental health package
Union Leader: NH veterans program targeted by 'baffling bureaucratic decision'
Concord Monitor: Mental health services expand in New Hampshire
Concord Monitor: Hassan signs marriage law
Foster's Daily Democrat: Hassan cites greater mental health care, other achievements
Foster's Daily Democrat: Governor to visit American Independence Festival
Nashua Telegraph: Funding shift may limit veterans services in NH

July 11, 2014
Union Leader: AMC asking N.E. governors to stop Northern Pass lines
Conway Daily Sun: Havenstein to stump in Conway Friday
Foster's Daily Democrat: Hassan to sign bill on mental health settlement

July 10, 2014
WMUR: Gov. Hassan supports review of law's use in Coco jail release

July 9, 2014
Concord Monitor: Polls show Shea-Porter in tight race; Kuster, Hassan lead challengers
NHBR: Hassan names advisory council for tech startup initiative

July 8, 2014
WMUR: Poll numbers indicate big lead for Hassan over GOP challengers

July 7, 2014
Union Leader: GOP gubernatorial candidate Havenstein says use of 'teabaggers' a 'poor choice of words'

July 6, 2014
Concord Monitor: Capital Beat: Campaigns use gas tax increase as latest talking point
Nashua Telegraph: More than $5M over legislative forecast takes pressure off NH governor

July 5, 2014

Seacoast Online: Hassan celebrates country, founders
Nashua Telegraph: ‘Close case’: NH Ballot commission issues Havenstein candidacy report

July 4, 2014
Nashua Telegraph: Analysis: Ballot Law Commission had to navigate legal inconsistencies in rendering Havenstein decision

July 3, 2014
NHPR: Hassan signs bill that saves tiny Millsfield from huge tax hike

July 2, 2014
Seacoast Online: PEA Principal Hassan to step down next year

July 1, 2014
NHPR: Ballot Law Commission rules Havenstein eligible
NHPR: Hassan holds Medicaid expansion kick-off event
Seacoast Online: NH state panel: GOP's Havenstein can run for governor
Union Leader: Gubernatorial candidate Havenstein wins approval from Ballot Law Commission
WMUR: State panel rules Havenstein is NH resident, can run for governor
Concord Monitor: Ballot Law Commission: Republican Havenstein is eligible to run for governor
Nashua Telegraph: Havenstein ruled eligible to run for New Hampshire governor
NHBR: NH businesses pleased with Turkey trade mission

June 30, 2014
Foster's Daily Democrat: Havenstein residency hearing set for Monday

June 28, 2014
Concord Monitor: Analysis: Wins and losses for Hassan in her second year as governor

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