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New Hampshire bipartisanship is good business: Gov. Hassan

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan
Source: Office of New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan

In New Hampshire we know that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engines of economic growth in the 21st-century economy, and our state has long been defined by the entrepreneurial spirit of our people.

When you literally build a state of granite, it takes a certain toughness and perseverance, as well as a unique blend of community and independence, a culture that also helps spur economic growth.

Today, our low-tax environment, coupled with our small, responsive state government and our high quality of life help retain and attract innovative job-creating businesses, and we have worked to help new businesses start up and grow in our state.

Since I entered office, we've worked across party lines to enact two fiscally responsible, bipartisan budgets that invest in critical economic priorities, without an income or a sales tax, and we are revitalizing our state's economic development efforts.

"We froze tuition at our state universities for the first time in 25 years and lowered it at our community colleges. We have also encouraged collaboration between institutions of higher education and innovative companies."

We have taken important steps to support businesses, including increasing and making permanent the research and development tax credit to help innovative businesses grow, as well as launching the award-winning Live Free & Start initiative to help new companies start up and grow in New Hampshire.

We have lowered taxes for small businesses while maintaining fiscal responsibility, and just recently I signed two additional tax cuts into law, one quadrupling the expensing deduction and one reforming our business taxes to make it easier for innovative start-ups to attract capital. We also passed a bipartisan, business-backed transportation plan to fix our highways, roads and bridges, the most significant state-level investment in 23 years.

Thanks to bipartisan work and a commitment to problem solving, we're seeing progress all across the Granite State. Our unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation, and for the third year in a row, we were ranked the best state in the nation based on more than a dozen measures of economic strength, the safety of our communities and quality of life. The Tax Foundation also ranked our state the seventh-best business tax climate in the nation.

While our economy in many respects remains ahead of the curve, we know that we need to continue working to develop the 21st-century workforce our innovative businesses need to thrive and grow. When I visit businesses across New Hampshire, they tell me that their No. 1 need is even more highly skilled workers to fill job openings.

In New Hampshire, we froze tuition at our state universities for the first time in 25 years and lowered it at our community colleges. We have also encouraged collaboration between institutions of higher education and innovative companies to ensure that students are prepared for jobs when they graduate. Additionally, we have funded job-training grants around the state and are aligning higher-education programs with the needs of our businesses.

Working together, we will continue to lay the foundation for a new generation of inclusive economic growth, expand economic opportunity for middle-class families and ensure that innovative businesses have the support they need to thrive and grow in the years to come.


— By New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan

Editor's note: This commentary was written before the release of the Top States 2016 data. The governor did not have knowledge of the rankings or the comprehensive data.