Kat’s Priorities for New Hampshire
Passing Responsible State Budgets
- The Republican majority in Concord has opted to reduce dedicated funds, like the Alcohol fund from its mandated in half so they can claim to be cutting taxes. The bottom line here is the are cutting revenue. These funds are used for prevention and treatment of substance abuse. Why lower this revenue stream with the opiod crisis at its peak?
- Republicans are also reneging on prior state obligations, like changing the state contribution toward public employees from 35% to zero. Cutting state budgets downshifts mandatory costs to local taxes. This is not fiscal responsibility, its voodoo economics and its time we stopped taking their word that they actually know how to run the state or the country. Democrats tax and spend, just like Republicans do, because that is the job. You get more for your money when Democrats control government.
- Responsible governance is not ‘live for today’ and disregard tomorrow. In fact, the best argument for a representative government is that we are worrying about the long term, so you don’t have to worry. Government is guilty of ignoring the future in favor of power, profits and the next election cycle. We need to elect independent citizens to stop this broken system. I’m a democrat because I believe in progress. But I am a citizen first.
Properly Funding Public Education
- In the current session, a dangerous bill to divert funds from public education (HB193) is being pushed hard by DeVos-style, anti-school administrators put in place by Governor Sununu. The current administration is in favor of using our tax dollars to fund vouchers for private schools, religious schools and home schooling, while our classrooms are already unable to fund simple school supplies.
- This theft of dollars away from public education is another example of the downshifting of state obligations to local taxpayers. Breaking our schools serves no one and creates a hit to local economies already stretched thin. The worst economic hits are to jobs, new business and property values. We’ll also lose the best and brightest teachers and students as we weaken the system. Strong schools are essential to our economy and our communities. If government does not support public schools, they are handicapping our country’s future. ‘School choice’ is a slogan designed to mask a sinister effort to derail New Hampshire’s universal commitment to educate kids, our most precious resource.
Reclaiming the Mantle of Fiscal Management
- To manage money well, you first have to identify goals and priorities. The Republican majority in Concord (and in Washington) use ‘the red queen effect’ to stay in power. They make everyone run as fast as they can, just to stay in place. By threatening working programs and eliminating budget items without justification, they halt economic momentum and create chaos no business would ever permit.
- Community leaders spend their time fighting Concord in hearings where we should be debating progress, not loss of ground.
- Teachers, police, social workers, fire fighters, environmentalists and community-based special interests are all testifying regularly in order to prevent the loss of essential New Hampshire services. Why are we fighting each other? We can maintain a lean budget without eliminating essential services in our communities. Republican budgets are penny-wise and pound foolish; they sacrifice the long-term welfare of the state for short-term cuts that keep them in power. Our taxes are not a game. We can do better.
Building a Future-Focused Economy
- Forward-facing programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI nets NH income and helps us achieve energy efficiency goals) are win-win. If we pull out of RGGI we are required to continue paying but we no longer receive any benefit. The agreement was designed to prevent chaotic decision-making. Yet NH Republicans continually fight staying in this regional partnership, regardless of the fact that it works to NH’s benefit. Who makes these kinds of decisions? People who favor corporate cronyism over settled science. Science has a better track record of predicting outcomes. With so many real threats, its no time to swap science for spin. Better leaders mean a better path.
Gaining the Benefits of Clean Energy
- Clean energy moves us into a new economy and helps us with lowered emission goals. Our fossil-fuel dependence will cost us far more than any investments in clean technologies today – because it is very hard to budget for increasing weather disasters. I support clean energy being used for the applications to which they are best suited. I’m opposed to closing New England’s remaining nuclear power plants and converting them to gas because it means a significant uptick in regional emissions. Reliable, clean base-load power is important and until battery storage technology can reliably help us harness the power of renewables, we should preserve clean plants, not convert them to greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels.
Strengthening Healthcare System
- New Hampshire has come a long way on healthcare since the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2010. Our legislature worked in a bi-partisan way to figure out a plan that would help insure an additional 50,000 New Hampshirites. Although the law is still in place, the recent federal elimination of the law’s mandate and elimination of funds to help keep costs down, is estimated to increase New Hampshire premiums as much as 60%. The number of people likely to lose insurance is 45,000. So we have another example of one-step-forward, two-steps-back because of partisan politics. We pay the price. Its easy to trash the other guy’s plan, but breaking a system with no plan to replace it is irresponsible. Gutting a working program in order to prop up a false narrative politicians sold to their base, is craven, harmful and incredibly costly; perhaps the highest cost is to the health & security of the working families who get hit with the bills.
Pushing Family-Friendy Policies
- I’m in favor of solving the actual problems in our state. One of them is our aging population and our inability to attract younger families to locate here and assume the jobs of the future. That is why we need to make workers and families a higher priority. Out of state bills like ‘Right to Work’ are threatening to weaken the concept of collective bargaining and safety in the workplace. It is not about saving workers from union dues. It is about weakening a union’s ability to fight back when big companies want to take advantage of employees. Unions contribute to a healthy economy by protecting the rights of individuals. Healthy union states have higher wages even for non-union jobs. competitive wages drive businesses and promote job growth. or as my husband says, ‘You can save a lot of money in business if you close the doors. But it won’t have the desired effect.’
- Its time we worked on 21st century family issues like single parent households, family leave policies and the work/life balance that contributes to the overall health of our communities. Paid leave, daycare cost-sharing and paid vacations help families balance their obligations to work and family. Full-day kindergarten and/after school programs also support the 21st century reality of the two-working-parents household. A living wage promotes greater security and higher productivity. As we continue to cut the benefits of workers and refuse to pass a living minimum wage, we reinforce a race to the bottom.
Stopping ‘Pay to Play’ Politics
- Probably the biggest driver of ineffective laws is the effect of money on our legislatures. In recent years, even New Hampshire’s legislature has been infiltrated by outside groups writing their own bills and taking us further from a New Hampshire agenda. Groups like American’s For Prosperity are spending large amounts of money to push national bills that serve their sponsors, i.e. Koch Brothers. ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) is another organization founded to design bills that are introduced in many states at once – to change the legal landscape on everything from ‘School Choice’, to ‘Stand your Ground’, to ‘Right to Work’. We can protect New Hampshire from outside influence through our campaign laws. The influence of outside lobbyists gums up our local decisions here in the granite state and further aggravates the artificial income gap that pushes more middle and working class families into financial distress.
Fighting to Revive Our Democracy
- Long established checks and balances have come under unprecedented attack in recent years. I believe we need to elect people who understand how to revive our democracy and who are not beholden to outside groups. Getting the money out of our elections is a good start. But we must also act in good faith in Concord in order to restore trust in government, from the bottom up. We need honesty, integrity and a willingness to learn what works and what ails us, in order to find better solutions. Its not good enough to play politics-as-usual. We deserve better.
- In my race, I seek to unseat a Free State Project candidate. He moved to New Hampshire after taking a pledge to get elected in order to run state government into the ground. The pledge says he will do everything in his power to eliminate all government short of protection for life, liberty and property. He is opposed to public schools, even though he followed the FSP playbook and joined the school board as soon as he moved to New Boston (although he has no kids).
- My opponents group picked New Hampshire to take over because we have a libertarian streak and words like liberty and freedom work well here. But make no mistake, the Free State Project is serving its own goal to secede from the United States; I personally am willing stand up to preserve my nation, not retreat when we seem to be losing our way.
- There are so many threats to our communities these days that it is hard to keep up. Let me serve the towns of District 40 to bring back stability and solutions.
Resetting the State House Clock Forward to 2018
- Finally, I want to say a word about the future. John and I have 4 grown children between us and 8 grandchildren ranging from college-age to pre-school. My husband served as a US air force captain flying on F111’s and my dad was a WWII and Korean War veteran with 20 years of service in the Navy. John’s two eldest children served as Air Force officers as well. We understand US values and US history and we are concerned with the regressive movement that has coopted our political system. We’re witnessing the erosion of long-tested American principles that strengthen democratic liberty and the happiness of personal freedoms.
- Seeing current legislatures around the nation presenting bill after bill to prevent women’s legal access to reproductive healthcare is incredibly disappointing. Its a stab at modernity, ignoring the facts that access to birth control and sex education lower abortion rates because the current laws work. Why would we prefer to see women go back to desperation and quackery? This constant assault on women’s rights to make their own decisions on such personal matters is ideological; it betrays a regressive longing to put women back in their place and recreate problems that were fixed by Roe v. Wade. The founders designed the separation of church and state with good reason and yet there is a major push to redefine us as nation governed by the religious right. Religious freedom is a right, but imposing one religious view on everyone is unAmerican. Women can be trusted to make their own healthcare decisions.
- We’re having a similar rebound on race relations. Hate crimes are up. People who have felt part of America for decades and are citizens who love this country are being victimized because of how they look. This turning of our culture away from acceptance of new citizens is unAmerican. We are a nation of immigrants. Its easy to sew seeds of hate. But hatred can never leads to a world in which we can be proud of our legacy.
- We cannot create a bright future if we keep entrusting decisions to those whose only vision is of a past that is gone. The future may be scary, but electing representatives with good judgment, good sense and personal integrity can set us on a course that helps our kids feel more secure about the world we are leaving them. I believe it is our duty to set an example, tackle the real issues, and stop playing politics with peoples lives.
- I am not expecting to change the world by becoming your state representative. But I do expect to propose and help pass laws for New Hampshire that help you and your family love the place you live.
- I hope I can count on your support.