In 2011-2, the Republicans achieved a super-majority in both houses of the state legislature, because (1) not enough Democrats decided to go vote, and (2) huge amounts of money had been poured into the state to achieve Republican control for the presidential primary and redistricting. Because of the latter, in order to win control, Democrats need about 57% of the vote to take the state Senate and 53% to take the state House. Enormous damage was done last term to the state’s ability to support basic services and to the businesses and citizens that depend most on them.
Democrats took control of the House in 2013-14 – but Republicans kept control of the Senate with only 47% of the vote. No-one had a supermajority, and everything we achieved was by compromise. The Senate was reluctant to undo much that the House had forced it to do in 2011-12, but often responded to loud demands from affected groups. The governorship in NH is constitutionally weak, but good governors – like Shaheen, Lynch and now Hassan – work with the legislature to fashion the best climate they can get for our state.
Lebanon’s economy revolves around Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and its medical research, the vibrant high-tech and other start-ups spun off from Dartmouth’s engineering and business schools, and the malls. Political changes at state level are affecting these most significantly through the health care system.