Jeanne Shaheen's Record as Governor
CHAMPIONED THE MIDDLE CLASS
- Made public kindergarten a reality for tens of thousands of additional New Hampshire children.
- Extended affordable health coverage to tens of thousands of New Hampshire children.
- Stood up to the insurance industry by enacting the HMO Accountability Act, which provided HMO patients with new protections, including the right to an independent review when an HMO denied care.
- Helped families meet college tuition costs by launching a tax-free college tuition savings plan in New Hampshire, one of the first of its kind in the nation.
- Brought competition to the New Hampshire electric industry, lowering electric rates for businesses and homes by 16 percent.
- Established the Governor’s Kids Cabinet to bring together leaders of state agencies responsible for providing services to children in an effort to better coordinate their work.
- Oversaw a New Hampshire economy that created nearly 67,000 new jobs and had the third-highest high tech employment in the nation.
- Led the first trade missions outside of North America by a New Hampshire Governor, promoting the state’s companies overseas. During Shaheen’s tenure, export sales of New Hampshire goods expanded by $500 million.
- Helped bring high-speed Internet service to underserved areas of New Hampshire.
- Nearly tripled the state’s investment in promotion of tourism, New Hampshire’s second-largest industry.
- Enacted legislation to create a $1 million-a-year training fund that helped businesses upgrade the skills of their current employees and train new employees.
- Increased state unemployment benefits for laid-off workers without raising unemployment taxes on New Hampshire businesses.
- Put forth New Hampshire’s first-ever economic development plan.
- Proposed balanced budgets that helped New Hampshire maintain the lowest tax burden in the country for the entire six years she served as Governor.
- Focused on fiscal discipline, enabling the state to nearly triple its Rainy Day Fund.
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
- Initiated energy efficiency programs that have saved New Hampshire families and businesses over $1 billion.
- Established a program to make state office buildings more energy efficient, thereby decreasing operating costs, reducing energy consumption, updating equipment and reducing environmental pollution. Over their lifetime, the upgrades are projected to save New Hampshire taxpayers millions of dollars and help the state avoid thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
- Brought Republicans and Democrats in the New Hampshire legislature together to pass the Clean Power Act, first-in-the-nation legislation to reduce power plant emissions.
- Helped create the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) to preserve open space and historic places. The program has helped preserve 290,000 acres of open space and 118 historic places.
- Joined in a national lawsuit to protect New Hampshire and other downwind Northeastern states from air pollution caused by coal-fired power plants in the Midwest.
- Initiated the development of New Hampshire’s first-ever comprehensive energy plan.
- Ended her tenure as Governor with New Hampshire recording the second-highest rate of individuals with health insurance coverage in America.
- Initiated a Senior Prescription Drug program to provide relief for seniors struggling with the high cost of prescription drugs.
- Worked to expand coverage for women by ensuring health insurance coverage for contraceptives and allowing women to go to their ob-gyns without a referral.
- Increased funding to reduce the waiting list for individuals with developmental disabilities in need of services. During her tenure, Shaheen cut the number of individuals on the wait list by half and cut in half the waiting time to receive services.
- Created the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Recovery at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Services to emphasize efforts to address substance abuse issues in the state, especially for children and youth.
- Established the Best Schools Initiative, which was hailed as a national model for improving student performance. The program brought together teams of teachers, parents, business leaders, administrators and students to develop long-term improvement goals for New Hampshire schools.
- Set higher standards for teacher recertification and tested more than 4,700 new teachers to ensure teachers had the skills, knowledge and tools needed to best educate New Hampshire students.
- Proposed the first-ever statewide school report cards, which are now required for every public school in New Hampshire. Using the report cards, parents can easily access information about their schools, including assessment test scores, dropout rates, and college attendance rates.
- Increased awareness about the importance of early learning nationally, as chair of the national Education Commission of the States, and in New Hampshire, by bringing the business community to the table for the first time to form the Business Partners for Early Learning.
- Signed law making New Hampshire only the 10th state to add sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination laws.
- Approved legislation repealing state laws that made abortion a felony.
- Approved legislation overturning a discriminatory law that prevented gays and lesbians from serving as foster or adoptive parents.
- Signed legislation that allowed workers to seek redress if denied equal pay for equal work.
- Signed law establishing a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, ending New Hampshire’s status as the only state in the nation not to recognize Dr. King’s birthday as an official holiday.
MILITARY AND DEFENSE
- Proposed and successfully fought for legislation to ensure the men and women serving in New Hampshire’s National Guard received the same economic and legal protections for state service as they did for federal service.
- Established a top-level commission, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, to assess New Hampshire’s security needs and develop a plan for protecting the state against terrorism.
- Pushed for and signed into law legislation to give veterans a priority in all state and federal job training programs. At the time the law was passed, in 1997, New Hampshire was one of the few states in the nation to give veterans such a priority.