To The Daily Sun,
With election day less than a month away, it's easy to feel lost in the sea of negative attacks and partisan fingering-pointing. After a campaign like this, it's hard to imagine politicians working together, but that's what the people of New Hampshire do every day and it's what we expect of our elected officials.
I'm not running to push an ideological agenda. I'm running to bring my common-sense business principles to Concord. I want to work with both parties to solve problems, while being careful with your tax dollars, and focus on the things that you really care about instead of getting caught in tired partisan battles.
We face a number of challenges, but turning the tide on the heroin and opioid crisis is the first thing we need to address. Working in a family business with 150 employees, I see the toll it takes on our businesses when an employee or family member struggles with addiction. As a father of four children, I worry that we aren't doing enough to keep our kids off drugs. And, as a friend and neighbor, I have witnessed the pain it causes our community when we lose someone to an overdose.
That's why I've fought on all fronts to combat this crisis. I was proud to co-sponsor legislation to expand the recovery court pilot program that has been so successful in Laconia, reduce the barriers to insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment, and to update prescribing rules to help prevent over-prescribing of opioids.
I was also proud to support legislation that provides nearly $106,000 to the Laconia and Franklin police departments in order to help get drugs off our streets. Most importantly, supporting the reauthorization of the fiscally responsible, bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program is integral to the success of combating this public health crisis. This program helps our substance abuse treatment providers like the Farnum Center and Webster Place in Franklin expand their capacity by more than 63 new beds in the last year. It's also been integral to increasing medical and behavioral health services to over 400 new clients through Health First in Laconia and Franklin.
Though the heroin and opioid crisis is our toughest challenge, there are more issues that need our attention. We must focus on creating an economic environment that strengthens our local economy and brings good-paying jobs to our community. I supported the first business tax cuts in more than 20 years, but we need to work harder to make New Hampshire a business-friendly state by eliminating unnecessary red tape that inhibits growth.
We have to make smart, strategic investments in education and infrastructure. With more than 20 years of business experience, I know first-hand how important education is to our economic development. Business leaders tell me constantly that they need educated and skilled workers to grow their businesses. These skilled workers not only help our economy grow, but they earn more money.
If we want a robust economy we must make investments in our roads and bridges. We simply cannot strengthen our economy if our roads and bridges are crumbling. Our region depends on a safe and efficient transportation system to support our tourism industry and to make sure we attract employers to our area. I will continue to demand wise investments and fiscal transparency when it comes to rebuilding and modernizing our roads and bridges.
When we strengthen our economy, we need to make sure that we also begin the process of restoring aid to our communities so that we can start to drive down property taxes. I will work to help build a state budget that sends more local aid to our cities and towns so that we can begin to take the burden off of our property taxpayers.
We have a lot to do over the next two years and we're only going to get it done if we have a senator who is willing to put aside petty partisan squabbles and do what is best for the people of District 7. It's what I have done during my time in the state Senate, what I would like to continue to do, and why I ask for your vote on Nov. 8.
State Senator, District 7
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