By Rep. TOM SCHAMBERG
For the Concord Monitor
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
(Published in print: Wednesday, January 8, 2014)
President Franklin Roosevelt said, “Leaders need to think beyond their party and their own safe environment with others to insure financial, educational, jobs and health standing.” The biggest opportunity for New Hampshire’s economic growth is for public entities and private enterprise to become a collaborative unit through partnership, not partisanship. The Business and Industry Association’s Strategic Economic Plan for New Hampshire asks the Legislature to foster creative thinking, to be nimble, be reasonable and not ideological. The stakeholders of the BIA want elected policy-makers to foster and to maintain advanced manufacturing and high-technology jobs that move businesses and citizens up the economic ladder.
The 3,300-plus stakeholders who employ more than 85,000 employees reported in the BIA’s fourth-quarter report that K-12 education should become more rigorous by using the Common Core Standards which upgrade skills and efforts.
The BIA board of directors supports the expansion of Medicaid, recognizing “the connection between the health of a population and the state’s economic prosperity.” BIA President Jim Roche also wrote a revealing position article on the Affordable Care Act, stating that recent innovations in health care are a positive development for employees and businesses of New Hampshire.
And the BIA board, in its 100-plus tactics to develop reachable economic goals, stressed the importance of modern, safe, reliable, multi-modal infrastructures for increasing commercial connections to and from new markets.
The BIA and its leadership team of stakeholders should be congratulated for presenting their written vision of business goals for the future of New Hampshire and its citizens.
The elected policy-makers of New Hampshire are being asked to develop business and private citizen policies unencumbered by ideology. Quotes of “the New Hampshire Advantage,” “Live Free or Die” or “No” to any revenue increase or are not insightful, concrete visions of building blocks for an economic juggernaut that would retain our sons and daughters, encourage population growth or improve the business climate.
We have a limping government policy that changes every two years. We have seen personal quarrels, selfishness, feuding, immaturity, discordant representatives and narrow-minded politicians who put off from day to day, week to week, year to year necessary policy for improved economic performance. Continued petty motives will continue to drive up our already exorbitant property taxes to supplement the state budget because we elected officials who continue using outdated political views.
The New Hampshire Legislature must become an active participant in the economic life of its communities. We must be willing to come to the table of partnership with the economic engine of our citizens’ livelihood, the BIA.
(Democratic Rep. Tom Schamberg of Wilmot is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.)