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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Impending snowstorm puts off NH governor Hassan’s State of the State speech to Thursday

CONCORD – “Safety concerns” ahead of Wednesday’s winter snowstorm have pushed Gov. Maggie Hassan’s State of the State speech to Thursday afternoon.

Hassan was scheduled to give her annual address at 10 a.m. Wednesday. House Speaker Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, also postponed a scheduled House session until Thursday. ...

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CONCORD – “Safety concerns” ahead of Wednesday’s winter snowstorm have pushed Gov. Maggie Hassan’s State of the State speech to Thursday afternoon.

Hassan was scheduled to give her annual address at 10 a.m. Wednesday. House Speaker Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, also postponed a scheduled House session until Thursday.

The first-term Democratic governor will start her speech at 2 p.m.

State Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, said the storm isn’t changing the schedule for his body, which still is scheduled to meet in session Thursday.

House committees will hold their hearings as scheduled Thursday morning before the session. These include the bill legalizing betting at one high-end casino (HB 1633), which is the product of a commission that also proposed a new, stronger regulatory structure that would govern all legalized gambling in the future.

The casino bill hearing starts at 9 a.m.

On Tuesday, Rep. Kathi Rogers, D-Concord, led a news conference with more than 50 casino supporters. Nearly 100 House members have agreed to sign on as co-sponsors of the measure.

Meanwhile, Hassan instructed state agency heads to give state employees leave time if they have difficulty getting to work.

“State agencies will liberally allow leave for state employees who determine that they cannot safely travel to work, and we will work throughout the storm with Department of Transportation and Homeland Security and Emergency Management officials to support local communities and provide updates as needed,” Hassan said in a statement.

The Department of Transportation issued safety guidelines for drivers who have to be out during the storm, urging motorists to have at least half a tank full of gas, drive more slowly and allow more space between other cars.

“With heavy snowfall of up to an inch of snow per hour expected during the height of tomorrow’s storm, I strongly encourage Granite Staters to take every precaution on the roads and follow all traffic and safety alerts, and to limit travel if at all possible,” Hassan said.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at
321-7040 or klandrigan@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).