Why I Am Running For Speaker of the House

Let me first be crystal clear… I am not running against anyone. I am running because I think it is time for a new approach to implementing our strategies, and I think that I am the best choice to get that done. I have been asked questions about the other candidates. I have nothing bad to say about any of them, and will continue to talk only about myself and my ideas. When the dust settles, we need to be one team moving forward.
To that end, I won’t be doing Speaker pins. I realize that it is a tradition, and I don’t criticize those who do it, but I won’t participate. When we elect a Speaker, these can become symbols of our past division.
I’ve been successful getting some bills through that have failed in the past. One of these took six years. The key is finding a new way to package a bill that clears objections and distills the issue. We have become locked in a cycle for several terms where the extent of our effort is to file the same bills, start whipping, and become resigned when we don’t get to the right result. This isn’t good enough.
We also have to make government more interesting to young people. If you believe the press, all we do is have the same labor law, election law, education funding, 2nd amendment, etc. fights over and over again. These are important fights, we will have them, and will win… but it isn’t all we do. If we are going to attract high tech companies like Amazon, we need an image makeover. We need to promote science and tech related bills to interest people who are not political junkies. I want us to get to the point where, when other states are considering a tech related policy, they ask “What is New Hampshire doing?” We are first in the nation in Presidential elections. We need to become first in the nation in new ideas and innovation.
I want to be your Speaker to promote the state, trumpet your successes, and convince the public that not only are we a responsible government, but that we are also a forward thinking innovative government providing new millennium solutions for a better New Hampshire. This should be the future of the Legislature we should lead the way.
To the Future,

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DMV Closed for 2 days in October

New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles to Close Offices for Two Days During Software Upgrade

Concord, NH – The NH Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will implement a new driver licensing system in October to replace the current system originally implemented in the 1980s. Implementation of the new system will require the closure of all DMV offices on Monday, October 9th and Tuesday, October 10th and will temporarily limit some services.

“Although temporarily closing DMV offices is required during this transition time, we are aware of how the closure will impact our customers,” said DMV Director Elizabeth Bielecki. “Hopefully, by providing advanced notice, we will minimize the inconvenience this closure will cause.”

During the transition:

Town/City Municipal clerks will not be able to process the state portion of vehicle registrations from Friday, October 6, through Tuesday, October 10.
Online services, including Online Driver License Renewal and Online Ticket Pay, will not be available from Wednesday, October 4, through Wednesday, October 11.
Ticket pay by phone will not be available on Monday, October 9, and Tuesday, October 10. To pay a ticket by phone on another day during normal business hours, please call 1-800-272-0036.

Customers are encouraged to complete DMV transactions regarding driver licenses and registrations in advance of expiration dates if they expire during the transition period. In the days following implementation of the new system, customers may experience longer than usual wait times and are asked to plan their visit accordingly.

Save time by completing forms in advance of your visit. Answers to frequently asked questions and forms are available at the DMV website at http://www.nh.gov/dmv.

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Executive Order on VA Benefits

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu signed an executive order that allows physicians at Manchester’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center to provide medical care to VA patients outside of the Manchester VA facility.

“The state of New Hampshire is committed to delivering results for New Hampshire’s veterans,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This executive order provides for a continuum of services for our veterans, and we will stop at nothing to deliver the best care. Period.”

Dr. Joseph Pepe, President & CEO, Catholic Medical Center “This is about stepping up for New Hampshire’s veterans, and Catholic Medical Center is proud to work alongside the Department of Veterans Affairs and Governor Sununu so that we can ensure New Hampshire’s veterans are taken care of right now.”

Alfred “Al” Montoya, Acting Director of the Manchester VA Medical Center said, “On Friday, I asked Governor Sununu to consider allowing Manchester VA providers licensed outside New Hampshire to practice in our community hospitals. Today, less than one business day later, we celebrate the executive order that makes that possible. This action will result in greater access to care for New Hampshire’s Veterans, which is precisely what they deserve.”

Ben Vihstadt

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