Governor Maggie Hassan was drawn to public service as an advocate fighting to ensure that children like her son Ben, who experiences severe disabilities, would be fully included in their communities and have the same opportunities that all parents want for their children. This advocacy has been central to why Maggie got involved in public service, from her appointment by then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen to the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission to her time in the State Senate and as Governor, and now her candidacy for the United States Senate.
As a State Senator, Maggie led efforts to address the waitlist for services for people who experience developmental disabilities. She also worked to ensure that insurance companies cover early intervention, sponsored Connor’s Law to expand access to services for children with autism and fought to preserve the Katie Beckett program to help families care for children at home. And she fought to strengthen laws ensuring that employers provide reasonable accommodations and to increase penalties for certain crimes against those with disabilities. As Governor, Maggie has continued her fight to fully fund and eliminate the waitlist for services for those who experience developmental disabilities. She also signed legislation making New Hampshire the first state in the country to prohibit employers from paying workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage, and has helped launch efforts to address New Hampshire’s health care workforce shortage to help meet the health care needs of all Granite Staters.
In the Senate, Maggie will continue working to ensure that everyone who experiences disabilities gets the care and support they need. Maggie has been inspired throughout her career by the work of legislators such as Ted Kennedy and Tom Harkin and will aim to carry on their legacy. She will build on New Hampshire’s recent move to require employers to pay workers with disabilities the standard minimum wage by working to secure the same guarantee at the federal level. Maggie will also work to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to make good on Congress’ commitment to support special education, and she will advocate for measures like the Disability Integration Act to expand access to home and community-based services for people with disabilities. And Maggie will fight to ensure that Congress fully funds other efforts to support people who experience disabilities and takes their needs into account when considering legislation.