New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) has asked lawmakers to change the state's unemployment benefits so they could pay for on-the-job training for new workers, give unemployment benefits to employees whose hours are reduced and help job applicants evaluate their skills.
In his Jan. 21 address to the Democratic-controlled General Court, Lynch said the proposals would help the state's economy by employing more workers. The programs would be funded through the state's unemployment compensation fund.
"This three-part initiative will give companies new tools to maintain their businesses during this downturn, make it easier for them to recover, and help them be more competitive for the future," Lynch said. "It will help our citizens stay at work if they already have jobs return to work if they are unemployed and ensure that they are ready to work at new jobs."
On the health care front, Lynch, who is running for re-election, said the Granite State is one of the healthiest in the nation, but that its health care costs were also one of the highest in the country. He called for increasing the use of "medical homes" where a primary care doctor coordinates a patient's treatment. Lynch said New Hampshire hospitals and other providers should be paid for outcomes instead of procedures, too.
He also cautioned his fellow Democrats in Washington, D.C., "Congress should not pass any bill that piles unreasonable new costs on the states or that hands out special deals to individual states," referring to preferential treatment negotiated by some states in the health care bill debate. "Every state should be treated fairly," he said.