State Sen. Little Approved as Banking Commissioner

  • Senate Finance Committee Vice Chair Jerry Little, R-Weare, listens to questioning from the Valley News editorial board about the proposed New Hampshire budget which includes tax cuts for businesses. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Copyright © Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

    i Senate Finance Committee Vice Chairman Jerry Little, R-Weare.Valley News file

  • Copyright © Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

    Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith, and state Sen. Jerry Little, R-Weare, who is the vice chairman of the committee, talk about the proposed New Hampshire budget, which includes tax cuts for businesses. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has threatened to veto the measure, saying it is “fiscally irresponsible.” Valley News — James M. Patterson ">

    Responding to the charge by Democratic Gov. "fiscally irresponsible," Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith, and state Sen. Jerry Little, R-Weare, who is the vice chairman of the committee, are touring the state to talk with news organizations including the Valley News, Monday, June 22, 2015. Gov. Hassan has threatened to veto the measure. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Copyright © Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

    Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith, and state Sen. Jerry Little, R-Weare, who is the vice chairman of the committee, talk about the proposed New Hampshire budget, which includes tax cuts for businesses. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has threatened to veto the measure, saying it is “fiscally irresponsible.” Valley News — James M. Patterson

Concord Monitor
Published: 4/7/2016 12:29:48 AM
Modified: 4/7/2016 12:29:49 AM

The Republican-controlled Executive Council approved Weare Sen. Jerry Little as the state’s new banking commissioner Wednesday, in a 3-2 vote along party lines.

The council’s two Democrats voted against Little, raising concern about the Republican lawmaker’s previous job as the state’s top banking lobbyist and whether he would make consumer protection a priority.

“The commissioner of banking should be at arms length from the people and the industry that he regulates,” said Councilor Chris Pappas, D-Manchester.

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan nominated Little for the job in February, a move that sparked criticism from members of her own party who questioned how effectively a former banking insider could oversee regulation of the state’s banks.

Little defeated Sunapee Democrat Linda Tanner in 2014 to win the Senate District 8 seat, which includes the Upper Valley towns of Newport, Grantham, Sunapee, Croydon, Unity, Springfield and New London.

Little spent two decades as president of the New Hampshire Bankers Association before retiring in 2011, and running for state Senate in 2014. During a public hearing on his nomination last month, Little said his lobbyist past wouldn’t affect his duties as the state’s top banking regulator. Fellow state senators on both sides of the aisle defended his character, as did members of both the banking industry and consumer protection advocates. Little was not immediately available Wednesday for comment.

All three Republican Executive Councilors voted to confirm Little, and praised his credentials.

“He has shown he can be an independent thinker,” said Councilor David Wheeler, a Milford Republican.

Hassan also defended her choice, saying Little’s work in the Legislature shows he prioritizes consumer protection.

“I am pleased with Sen. Little’s willingness to serve, I also am very pleased with his background as an active member of his community,” she said.

Little, a first-term senator, will begin as commissioner of the state’s Banking Department June 2. The delayed date will allow him to continue voting on bills until the end of the legislative session. Little replaces Glenn Perlow, a Concord resident, who served as head of the department since 2013 and retired at the end of last year.

Concord Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, who is running for governor, voted against Little’s nomination.

“I genuinely hope that he proves me wrong,” the Democrat said, “by demonstrating the passion and independence for consumer protection that I know all New Hampshire voters want and expect.”




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