2021 Granite State Health and Wellness Campaign
PAGE UPDATED June 4, 2021.
As we continue to experience unspeakable loss as a society, we see a public health system tried like never before. At New Futures, we’re not interested in building back to where things were before the pandemic and the protests for racial equity. We’re placing health equity at the forefront of everything we do to ensure all Granite Staters have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.
New Futures' Five-Point Plan outlines critical investments in public health initiatives; behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery programs; children's behavioral health services; and early childhood supports, among other areas. These 5 budget initiatives seek to address the COVID-19 pandemic, improve racial health disparities for historically marginalized groups, and ensure all Granite Staters are healthy now and into the future.
importance of the Five Points
- Learn more about the healthy state budget initiatives here.
- Read Granite State stories in support of a healthy state budget.
At the beginning of June, the New Hampshire Senate passed its State Operating Budget proposal for fiscal years 2022 and 2023. The Senate's budget takes some steps forward to improve New Hampshire’s health systems and support our children, families and communities. It includes funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, substance use disorder treatment and recovery, Family Resource Centers, regional family support programs through Community Collaborations, and the children’s behavioral health System of Care. But, there are several areas of concern, and more action is required to help New Hampshire heal and advance health equity for all Granite Staters. Of central concern is the lack of funding for the Student Loan Repayment Program, as well as the problematic language prohibiting diversity, inclusion and implicit bias training, and the new restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. In these and other areas, this budget comes up short in addressing the full needs of Granite State families as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and confront systemic racism facing our state.
In late May, the Senate Finance Committee passed their State Budget (HB1 and HB2). We thank Senators for their support for tobacco prevention, child care, home visiting, Family Resource Centers, and the System of Care were all included. However, there is still work to be done. Of central concern is funding for primary prevention, the Student Loan Repayment Program, problematic language prohibiting diversity, inclusion and implicit bias training, defunding family planning, and new restrictions on women’s reproductive rights.
In April, the full House of Representatives passed their State Budget proposal, HB 1 (by a 205-178 vote) and HB 2 (200-181). View our full statement here. As proposed, this budget would fail to invest sufficiently in critical areas like Family Resource Centers and primary prevention programs, tobacco prevention and cessation, and student loan repayment for healthcare professionals, among other areas. Further, the budget includes harmful provisions to abolish the enforcement division of the NH Liquor Commission, to defund essential reproductive health providers, and to ban dissemination of certain ‘divisive concepts’ like unconscious bias related to sex and race that are critical to addressing public health disparities across our state. Read more about our concerns here.
Michele Merritt & April Mottram: Healthier state budget is needed (Union Leader, April 20)
Our Turn: NH needs a healthy state budget (Concord Monitor, April 19)
At this time, the budget will head back to the House of Representatives will either vote to "concur" with the Senate budget or to send it to a Committee of Conference to finalize the state spending plan. We will keep you updated on the next steps for the budget and how to best make your voice heard to ensure the health and wellness of our state. Thank you for all of your strong advocacy so far, you are making a difference!
Make Your Voice Heard
- Contact your elected officials, especially those on the Senate Finance Committee, and share your personal story. Urge them to support a state budget that adequately funds programs in the state budget that will keep our state strong and healthy.
- Write a Letter to the Editor or an Op-Ed about what a healthy state budget should include and its impact.
- Post about a healthy state budget on social media and be sure to tag us (@NewFuturesNH) and use the hashtag #nhpolitics. Click here for our social media toolkit!
The State Budget Process
New Hampshire lawmakers are in the process of crafting the state budget for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023. To start, Governor Sununu released his budget proposal to the Legislature in February. Members of the House Finance Committee worked with state agencies to review the Governor’s proposal and assess program needs. The Finance Committee developed and approved its own budget proposal, it moved on to a vote in the full House of Representatives. Now, the budget proposal moves over to the state Senate for action. A final budget, approved by both the House and Senate, will go to the Governor’s desk for approval by July 1.
- For more on the process, watch our full Budget Advocacy Training.
- Find out which critical health and wellness priorities were included in the Governor's and the House proposals: https://new-futures.org/state-budget-ins-and-outs
- Up Next: May 4th at 1 PM, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on the state budget (HB1 and HB2). More information here.
let us help you get involved!
Share your Story
Story collection link: https://secure.everyaction.com/8HiY0CNWpUGczpkONF_OSQ2
In a year when so many aspects of health and wellness have been critically impacted, there is a wide swath of issues that we must make sure get funded in the New Hampshire state budget. Share your story about one or more of these issues here to advocate for continued support for these programs. A Community Engagement Coordinator will follow up with you!
Become an Advocate
Share your health and wellness interests with us here: https://new-futures.org/become-an-advocate
Let our team know what issues matter to you and we will help you use your voice effectively throughout the legislative session and beyond. Your voice matters and we want to help you use your voice effectively to make health and wellness improvements in the Granite State!
Thank you to Advocates and Partners for your input on the five budget priorities! In preparation for this highly anticipated budget year, so many of you have played a pivotal role in helping us put together our policy priorities via surveys and listening sessions. With your invaluable insights and perspectives, we have formed our New Futures' Five-Point Plan.