Concerns About the House Budget
As a public health policy and advocacy organization, New Futures is very concerned about the following aspects of the House State Budget. We ask you to join us in actively advocating against the state budget in its current form. If passed, HB 1 and HB 2 (the state budget bills), would have a detrimental impact on the health and safety of all Granite State residents:
- No additional funding for a number of critical New Futures' Five-Point Plan initiatives: The budget does not include additional funding for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program, Student Loan Repayment, Family Resource Centers, an Adult Immunization Program, or to provide community health workers to Public Health Networks. All critical components of our Five-Point Plan for a healthy state budget, it is paramount NH lawmakers include funding for these initiatives for a healthy and thriving state now and into the future.
- Devastating cuts to Health and Human Services: “Back of the budget” cuts of $50 million and eliminations of 226 positions over the biennium to the Health and Human Services Department. Essentially, the Department would have to decide what will be cut from their budget, undoubtedly having a disastrous impact on the ability of the State to serve the health and well-being of all New Hampshire residents.
- Dangerous elimination of liquor enforcement designed to ensure public health and safety: Essentially abolishes the NH Liquor Commission Division of Liquor Enforcement and Licensing by eliminating 21 law enforcement positions in HB 1 and renaming the Bureau to “Licensing and Education” in HB 2. This move will jeopardize the safe operation of licensed alcohol establishments and the Division will no longer have the mechanism through enforcement to protect vulnerable aged youth. Prevention partners around the state will lose a key partner in protecting and preventing alcohol and tobacco-related problems in their communities.
- Harmful ban on the propagation of concepts related to sex and race: Language from HB 544, regarding the propagation of divisive concepts, was added into HB 2. This would prohibit the dissemination of certain divisive concepts related to sex and race in state contracts, grants, and training programs. From a public health standpoint, this policy would damage the health of our state and undermine initiatives in place to serve all Granite Staters. There is clear evidence that inequities and disparities disproportionately affect people of color and women. We need to learn about these topics in order to address them and create true health equity in New Hampshire. If we can’t talk about the facts and that health disparities exist, we can’t solve the problem.
- Defunds essential health care providers during a pandemic: An amendment to HB 2 would defund state Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) and independent abortion providers. This amendment would make it impossible for reproductive health centers to be a part of the New Hampshire family planning because of unnecessary requirements designed to defund abortion care providers, even though state funds already do not cover abortion care. Patients must pay for abortion care out of pocket or with private insurance. This amendment would gut the NH Family Planning Program, harming low-income and uninsured Granite Staters during a public health crisis by slashing access to birth control, STD testing and treatment, and other essential health care.
Actions to Take:
- Write a Letter to the Editor or an Op-Ed to your local newspapers discussing these concerns.
- Contact your Representative and those on the House Finance Committee to vote against these measures.
- Post on social media and tag #nhpolitics (NF social media toolkit coming to our campaign webpage soon)