Legislative Session 2019

Here we go again!  Good luck finding a parking space near the Statehouse, as the 2019 legislative session has kicked off with a flurry.  As a member driven organization, NRebecca TwoHPHA strives to champion public health and inspire leaders in our state to improve the public’s health.  To that end, NHPHA advocacy efforts this session remain committed to the same 3 policy priority areas as last year:

  • Equity & Health Outcomes
  • Healthy Environments - Natural, Built and Social
  • Substance Misuse - Improving Prevention, Treatment, & Recovery

See the end of this article for which specific bills are currently prioritized for attention.  This will change as the session evolves.

JJ Smith as our NHPHA Public Policy Advocacy Lead and Marie Mulroy as a long-time committed member have already put in hours of work at the Statehouse.  Contact Joan Ascheim, Executive Director of NHPHA, if you too would like to assist in big or small ways on our advocacy efforts – writing testimony, giving testimony, calling legislators, etc. (jascheim@nhpha.org)  Save the date of March 14th to come for breakfast with our legislators from 7:30 to 9:00 AM in the statehouse cafeteria.  Sharing the important work you do helps to inform decision-makers about what matters for public health. 

On a final note, the NH Legislature will hold hearings this year on a bill to legalize and commercialize cannabis.  The NHPHA Board of Directors with the support of the policy committee is working towards adopting a policy statement so that NHPHA can be a part of the conversation, educating our legislators on the potential public health impacts of various policy approaches.  As a member of NHPHA, if you would like to be a part of this conversation, please contact me (rsky@healthynh.org).

 

Thank you so much for all you do!   

Rebecca Sky

 

Below are the bills currently prioritized for attention: 

Equity & Health Outcomes

  • Establishing a state minimum wage (HB 186),
  • Family medical leave (SB 1),
  • Improving capacity for effective non-academic surveys in schools (SB 196), and
  • Bills seeking to increase access to the NH Granite Advantage Health Care Program.
  • Affordable housing will be addressed as capacity allows.

Healthy Environments - Natural, Built and Social

  • Tobacco sale and use including vaping (HB 511, HB 680, HB 230, and HB 438), and
  • Gun violence prevention (HB 109, HB 687, HB 514, HB 564 and HB 101.)
  • Bills related to clean water and concern for the impact of climate change on health are two additional areas we will address based upon capacity. The policy committee could use additional expertise in the area of clean water!

Substance Misuse - Improving Prevention, Treatment, & Recovery

  • Medicaid provider rates for behavioral health (SB 5),
  • Supports for the behavioral health workforce (LSR 895), and
  • Removing restrictions on use of federal funds for syringe services programs (SB 87).
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