New Futures Policy Update

New FuturesSpeaking up about policy is an important part of promoting public health in New Hampshire. At New Futures, we advocate for evidence-based health and wellness policies in the Granite State and help partners and community members raise their voices in Concord.

In 2019, New Futures is advocating for three large campaign priorities: promoting home visiting and family support services, addressing our health care workforce shortage, and opposing marijuana commercialization.

For information on other bills that New Futures is following in 2019, visit new-futures.org.

SB 274: Home Visiting

Our Granite State children are dealing with traumatic experiences due to our substance misuse, mental health, and child protection crises, and as a result, these children can face social, emotional, physical, and mental health challenges that last into adulthood and leave our state at risk in the future. To combat these adverse childhood experiences, we need to support home visiting programs, Family Resource Centers, and effective child protection programs that help connect parents and children with services they need to be healthy and happy.

SB 274 addresses some of these issues by increasing access to home visiting services to families in need. To learn more and read the bill, click HERE.

Thanks to the strong advocacy of home visitors, families, and more public health advocates, SB 274 passed both the House and Senate. The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature and is expected to soon be signed into law.

SB 308: Health Care Workforce

In New Hampshire, businesses are struggling to fill open positions because there is a lack of qualified candidates. This challenge is overwhelming in our health care industry, where there are hundreds of clinical vacancies. These open positions lead to longer wait times, staff under additional pressure, and backups in emergency departments, all of which prevent Granite Staters from getting the health care that they need.

To learn more and read the bill, click HERE.

Pieces of SB 308 have been incorporated into other bills and the state budget. Some of the most important pieces of the bill to support our health care workforce and help ensure New Hampshire stays healthy, including increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates, have been included in the budget by the Senate Finance Committee and will soon be put up for a vote in the full Senate.

This is an important first step to grow our health care workforce.

HB 481: Opposing Marijuana Commercialization

Marijuana commercialization without proper protections and more research does not promote public health in New Hampshire. Yet New Hampshire representatives have introduced an irresponsible bill, HB 481, which fully legalizes and commercializes marijuana without providing the necessary public health protections to keep our youth and communities healthy. Marijuana use during youth, when young brains are developing, can have long-term negative health effects, and commercialization can open the door to Big Marijuana entering our state and marketing harmful substances to our young people.

To learn more and read the bill, click HERE.

Lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary committeed voted 5-0 to recommend that HB 481, the irresponsible marijuana commercialization bill, be re-referred back to committee. If this recommendation passes, the bill will continue to be studied until January 2020, so commercialization will not pass this legislative session. This is great news for our youth and communities!

Strong public health advocacy this session has helped craft and pass legislation that protects our communities and public health. We look forward to seeing this work cross the finish line soon!

We want to help you get comfortable with advocacy! If you are interested in learning more or advocating for public health policy at the State House, visit new-futures.org.

 

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