WOMEN'S HEALTH & RIGHTS
Tough topic, with the SCOTUS overturning Roe vs Wade, but here's the deal: Women's health and rights are at risk! Healthcare for Women’s bodies is complex and expensive, having sound insurance coverage is ideal…when that is not available NH Family Planning Program (NHFPP) has been there for women of all ages for decades. It has been a necessary option for post pubescent girls to menopausal women, for birth control options, prenatal care, childcare, to breast exams and so much in between. However in 2022, legislation has been passed to drastically cut the budget for NHFPP!
Making matters worse, NH is also the ONLY New England state where women's reproductive rights are non-protected!! What does that say about the laws that are being passed by our representatives in Concord?? Creating bans and laws that incapacitate a women's right to choose for any given reason is a direct assault on sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers. Caring for women with funding programs for all demographics gives women the dignity to make informed decisions about their body with medical providers privately without the interference of legislation that is based on someone else’s imposed belief or agenda.
Here’s Where We Stand:
New Hampshire allows abortions up to 24 weeks.
In 2022, house bill HB 1609 was passed allowing exceptions for rape, incest and “fetal abnormalities incompatible with life” after 24 weeks.
With the Supreme Court doing away with Roe v Wade, bills to codify the right to abortion in New Hampshire (CACR 18, HB 1674, SB 436) did not pass.
New Hampshire is the only state in New England where the right to an abortion is not protected.
At the same time, at least 5 bills to ban abortion were introduced.
What’s at Stake:
Although these did not pass, the right-wing and Christian nationalist members of the legislature strongly indicate that they will continue to push for the total ban of abortion from time of conception eliminating reproductive autonomy for women in New Hampshire.
The house bills that were recently defeated:
HB 233: Establishing a committee to study the right of any infant born alive to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment
HB 622: Protecting nascent human life as a reasonable and valid state interest. Establishes criminal penalties and disciplinary action for persons who perform abortions in this state to terminate the life of a viable fetus, except when by not doing so there is a clear and present danger to the life or health of the mother.
HB 1080: (Restrict access to healthcare by allowing any single person working in a health care setting, including pharmacies, to refuse to perform abortions or sell contraception if it violates their conscience)
HB 1181: Allowing the biological father of an unborn child to petition the court for in injunction prohibiting the biological mother from having an abortion
HB 1477: Prohibiting abortions after detection of fetal heartbeat
Consequences of Overturning Roe
Miscarriage care delays from fear of prosecution
Forced deliveries of non-viable fetuses
Maternal death rates will increase
Loss of providers with expertise in high-risk pregnancies
Concerns about treatment for ectopic pregnancies and in vitro fertilization protocols
I will vote for expansions of reproductive access and choice in New Hampshire
I will vote for budgets that support reproductive healthcare
I will vote to repeal the New Hampshire abortion ban
I will vote to protect the safety of the peoples’ access to reproductive healthcare
I will oppose any legislation that seeks to limit reproductive liberties
GUN SAFETY THAT MAKES SENSE
As of 2020, our youth are at risk! Firearm related injuries are the leading cause of death for our country’s youth ages 1 thru 19 years of age (2nd being automobile accidents and 3rd being drugs) That’s a shocking statistic when you think of reasonable gun safety laws that have been vetoed by our current governor. If Washington can reach a bipartisan compromise on guns, then we should be able to do that here in the Granite State. When it comes to critical issues concerning gun safety it is our responsibility to be good stewards for our kids and communities. It’s necessary to examine, refine and implement wise laws that do not undermine the public safety, nor law enforcement officials in the process as well as maintain the 2nd amendment right of law abiding citizens.
What's at Stake:
HB1178 signed on June 29, 2022 by Governor Sununu prohibits the state from enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Under HB 1178, state law enforcement agencies would not be able to help the ATF or FBI arrest someone who had modified their firearm with a bump stock, unless other laws were broken, despite a Trump administration law banning bump stocks. State law enforcement agencies would also be inhibited from enforcing Biden administration regulations including one passed in January that requires gun storage devices to be compatible with the firearms they are sold with.
HOW TO APPLY ....
The 2022-2023 program will open after July 1st.
Fuel & Electric Assistance Program Application 2022-2023
You must re-apply each year even if you were a recipient in previous years.
If you received fuel assistance the previous year, you will receive a mail-in application with instructions. If you did not receive a packet, contact your local office.
If you are new to receiving fuel assistance, contact the office closest to you to request a phone interview.
134 Allds Street
Nashua, NH 03060
Fuel Assistance Offices are open year round from M-F from 8:30am-4:30pm.
ECONOMY, AFFORDABLE HOUSING & TALENT RETENTION
In the aftermath of COVID, with the price of everything from energy and housing to groceries and health care going up across the country; Supply chain delays, rising interest rates, worker and housing shortages that are currently stretching NH household finances….to put it bluntly, has been a lesson for politicians about supply and demand.
A strong economy can cause prices to rise quickly by driving too much demand for a limited supply of goods and services which has made 2022 a family unfriendly economy.
The GOP wanted to boost economic growth by cutting taxes (for the wealthy), but it actually contributed to worsen inflation. To add to this predicament, wages are not keeping pace with inflation, making it harder for 25 to 35 year olds to get back into the workforce at the same rate because child care costs are out of reach and housing (rentals), transportation, and healthcare costs don’t balance out. With our middle age & elderly community growing and going into retirement, buying first & second homes at much higher value than in the past has left our youth with far greater challenges and a more difficult time in getting back on their feet.
The forecast for larger companies to continue hiring is said to be slowing down. Small, locally owned businesses are the back bone of our middle class, so for a full economic recovery they need our support to promote more business growth.
Increasing the minimum wage to a liveable wage is a start but not the only answer. Reducing property taxes which has an annual average of $6000 is not the only answer. This age group is critical in maintaining talent retention in this state and our current leaders have overlooked them. If there is no affordable housing or programs to assist this demographic, they will eventually leave the state, seeking other opportunities. If we want to remain the state with the “NH advantage” politicians need to come together to work to solve these upcoming issues that currently have no easy answer.
CHECK OUT LISA AKEY'S STORY ....
who was unable to access medical care that could have saved her daughter's life because of the abortion ban Sununu signed. From her hospital bed Akey wrote to bipartisan legislators -- and many came and sat down and listened to her story. Chris Sununu never responded.
WATCH HERE Tune in at 2:05 sec into video
FUNDING PUBLIC EDUCATION
Public Education in New Hampshire is at risk and property taxes will be effected under the current legislation.
194-F: Education Freedom Accounts passed in 2020, are expected to dole out a whopping $8.1 million in state funds this fiscal year alone for approximately 1600 students across the Granite State. AND because of the demand the state had to source an out of state management company in Florida to handle the distribution of funds that receives a 10% service charge. What participants don’t realize is that in the long run the state has made provisions to downshift this cost to local school districts which could result in increased property taxes. For the short term vouchers that might seem enticing, but for the long term for Nashua residents it could become an unforeseen tax burden.
When reading 194-F it is very clear that the Republican effort to expand privatization across the state also wants the schools vouchers to be directly funded by local school district budgets. What that means is if your son or daughter go to Nashua High School North, Broad Street Elementary School or Birch Hill Elementary School the tax dollars that should be allocated to those schools will be instead going to pay for homeschooling, private school tuition and other education-related costs for students who registered for Education Freedom Accounts! AND this could lead to an increase in property taxes to make up the difference lost to public schools.
But Here’s the Real Kicker:
The New Hampshire Constitution clearly maintains that the state is responsible for providing adequate education to all children. However, the State of New Hampshire contributes less to public education than any other state in the country! What is currently implemented is that each School District is responsible for providing education with very little coming from the state. As a result it has downshifted the cost of education to local school districts.
In just the past year the State has downshifted the cost for public education to local property tax payers by more than $500 million, further squeezing working families in property poor communities which need to increase property taxes to make up the difference. 79% of NH students live in towns with below average property values. Since the state provides only about 1/3 of the actual cost of educating our students these communities face increasing property tax bills.
Here's What’s Being Done
I will support the “NH School Funding Fairness Project”. Details about the Project, your taxes and school funding can be found here - https://fairfundingnh.org/
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
As Granite Staters we love the outdoors! Protecting the environment from long-term damage that ensures our beloved coastline, mountains and tourism industry will preserve the quality of life we enjoy. Finding ways to incentivize and implement cleaner, cost-effective energy alternatives to minimize pollution from C02 emissions is the way to the future. We must work together and move towards utilizing sustainable power sources like solar and wind where accessible combined with the use of fossil fuels and lower the costs of rising utilities.
We can’t ignore climate change, instead we must work together to protect our states natural resources.
NH’s electric rates are the second highest in the country. Has your electric bill doubled last month due to inaction on domestic renewable energy?
Recent Utility Hikes:
Truth is that our lack of investment under our current leadership has caused the utility hikes we are now experiencing. For the good people of this state dollars are leaving our pockets because of the lack of action taking place under Governor Sununu. NH had an energy policy in place but because of his leadership we have fallen behind other states like VT, ME & MA.
Check out the report below for yourself:
2021 State Energy Strategy | NH Department of Energy
We need to get our state back on track by diversifying energy sources and investing wisely in alternative energy solutions. Strategic investments will drive down energy costs for New Hampshire's families..
Here's What’s Being Done
Below and attached is information on the electric and heating assistance programs passed by the legislature and signed into law September 15th, 2022. Please feel free to share/distribute the attached chart which is intended to help constituents understand the programs available to them.
The Department of Energy is working with the Community Action Agencies to establish a plan for taking applications and administering the program. It is anticipated that the program will begin taking applications in October.
For the time being, those with questions about the program, their eligibility, and the timeline for taking applications are encouraged to contact their local Community Action Agency. The five CAA’s are listed below; for more details please visit the Community Action Partnership website at https://www.capnh.org/cap-lookup.
The New Hampshire Community Action Partnership (NHCAP) is a collaboration of the 5 Community Action Agencies in the state:
Community Action Partnership of Strafford County;
Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc.;
Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc.;
Southwestern Community Services, Inc.;
Tri-County Community Action Program, Inc.
Info on types of heating fuel covered by the Fuel Assistance Program (info obtained from SNHS website):
Info on types of heating fuel covered by the Fuel Assistance Program (info obtained from SNHS website):
If your heat is electric or natural gas, bills from November 1st can be paid until your benefit amount is used up or the program year ends.
If your heat is from deliverable fuels, oil, kerosene, propane, wood or coal, deliveries made from October 1st – April 30th can be paid until your benefit amount is used up or the program year ends.
If your heat is included in your rent and is NOT subsidized, assistance will be provided in the form of heating vouchers issued in amounts of up to $504 each month until your benefit amount is used up or the program year ends.
*If your heat is included in your rent and IS subsidized, you will not qualify for Fuel Assistance but you may qualify for Electric Assistance.
State Emergency Fuel Assistance Program (SEFAP)
One time heating benefit paid directly to heating vendor- $450
State Supplemental Electric Benefit Program (SSEBP)
One time electric benefit paid directly to electric vendor- $200
Eligibility- 61% SMI- 75% SMI
These assistance programs are temporary and will not solve our energy needs in the long-term. Fossil fuels will eventually run out, we need solutions for sustainable energy sources.