Guidance for calling your Senator/Representative about the budget

CALL TO ACTION:

Take 2 minutes to call your Senator and Representative TODAY.
Ask them to vote IN SUPPORT OF THE STATE BUDGET which includes the following:

- An increase to the Alcohol Fund from 1.7% to 3.4%.
- An additional $15 million dollars for child care subsidies.
- Includes wrap around services for children.
- Expands mobile crisis centers for children.

click here to find your senator and representative

Script

Hi Senator/Representative [Last Name],

My name is ________ and I live in __________.

I am calling you today in regard to the proposed state budget.

I support the proposed state budget because:

- It includes a long awaited increase to the Alcohol Fund.
- It supports children and families.
- It includes additional funding for child care subsidies.
- It includes an increase to mental health services for children.

[Insert personal story regarding one of the issues above] and because of this I urge you to vote in support of the state budget on Thursday.

Thank you very much for your time and for representing my voice in Concord.

Again my name is [Your Name] I'm from [Town] and the best number/email to reach me at is: [phone number or email].

Thank you.

 

The Alcohol Fund:

Thanks to your advocacy, the Alcohol Fund was increased from 1.7% to 3.4% of gross profits from alcohol sales in the proposed state budget.

While we still have significant concerns about the potential for diversion of Alcohol Fund dollars to support operating costs at the Sununu Center, the final language approved by the Committee of Conference included important safeguards against misuse of the Fund. Only in an EMERGENCY can the Governor (not the Commissioner of DHHS) seek to use the Alcohol Fund to cover operating costs for juvenile services at Sununu, and such proposed use must be approved by the Legislative Fiscal Committee (no approval was required in the previous version of the language). New Futures will CLOSELY monitor any proposed diversion of dollars from the Fund and will work with the Legislative Fiscal Committee to protect those dollars for their intended use. New Futures will keep you informed of any attempt to use the Alcohol Fund to cover operating costs at the Sununu Center.

Child Care:

After successful advocacy, the state will increase investments in quality, affordable child care by adding an additional $15 million into the budget for child care subsidies. These dollars allow us to meet critical federal health and safety regulations for our children, while providing them with quality early childhood development opportunities. Child care is also a proven substance use prevention tactic. Increased funding for child care is a clear budget win that we must ensure becomes a reality.

Children's Mental Health:

Support for children's mental health is critical for New Hampshire children, families, and our economy. This budget includes funding for children's wrap-around services, access to mobile crisis centers for children, and many other crucial tactics to ensure support for children's mental health.

Full-Day Kindergarten:

Though full-day kindergarten was not included as a part of the budget, thanks to your advocacy the parallel bill SB 191 made it out of its own committee of conference - an important first step on the path to full-adequacy funding. 

This is certainly not the end of the line for full-day kindergarten. Though there are still many communities that will not be able to enact the program based on the uncertainty in funding written into SB 191, we are glad to see that lawmakers are taking steps forward to ensure that one day, all of New Hampshire's children will have equal access to critical early childhood education opportunities.

What will we lose if the budget does not pass on Thursday?

  • The state will go into what is called a continuing resolution and the gains we have made so far in this budget could be lost.
  • A continuing resolution means the state must operate under our current state budget, which has the potential to impact any future budget that is passed as well as our state's economy, while legislators renegotiate the budget for the upcoming biennium. During these negotiations the entire budget is subject to change, with the potential to negatively impact the increases in funding for priorities we support.
  • Continuing resolutions hinder existing state contracts and services.

 

once you've talked to them about the budget, be sure to ask that they also support full-day kindergarten.