Five Points for New Hampshire's Future
restore the alcohol fund
- Fully fund the Alcohol Fund at the original, legally mandated formula of five percent of gross profits from the sale of alcohol.
- Ensure funds are not re-directed to the general fund.
- Support critical services funded through the Alcohol Fund.
In 2000, Senate Bill 153 (Chapter 328, Laws of 2000, effective July 1, 2001) created the Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund (Alcohol Fund) through RSA 176–A:1, a non-lapsing and continually appropriated fund to support alcohol education, abuse prevention and treatment programs. The law provides that 5% of the gross profits from the sale of alcohol be dedicated to combating drug and alcohol problems in New Hampshire. However, every year but one since establishing the Fund, either the governor and/or the legislature has suspended the 5% funding formula and transferred revenue from the Alcohol Fund to the General Fund. Subsequently, the legislature appropriated only a small amount of general funds, equivalent to a fraction of mandated Alcohol Fund support, for prevention and treatment.
The 2016/2017 state budget maintained the integrity of the Alcohol Fund, but amended the fund’s formula allocating only 1.7% of gross profits, instead of the intended 5%. The total amount appropriated to the Alcohol Fund for the biennium was $6.6 million, instead of the $19 million had the fund been fully funded. Passed during the 2016 legislative session, Senate Bill 533 allocated an additional $2.5 million from the General Fund for prevention, treatment and recovery in 2017, bringing the total to $9.1 million. The funds budgeted in the Alcohol Fund for State Fiscal Years 2016-2017 provide for substance use disorder treatment and prevention efforts and recovery supports identified as priorities by the Governor’s Commission on Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (Governor’s Commission; see “Background” below for a description of the history, membership and duties of the Governor’s Commission), including:
- Maintaining certain existing treatment service contracts with providers;
- Medication assisted treatment and withdrawal management services;
- Recovery support services and infrastructure;
- Support for a DCYF Drug and Alcohol Counselor;
- Maintaining the successful Life of an Athlete prevention program;
- Technical assistance and training services;
- Public awareness and targeted education programs;
- Juvenile Court Diversion services;
- Monadnock Regional Access Point;
- Manchester Wrap services; and,
- Support for the Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health.
The majority of Alcohol Fund expenditures for SFY 2016-2017 support prevention, treatment and recovery services for which there is no third party reimbursement or other payment source. Also, individuals who do not have health care coverage for substance use disorder treatment are able to access services supported through the Alcohol Fund. A fully funded Alcohol Fund would enable expansion of those services and would continue to fill major gaps in funding for prevention, treatment and recovery services.