NHDP - ICYMI: Outcry Continues to Mount Across New Hampshire Over Irresponsible O’Brien-Jasper Budget
Protests of the devastating O'Brien-Jasper budget were featured on the front pages of today’s Nashua Telegraph, Concord Monitor and Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.
See below for a roundup of coverage:
WMUR: Groups protest House budget proposal
Hundreds of protesters greeted House members about to vote on the budget at the State House on Wednesday. [Click here for the full video]
WMUR: House passes budget with cuts to services
Demonstrators say cuts would devastate needed services [Click here for the full video]
Nashua Telegraph: “Hundreds gather at NH Statehouse to protest budget cuts”
… Approximately 300 people laid down on the capitol yard to symbolize the number of overdose deaths in New Hampshire last year. Advocates say the participants laid down to wake up legislators about the increasing number of narcotics-related incidents across the region.
“There’s an epidemic in the state right now, and there’s just nowhere we can get these kids treatment,” said Doug Griffin, a Newton resident holding an oversized photograph of his 20-year-old daughter Courtney, who died in September of an overdose...
Marty Boldin, with HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery, said the state was already among the least funded in the country when it comes to substance abuse before the recommended increases from Hassan’s budget were dropped.
“We have hundreds of dead people in this state that are there in part because of the state’s unwillingness to fund a public health crisis,” Boldin said...
Amherst resident Nan Stearns said the budget left a bad taste in her mouth because the cuts would accomplish little more than hurting “all the little people.” She was particularly upset over Republicans putting Meals on Wheels funding on the chopping block... [Click here for the full article]
Concord Monitor: “Praying for a ‘humane’ state budget”
… One retired state employee spoke with tears in her eyes to Rep. Susan Emerson, a Republican from Rindge, just outside of Representatives Hall.
“I’m never going to be able to have a really good life in New Hampshire,” Sharon Cerretani said, reiterating the concerns she voiced to Emerson and other representatives about increases in the amount she would be asked to pay for health care. “I have two elderly parents I have to take care of. They can’t expect us to live if they keep taking from us.”...
Earlier that morning, the Rev. Jonathan Hopkins, president of New Hampshire Council of Churches, started the day praying in the basement of St. Paul’s Church just across the street – along with some 60 others calling for a more “humane” budget than what would be approved later that afternoon... [Click here for the full article]
NHPR: “House Budget Nixes Proposed Funding Hike For Substance Abuse”
… Tim Rourke, who sat on the Governor’s task force on drug and alcohol abuse, says this funding is needed to save lives.
“We have some of the highest rates per capita of addiction in the United States and we are second lowest to access to treatment services, as a direct result of that we lost over three-hundred New Hampshire citizens to drug overdoses most of which could have been prevented if treatments were made available,” Rourke said.
Cindy Mulcahy lost her 27-year-old son Tom to an overdose just four months ago.
“The most important thing is that we wanted to put a face to that 300 number, that this is a real person, and a wonderful, wonderful person, a really good, a really good kid and he didn't want to die -- he didn't deserve to die,” Mulcahy said as she teared up. [Click here for the full article]
NHPR: “Developmental Disability Funding Loses In House Budget”
… Denise Colby of Belmont says these cuts would force her to quit her job to care for her six-year-old autistic son.
“I would just say please look into the eyes of our kids and realize they are not numbers, they are not statistics and we fight every day to make sure we can make appointments and doctor visits,” Colby said while protesting inside the State House.
Kona Johnson of New Market's 8-year-old son Trevor battles Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which is a chromosomal ailment that affects intellectual and physical development. Johnson said the reductions to early prevention treatment, could be devastating to a child's growth and overall well-being.
"Very, very doom-and-gloom about his prognosis, not being able to walk, not being able to talk -- he does walk now. And if he didn't get the therapies he got as a child, he would not be able to walk and that is so huge to a child's enjoyment of his life," she said. [Click here for the full article]
NH1: Hundreds protest NH House budget slash of $6 million in substance abuse grants
… Four people who died last year were friends with Brian Patriquin, a student at NHTI who's pursuing a career in career addiction. He said he's concerned less funding will lead to less jobs, and more deaths for those trying to seek treatment.
"The kid was 19 years old and died of an overdose because he couldn't get the help already and you're going to take more away from that?" Patriquin said.
Jenifer Gonsalves lost her boyfriend to a heroin overdose last weekend. She attended Wednesday to represent him.
"Nobody wants to die from this disease and another person doesn't need to die, let him be the last," Gonsalves said. [Click here for the full article]