Happy Spring, Bedford! Now, if the sun would only shine...
The NH House was not in Session the last two weeks of April, though many of us were busy with committee work. We were back at it on May 2, however, considering 46 bills.
Now that we are in "Crossover," you will notice that the House is currently hearing the bills proposed by the Senate. Our House bills have "crossed over" to them, and then the bills that have passed in both chambers will go on to the Governor for his consideration.
Highlights from the House this week included:
*Approving an appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Services which will allow them to hire the additional child protection workers necessary to expand protection of NH's children and families (SB 6).
*Requiring the Department of Education to seek an appropriation to fund breakfast for students who meet the requirements for free or reduced lunch (SB 139).
*Establishing a committee to study ways to lower student debt (SB 139).
*Addressing critical areas of the state's 10 Year Mental Health Plan with appropriations for increasing available beds, developing transitional housing, adding a mobile crisis team, and increasing rates to both designated receiving facilities and voluntary inpatient services (SB 11).
*Expanding Medicaid Protections to those covered under the Granite Advantage Health Care Program if/or when 500 people are deemed ineligible due to the work requirements established in 2018, raising the age of dependent child in need of care from 6 to 13, and allowing grandchild care, homelessness or full time student status as exemptions (SB 290).
*Authorizing a $10 increase in fees designated to fund the Land and Community Investment Program that conserves and preserves natural, cultural and historical resources across the state (SB 74).
It is important to note that there was much bipartisan activity this week, as members of both parties demonstrated their commitment to caring for the most vulnerable among us. While we may not always agree on how we should pay for things, I have learned the crucial importance of listening to gain understanding, and I remain dedicated to demonstrating civility and respect on behalf the fine folks of Bedford.
We're in Session two days next week, so I'll have lots to report. Consider yourselves forewarned! sm