Legislative Priorities

NHPHA advocacy volunteers Marie Mulroy and J.J. Smith posed with Executive Director Joan Ascheim.We have defined our priority advocacy areas for the 2019 Legislative Session as below:

Equity and Health Outcomes

NHPHA believes that all people who live in New Hampshire should have a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This requires remedying obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including perceived powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care. Inequity in these areas results in health and wellness disparities, including a substantial burden of avoidable illness.

Healthy Environments – Natural, Built, and Social

NHPHA believes in the importance of addressing the environments in which we live, learn, work, and play to ensure a healthy population. Environmental risk factors in the air, water, soil, and our food system caused by pollution, chemical exposures, occupational and built environment hazards, natural disasters, and climate change contribute to diseases and injuries, including the top two leading causes of death in New Hampshire, cancer and heart disease. Emerging and ongoing issues of environmental health in New Hampshire include drinking water contamination, mercury in our lakes and waterways, lead exposure due to the age of our housing stock to name a few. Other issues of importance include the indoor and outdoor air quality, and features of the built environment that influence behaviors, physical activity patterns, social networks and access to resources.

Substance Misuse – Improving Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

NHPHA believes the high rate of substance use disorder, a chronic remitting and relapsing medical disease that is preventable and treatable, is the number one public health crisis facing the State of New Hampshire in 2018. NH has the third highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. According to the NH Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery State Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report, “Significant challenges in service and system capacity still negatively impact the accessibility of an effective system of care for substance use disorders. These challenges are rooted in stigma, and the residual impact of the historical under-resourcing of services, systems, and state agencies, as well as the pressure of increased demand for services coupled with shortages in key domains of the workforce.” In order to tackle this issue that is crippling the vitality of New Hampshire communities, our state needs to continue to work to improve prevention, early identification, treatment, recovery support, law enforcement, and interdiction.

Priority Bills – January 2019

Click here to see NHPHA's priority bills as of January 2019.