To the editor:

The New Hampshire Public Health Association is a statewide membership organization composed of health care and public health professionals. For over 25 years, it has brought together members who share a common goal of making sure that all New Hampshire citizens live, learn, work and play in safe and healthy environments.

On behalf of its members, NHPHA wants to thank the state Senate and the House of Representatives for their bipartisan work compiling the 2020–21 budget for the state of New Hampshire. If a state budget is a reflection of what our elected officials value and are willing to fund, then this proposed budget values children, education, mental health, and the health and economic well-being of individuals of all ages who live in New Hampshire.

This budget addresses the crisis of boarding of mental health patients in emergency rooms, it adds the resources necessary to combat childhood lead poisoning from paint and from water, and it creates a first-of-its-kind prescription drug benefit helping low-income seniors afford much-needed medications.

While important issues such as the Family and Medical Leave Program were removed from the budget in the spirit of compromise with Gov. Chris Sununu, this budget provides important and much-needed funding for issues that our public health community supports.

It is our association’s hope that the governor shares the values reflected in this budget and chooses to sign rather than veto this budget.

Joan H. Ascheim, Executive Director

Marcella Jordan Bobinsky, Board President

New Hampshire Public Health Association