The New Hampshire state House of Representatives Finance Committee holds a public hearing on the budget, at Reps Hall on March 13, 2017

Mar 13, 2017 10:42 PM

Personal stories as public gets to weigh in on next NH budget

NH1.COM

CONCORD – Everyday citizens got a chance Tuesday to weigh in on the proposed 2-year state budget.

Average Granite Staters joined advocates and lobbyists at a House Finance Committee hearing held at Representatives Hall regarding New Hampshire’s next biennial budget.

State representatives heard emotional pleas to increase funding for addiction recovery efforts, mental health facilities, and services for the disabled, as they held the final of three public hearings. The first two hearings were held last week in Derry and Plymouth.

Among those testifying was Christine Welch of Manchester, who urged that the development services budget bet fully funded. She described how her son “lives with the severe challenges of autism.”

Welch warned that if full funding does not occur, her son “will regress back from all the gains made from funding from the state.”

She urged lawmakers to “please do the right thing.”

Karen McNamara of Concord called for the restoring of funding for the 13 crisis centers across New Hampshire.

And Jennifer Burnett of Keane testified in favor of increased funding for the state’s community mental health centers.

The former state representative said that “investing in community mental health centers is a wise use of our dollars because it saves money in the long run and most importantly it saves lives”

State House of Representatives budget writers have until April to put together their version of the state budget. Their plan then heads to the state Senate. The next two-year budget needs to be hammered out and signed by the governor by the end of June.

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