Anita's Positions On Issues Facing New Hampshire
I believe that many people in Bartlett/Jackson are concerned about what is going on in both Washington and Concord. Our federal and state governments are immersed in partisan politics, which impedes getting critical work done. If elected to the NH State House, I pledge to reach across the aisle to work with my colleagues irregardless of which party they represent in order to pass legislation that is critical to the people of Carroll County and the state.
Affordable Healthcare as a Right
The recent failure of Congress to pass a viable healthcare plan will play a significant role in the future of coverage in NH.
Politicians leading the charge to put forth the "Freedom Act", have failed to clearly articulate the problem of having many uninsured Americans in the insurance pool. Without healthy people in the insurance pool, the markets will be destabilized; some fear it will collapse. Additionally, there will be a tremendous burden on local hospitals, as the emergency room becomes the focus of medical care for those without insurance.
Our own Memorial Hospital would have to bear the costs of treating these uninsured individuals. Many hospitals with a large number of poor and uninsured people in their communities will collapse, and other will struggle to meet these needs.
It's time for bi-partisan solutions to providing our citizens with affordable healthcare, both in Washington and in Concord. There is too much at risk in failing to solve this problem; people's lives are at stake at home and across the country.
Climate Change in New Hampshire
The impact of climate change in our own backyard is evident. New England has already seen warmer winters, reduced snowfall, increased rain, and rising sea levels.
Think about the effect of this on New Hampshire’s economy. Reduced snowfall influences ski conditions locally. WBUR reports that the U.S. ski season has shortened; they further state that lower altitude resorts are most vulnerable, which could impact Black Mountain, Cranmore, and even Attitash which they describe as being in the climate change cross-hairs. The State of NH calculates a loss of 10-20 percent of ski season days, representing a loss of $42 million to $84 million in direct and indirect spending in New Hampshire.
Tourists to the Granite State spend approximately $292 million dollars annually. They ski, fish and swim in our lakes, and to see magnificent foliage. These activities will be negatively impacted by climate change. If the numbers of tourists in New Hampshire drops over time, this will impact our local restaurants, ski areas, stores, inns, hotels, and all businesses that cater to people who love the out-of-doors. This in turn will ultimately impact business owners and local employees, whose livelihoods could be threatened by this negative impact upon our environment.
The solar and wind industries are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy (Forbes Magazine, 2017). Governor Sununu and our state representatives should be looking to protect our environment and grow our economy by doing a better job of boning up on the impact of climate change right here in 603. It’s not a federal policy thing, its something that impacts all of us right here and now in New Hampshire and the Mt. Washington Valley.
The Opioid Crisis in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is ranked second in the nation for the number of opioid related deaths, with the numbers increasing at alarming levels.
New Hampshire also has the 2nd lowest rate of spending on the treatment and prevention of opioid use, along with a lack of access to the life-saving drug Narcan. Additionally, those prescribing opioids are not required to consult a database, which would provide a red flag when an individual has a history of acquiring opioids.
While it is imperative to get drug dealers off of the streets and to hold them accountable, jail time has not proven to be an effective solution to drug addiction. In fact, this often compounds the problem as addicted individuals find it even tougher to find employment with a criminal record.
There are several communities in NH which have implemented effective prevention programs, including Laconia and Manchester. Laconia has a full-time prevention coordinator, which has been successful in getting drug addicted individuals into treatment. Manchester Fire has a program called Safe Station, with doors open 24 hours a day for those seeking help. In one year, the program has drawn over 1,600 people, which enables drug addicted individuals a safe haven until they are able to learn about treatment options. These are the kinds of programs that need to be replicated throughout the state.
Women's Reproductive Rights
It is my belief that a women's personal health decisions should be made by a woman, with counsel from family, friends, doctor and clergy. I do not believe this is an issue that should be legislated by the government. As Hillary Clinton said during a visit to Bartlett, "I believe that abortions should be legal...and rare", a sentiment that I share. I also believe that women need access to affordable healthcare, including reproductive health care. It is imperative that we ensure the viability of Planned Parenthood, which provides quality healthcare to women throughout New Hampshire.
The median earrings for workers in Carroll County are the lowest in the state of New Hampshire, as is the median household income. The average weekly wage in our county is $677, which is the lowest in the state. Many residents in our community are working two or three jobs just to keep their heads above water, with no relief in sight.
Strong community college programs can help ensure that our state has skilled workers trained for the jobs of the future. It will also provide a pathway for those seeking a brighter future when coupled with affordable or free tuition. The state of Tennessee offers all state residents free tuition to community or technical colleges. Why do they do so? It is because skilled workers tend to stay in the state where they are trained, and helps attract new business.
Many IT (Information Technology) and healthcare jobs in New Hampshire remain unfilled. Our community colleges and universities could partner with local businesses to create programs that provide training to individuals seeking better paying jobs. This is already being done in the southern part of the state, where GE partners with community colleges to offer a technician program that helps them train and hire local residents.