The NH UCC's Economic Justice Mission Group interprets the NH state budget through the lens of our faith. In our eyes, a budget is a moral document. Therefore, our Mission Group the has been playing a leading role in convening "NH Voices of Faith" from multiple traditions to pray and bear public witness for a humane NH state budget that responsibly addresses our state's pressing needs, especially the needs of the most vulnerable in our midst and the core investments that maintain beloved community.
On April 1, the NH House passed a budget that was immoral on so many fronts -- ignoring critical and compelling needs of the poor, the disabled, the homeless, the physically and mentally ill, vulnerable seniors, students, and more. Although the Senate Finance Committee's recommended budget restores funding to Meals on Wheels, Service Link, and homeless services, and significantly reduces some of the House-approved cuts to higher education and programs which address developmental disabilities and substance abuse, its proposed budget still falls far short of our obligations to people in need as well as to state workers. We believe NH can and should be better than this!
Most problematic for us are a set of proposed business tax cuts that will drain millions from future budgets. These cuts will ultimately reduce revenue by $46M per year, leaving fewer resources for essential programs going forward. In addition, the Senate has declined to fund the continuation of the NH Health Protection Program (expanded Medicaid) and 40,000 current enrollees could lose access to health coverage after December 2016 unless the legislature allocates funds for the program. The failure to allocate $12 million to continue the expanded Medicaid program for so many of our state's working poor is a travesty. The NH UCC is on record in support of the expanded Medicaid program, and we will continue to maintain our moral witness in this regard as long as it takes. Please join us! You can connect with our Mission Group via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers of Courage in the Struggle are also encouraged to check out this short YouTube clip that was produced at our Prayer Rally about the NH Budget held on May 5, 2015. Also, sign up to receive the American Friends Service Committee-NH Program's weekly e-newsletter, State House Watch, which, each Friday afternoon, will provide you with up-to-date information about policy matters of concern to many "voices of faith" in New Hampshire. Send a simple email to email@example.com to say "Please add me to the State House Watch mailing list." The AFSC is a key partner of the UCC Economic Justice Mission Group and provides wisdom and staff support for a number of our economic justice and witness activities.