The Economic Justice Mission Group of the NH Conference, in coordination with the NH UCC Justice and Witness Ministry, the NH Council of Churches, and the American Friends Service Committee-NH Program and other faith groups will hold its annual “Legislative Advocacy Day - Faith in Action” on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m.
The day will begin with a continental breakfast, prayer and song at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 21 Centre Street in Concord. There will be speakers talking about the legislative process, important legislation affecting beloved community and the common good, how to do legislative advocacy and why people of faith are called to do this work. Also featured will be information about significant issues coming up this year - including Medicaid expansion, school vouchers and education, criminal justice and the death penalty, voting rights, transgender rights, labor rights, and more. Attendees will then have the opportunity to go to the State House and/or Legislative Office Building to engage in direct action through faith witness and advocacy. See the informational flyer here. Please share this widely within your congregation and Association. Register here.
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.