Environment & Energy
Climate Change is the biggest challenge facing the human race, it is also the biggest economic opportunity for us. We have to ween ourselves away from fossil fuels and embrace renewables energy sources. Raising the Net Metering Cap and continuing RGGI are two tactics we can use to protect our environment and tourism industry
Big Money in politics is eroding confidence in our democracy. Our opponent has had some well known issues with Campaign Finance laws. We have voluntarilly accepted the Secretary of State's spending limits. One of the best parts of NH's citizen legislature is the fact that NH House races don't take tens of thousands of dollars to finance, in most cases. We will raise and spend no more than $1500 in this election.
Since passage of the Affordable Care Act 90% of Americans now have access to affordable healthcare. Part of the Act is the expansion of Medicaid coverage at the state level. NH has expanded Medicaid in the last few years, however to encourage the expansion of private medical providers we must guarantee that Medicaid coverage will be available for those currently covered for more than just 2 years. Healthcare providers make decisions based on 10-20 year business cycles and our current 2 year extensions of Medicaid Expansion is hindering the development of NH's medical industry.
NH graduates leave school with the highest level of student debt in the nation despite the fact that we are the wealthiest state in the country. This is leading to a demographic crisis that will limit economic growth in the future. NH kids cannot afford to go to UNH and then come back to their hometowns to teach or serve as a police officer or prosecutor, our county attorney's office is an example. We should be offering scholarships to our top high school students who commit to working for the state or municipalities.
Full day kindergarten should be a right of every family regardless of their zip code. Ensuring that every town has full day kindergarten makes the state more attractive to young families and allows parents to work part or full time.
Our current opiod addiction crisis will require a multi-pronged offensive to defeat. Prevention. Treatment. Prosecution.
NH implemented a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in 2012 to help reduce 'doctor shopping'. Participation in the program is not mandatory though. I believe it is time to join NY, TN and KY and make use of the monitoring program mandatory for prescribers. Those states have all seen a marked drop in the number of prescriptions written each year.
Medicaid Expansion has enabled more Granite Staters to access treatment programs in years since it was implemented. It is hard enough to find a job in the North Country that offers healthcare benefits without being addicted to painkillers, finding and maintaining a job like that while battling addiction is next to impossible. Ensuring that those now covered by Medicaid will continue to be covered will enable addiction specialists to grow their businesses and expand their services knowing that their patients will have some kind of coverage.
While we can't simply arrest our way out of this crisis those dealers who are bringing these substances to our communities must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Low level dealers though are often dealing to maintain their own habit. These offenders need to be offered treatment and through a 'Drug Court' be give an opportunity to turn their lives around.
Jobs & Economy
Bartlett, Jackson and all of Carroll County rely heavily on the tourism industry. We must work to diversify our economy or risk a future that looks more like our neighbors to the North as the climate changes. To do this we have to make college more affordable so that our kids can afford to stay in NH after college if they choose. We also have to ensure that they aren't so saddled with debt that they can't afford to buy a home or start a business. We rank last in the nation in the level of financial support we give to our state university program, and if we doubled it we'd still be last.
The fact that NH doesn't have a minimum wage is immoral. We have to provide more support to our low wage workers. Not many employers in The Valley actually pay the bare minimum wage of $7.25/hour but many pay not much more. The days of Storyland and Attitash being owned by locals and profits staying in The Valley are long gone. Both are owned by publicly traded corporations now and because NH lets them they siphon dollars our of our local economy. Establishing a NH minimum wage of $10/hr over the next 4 years and then indexing it to inflation will put more dollars in the hands of our neighbors who will spend most of it locally, generating more economic activity and creating jobs.