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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Broad Coalition Urges NH Lawmakers to 'Show Love' in State Budget

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Friday, February 17, 2023   

A broad coalition of New Hampshire faith and community leaders is calling on state lawmakers to create a budget which serves the people.

The New Hampshire Peoples' Budget Coalition said Gov. Chris Sununu's proposed two-year and nearly $15 billion budget does not address the needs of those struggling to get by on minimum wage, find housing or pay off student debt.

Heidi Heath, executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches, wants a greater focus on those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.

"For us, a budget is a moral document and so New Hampshire is in urgent need of one that reflects the priority of our vulnerable Granite Staters," Heath asserted.

Heath pointed out with some of the highest drug overdose rates in the nation, there is a critical need to fund greater mental health care and recovery services. In his budget address, Sununu touted another round of State Opioid Response grants to ensure rural access to drug prevention and treatment.

Sununu also promoted what he called "pathways to opportunity," including pay raises for state employees and streamlining the state's professional licensing system to attract more workers.

Quincy Abramson, executive director of the New Hampshire Youth Movement, said young adults are leaving New Hampshire for states protecting reproductive rights, lower in-state tuition and offer greater student debt relief.

"The general feeling among young people in New Hampshire is that we are not very welcome here," Abramson observed.

Sununu did suggest student debt relief for those who pursue careers in mental health treatment. Abramson noted young people are being priced out, and encouraged a revamp of the state tax system to ensure people contribute to the common good according to their ability to pay.


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