The lawsuits driving the New Hampshire budget

May 01, 2019
NH budget lawsuit

The 2019 budget debate is focused on a showdown between Democratic legislators and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu over taxes.

However, there is another branch of government that may dictate some of New Hampshire’s budget: the courts. Several pending lawsuits may force the state to spend money a certain way, regardless of how legislators and the governor feel about it.

School funding

Potential cost: $1 billion

No decrease in overdose deaths

Apr 23, 2018
drug overdose death

According to the latest data from the Chief Medical Examiner in New Hampshire, there was almost no change in the number of drug overdose deaths from 2016 to 2017.

There were 485 overdose deaths in 2016, and 483 in 2017.  There are six additional deaths from 2017 that still have pending lab results.

Fentanyl is deadliest opioid

The vast majority of overdose deaths in 2016 and 2017 involved fentanyl. 

Should the state fund more fire department Safe Station programs, like those in Manchester, to provide help for opioid addicts?

Nov 04, 2017

Earlier this month, Governor Chris Sununu announced that the state will provide $150,000 in funding for Manchester’s Safe Station program. Since the program began last May, Manchester fire stations have helped close to 2,500 people struggling with substance abuse find help.

Mayor Ted Gatsas lobbied the state for funding after it was found that over 65 percent of those who used the services came from outside Manchester. Beyond the immediate pledge of $150,000, Mayor Gatsas expects more state investment as the program continues.

Should President Trump authorize additional federal funding to address the heroin and opioid addiction crisis?

Oct 30, 2017

Last week, President Donald Trump declared the nation's heroin and opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency - a designation that allows the federal government to redirect resources in various ways and to expand access to medical services in rural areas.

But critics say the health emergency declaration does not go far enough because it does not bring new funding into the fight against a crisis that kills up to 100 people a day nationwide.

A tax to stop opioid abuse?

Sep 07, 2017
opioid tax

This year several states - including Massachusetts - have considered a tax on opioid-based prescription painkiller sales.

The proposals vary from state to state, but can involve taxing some combination of manufacturers, producers, importers, and distributors. The taxes can be based on gross receipts, the number of pills, or the amount of addicting substances in the drugs. Some proposals have exceptions for opioids used for hospice and cancer patients.

All of the proposals send the tax revenue to opioid addiction treatment or prevention.

Prescription monitoring for veterinarians?

Aug 25, 2017
veterinarians and the prescription drug monitoring program

New Hampshire, like most states, has a prescription drug monitoring database, which tracks the history of prescriptions for drugs with a greater risk for addiction and abuse, such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

Starting in 2016, all healthcare professionals in the state were required to check the database before writing a prescription for one of the painkillers it covers. That included health care professionals whose patients are furry and four-legged.

NH sues over OxyContin marketing

Aug 10, 2017
oxycontin

The New Hampshire Attorney General is suing the manufacturer of OxyContin for deceptive marketing.

According to the court filing, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, violated New Hampshire law by:

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