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 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.

Involuntary commitment for opioid addicts

Jun 19, 2017
involuntary commitment for drug addiction

In Massachusetts, it’s becoming an increasingly common practice: relatives or doctors petitioning courts to forcibly commit addicts at risk of opioid overdose for treatment. In fact, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced in May that he would seek to expand the policy, pushing for a bill that empowers emergency room doctors to hold patients for up to three days without a court order—an attempt to prevent at-risk individuals from being released on nights or weekends when courts aren’t in session.

Senate budget to increase alcohol fund

May 24, 2017
alcohol fund addiction treatment funding

Last week the Senate Finance Committee voted to increase the percentage of liquor sales that go to the alcohol fund for addiction treatment and prevention.

The fund, established in 2000, sets aside up to 5% of liquor tax revenue to fight addiction.  However, the Legislature has almost never given a full 5% of revenue to the fund.  In the last budget, only 1.7% of liquor taxes went to the alcohol fund.

The Senate Finance Committee voted to send 3.4% of liquor taxes to the alcohol fund in the next budget.

NH congressional delegation supports federal drug policy office

May 17, 2017
federal drug policy office

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Maggie Hassan, D-NH, have filed a measure in Congress to protect funding for the federal agency that coordinates policy to combat the opioid epidemic.

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