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ICYMI - WMUR: Democratic NH Senate Women Highlight How Sununu’s Budget Hurts New Hampshire Women

In Case You Missed It, WMUR reported that Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy of Manchester and Sens. Cindy Rosenwald of Nashua, Becky Whitley of Concord, Rebecca Perkins Kwoka of Portsmouth, and Suzanne Prentiss of West Lebanon discussed at a virtual press conference how Governor Chris Sununu’s budget is a disaster for women and families across the state. The senators outlined how Sununu’s budget cuts funding for public education, Family Resource Centers, children’s mental health, child care assistance, and the Small Business Development Center while giving tax cuts to corporate special interests.

Key points:

  • “[Soucy] said his budget provides $17.6 million less in combined state funds for the state university and community college systems than the $295.6 million they receive in the current budget.”

  • “Rosenwald cited Sununu’s plan to eliminate funding for Family Resource Centers, community-based programs that work with the state Division of Children, Youth and Families to provide services to children and parents with limited financial resources. She said FRCs receive $650,000 in the current budget.”

  • “Whitley said 50 children are waiting for mental health care in emergency rooms, a situation she said was ‘entirely avoidable, and it happened under Governor Sununu’s watch.’ She also said Sununu ‘failed to fund 22 child protection workers’ in his new budget.”

  • “Perkins Kwoka said Sununu has proposed reducing by $8.5 million funding for child care scholarships, which provide assistance for child care costs incurred by parents who are working or actively looking for work.”

  • “Prentiss cited Sununu’s proposal to cut funding for Small Business Development Centers from $880,000 to $50,000 in 2022 and then to zero in 2023. ‘Governor Sununu’s budget would be a disaster for women small business owners in New Hampshire,’ Prentiss said.”

WMUR: Democratic NH Senate women criticize program cuts in Sununu’s proposed budget By John DiStaso February 23, 2021

“BAD FOR WOMEN, FAMILIES.” Five Democratic women state senators charged Tuesday Gov. Chris Sununu’s proposed budget will eliminate or reduce spending on programs that are especially important to women and families.

Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy of Manchester and Sens. Cindy Rosenwald of Nashua, Becky Whitley of Concord, Rebecca Perkins Kwoka of Portsmouth and Suzanne Prentiss of West Lebanon said during a remote news conference the governor’s more than $13 billion two-year plan cuts funding for education, Family Resource Centers, children’s mental health, child care assistance and Small Business Development Centers.

Soucy said general fund and education fund spending would be $41 million less than in the current two-year budget under Sununu’s plan, which is currently under review by the House Finance Committee. She said his budget provides $17.6 million less in combined state funds for the state university and community college systems than the $295.6 million they receive in the current budget.

Soucy also said the Sununu budget offers “no solution for making tuition more affordable for New Hampshire students, who already pay some of the highest tuition rates in the country.”

Rosenwald cited Sununu’s plan to eliminate funding for Family Resource Centers, community-based programs that work with the state Division of Children, Youth and Families to provide services to children and parents with limited financial resources. She said FRCs receive $650,000 in the current budget.

“Throughout this pandemic, women have been disproportionately impacted economically and the majority of front line workers are women,” Rosenwald said. She cited U.S. Department of Labor statistics reported by the New York Times showing that 2.5 million women have left the workforce during the pandemic, compared to 1.8 million men.

Rosenwald said fully funding the FRCs “would make a massively positive difference during this difficult time in the lives of New Hampshire women.”

Whitley said 50 children are waiting for mental health care in emergency rooms, a situation she said was “entirely avoidable, and it happened under Governor Sununu’s watch.” She also said Sununu “failed to fund 22 child protection workers” in his new budget.

Perkins Kwoka said Sununu has proposed reducing by $8.5 million funding for child care scholarships, which provide assistance for child care costs incurred by parents who are working or actively looking for work.

Prentiss cited Sununu’s proposal to cut funding for Small Business Development Centers from $880,000 to $50,000 in 2022 and then to zero in 2023.

“Governor Sununu’s budget would be a disaster for women small business owners in New Hampshire,” Prentiss said. “Governor’s Sununu’s budget looks out for corporate special interests, not struggling Main Street businesses.” [...] A video of the news conference is here [...]

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