Advocacy can mean many different things. By definition, it means public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. It can mean writing a letter to an elected official, making calls in support of an issue, or even testifying in front of the legislature or your local school board. But to families of people with developmental disabilities, it can also mean making posters to show support for the budget or even babysitting your friends or neighbors kids while they come to Concord to be heard. Advocacy comes in many different forms, how will you help advocate for your loved one?
Did you know that Community Bridges is approximately 95% funded by the State and Federal Governments? That means that every 2 years in NH we have to work through budget process to advocate for our funding and for your funding! We may reach out to you about specific pieces of legislation that we think may impact your family, and if you ever want to know more about a bill, a hearing, the budget, or how to contact your local representatives, use our links below.
Community Bridges Priority Bills
Who is My Legislator?
Call to Action
If you have any questions about Community Bridges’ advocacy or how you can get involved, please contact Sarah Aiken, Director of Public Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org
How a Bill Becomes Law
Tips for Testifying
Parking, Pay and Directions
What happened with the State Budget?
On Thursday June 27th, both the House and the Senate passed both budget bills (HB1 and HB2). On this same day, they also passed a continuing resolution. A continuing resolution is essentially a temporary budget that retains current service funding level for a short period of time. In this case, it is for 3 months.
On Friday June 28th, the Governor vetoed the budget and signed the continuing resolution. This means that for now, we will operate under last year’s budget, meaning no new funds will be available to Community Bridges until a new budget is passed.
What happens now?
At this time, we do not know when the House and Senate budget writers will get back to the table but based on previous vetoes, it will likely be in August or September. This means that those who are supposed to come off of the Waiting List will not be able to begin services until after a final budget is reached.
What should families and staff do?
Community Bridges and all of our elected officials are well aware of the needs of the individuals that we support and how vitally important this budget is to our families. We will do our very best to work with our teams here to get families all the specifics as soon as they become available. We would encourage any family in need of services now to contact their case manager to implement “plan B” in the interim.
We continue to ask that our elected officials get back to the table as soon as possible to work out any differences they may have and are thankful for all of the work they have done thus far in supporting people with disabilities here in NH.
What is the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Developmental Services doing to help?
Please know that the Department is thoughtfully considering options to ensure continuity in care for individuals supported by the Area Agency system. The Bureau of Developmental Services will be in contact with the Area Agencies and CSNI once funding matters have been considered. Our mutual goal during the 3-month Continuing Resolution is to ensure that people get the services they need.