Constituents advocate for programs they want in state budget

Parents and people with disabilities joined students and survivors of domestic violence Monday in urging New Hampshire House budget writers to support programs that have helped them.

News Story (New Hampshire)

Holly Ramer
Associated Press (AP)
March 18, 2019

Tags: Funding: State & Local

Organizations mentioned/involved: New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA)


New Hampshire Legal Assistance currently gets $1.2 million per year from the state, but Sununu has proposed cutting that in half. Instead, his budget increases funding for indigent criminal defense and for the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. But Marissa Preston urged lawmakers to restore the legal assistance funding, saying the group was a lifeline after she left an abusive relationship with a man who tried to strangle her.

“When you’ve been abused and controlled, sometimes it’s hard to find your voice,” she said.

Darlene Gildersleeve, of Hopkinton, contrasted the experiences of two of her children who have struggled with mental illness. When her 19-year-old son was suicidal, an adult mobile crisis unit responded within half an hour, stabilizing him and preventing a costly hospitalization. But when her 13-year-old daughter was in crisis, she was taken from school by police to the emergency room because there is no similar mobile team for children.