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President Biden just signed a law declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday; and the first tropical storm system is forecast to make landfall in U.S. by end of the week.


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The U.S. marks a new national holiday; Republicans reject Sen. Joe Manchin's election reform compromise; and U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare but strikes a blow to equal rights.

Grassroots NH Groups Demand Investments in Vulnerable Communities

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Gov. Chris Sununu's budget proposal has a total cost of $6.83 billion for fiscal year 2022. (Timothy Chrysostom/Granite State Progress)
Gov. Chris Sununu's budget proposal has a total cost of $6.83 billion for fiscal year 2022. (Timothy Chrysostom/Granite State Progress)
 By Lily Bohlke - Producer, Contact
March 17, 2021

CONCORD, N.H. - A coalition of grassroots groups is urging lawmakers to invest in issues that affect New Hampshire's most vulnerable communities, ahead of this week's House Finance Committee public hearings on state budget bills HB 1 and HB 2.

Groups ranging from the New Hampshire Poor People's Campaign to Rights and Democracy New Hampshire marched to the Capitol with a list of demands for what they call a "People's Budget."

Deborah Opramolla, who chairs the Poor People's Campaign, said more attention is needed for voting rights, affordable housing, food assistance, medical care and education.

"Transformative change is hard, because people like to do what they know," she said, "and we know that we might not get it this cycle, but we're most certainly going to keep pushing until we get that."

She added that fair and adequate taxation is needed to get these basic rights to New Hampshire residents. The groups joined advocates in roughly 30 other states, where similar demands are being brought to Statehouse doors this week.

Maggie Fogarty, director of the American Friends Service Committee in New Hampshire, said she feels the state historically has undertaxed residents who are most able to contribute - including wealthy individuals and wealthy corporations. She said more tax revenue would go a long way.

"We go into a budget year with this scarcity mindset, and people in organizations end up kind of being oriented toward trying to make do with crumbs," she said, "and we need to change that whole way of thinking and that whole way of budgeting."

She said the budget should serve every New Hampshirite, and programs should recognize the historical legacy of injustices against Black, Brown, immigrant and Indigenous residents.

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