Sununu v. Manchester On Opioid Crisis, Budget Veto

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Paula Tracy photo

Sen. Lou D'Allesandro and Senate President Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, await meeting with Gov. Chris Sununu July 12 in this file photo.

Gov. Chris Sununu’s news release Thursday offering to “Help Manchester Reach Full Potential” claiming the state’s largest city doesn’t have an opioid response plan caused a firestorm of response from Manchester senators who saw it as a political ploy.

The Sununu release said: “Upon learning from Mayor Craig that the City of Manchester does not currently have an opioid response plan, Governor Chris Sununu recommended forming a new coordinating team that will be composed of state and city officials to ensure cooperation between the City of Manchester and the State of New Hampshire on a variety of issues. This new team will be able to assist Manchester in formulating city-wide response plans and identify deployed financial resources to ensure there are no gaps in the system.” (See full news release below)

It also listed all the money Sununu delivered to the city in his first term for an array of items including bridges and safer schools. funded to Manchester on an array of issues.

On Friday, Senate President Donna Soucy (D-Manchester), Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester), and Senator Kevin Cavanaugh (D-Manchester) released a joint statement critical of Sununu’s release/

“Manchester city officials, police officers, firefighters, and treatment providers have been on the front lines of the opioid epidemic – working hard day in and day out to address this crisis. We are disappointed that Governor Sununu chose to criticize Manchester’s response instead of rolling-up his sleeves and getting to work solving this important issue.

“We’d like to remind the Governor that the state budget and SB 5, which he vetoed, would have gone a long way to addressing the issues with capacity.  We hope this is the last time the Governor attempts to use Manchester, and our state’s opioid epidemic, for political gain,” the senators’ statement reads. (See full release below.)

Governor Chris Sununu Announces New Partnership to Help Manchester Reach Full Potential

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu met with HHS Commissioner Jeff Meyers, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, along with city and state officials to discuss ways to help Manchester realize and take advantage of the full array of state resources already available to the city.

Upon learning from Mayor Craig that the City of Manchester does not currently have an opioid response plan, Governor Chris Sununu recommended forming a new coordinating team that will be composed of state and city officials to ensure cooperation between the City of Manchester and the State of New Hampshire on a variety of issues. This new team will be able to assist Manchester in formulating city-wide response plans and identify deployed financial resources to ensure there are no gaps in the system.

“Today I joined Mayor Craig and Commissioner Meyers for a productive conversation regarding the issues surrounding the City of Manchester,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Manchester is a great city, but we must recognize and address the challenges they face. This new coordinating team will help create a system that will allow for the city to target key areas of need at the local level.”

Under Governor Chris Sununu, the state has heavily invested in Manchester and other localities through a variety of funds, which should allow Manchester City officials to target other key areas of need.

BACKGROUND:
In his first term, Governor Chris Sununu’s Administration delivered:

  • $1.7M to Manchester to improve roads and bridges
  • $1.7M to Manchester for safer schools
  • $1.1M to Manchester in additional kindergarten aid
  • $2.7M to Manchester for the opioid epidemic
  • State funding to cover the cost of Safe Station transportation to HUBs
  • Over $5M in funds to establish the Manchester Doorway at Granite Pathways

In addition, ongoing state support to Manchester in FY19 includes:

  • $102.4M in school adequacy
  • $3.2M in building aid
  • $1.2M in Special Education aid
  • $631K in tuition and transportation aid
  • $12M in federal funds/grants
  • $300K in NH Department of Education Program Supports

Manchester Senators Respond to Governor’s Criticism of Opioid Response

CONCORD— Today, Senate President Donna Soucy (D-Manchester), Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester), and Senator Kevin Cavanaugh (D-Manchester) released a joint statement responding to Governor Sununu’s criticism of Manchester’s response to the opioid crisis.

“Manchester city officials, police officers, firefighters, and treatment providers have been on the front lines of the opioid epidemic – working hard day in and day out to address this crisis. We are disappointed that Governor Sununu chose to criticize Manchester’s response instead of rolling-up his sleeves and getting to work solving this important issue.

Since the Doorway program was implemented, Manchester has seen a significant increase in individuals accessing services; however, there have been insufficient resources across the state dedicated to expanding capacity for the individuals seeking care. Manchester shouldn’t be the only doorway – individuals should be able to access care in their own communities. We cannot open a doorway with nothing behind it. We’d like to remind the Governor that the state budget and SB 5, which he vetoed, would have gone a long way to addressing the issues with capacity.  We hope this is the last time the Governor attempts to use Manchester, and our states opioid epidemic, for political gain.”

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