Concord, NH. February 7, 2017
In collaboration with families, advocates, and providers ABLE NH leader Forrest Beaudoin-Friede of Peterborough provided compelling, articulate testimony in support of Senate Bill 153 Tuesday.
Senate Bill 153 was sponsored by Sen. Woodburn, Sen. Bradley, Rep. M. MacKay, and Rep. LeBrun. If supported by the full legislature and governor during the budget process, it would increase state funding for early intervention services and supports by $1.3 million to be matched with federal funds.
“This critical component of care is the most prudent, impactful, results-driven appropriation the Legislature will make this year.” Mr. Beaudoin-Friede's remarked. Mr. Beaudoin-Friede who received early supports and services now owns a small business called Best Brothers Bakery. His testimony deeply moved members of the committee who broke into applause.
This initiative was lead and coordinated by Sarah Aiken, Policy Director at Community Bridges and brought forward by members of the 2017 NH Institute on Disability Leadership Series. The bill gained the attention and unanimous support of Chairman Bradley and Senators Avard, Fuller-Clark, & Hennessey, all members of Senate Health & Human Services Committee.
According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, effective early intervention services show a return to society of almost ten dollars for every dollar invested in birth to three early intervention services.
Senator Bradley ended the hearing by stating “We [Senate Health & Human Services Committee] are going to recommend on a very strong basis, obviously, for its (SB 153) adoption. . . $1.3 million is a very realistic number to get funded. . .” adding the process is not a slam dunk and there is more work to do.
ABLE NH is looking forward to preparing testimony for the Senate Finance committee who will be hearing the bill next. If you are interested in joining ABLE in this effort, or on other issues that impact people with disabilities, visit www.ablenh.org or email email@example.com.
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