Contributed by Linda Quintanilha
Thanks in large part to the efforts of local ABLE NH members and Peterborough state representatives, the bipartisan effort to get $1.5 million back in the DD system for the Wait List passed as a floor amendment in the N.H. House on March 29th. Click here to read an article in the March 30th Keene Sentinel about this.

The House voted 267-12 to put most of the $17.7 million surplus from the last biennium budget into the state’s rainy day fund. Once that passed, House members decided by a 144-126 vote to use $1.5 million to pare down the Wait List for adult services for those with developmental disabilities. The Wait List currently has 76 individuals waiting for services, with more expected in coming months.

The measure still has to go to the Senate for approval, but Senate President Peter Bragdon has already indicated that a top priority for any surplus would be Wait List dollars.

With Medicaid matching funds, this means $3 million for those families waiting for services for their loved ones. It will eradicate most of next year’s wait list.
The success of this effort is a great example of the grass roots power of ABLE NH. The Peterborough ABLE chapter was instrumental in making this happen, particularly the Manfre family.

Peterborough representatives Peter Leishman, Bruce Marcus, James Parison and James Coffey all came on board to put the amendment together. After it failed in House Finance, these reps pushed hard and worked with other reps across the state to make sure the floor amendment went through.

This is not advocates in Concord telling us what to do. This is grassroots people, building power within their community, making sure that the people who represent them are actually representing them. In this case, they did and we applaud the courageous work they did on behalf of our families!
Contributed by Linda Quintanilha.