Fosters Election Profile Issues Unedited

1. The Drug crisis

We passed several bills last year that were recommended by the Drug Task Force to combat the opioid crisis. The funding of these bills totaled about $6.5 million. This is in addition to the money provided in the State budget. $24 million in contracts to provided various assistance have been approved by the Governor and Council. The next step is for the Governor and her advisor, James Vara, to distribute those funds and evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. According to an interview with Mr. Vara he would like a needle exchange program approved similar to the legislation proposed last session by Representative Hannon (R) from Lee. I will support needle exchange legislation and review carefully any additional recommendations from Mr. Vara. As citizens we all must get more involved through local organizations and faith based communities. I have been participating in Rochester’s Drug and Alcohol prevention coalition, Bridging the Gaps, and supporting Frisbie Hospital’s efforts to offer peer-to-peer coaching for those seeking recovery through my position on the City Council.

2. The Economy – Business and Families

Taxes on businesses in NH are high compared to other states in this part of the country. Add to that healthcare and energy costs, which are among the highest in the nation, and it is easy to understand why New Hampshire is having difficulty in attracting and retaining businesses in the state. When we find a company that is interested in New Hampshire we can lose them to another state which offers tax advantages or other incentives which are prohibited currently in New Hampshire. Our families are also affected by the high costs of healthcare and energy. I support lowering taxes to attract businesses and finding ways to reduce energy and health care costs for us all. The need for additional electric power from Canada and a gas pipeline has been debated in many forums this past year. Many say we do not need the energy now. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission and others disagree. We must plan for the future. The criteria I will use to evaluate such projects include: how the project will affect the cost of energy to the consumer, how the project affects our environment and way of life, and how the project promotes long term energy satiability. I support the New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NHHPP). It is an example of what can be done when we work together. NHHPP has key differences to the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care). In the bill passed this year the shortfall in reimbursement from the Federal Government is be paid for by private funds from the insurance companies and the hospitals. The shortfall will increase in the years to come. The State will find it increasingly more difficult to continue providing this program.

3. Local control of education versus Common Core

As with many programs the original goals of Common Core were admirable. As they worked to improve it and make it applicable to every part of every state they developed a system which does not meet the needs of New Hampshire’s communities. Our citizens are demanding local control of education. I am a former Chairman of the local Catholic School Board and a former member of the Rochester School Board. I understand that local control provides responsive policies that treat the students as individuals not as statistics. I will work to insure the policies of the State Board of Education provide oversight while respecting our citizen’s desire for local control.

Additional issues we must address:

Many environmental issues will affect our citizens in the near future:

a) Complying with the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit which is anticipated to be issued soon.

b) Nitrogen discharge limits from wastewater treatment plants and the effects on impaired bodies of water.

c) Special regulations on the use of water from our rivers.

Tens of millions of dollars are at stake for Rochester and the towns in the Senate District 6. These issues are not on the top of our constituent's priority list right now, but will be soon when costly modifications to infrastructure must be made to comply. I am involved now. I have attended several meetings both as a City Councilor and as a State Representative to understand the potential consequences. I am working to insure that the requirements are based on scientific research.