Earlier this week, the Senate Education Committee, in a 3-2 vote, voted to strike down SB 431, a critical bill which allows schools and organizations to collect the data necessary to comply with federal prevention grants, including those utilized for the system of children's behavioral health care. If the full Senate adopts this committee recommendation, New Hampshire's entire children's behavioral health system will risk losing more than $30 million in federal funds. The Senate will be voting on the bill next Thursday, February 15th. Your Senators need to hear from you about why it's so important that they pass SB 431.
Guidelines for your Call:
1. Start by introducing yourself and, if you live in the Senator's district, let them know where you live.
2. Tell your lawmaker why you're calling, with a simple request and reference to a bill number.
3. If they ask you a question which you do not know the answer to, feel free to tell them that you don't know, but are happy to find them more information and call back. Then, reach out to us for more information. You can also refer them to the Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative to get the information that they are looking for.
4. If you have a personal story related to Children's Behavioral Health, please feel welcome to share it with them. These stories are crucial in lawmakers' decision-making.
5. Always thank them for their time.
6. If you have any interesting or productive conversations with lawmakers, please reach out to Becky Whitley at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know.
Sample Script for SB 431:
Hello, is Senator _____________ available?
Hi Senator. My name is __________________ and I live in ________________. I'm calling to ask you to vote YES on SB 431 when it comes up for a vote on the 15th.
- SB 431 is necessary for local school districts to adequately assess and report on their children's behavioral health work.
- Without the ability to report on this work, the children's behavioral health system will risk losing more than $30 million in federal funds.
- Failure to pass SB 431 could threaten years of work to establish a system of care for children with behavioral health needs, some of our most vulnerable Granite Staters.
- Our state is grappling with a number of crises impacting the health and well-being of our children, including our mental health and addiction epidemics. It would be irresponsible to put vital student wellness funding at risk when it is needed now more than ever.
- Under this bill, parents are still informed when a survey is conducted in their child's school, and have the option to opt their child out of participation.
Do I have your support on SB 431?
Thank you for your time. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me back at ________________.