New Hampshire is heading into the second year of our current legislative session. Legislative bill filing occurs September into October, and the American Heart Association is seeking Prime Sponsors for our policies priorities during this time. We are also developing our strategy for implementation of grassroots advocacy and outreach, including coordinating plans with partner organizations.
Session for lawmakers will begin on January 3rd and run to June 2024, during which all bills will have committee hearings and full body votes for passage or defeat. Pre-filed legislation in the House representing our policy priorities includes Free School Meal eligibility, Tobacco Retailers’ lawful sales compliance, and both preemption & overturning preemption of local government authority.
Preparing for the Senate pre-filing period, the Association is reaching out to our first choice Senators to sponsor legislation for School/Sports program Cardiac Emergency Response Plans, Paid Family & Medical Leave, state School Nutrition Standards, and Free School Meals/Breakfast programs.
This past summer, we launched a campaign for local healthy eating and active living policy goals in our largest city of Manchester, NH. Our initial goal is to recruit and engage local advocates to rally around efforts in the city to create a more bikeable/walkable downtown. Our end goal is to ensure these projects lead toward an equitable Complete Streets Policy so residents in under-resourced neighborhoods have safe access to everyday destinations. Advocates with a preference for increasing healthy food access can let their city aldermen and the newly elected Mayor know they support free school meals and a produce prescription program for low-income residents at risk for diet-related illness.