The NH Legislature and governor have the chance to assistance main investments in Granite State women’s well being and workforce participation this year — that is, if they pass a spending budget such as the MOMnibus Act and the Kid Care for Operating Households Act.
Each and every two years, New Hampshire writes a new spending budget for the state. The spending budget represents our collective priorities and values. What, as Granite Staters, do we care about? What should really we fund? Who should really we prioritize? The NH Women’s Foundation prioritizes investments in ladies and girls.
This year, the Women’s Foundation, along with parents, childcare providers, healthcare providers and firms, are advocating for a New Hampshire spending budget that values caregivers and ladies with little ones by: providing ladies enrolled in Medicaid access to well being care for a year postpartum and access to doulas, lactation consultants and donor milk banks expanding access to the kid care scholarship system and giving workforce supports to kid care workers.
Girls make the economy function, but we ought to invest in women’s well being and in the kid care infrastructure so ladies can maintain supporting their households and nearby economies.
When faced with childcare difficulties, mothers with young young children arrange reductions in their function hours that are 4 to 5 occasions higher than the reductions arranged by fathers. Devoid of access to reputable kid care, ladies leave the workforce.
If kid care can be located, it is generally unaffordable. In our most recent analysis publication, The Status of Girls in New Hampshire 2023, we located that the annual median expense for an infant in a Granite State childcare center is $13,250, a expense that would consume 11 % of the median earnings of a married couple, and a staggering 55 % of a single mother’s median earnings. Childcare providers can’t raise wages for their personnel with out passing that expense on to households. The Kid Care for Operating Households Act invests in our kid care infrastructure to address these difficulties.
At the moment, ladies who are enrolled in Medicaid beneath pregnancy eligibility drop coverage following two months postpartum. Girls want access to preventive, acute, mental well being and substance use remedy extended following two months postpartum. The MOMnibus Act would extend coverage to 12 months postpartum, decreasing maternal mortality and growing prices of remedy for points like maternal depression. The bill would also deliver access to doula solutions, lactation solutions and donor milk banks.
The superior news is that the Senate passed the MOMnibus Act and Kid Care for Operating Households Act separate from the spending budget earlier this year. The Women’s Foundation is grateful to the Senate for their assistance. We’re at the finish line now. If the Senate contains these investments in the spending budget, the Property agrees and the governor indicators the spending budget, New Hampshire will have a spending budget that. prioritizes moms, ladies and households much more than any spending budget in current memory.
It requires engaged stakeholders (such as vocal moms, dads and childcare workers) and a true bipartisan work to make these investments feasible. We’re grateful to the legislators who’ve had mom’s backs all session.
Let your nearby elected representatives and senator know how you really feel about a spending budget that invests in ladies and their little ones. Now let’s get a mom-friendly spending budget passed!
Tanna Clews of Portsmouth is CEO of the NH Women’s Foundation.