Valley News – Forum, June 16: More to do in the NH Senate

Published: 05/07/2022 15:35:50

Modified: 05/07/2022 15:33:12

More work to do in the State Senate

It has been an honor to serve as a State Senator for District 5 in New Hampshire for the past two years. Along with my fellow Senate Democrats, we have worked every day to pass legislation that benefits New Hampshire’s working families, small businesses, public education and local government. Meanwhile, current Republican majorities in the House and Senate have spent the past two years promoting culture wars over the needs of families, schools, health care and our local New Hampshire businesses.

I am proud of the legislation I have worked on, including investing in our public health infrastructure, providing comparable Medicaid reimbursement fees for birthing centers, substantially increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates for our ambulance services for the first time in 17 years, tackling the affordable housing crisis, and providing property tax relief to local ratepayers with a one-time contribution to retirees from the police, fire and schools.

But there is so much more to do. Funds continue to be diverted from communities to private schools, with taxpayers forced to cover the costs of the gap this creates. And the attacks on Granite State families continue. Governor Sununu signed into law New Hampshire’s first-ever abortion ban last year, so we know what the GOP is capable of. With the prospect that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court any day, we must work to protect safe and legal access to abortion care.

Although Senate District 5 no longer includes the communities of Claremont and Charlestown, these places still hold a special place in my heart. After the redistricting, the communities in Senate District 5 now include Canaan, Cornish, Dorchester, Enfield, Grantham, Groton, Hanover, Lebanon, Lyme, New London, Orford, Plainfield, Plymouth, Springfield and Wentworth. As I run for re-election, I pledge to do my job as a Senator for all of us. I ask for your support. Learn more at


Sue Prentiss

western lebanon

how long we forget

Regarding the Los Angeles Times opinion expressed in “Ukraine needs EU help to finance the war (June 14)”: I will slightly paraphrase the last paragraph of this editorial:

We did not know how long this war would last (20 years in the end).

The devastation caused by the invasion of the United States remains incalculable.

Eventually, Afghanistan, a country of about 40 million people, will need international help and support to rebuild. Strengthening its economy and starting this process should have started a year ago.

How deep our amnesia is!

Frank Lamson

Royalton South

Balint has what it takes
legislative context

In Liz Ryan Cole’s lovely summary of Molly Gray (“Molly Gray is Best for Vermont,” Forum June 13), any mention of a single legislative accomplishment is missing, because she has none. Zero. Do we want to send someone to Congress who does not have this essential training or someone who has earned the respect of their colleagues in Montpellier for years and entrusted them with leadership?

I’m talking about Becca Balint.

As interim president of the Vermont Senate, Balint has shown she can get things done (e.g. gun reforms, climate change, affordable housing, etc.). and pass them through the senate and to the governor’s office. It’s one thing to talk about a good game, but it’s another to be able to turn the serious issues of our time into actions that serve all Vermonters.

And Becca’s insight so impressed her caucus that they named her Senate Majority Leader, and two years later she became the first woman to serve as acting Senate President. It is leadership.

Yes, mentions matter, and among Becca’s more than 400 mentions, there are two that show Becca can bring people of different ideologies together: progressive Democrat Phil Baruth and “Blue Dog” Democrat Dick Mazza. That’s exactly how Becca passed those tough bills cited above, bringing people together. In our divided nation, we need a proven unifier like Becca Balint. And by the way, endorsements don’t work for you in Congress; your representative does.

Vermont has only one member in the House of Representatives. California has 53. Send one who knows how the game is played, one who has been fighting for the Vermonters in the “trenches” for years, and who is going to hit the ground running and make us proud. Vote for Becca Balint for Congress on August 9. Thanks.

Bob Williamson

South Woodstock