Gubernatorial Candidates Town Hall on Disability & Chronic Conditions
Statements made by the candidates during the Town Hall are not endorsed by, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Institute on Disability at UNH. We encourage you to do your own research into the issues important to you. More information about some of the issues raised can be found below.
Event Recap & Additional Resources
On Tuesday September 20th, Governor Sununu and Senator Sherman delivered their disability policy platforms and visions if elected.* Each candidate was invited to speak on topics from inclusive education, workforce shortage, and housing, to transportation and employment.
The event was broadcast live online from Girls At Work, Inc with members of the disability community in attendance. You can watch a recording of the event below.
Each candidate was asked the same three questions to begin. The candidates offered different opinions regarding legal rights and protections for people who experience disabilities. Some of the statements made by the candidates may not reflect the views or legal opinions of the Institute on Disability at UNH and we encourage you to do your own research into the issues important to you.
Below are the first three questions that both candidates were asked and links to some resources to help you better understand the issues raised:
Question One: People with disabilities want to live fully inclusive lives in their communities. In order to avoid placement in a nursing home or an institutional setting, in or out of state, people with disabilities need access to home and community based support services. What is your plan to increase the work force serving the home and community-based system for people with disabilities (i.e. para-professionals, personal care attendants, direct support professionals, nurses)?
- Giving Care: A Strategic Plan to Expand and Support New Hampshire’s Health Care Workforce (NH Endowment for Health March 2022)
- NH Health Care Workforce Coalition Letters to Governor, DHHS Commissioner and NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs (November 16, 2022 and March 23, 2022)
Question Two: Through Education Freedom Accounts, millions of dollars are moving from local public schools into private schools which are not legally bound to follow IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] and some are also permitted to deny enrollment to students with disabilities. This type of financial loss places pressure on local school districts who must deliver special education services. How will you ensure that special education students will receive an equitable and inclusive education in the age of EFA’s diminishing public school budgets?
- For an overview of how a student’s right to special education services is impacted when a parent places the student into a private school or chooses to homeschool see Special Education and the Law – A Brief Overview
- General information about special education
- For additional information and specific legal citations, see the Parent Information Center’s Guide to NH Standards for the Education of Children with Disabilities
Question Three: In light of the shortage of affordable housing in the state of New Hampshire, especially accessible housing, what in your role as governor will you do to ensure that people with disabilities have access to affordable community-based accessible housing so that people with disabilities are able to live meaningful lives in their communities? What is the role of state government in this effort?
- Disability & Housing, Spring 2022 Disability RAPP New Hampshire
- General information about housing
- NHLA’s Fair Housing Project
Although we would like to engage with every candidate, as of September 1st, 2022, we are focusing our efforts on candidates for Governor who were polling at or over 10% in the Granite State poll conducted by the UNH Survey Center, "Sununu Holds Commanding Lead Over Rivals in GOP Primary for NH Governor 9/1/2022" (2022).