CONCORD — N.H. Senate Finance Chairman Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) has been named legislator of the year by New Futures, a nonprofit organization working to reduce the prevalence of drug and alcohol related problems in New Hampshire. Forrester received the honor at the group's annual awards dinner in Concord on Thursday.
The award recognizes Forrester's efforts in support of various drug and alcohol treatment programs in the state. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, she led the effort to include an additional $500,000 in the state's budget for the drug and alcohol fund. The senator also serves on the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment.
Writer Sheryl Rich-Kern was also recognized at the event for her article "Hitting Bottom and the Bottom Line" which ran in Business NH Magazine and focuses on the impact New Hampshire's substance abuse problem has on the state's business community, taxpayers, and economy.
"Senator Forrester's success in restoring funding to the Alcohol Fund involved an intense effort on her part to educate her colleagues about the scope of the alcohol and drug problem in New Hampshire," said New Futures Executive Director Linda Saunders Paquette. "From the Senate, to the Governor's Commission, to her work in the community, Senator Forrester is spreading the word about the importance of prevention, treatment and recovery supports and fighting to ensure resources are available to those who need them."
"Having worked in a substance abuse treatment facility in the past, I know firsthand the importance of funding for these support programs," said Forrester. "Drug and alcohol abuse weakens our communities, harms our economy, and costs taxpayers millions each year as a result of increased criminal justice, health care, and other costs. Effective treatment programs can prevent these consequences by ensuring that those suffering from these diseases can get treatment and then go on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. It is an honor to be recognized by New Futures for the work we have been able to do in this area and I look forward to continuing to work with them to address New Hampshire's substance abuse problems head on."
New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug problems in New Hampshire.
Note: A courtesy photo from the event is attached, no attribution necessary. Left to right: New Futures Executive Director Linda Saunders Paquette, Sen. Jeanie Forrester of Meredith and writer Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of "Drink", at the Sept. 17 annual meeting of New Futures in Concord. (Courtesy photo)