Amplifying your voice
I hope you had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend! As the daughter of a World War II veteran and as a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Memorial Day has always had a very special place in my heart. This year, I had the opportunity to recognize our fallen servicemen and women during a beautiful ceremony at the State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. I offer my heartfelt appreciation and respect to those who have paid the ultimate price to protect our nation.
I have been traveling around the district this week to highlight some exciting news, and I wanted to share some of this progress with you now:
Introducing Legislation to Ensure Your Voice is Heard
After months of work to address concerns about the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline, I joined the affected communities around my district in welcoming the recent news that the project proposal had been withdrawn. I met with local community members during the review process who would have been affected by the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and what I heard time and time again was that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was not adequately taking their viewpoints into consideration. When energy projects are considered that will have a significant impact on local communities, members of those communities must not only be heard, but also given power to influence the final outcome of FERC’s decision.
Rep. Kuster addresses the crowd during the announcement of her legislation.
That’s why I was proud to announce the introduction of my Energy Consumer Advocacy Act in Milford this week. This bipartisan legislation will authorize funding for the Office of Public Participation within FERC and require the agency to better involve constituents in the review process. When fully funded, the Office of Public Participation will be responsible for including community members and local stakeholders in FERC’s review process, and it would require the agency to strengthen public engagement efforts when reviewing proposed energy projects similar to the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. It is time for FERC to stop acting like a rubber stamp for energy projects, and start operating like a regulatory agency. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to pass this bill into law.
New Measures to Combat the Opioid Epidemic
If we are to overcome the ongoing opioid epidemic, we must come together as a society and structure our response around the understanding that substance use disorder is a chronic illness. After many months of meeting with local community members, convening regional briefings, and hosting field hearings to discuss treatment practices, I am pleased to see that experts from New Hampshire’s corrections, law enforcement, medical, and treatment communities are embracing this fundamental truth.
Rep. Kuster with Sullivan County stakeholders following the legislative update in Claremont.
Yesterday, I met with stakeholders from across Sullivan County to discuss my legislative agenda and the recent advancement of key legislation that I've been pushing to address the opioid epidemic. Prior to our discussion, I toured the Transitional Re-entry and Inmate Life Skills (TRAILS) Program at the Sullivan County Department of Corrections, a program that works with individuals battling addiction by giving them the tools they need to rehabilitate and successfully reintegrate after serving their sentences. By focusing on the development of these life skills, recidivism has been reduced from 80% to 19% among program participants, thereby saving lives as well as taxpayer dollars. I held one of my first regional briefings on the opioid epidemic last year here in Claremont, and it was truly meaningful to be back in town to learn more about progress that advocates on the ground have made, and to share some of the exciting steps we've taken in Congress over the past year.
Reminder: “The Ghost Army” screening is this Monday
This Monday, June 6, I will be hosting a screening of “The Ghost Army,” a documentary film that tells the story of the Ghost Army, a covert World War II unit that was tasked with the mission of deceiving enemy forces through tactical deception in numerous key battles. For years, the members of the Ghost Army went unrecognized due to the confidentiality of their missions, but it is high time that we celebrate these brave men. I have introduced legislation that would award the Ghost Army members with a Congressional Gold Medal, and will be joined at the screening by film director Rick Beyer to discuss the historic impact of this exceptional unit.
The screening and panel discussion will be held from 6:00PM to 8:45PM on June 6 at Red River Theatres, located at 11 South Main Street in Concord. Anyone wishing to attend the film screening and Q&A can register here.
Thanks for all that you do to make New Hampshire such a wonderful place to live!