A Plan to Improve the Health & Economic Security of New Hampshire Women and Families

Colin Van Ostern is running for Governor to build a stronger economy for New Hampshire where everyone has the chance to succeed — not just those at the top. In order to achieve this brighter future for our state, Colin will work to improve the health and economic security of New Hampshire women and their families by pursuing these key policy priorities, including:

  • Protect Family Planning Health Services, Permanently Expand Medicaid, and Always Protect a Woman’s Right To Choose: A woman’s right to her own health care decisions should be left to her and her health care provider, without politicians getting in the way. Colin successfully fought to restore funds for family planning services when politics got in the way and denied thousands fewer women and families accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and annual exams. Today, the successful bipartisan expansion of Medicaid to nearly 50,000 New Hampshire citizens — more than half are women — is scheduled to expire on the next Governor’s watch. As Governor, Colin will work to make Medicaid expansion permanent and ensure that family planning services are uninterrupted.
  • Bring More Young Women and Girls into Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Educational Program and Industries: Increasing the number of young women and girls participating in STEAM educational programing and workforce pathways will strengthen New Hampshire’s economy. Last January, the Governor’s Task Force on Science, Engineering, and Math recommended the establishment of an advisory council to coordinate statewide work to promote girls in STEM, and the overall STEM task force was extended by Executive Order. As Governor, Colin will work to expand upon this initiative by commissioning an advisory council that will coordinate public and private STEAM educational and workforce programs to promote mentorship for young girls at our public schools.
  • Increase the State Minimum Wage: New Hampshire has the lowest minimum wage and largest gender pay gap in New England, and falls below the national average at $0.76 cents for every $1 men earn. Meanwhile, 65 percent of all workers that earn the minimum wage are women. As Governor, Colin will fight to restore New Hampshire’s minimum wage law and raise the wage to ensure that no-one works full-time and lives in poverty. Ensure Full Day Kindergarten In Every Town: Only 55 percent of kindergarten-aged children in New Hampshire are enrolled in full-day programs, ranking second lowest in the nation. While the number of towns offering full day kindergarten has increased in recent years, the state only provides half the funding as it does for other ages. As Governor, Colin will work to ensure that every community provides full-day kindergarten, so that our children are better prepared and parents have more opportunities to succeed.
  • Improve Family Leave Policies and Promote Family Friendly Workplaces: Colin believes that a flexible workplace promotes a stronger workforce. As an Executive Councilor, Colin voted to commission a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire that is studying the costs, benefits, alternative models, and public support for family leave policies in New Hampshire, with a goal of identifying the barriers that hold Granite Staters back from fully participating in our economy. As Governor, Colin will work with stakeholders to incorporate the best ideas recommended by this study to advance policies that will help remove existing barriers to workforce participation.
  • Expand Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Initiatives, Restore State Matching Funds for Domestic Violence Services, and Reduce Sexual Violence on Our College Campuses: More than one in five women in higher education face sexual assault, and Colin believes that this violence must be elevated beyond a campus concern to become a statewide policy concern. Building upon the work of the University of New Hampshire’s Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP), Colin will work to bring together campus administrators to implement common reporting guidelines and share evidence-based best practices statewide for reducing on-campus sexual assault. As Governor, Colin will work to restore state matching funds for victims of domestic and expand initiatives aimed at preventing domestic and sexual violence, so victims and those at-risk have the support services that they need. Between the better collection of sexual assault data, improved coordination between university administrations, and stronger support services for domestic and sexual assault victims, Colin will work to reduce incidences of abuse.


Paid for by Van Ostern for New Hampshire. Debby Butler, Treasurer.
P.O. Box 3931, Manchester, NH 03105 • (603) 232-5538