Be Safe During Post-Storm Clean Up; Crews Work to Restore Power Outages
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More than 52,000 remain without power.

CONCORD, N.H. – As of Wednesday morning, approximately 52,000 power outages remain across the state. At its peak, nearly 96,000 outages were reported statewide. Hundreds of utility crews are working around the clock to assess the damage and restore power.

Power utilities providers expect the majority of outages to be restored in the next 24-48 hours; however, some more remote areas of the state may see outages until Friday.

“Even with the storm gone, storm related threats still exist,” said NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jennifer Harper. “Be aware of dangerous conditions like downed power lines, trees, limbs, possible gas leaks from damaged tanks or pipes, and debris in roadways.”

NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management is working closely with the Public Utilities Commission to monitor outages and provide resources to affected communities as needed. During outages, the Public Utilities Commission continuously monitors utility issues and works closely with all agencies involved in the coordinated restoration effort.

As of 8:00 A.M., the State Emergency Operations Center transitioned to a Full Activation to support both the COVID-19 response and the Tropical Storm Isaias clean up.

There are no active weather watches or warnings for the State of New Hampshire.

Marine conditions on coastal Rockingham County remain dangerous through this afternoon.

Stay clear of downed power lines and assume they are live. Report downed power lines to 9-1-1.

Know what to do, and have the things you need to stay safe. Learn about preparedness, including signing up for NH Alerts, making a plan and building a kit at ReadyNH.gov.

Customers are reminded to report outages to their utility provider at least once daily until power is restored:

· Eversource............................. 1-800-662-7764

· Liberty Utilities...................... 1-855-349-9455

· NH Electric Co-Op................ 1-800-343-6432

· Unitil...................................... 1-888-301-7700

Harper offered these post-storm safety recommendations:

· Visit ReadyNH.gov to learn more about keeping safe before, during and after emergencies.

· Stay away from loose, dangling, or downed power lines and report them immediately to 9-1-1 or your power utility provider.

· Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage. If you have doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.

· If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone outside quickly. Call 9-1-1 once outside the building.

· If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.

· Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.

· If water pipes are damages, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap.

· Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

· Slow down and move over for crews removing debris from roadways.

· Check on the welfare of elderly or handicapped relatives or neighbors.

The US Department of Agriculture notes that your refrigerator will keep food safe for up to 4 hours during a power outage. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers after 4 hours without power. A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for approximately 48 hours or 24 hours if it is half-full, as long as the door remains closed. Never taste food to determine its safety. When in doubt, throw it out!

For emergencies, call 9-1-1. If you cannot call, you can text 9-1-1 for emergencies in New Hampshire.

Federal Government Approves NH’s Plan to Reduce Premium Rates in the Individual Market
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Concord, NH – Governor Chris Sununu announced today that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Department of Treasury have approved New Hampshire’s Section 1332 State Relief and Empowerment Waiver application to promote stability in the state’s individual health insurance market.

The reinsurance program is estimated to reduce plan year 2021 premiums by approximately 16% over what they would have been otherwise without the waiver. It is anticipated that the individual market’s unsubsidized population will grow by about 8% due to lower premium costs resulting from the stabilization of the market.

“The approval of the reinsurance program comes at a critical time for Granite Staters,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “It is important for families to be able to afford their health insurance premiums during a public health crisis. Our three health insurance companies operating in the individual market will also be able to continue operating here with lower and more predictable claims costs. This more stable market environment will help provide more options to New Hampshire residents who need to purchase their own insurance coverage.”

“I want to thank Governor Sununu for his support of the 1332 waiver plan, and for taking action to reduce health insurance premiums for New Hampshire residents,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner Alex Feldvebel. “Due to the pandemic, we expect that a certain number of folks will be losing their employer-sponsored coverage. This makes it all the more important to have a stable individual market with more affordable premium rates.”

The waiver program is effective January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2025, with the option to renew the program at the end of the waiver period. The waiver allows New Hampshire to receive what is known as federal “pass-through” funding — the equivalent of what the federal government is estimated to save in premium subsidy payments to New Hampshire residents as a result of the program. Payments will be allocated to the companies providing coverage in the individual market based on the number and magnitude of high cost claims that they incur.

By granting the waiver, the federal departments determined that the New Hampshire 1332 Waiver application met the “guardrail” requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act outlined in section 1332(b)(1). Specifically, while lowering premiums and stabilizing the market, it is also projected that the waiver will:

  • Provide coverage at least as comprehensive as the coverage defined in section 1302(b),
  • Provide coverage as affordable as would otherwise be provided,
  • Provide coverage to at least a comparable number of people as would have otherwise been covered, and
  • Not increase the Federal deficit.

For more information on New Hampshire’s 1332 waiver program, please see the Insurance Department’s website.

Governor Chris Sununu Statement on DOJ Review Into Other State's Revenue Departments
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Concord, NH — Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statement after it was reported that some states may be improperly taxing New Hampshire residents who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am proud that New Hampshire remains an income tax free state," said Governor Chris Sununu. "We need to maintain that New Hampshire Advantage at all costs. The N.H. Department of Justice will conduct a review of the each state’s Department of Revenue's actions to determine whether any state is engaging in improper taxation of our citizens. We will take immediate steps to stop any attempts to impose income taxes on Granite Staters in a manner that violates the law or the New Hampshire or United States Constitution."


Background: Union Leader: Working in NH not always tax-free.

State Emergency Operations Center Will Remain Open Overnight To Support State's Response To Tropical Storm Isaias
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CONCORD, N.H. – The State Emergency Operations Center will remain open overnight at a Partial Activation to support the State’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias.

According to the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Isaias’ track mostly shifted west and increased in speed, however the entire state remains under a Tropical Storm Warning until 6:00 A.M. Wednesday morning. A Tropical Storm Warning means storm-force sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are expected.

NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management encourages residents and visitors to remain sheltered for the duration of the storm.

“Although the threats from Tropical Storm Isaias have decreased, the winds and heavy rains will continue to make for unsafe conditions overnight. Residents and visitors should avoid unnecessary travel,“ said NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jennifer Harper. “Stay informed and have a way to receive emergency warnings so you know if you need to take action.”

Strong wind gusts are increasing and utility providers are reporting more than 56,000 power outages statewide as of 7:00 P.M.

Report power outages to your electric utility:

· Eversource............................. 1-800-662-7764

· Liberty Utilities...................... 1-855-349-9455

· NH Electric Co-Op................ 1-800-343-6432

· Unitil...................................... 1-888-301-7700

Stay clear of downed power lines and assume they are live. Report downed power lines to 9-1-1.

Marine conditions on coastal Rockingham County will be dangerous through Wednesday afternoon. Some minor splash-over and beach erosion associated with the storm are possible.

The core steps to preparedness are simple:

1) Stay informed – Sign up for NH Alerts to receive location-specific weather information from the National Weather Service.

2) Have a family emergency plan so your family knows where to go and who to call in an emergency.

3) Build an Emergency Kit that includes supplies for your entire family. Don’t forget supplies for your pets and hand sanitizer and masks.

Know what to do, and have the things you need to stay safe. Learn about preparedness, including signing up for NH Alerts, making a plan and building a kit at ReadyNH.gov.

Harper also offered the following recommendations:

· Monitor local conditions, particularly in areas that have flooded before.

· Turn around, don’t drown. Do not drive through floodwaters on roadways.

· Adjusts speeds for road conditions – even ponding on roadways can be hazardous.

· Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle.

· Slow down and move over for crews removing debris from roadways.

· Secure outdoor objects or take them indoors.

· Check on the welfare of elderly or handicapped relatives or neighbors.

The National Weather Service cancelled the Tornado Watch at 6:37 P.M. and cancelled the Flash Flood Watch at 7:05 P.M..

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup for 8/4/2020
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today continued to take action in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • FDA has updated its COVID-19 Drug Shortages Response webpage to provide information regarding in-use time for certain drugs during the COVID-19 public health emergency. "In-use time" is the maximum amount of time that can be allowed to elapse between penetration of a container-closure system containing a sterile drug product, or after a lyophilized drug product has been reconstituted, and before patient administration. The information for health care facilities and providers on in-use time is intended to minimize the likelihood of physicochemical degradation or microbial proliferation during use in situations where a provider is considering use beyond the labeled in-use time for the specified products.
  • As part of the FDA's effort to protect consumers, the agency issued a warning letter jointly with the Federal Trade Commission to one company, MMSTabs.com, for selling unapproved and unauthorized products to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people. There are currently no FDA-approved products to prevent or treat COVID-19. The warning letter advised MMSTabs.com to take immediate corrective action to cease selling these unapproved and unauthorized products. Consumers concerned about COVID-19 should consult with their health care provider.
  • FDA recently issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) to the following companies for their respective devices and tests:
    • Abiomed, Inc., for its Impella Left Ventricular (LV) Support Systems to authorize the emergency use of the systems to provide temporary left-ventricle unloading and support to treat critical-care patients with confirmed COVID‐19 who are undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation treatment;
    • Cleveland Clinic Robert J. Tomsich Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute, for its (molecular) Cleveland Clinic SARS-Co-V-2 Assay;
    • Poplar Healthcare, for its (molecular) Poplar SARS-CoV-2 TMA Pooling Assay;
    • Wren Laboratories, LLC, for its (molecular) Wren Laboratories COVID-19 PCR Test; and
    • Ethos Laboratories for its (molecular) SARS-CoV-2 MALDI-TOF Assay which can be used to test nasal swab specimens that are self-collected using the Ethos Laboratories U-Collect At Home Collections kit.
  • Testing updates:
    • To date, the FDA has currently authorized 203 tests under EUAs; these include 166 molecular tests, 35 antibody tests, and 2 antigen tests.

Additional Resources:

USGS Field Crews Document Isaias’ Effects Along Atlantic Coast
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USGS Field Crews Document Isaias’ Effects Along Atlantic CoastAs Tropical Storm Isaias raced north up the Atlantic Seaboard Tuesday at speeds of as much as 30 miles per hour, U.S. Geological Survey crews from South Carolina to New York fanned out across rain-swollen waterways to measure the effects of the storm. At least 87 USGS hydrologists and hydrologic technicians are in the field across the region Tuesday.

Their work includes measuring water flows on some rivers and streams where water levels are high; documenting signs of flooding in places where waters have already peaked; and collecting water samples for testing to determine whether the storm’s runoff has affected water quality.

Right after the storm, the USGS’s early information can help emergency managers decide where to locate relief centers, so that aid can reach the most severely affected communities quickly, and can help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manage flood control at dams and reservoirs across the region. In the coming weeks, USGS flood information can help the Federal Emergency Management Agency tell the difference between wind and water damage – important information for property owners and insurers. Over the long term, it can help emergency managers plan for future floods; improve computer models used by the National Weather Service to forecast flooding; and provide information used by FEMA to update the nationwide flood zone maps that underpin the federal flood insurance program.

Work Begins in the Carolinas Within Hours of Landfall

Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane around midnight Tuesday, its eye crossing the coast just north of the South Carolina-North Carolina border, bringing wind-driven water onto beaches and into bays and tidal rivers and producing close to five inches of rain in some areas. Nine USGS scientists from field offices in Charleston and Raleigh were quickly in the field measuring high water flows and recording peak water levels.

Using hand-held instruments, the crews are taking water flow measurements on flood-swollen rivers and streams. They are also looking for high water marks—telltale lines of seeds, leaves, grass blades and other debris left behind on buildings, bridges, other structures and even tree trunks as floodwaters recede. When they find high water marks, they label them, photograph them, survey them, and record crucial details about them. The field work is highly skilled and time-sensitive, because peak water flows can quickly pass, and high water marks can be obliterated by weather and by property owners’ cleanup efforts.

Measuring Storm Effects in Chesapeake Bay Region

As Isais pushed north Tuesday, it dumped more rain on the Mid-Atlantic states. In Virginia, USGS hydrologist Russell Lotspeich said the storm moved so quickly that it dropped less rainfall than expected. Four Virginia crews were collecting water quality samples in the upper reaches of three rivers that flow into the Chesapeake: the Potomac, Shenandoah and James. Two other crews were working closer to the coast in Central and Northern Virginia, measuring stream flows and looking for high water marks.

In neighboring Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, with up to six inches of rain forecast for the area, 29 USGS staffers were in the field. In Maryland’s Baltimore, Frederick, Harford, Howard and Montgomery counties, seven crews were measuring stream flows. Two more crews were measuring flows closer to the coast, in New Castle County, Delaware.

Four crews were collecting water quality samples in suburban areas near Baltimore and Washington, DC, as well as in two counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The samples will be tested for flood-borne sediment, a potential contributor to Chesapeake Bay pollution. Sediment can carry chemicals and fertilizer, bury shellfish beds and block light from reaching underwater grasses. The USGS monitors sediment flows into the Chesapeake Bay watershed as part of a joint federal-state-and District of Columbia initiative to improve the Bay’s water quality.

Field work makes it possible to reconstruct flooding

In Pennsylvania, 17 people were in the field Tuesday. Seven crews were measuring high water levels and five crews were collecting sediment samples, with the work concentrated in Chester, Montgomery and Lancaster counties. In New York, 21 more water science experts began work late Tuesday.

The physical signs of flooding provide information that can confirm or correct other lines of evidence. Among these are measurements from a network of permanent and temporary river and streamgages; satellite photos; and computer modelled flood projections. Taken together, this evidence will allow USGS experts to reconstruct where, when, at what depth, and in what volume the storm’s floodwaters gathered.

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update – August 4, 2020
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Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update on the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, DHHS announced 33 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 6,693 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. Several cases are still under investigation. Additional information from ongoing investigations will be incorporated into future COVID-19 updates. Of those with complete information, there are five individuals under the age of 18 and the rest are adults with 48% being female and 52% being male. The new cases reside in Rockingham (12), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (3), Strafford (2), Belknap (1), Carroll (1) and Cheshire (1) counties, and in the cities of Manchester (5) and Nashua (4). The county of residence is being determined for four new cases.

One new hospitalized case was identified for a total of 698 (10%) of 6,693 cases. Five of the new cases had no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission continues to occur in the State and has been identified in all counties. Most of the remaining cases have either had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or have recently traveled.

DHHS has also announced one additional death related to COVID-19. We offer our sympathies to the family and friends.

· 1 female resident of Cheshire County, 60 years of age and older

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(data updated August 4, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

6,693

Recovered

5,915 (88%)

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19

418 (6%)

Total Current COVID-19 Cases

360

Persons Who Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19

698 (10%)

Current Hospitalizations

23

Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)2

165,976

Total Persons Tested at Selected Laboratories, Antibody Laboratory Tests2

27,364

Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL

37,087

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3

144

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

2,975

1Includes specimens positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.

2Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

Number of Tests Conducted by Date of Report to NH DHHS

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Tests

Testing Laboratory

7/28

7/29

7/30

7/31

8/1

8/2

8/3

Daily Average

NH Public Health Laboratories

279

532

501

666

478

422

294

453

LabCorp

138

689

205

109

720

639

318

403

Quest Diagnostics

1,158

679

955

1,023

1,199

1,004

1,007

1,004

Mako Medical

646

391

61

57

54

4

1

173

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

224

258

175

257

232

66

5

174

Other NH Hospital Laboratory

133

119

78

115

106

113

67

104

Other Laboratory*

6

49

37

4

59

74

17

35

Total

2,584

2,717

2,012

2,231

2,848

2,322

1,709

2,346

Antibody Laboratory Tests

Testing Laboratory

7/28

7/29

7/30

7/31

8/1

8/2

8/3

Daily Average

LabCorp

9

15

22

11

11

8

0

11

Quest Diagnostics

126

121

89

113

128

46

31

93

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

20

13

16

18

5

0

0

10

Other Laboratory*

2

11

16

0

12

4

15

9

Total

157

160

143

142

156

58

46

123

* Includes out-of-state public health laboratories, out-of-state hospital laboratories, and other commercial laboratories not listed in the above table.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.

Governor Chris Sununu Endorses Law Enforcement Training Reform Recommendations, Grants Commission 30 Day Extension
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Concord, NH — Today, after receiving an initial report from the New Hampshire Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency (LEACT), Governor Chris Sununu endorsed all of the Commission's initial recommendations relative to training.

"These action items found consensus between all members of this commission - from community activists to our law enforcement representatives," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Implementing these recommendations is a top priority, and we will work with the Commission and stakeholders to ensure that happens swiftly."

Included among the recommendations endorsed by Governor Sununu are:

  • A Job Task Analysis for entry-level law enforcement officers and entry-level corrections officers by the NH Police Standards and Training (NH PST), along with an overall review of the present Academy curriculum.
  • The purchase and deployment of a database management system and online learning platform by the NH PST in order to (1) maintain a full record over the course of an officer's career of their training completion, any incidents of sustained misconduct, movement from one agency to another and/or decertification, and (2) to develop and deliver standardized on-line training to all NH law enforcement.
  • Creation of guidelines by NH PST that serve as a minimum standard with which all law enforcement agencies must comply, relative to: use of force, duty to intervene, code of conduct, duty to report misconduct, prohibition of chokeholds, procedures to guard against positional asphyxia
  • Improve and augment police academy training on diversity by conducting a review of the present lesson plan on cultural dynamics and amend it to properly address the topic. Training on the topic of Implicit Bias and Diversity to be developed with one or more community partners(s).
  • Amendment of NH PSTC administrative rules to mandate that background investigations specifically vet police recruit candidates in the area of having demonstrated outward bias of a protected group by way of past history, behavior, affiliation with a subversive group, social media posts and other objective sources to help determine the overall fitness for duty the candidate possesses and to consider those findings in the overall decision to hire the candidate.

LEACT's initial report, with a full list of recommendations, can be found here.

Governor Sununu also also announced a thirty-day extension of LEACT to develop recommendations on: (1) reporting and investigations of police misconduct and (2) how to improve relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Tropical Storm Isaias Shifts West; Threats Remail For NH
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CONCORD, N.H. – According to the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Isaias’ track mostly shifted west, however the entire state remains under a Tropical Storm Warning until 6:00 A.M. Wednesday morning. A Tropical Storm Warning means storm-force sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are expected within the next 36 hours.

The latest forecast calls for heavy rain and potentially strong wind gusts to begin this afternoon with greatest impact into tonight through Wednesday morning.

Strong wind gusts are expected and could lead to power outages caused by downed trees and limbs. The threat of river flooding has decreased; however, there is a slight increase in a tornado threat to the state.

Marine conditions on coastal Rockingham County will be dangerous through Wednesday afternoon.

NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management encourages residents and visitors to prepare now for potential impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias.

“Even though the threat has shifted mostly to the west, the entire state remains under a tropical storm warning until 6am tomorrow,” said NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jennifer Harper. “The forecast is changing and that requires everyone to stay alert. Stay informed and have a way to receive emergency warnings so you know when to take action.”

If a flash flood warning is issued in your area, be prepared to evacuate to higher ground immediately. If a tornado warning is issued in your area, be ready to act quickly and seek safe shelter indoors. It is important to take these warnings seriously.

The core steps to preparedness are simple:

1) Stay informed – Sign up for NH Alerts to receive location-specific weather information from the National Weather Service.

2) Have a family emergency plan so your family knows where to go and who to call in an emergency.

3) Build an Emergency Kit that includes supplies for your entire family. Don’t forget supplies for your pets and hand sanitizer and masks.

Know what to do, and have the things you need to stay safe. Learn about preparedness, including signing up for NH Alerts, making a plan and building a kit at ReadyNH.gov.

Report power outages to your electric utility:

· Eversource............................. 1-800-662-7764

· Liberty Utilities...................... 1-855-349-9455

· NH Electric Co-Op................ 1-800-343-6432

· Unitil...................................... 1-888-301-7700

Stay clear of downed power lines and assume they are live. Report downed power lines to 9-1-1.

Harper also offered the following recommendations:

· Monitor local conditions, particularly in areas that have flooded before.

· Turn around, don’t drown. Do not drive through floodwaters on roadways.

· Adjusts speeds for road conditions – even ponding on roadways can be hazardous.

· Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle.

· Slow down and move over for crews removing debris from roadways.

· Secure outdoor objects or take them indoors.

· Check on the welfare of elderly or handicapped relatives or neighbors.

New Hampshire Raises The Age for Purchase and Possession of Tobacco
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CONCORD – Last week, HB 1245, was signed into law. The omnibus legislation consisted of several bills concerning state agencies including SB 248, Senator Watters’ (D-Dover) bill to increase the age for sales and possession of tobacco products to 21.

Prime sponsor of SB 248, Senator David Watters (D-Dover), issued the following statement in response:

“Tobacco remains the top preventable cause of death and disease in New Hampshire. By raising the age to purchase and possess tobacco to 21, we have the potential to save thousands of lives over our lifetime. I am happy to see this important legislation signed into law and thank my colleagues and the advocates, including Dover Youth to Youth, for all their work this session.”