Column: $8.1 million invested in Upper Valley projects

May 12, 2022

As we come out of the pandemic and battle inflation, investing in our communities and creating jobs are key to our economic recovery. Job creation is a priority as I work in the U.S. Senate, especially as I help write and pass annual government funding bills. As a senior member of the Senate committee that creates these bills, every year I work to ensure the Granite State gets its fair share of resources. Too often, funding formulas shortchange smaller states like ours, which is why I fight to make sure we aren’t left behind.

This year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to restore the congressionally directed spending process, formally called earmarks. Now with stronger transparency measures and additional reporting requirements, this important tool to specifically direct funding to New Hampshire localities is back and already having an impact.

This year, I’m thrilled to announce that I helped secure $68.7 million for New Hampshire through the government funding bill, which was signed into law by President Biden in March. This package supports projects bolstering local infrastructure, expanding health care services, developing affordable housing, supporting local businesses, strengthening law enforcement and more. These investments will bring new jobs, strengthen local economies and increase the quality of living for Granite Staters. Simply put, this $68.7 million investment is going to make a huge difference for our communities and working families.

That’s especially true for the Upper Valley. I’m excited to welcome funding for the STONE pilot project, which will improve training for rural physicians through simulation training and strengthen telemedicine capabilities. Two million dollars are also coming to renovate the Sullivan County Nursing Home in Unity, improving quality care for elder Granite Staters. To help address the Upper Valley’s housing shortage, I worked to bring $970,000 to add new affordable housing units and invest in economic initiatives around Grafton and Coos counties.

The TLC Family Resource Center, which supports families impacted by the substance use disorder crisis, will receive $350,000 to expand services to support children affected by substance misuse. The substance use disorder epidemic hit northern New Hampshire hard and as communities continue to recover, services that prioritize recovery and family unity are key. I also fought for resources to renovate and expand a children’s learning center through Mid-State Community Health Center. This government funding bill is also a win for local law enforcement, which will now have resources to update equipment and improve their emergency response time. That includes $175,000 to improve radio systems in Campton.

This government funding legislation is a win for New Hampshire families, small businesses, health care workers and more. I’m glad to see this funding awarded, and I’ll continue to ensure New Hampshire has resources to support our local economies and move our nation forward. The long-term recovery of our communities is going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach, which is why I’ll keep working across the aisle to support measures that will get our economy back on track. As I work with lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee to begin drafting government funding legislation for the upcoming fiscal year, I’ll keep up the fight to include New Hampshire projects, to ensure Granite Staters’ voices are heard, and so we can add to the ongoing investments we’re seeing flourish in our communities.

By:  Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
Source: Valley News