U.S. Sen. Shaheen: Seacoast benefiting from millions in new investments

May 15, 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 Seacoast communities. The housing crisis has hit the Seacoast hard, so I worked to combat housing insecurity through this process. I secured funding for Seacoast Family Promise, NH Community Loan Fund and CAP of Strafford County to help house working families with children in need and support programming geared toward our most vulnerable neighbors. Disparities in access to health care is also a top issue I hear from Granite Staters, and I’m pleased to welcome resources to lower health care costs and expand access. I fought for $500,000 for Wentworth-Douglass Hospital to provide transportation for patients in need, as well as $1 million to build a facility in Northwood for patients with developmental disabilities. 

That’s not all that’s coming to the Seacoast. This government funding bill is also a win for local law enforcement, who will now have resources to update equipment and improve their response time to emergencies. That includes funding for new radios for police in Durham and Strafford County and new body cameras for Exeter and Greenland police. Improving water quality is also critical for the Seacoast region, so I helped secure $1 million for upgrades to the Exeter water pump station, as well as funding for Rochester’s wastewater operations and funding to support and protect the Great Bay Estuary Watershed. In addition, to continue the scientific excellence coming out of the University of New Hampshire, I helped secure millions of dollars to expand and upgrade the Jackson Estuarine Lab to support cutting-edge water research. 

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: Seacoast Online