• Sat. May 21st, 2022

Bill would expand northern boundary commission another decade

CONCORD, NH (AP) — A bill introduced Thursday by a group of U.S. senators from northern New England would allow a new 10-year authorization for a commission that provides funds and jobs for economic development projects in the region.

The Northern Boundary Regional Commission bill “encourages business retention and expansion, invests in public infrastructure and promotes tourism,” said a press release from the office of U.S. Senator from New Hampshire Jeanne. Shaheen.

The bill expands the commission’s ability to award grants to projects aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders; child care and health care needs; and the construction or rehabilitation of housing.

It adds New Hampshire’s Merrimack County and Maine’s Lincoln County as newly eligible to receive funds.

The bill increases the annual credit limit from $33 million to $50 million for the first five years and $60 million for the next five.

“I look forward to the Senate acting quickly on this bill so that we can provide important resources to rural communities, especially as we recover from the pandemic,” Shaheen, a Democrat, said in a statement. .

She introduced the bill, along with fellow Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Susan Collins of Maine.

Leahy said “future generations of Vermonters will continue to benefit from his support for their local communities and economies.”

Collins said the commission serves as a critical resource for northern and central Maine and that the investments it supports “will help ensure that rural communities have the tools they need to thrive.”

The bill’s co-sponsors include the senses. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, both independent; and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, both Democrats.

The commission also supports projects in New York.