What is New Hampshire's take of $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill?

NH Business Review
Published: 8/12/2021 5:32:04 PM

New Hampshire’s two U.S. senators are hailing passage on Tuesday of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill that they say will pay big dividends to New Hampshire, from improving bridges, roads and power grids to expanding the state’s broadband networks.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, who played a big role in the negotiations to hammer out the bipartisan agreement, and Maggie Hassan both praised the measure – Hassan called it “a game-changer” – which would mean that New Hampshire could see a big injection of cash for some projects that have been in progress for some time.

The measure passed 69-30, with 19 Republican senators voting for it, including Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Among the provisions in the infrastructure package, are:

■$110 billion to repair roads and bridges through new dedicated grant programs.

■$65 billion to expand broadband access to remote rural communities through public-private partnerships. According to Shaheen, New Hampshire will receive a minimum of $100 million for those projects alone. Additional funding will subsidize monthly internet bills for low-income families.

■$54 billion to upgrade water infrastructure, including $10 billion for PFAS remediation and $15 billion for lead service line replacement.

■$65 billion to fund grid reliability, resilience and energy-efficiency measures, including creation of a Grid Development Authority.

Shaheen said the bill would also fix a provision in the 2017 tax bill that led to taxes on critical water infrastructure investments, including in New Hampshire, where the tax has resulted in at least $1.15 million in new federal taxes for water infrastructure projects in southern New Hampshire.

Hassan also pointed to the bill’s support for expansion of commuter rail, including the long-sought rail service from Boston to Nashua, Manchester and Concord.

The bill also includes a Hassan priority: helping states and localities beef up their network security against cyberattacks.

The bipartisan bill next goes to the U.S. House, which is not expected to take up the measure until September, after members return from recess.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information, visit collaborativenh.org.


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