August 03, 2021

Senator Hassan Secures Key Priorities for New Hampshire in Bipartisan Infrastructure Package

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) is working across the aisle to pass a bipartisan infrastructure package. She was one of the 22 original negotiators of the bill, and now that the final draft legislation has been released, the Senate is working to get this bill across the finish line. The bill includes key provisions that Senator Hassan secured to expand high-speed internet access, support coastal resilience, invest in clean energy, and strengthen cybersecurity.

“This bipartisan package will make historic investments to create jobs and grow our economy,” said Senator Hassan. “The bill will make an enormous difference in the lives of Granite Staters and will help small businesses thrive -- it includes priorities that Granite Staters have raised with me for years, from the need to repair our roads and bridges to the expansion of high-speed internet in our 21st century economy. I was glad to work on a bipartisan basis to help shape this bill based on what I heard from Granite Staters, and I will keep working to get this passed into law.” 

Senator Hassan successfully pushed for a number of key provisions in the bill to help advance Granite State priorities, including:

 

Repairing Roads and Bridges

  • The bill includes $110 billion, a record-level investment, to fix roads, bridges, and highways as well as improve road safety. Earlier this summer, Senator Hassan underscored the importance of these types of critical projects during a visit to the Bunker Creek Bridge Replacement Project.

 

Expanding Passenger Rail

  • The bill includes $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, and it includes Senator Hassan’s bipartisan Railroad Rehabilitation and Financing Innovation Act to improve the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program, which is designed to provide direct loans to help develop passenger and short line railroads in New Hampshire and across the country.
  • Through Senator Hassan’s work, the bill strengthens future funding opportunities for the Capitol Corridor and provides $1 billion in funding for rail safety.

 

Increasing Coastal Resiliency for Seacoast Communities 

  • Senator Hassan directly negotiated $492 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Coastal Resiliency Fund, a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This program improves the resilience of coastal communities to flooding and inundation by restoring or expanding natural ecosystems, while enhancing fish and wildlife habitats and increasing protection for communities from coastal hazards.
  • As communities including on the Seacoast feel the impact of climate change and rising sea levels, Senator Hassan also successfully secured $491 million for the NOAA Community-Based Restoration Project. This program helps protect the safety and well-being of coastal communities by buffering shorelines from erosion, reducing flooding, and removing potentially hazardous structures.  

 

Investing in High Speed Internet

  • Senator Hassan was directly involved in broadband negotiations, and as a result of her and her colleagues’ efforts, the bill provides a historic investment of $42.45 billion for the deployment of high-speed internet to every home in America, including a minimum of $100 million for New Hampshire. The bill includes a 10 percent set aside to help states such as New Hampshire with high-cost areas that are the most expensive to deploy. 
  • Proceeds from spectrum auctions were used to help pay for this bill. This approach mirrors Senator Hassan’s bipartisan AIRWAVES Act, which directed spectrum auction revenues be used to fund rural high-speed internet development.
  • The bill also includes Senator Hassan’s effort to use private activity bonds to help pay for high-speed internet infrastructure in unserved locations, an approach that allows state and local governments to access and leverage new sources of capital and attract investment for broadband. 

 

Strengthening Cybersecurity

  • Senator Hassan directly secured $1 billion for a state and local cybersecurity grant program, which she has developed as chair of the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee. Senator Hassan’s bill would provide critical funding as the rate of ransomware attacks - like the one that hit Sunapee School District - continue to rise.

 

Ensuring Clean Drinking Water for NH Towns

  • The bipartisan bill will invest $54 billion for water infrastructure, including $10 billion specifically to address PFAS contamination. Senator Hassan’s provision, the Advanced Drinking Water Technology Grant Program amendment, was included in the package to better ensure that New Hampshire towns would be eligible for an advanced technology grant program that can be used to remove PFAS from drinking water.

 

Building Clean Energy Technology 

  • The bill will invest $73 billion in clean energy transmission, including new transmission lines and smart grid technologies.
  • It also supports domestic battery energy storage development and deployment, technology needed to increase the use of renewable energy sources and eliminate reliability gaps throughout the day. These provisions build on Senator Hassan’s bipartisan Battery Storage Innovation Act – which was signed into law as part of the December government funding package.

 

Repairing NH’s Dams and Waterways

  • Senator Hassan pushed to include robust investment in dams and waterways, improving funding for federal and state efforts to improve the efficiency, safety, and usability of our dams and waterways. 
  • This funding includes $67 million for federal assistance to state agency dam safety activities along with $148 million for grants to states to carry out those activities. There is also significant funding for restoring fish passages in our waterways, improving the health of our rivers and wildlife.

 

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