Here in New Hampshire and across our country, people are hurting and worried because of the coronavirus. At risk are their health and the health of their families, their jobs, their ability to keep a roof overhead, food on the table, securing their retirement and more. Not since the 1918 outbreak of the Spanish influenza has a pandemic posed such an immense threat to the public health of our country.

ShaheenColumnsig

Granite Staters need help and they need it fast. That’s the message I’m hearing from the mayors, public health officials, small business owners and social service agencies on the front lines of this crisis. And while this fight is far from over, bipartisan action from Congress will bring critical support to New Hampshire.

I proudly worked across the aisle as part of a bipartisan team in the U.S. Senate focused on small business relief. Alongside assistance for small businesses and workers in New Hampshire, the bill contains a number of provisions to deliver direct relief to Granite Staters, including:

• Emergency paid sick leave to workers infected with the coronavirus or undergoing quarantine. This leave is also available to those that need to take care of a family member impacted by the virus, or a child whose school or place of care is closed out of COVID-19 concerns.

• Four months of increased unemployment insurance for those laid off as a result of the pandemic.

• Economic assistance, with many Granite Staters getting direct payments worth as much as $1,200 per person and $500 per child.

• More for our health care providers for hospital beds, masks and ventilators, and more to expand testing and to help make childcare and elder care affordable for health care workers so they can continue to do their jobs.

• Economic assistance so our small businesses and nonprofits can cover expenses and continue to pay their employees, including a provision that allows for rent, mortgage and utility costs to be eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.

• $1.25 billion in state support to help New Hampshire.

In addition, the bill also provides: Assistance to help our fishing industry weather this storm, critical support to airports and mass transit systems and increased funding for LIHEAP — a program that thousands of Granite Staters rely on to heat their homes.

My top priority has been and continues to be New Hampshire and the people of our great state. I’ve been adamant that we get this right so that we provide real relief to those who need it most. That means standing-up against corporate give-aways, but also reaching out and working across the aisle to get things done for working families and small businesses. That’s what it took to get this important action from Congress. It marks an important beginning. Republicans and Democrats must continue to work across the aisle to overcome this crisis.

Congress has approved funding and the President has signed it. Now comes the hard part, making sure money gets into the hands of people who need help. I urge the Trump administration to move quickly to release resources to New Hampshire for our health care workers, our families and our small businesses. I am ready and eager to help in any way that I can.

This is one of those moments when I’m reminded they don’t call us Granite Staters for nothing. We are tough in New Hampshire, and we come together to meet the challenges of tough times with persistence, smarts and compassion. This certainly is one of those times. For New Hampshire and our nation, it is a time to unite, to work together and do what’s best for our communities and our country.

Shaheen is New Hampshire’s senior U.S. senator.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

AS CONGRESS continues to negotiate on two high-profile proposals — a more than $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package — there is another proposal pending that is getting less attention, though Granite Staters should pay it close attention.

Friday, October 22, 2021

$27 MILLION is not chump change. $27 million could make a real difference in providing New Hampshire the resources to increase vaccination rates and end the COVID pandemic. Republicans on the Executive Council and the Joint Fiscal Committee have delayed and now blocked New Hampshire’s accept…

Thursday, October 21, 2021

MANCHESTER HAS released new valuations for city properties. We have been told, and for the most part agree, that home values have increased and that those new values are based on comparable residential sales. What I disagree with are the new commercial values, which were not as positive and …

WHEN A CONDOMINIUM collapsed in Florida in June of this year, tragically killing 98 people, evidence of structural defects, reports of overdue repairs, and emails between owners, contractors, and city officials surfaced, all pointing fingers and demanding answers to the question “Could this …

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021

IF YOU’VE driven along the New Hampshire Seacoast, you’re probably very familiar with the Hampton Bridge. This vital connector on Route 1A spans the Hampton River and carries 18,000 vehicles a day during the height of the summer season. It once held the distinction of the longest wooden brid…

Friday, October 15, 2021

FOR THOSE who care about animals and who want to protect them from mistreatment, a silver lining of the pandemic was that it kept the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) tour away from Manchester for more than a year. Alas, the tour is returning for two shows at the SNHU Arena in October.

Thursday, October 14, 2021