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Sununu Outlines Infrastructure Focus For Virus Relief Money

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Infrastructure and innovation will be the focus when it comes to spending New Hampshire’s share of the latest federal coronavirus relief act money, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.

The first half of the money is expected to arrive next week, Sununu said, though there hasn’t been any federal guidance yet on the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. In the meantime, he said he’s been working with lawmakers to be ready to make quick investments in four main areas: clean drinking water, broadband expansion, mental health treatment and state parks.

“A lot of other states will have to use these funds to maybe plug budget holes,” he said. “Here in New Hampshire, we’re going to create opportunity, and we’re going to innovate in a very creative way to make these infrastructure investments across the state so our local taxpayers don’t have to face some of those burdens.”

Sununu also announced plans to use about $50 million from the initial coronavirus relief package to reimburse small businesses for virus-related expenses regardless of whether they lost revenue and to create funds for hotels and performance venues that hadn’t been eligible for federal relief programs.