Includes $13.5 Million for 50-Bed Life Enhancement Dementia Unit at State Veterans Home
CONCORD, NH – Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law July 9 the state’s bipartisan capital budget (HB 25) for fiscal years 2016-2017.
The budget includes many of the projects in Hassan’s proposal presented in February, making investments that will help encourage innovation, create jobs and keep New Hampshire’s economy moving in the right direction. This includes funds for an expansion of the Piscataqua River turning basin to allow larger vessels to navigate through Portsmouth Harbor; for affordable workforce housing, with priority for veterans; for an IT system for permitting, environmental monitoring, and flood forecasting at the Department of Environmental Services; for upgrades for career and technology education (CTE) centers in Dover and Somersworth; for a consumer internet ordering site at the New Hampshire Liquor Commission; for continuation of the E-Court Initiative; for numerous projects at the Community College System of New Hampshire, including programs for HVAC Electrical Technology, Auto Tech Completion in the Lakes Region and an IT STEM lab in Claremont; and nearly $5 million for repairs and improvements at various State parks.
To improve services for New Hampshire veterans and their families, the capital budget also includes $13.5 million for the New Hampshire Veterans’ Home to build a 50-bed addition to their Life Enhancement Dementia Unit. The 31,000-square-foot unit is needed to accommodate increased demand for services as the “Baby Boomer” veteran population ages.
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“Our veterans and their families have sacrificed bravely in defense of our freedoms, and we must ensure that they receive the full care and support that they deserve,” Governor Hassan said. “This new unit at the State Veterans Home will allow us to provide dedicated care to even more veterans struggling with this horrible disease.”
The capital budget also includes $16.6 million to build a new Merrimack County Courthouse in Concord.
As recommended by the Capital Corridor Rail Study, the Governor’s capital budget proposal included $4 million for the environmental and engineering assessment that the commuter rail project requires to move forward, but the legislature did not include those funds in its capital budget.
“While I am disappointed that our capital budget does not include funds for the environmental and engineering work necessary to move forward with commuter rail from Boston up to Nashua and Manchester – a project that will boost our economy and help us attract and keep more young people in New Hampshire – this bipartisan capital budget shows that we can work together, compromise, and find solutions to help keep our economy moving in the right direction.”
In total, the capital budget authorizes nearly $271 million in capital appropriations for FY 16-17, leveraging approximately $126 million in general fund bonding authority, with the balance from other sources. The full details of the capital budget can be found here.
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