Washington, D.C. – All four members of Maine’s Congressional Delegation joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers representing Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York in a letter to Congressional leadership calling for the inclusion of dedicated funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) in upcoming COVID-19 relief legislation.
The letter, signed by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden, highlighted the challenges northern communities face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and underscored the need for dedicated funding for the partnership.
“Investments from the NBRC have significantly improved the infrastructure and quality of life in rural parts of our states, spurring economic growth, job creation and community development,” the Lawmakers wrote. “Congress should provide additional funding to expand the capacity of this important program to help communities cope with and recover from this public health emergency.”
“Additional resources will be important to ensuring the Commission can help communities fund and complete existing projects, respond to new challenges and build for a post-pandemic economy, as well as leverage existing federal and community partnerships,” the Lawmakers continued. “Given this need, we respectfully request that you include dedicated funding for the NBRC in any future relief package.”
NBRC provides grants for projects throughout rural Maine, as well as northern New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont, spurring economic and community development. The program funds projects that support business retention and expansion, access to high-speed broadband, critical infrastructure development, and job creation throughout the region. In 2019, NBRC awarded more than $6 million to projects in Maine.
As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins worked to secure $25 million – a $5 million increase from the previous year – for the NBRC in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations package. In 2018, Senators Collins and King co-authored legislation reauthorizing this program.
Click HERE to read the full letter.