On February 24th, United States Congresswoman Annie Kuster, addressed the Rotary Club of Nashua regarding her update on the happenings in Congress. Congresswoman Kuster was elected to her first term in 2012.  She graduated from Dartmouth and Georgetown Law and resides with her husband in Hopkinton, NH.  She was accompanied by staffers Amy Fox, Nick Brown, and Jennifer Slattery.
She provided us an update her activities affecting the region.  She has worked on a lot of joint efforts with Mayor Donchess on a variety of environmental issues.  She is very much in support of the Nashua Performing Arts center as she is hoping it will have the same impact on re-invigorating downtown with its presence.  If commuter rail is added is will amplify the potential impact.
 
She is on the energy committee and is working on a number of bipartisan bills (20) to reduce the carbon footprint throughout the area.  A recent improvement in Nashua streetlights (moving to LED fixtures and lights) is saving the city $200,000 per year.  The rail project would link Nashua to Boston via Lowell/Lawrence as well as north to Manchester and the airport.  It would help commuters as well as transportation air carriers (UPS, FedEx).
 
Some small projects that are getting funding due to an easing of regulations to facilitate the release of funds.  Currently unemployment is 2.4% which challenges employers to keep a reliable, steady, happy team of employees.  There is an effort via the community college programs to help train the necessary employees for many of the businesses in advanced manufacturing.  Many trained in trades are in high demand.  Community college efforts to produce more qualified trades people are very successful.
 
Federal healthcare funding continues to provide care and services to fight the opioid epidemic. The situation in Nashua is helped by multiple agencies that provide a broad range of services.  In northern NH there are less local community services, that can take advantage of the funds.  Also, Federal funds were released for heating assistance.
 
Bipartisan issues like the USMCA are spurring new development and markets for goods being exported out of the state.  Repealing the Medical device tax and the Cadillac insurance tax also helped relieve individual and small business burden they were feeling from these taxes.
 
Q & A
 
    Q - Northern Pass – Eversource had planned to bring hydro electric energy from Quebec but the energy was slated to be delivered primarily to Boston area.  Would it have been better to target NH?  A. - An alternate route or service endpoint might have made it a successful project.
    Q – Does the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader in the Senate have too much power on what gets voted upon.  A. - 400 bills have been passed by the House of Representatives and are sitting on Majority Leader McConnell’s desk.  None have been put to the Senate for a vote.  A possible solution would change Senate rules so a vote would be brought if the majority of the senate signed that a bill should go forward.
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