A bill introduced would allow a 10-year reauthorization for a commission that provides funding and jobs for economic development projects across the region

A bill introduced Thursday by a group of U.S. senators in northern New England would allow a 10-year reauthorization for a commission that provides funding and jobs for economic development projects across the region. The Northern Border Regional Commission bill “encourages business retention and expansion, invests in public infrastructure and promotes tourism,” a news release from New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office said. The bill broadens the commission’s ability to award grants to projects to address the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders; child care and health care needs; and housing construction or rehabilitation. It adds New Hampshire’s Merrimack County and Maine’s Lincoln County as newly eligible to receive funds.