ICYMI: Governor Sununu dumps rail again with New Hampshire no longer in the running for Amazon HQ2
Concord, N.H. - Today, WMUR is reporting that Governor Sununu told Republican legislators to kill the rail proposal he put in the 10-year transportation bill just two weeks ago. Sununu had added rail to the proposal as a way to lure Amazon, but according to lawmakers, "he won't lose sleep over it because he's got other priorities." This weekend, the Union Leader detailed a number of glaring flip-flops by Governor Sununu in the past year. NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement: "Governor Sununu is embarrassing New Hampshire by jumping from position to position on rail. Less than two weeks after supporting the proposal, the governor is back to opposing it. His reversal reeks of the same laziness that led him to oppose the project in the first place back in 2013. There's no doubt he will have a harder time landing companies like Amazon if he continues to be a reactionary governor rather than taking proactive steps to attract businesses and retain young people. Between constantly reversing course on key issues, continuously underfunding crucial state programs and failing to stand up for Granite Staters on the national stage, Governor Sununu is the most partisan New Hampshire governor in recent memory. He claims to wants to use the Amazon proposal as a recruitment model, but without rail, New Hampshire will continue to be left off the list of contenders and lose the great business reputation our state has built in the last decade." WMUR: Businesses form coalition to support commuter rail study Businesses in Manchester and Nashua are banding together to keep a controversial commuter rail study in the state transportation plan. The coalition is trying to build on Gov. Chris Sununu's brief support for rail. The governor said that commuter rail was on the table if Amazon decided to locate its second North American headquarters in Londonderry. New Hampshire didn't make the short list, but that's not stopping businesses that are already here from making a renewed push for rail. The Manchester Millyard is home to several growing high-tech and innovative businesses, and rails run through the middle of what could once again be a massive economic engine for the state. "A rail connection from Manchester to Boston would be like gasoline on the fire of what's happening here with tech companies, with biotech innovation happening, with (the University of New Hampshire) Manchester -- this could really just be transformative," said Gray Chynoweth of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute. Sununu signed off on a 10-year transportation plan that includes $4 million in federal funds to study extending a passenger rail line into New Hampshire. He abandoned his previous opposition to rail in an attempt to lure Amazon's HQ2 project to Londonderry. But with Amazon looking elsewhere, legislators said the governor has told them he doesn't mind if they cut the study funding. "There would be no problem," said Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry. "He won't lose sleep over it because he's got other priorities." Rail remains a top priority for more than 50 businesses forming a new coalition to make the case for rail. "We're hopeful that the legislature will do its part and, for zero taxpayer dollars, help fund this analysis," said E.J. Powers of New Hampshire Businesses for Rail Expansion... ...The transportation plan with the rail study funding included will go before a House committee at 1 p.m. Wednesday. A spokesman for the governor reiterated his hands-off approach, saying that the issue is now in the Legislature's hands.