- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Gov. Maggie Hassan says expanding commuter rail from Boston into New Hampshire is critical for the state’s economic growth.

Hassan, a Democrat, outlined the benefits of bringing commuter rail to Nashua and Manchester during her inaugural address Thursday at the Statehouse. Hassan is entering her second term and is facing a Republican-controlled Legislature.

New Hampshire has been studying the costs and benefits of bringing commuter rail to New Hampshire and the issue has become political recently.

Hassan says expanding rail will allow New Hampshire to better compete with Massachusetts for businesses and residents. Hassan also says commuter rail could spark economic growth in New Hampshire and encourage young people to stay. The New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority projects a rail from Boston to Manchester would have about 3,000 riders daily.

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