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Legislative Update: Senate, House Appropriations Committees Approve FY 2009 ARC Funding Bills; House Passes Five-Year ARC Reauthorization Legislation

July 2008

On July 10, 2008, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved its version of the fiscal year (FY) 2009 energy and water development appropriations bill, which contains ARC's nonhighway funding for the fiscal year beginning October 1. The bill provides $85 million for ARC, an increase from the Commission's current funding level of $73 million. The House Committee on Appropriations approved its FY 2009 energy and water development appropriations bill, containing $67 million for ARC, on June 25. Full Senate and House action on the measures is pending.

On July 15, the House approved a compromise five-year reauthorization bill for ARC's nonhighway programs. Funding authorization levels in the bill begin at $87 million for FY 2008 and increase to $110 million for FY 2012. The legislation requires the designation of economically "at risk" counties and permits ARC to fund up to 70 percent of the cost of projects it funds in those counties. The measure also creates a new economic and energy development initiative to fund activities in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and conventional energy resources through the use of advanced technologies that reduce emissions such as greenhouse gasses. Additionally, the bill adds 10 new counties to the Appalachian Region. Senate action on the reauthorization bill is pending.