Bush Administration Announces FY 2006 Budget Proposal for Appalachian Regional Commission
WASHINGTON, February 7, 2005—The Bush administration proposed a budget for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) today that would maintain level funding for both the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) and ARC's nonhighway economic development programs and regional initiatives in fiscal year (FY) 2006.
Funding for the ADHS through the president's SAFE-TEA proposal would continue at $450 million for FY 2006. ARC's nonhighway funding would be $65.5 million.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope welcomed the administration's budget proposal.
"President Bush's budget proposal for ARC reflects his continued commitment to assist the people of Appalachia in achieving the same kind of social and economic prosperity as the rest of the nation," Pope said.
"The president has made it clear that while the national economy is on track for recovery and sustained job creation, he will not be satisfied until every person who wants to work can find a job and prosperity reaches every corner of America. We appreciate the president's confidence in ARC's ability to deliver the economic tools that communities need."
Ohio Governor Bob Taft, ARC's 2005 states' co-chair, said: "The ARC partnership continues to be a success because of clear goals, accountability, and investments that have a measurable impact on economic and community development. I look forward to working with congressional leaders, ARC leadership, and governors from the other Appalachian states to ensure this appropriation is approved and progress in the Appalachian Region continues."
The Commission's programs are designed to assist the 13-state Appalachian Region in achieving socioeconomic parity with the nation. Activities for FY 2006 will advance the four goals of ARC's 2005–2010 strategic plan: 1) increasing job opportunities and per capita income; 2) strengthening the capacity of Appalachia's citizens to compete in the global economy; 3) improving the Region's competitiveness through development of key infrastructure; and 4) reducing the Region's isolation by building the ADHS.
ARC's 10-year performance goals are to: 1) help the Region's businesses create or retain 200,000 jobs; 2) improve education and job-related skills for 200,000 people; 3) provide new or improved water and sewer infrastructure to 200,000 households; and 4) open an additional 250 miles of the ADHS to traffic. Investments in the Region's most distressed counties and areas will continue to be a priority.
The administration's FY 2006 budget proposal now goes to Congress for its consideration.