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Legislative Update: President Bush Signs ARC Reauthorization into Law

March 2002

On March 12, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law S. 1206, the Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2002 (P.L. 107-149). The legislation extends ARC's nonhighway programs through 2006; continues the Commission's traditional work in providing basic infrastructure, health care, and local leadership development; and maintains support for multicounty planning and development agencies (local development districts). The measure also authorizes new programs in telecommunications, entrepreneurship, and job-skills training, and reinforces ARC's commitment to distressed counties in Appalachia by mandating that at least half of Commission project dollars go to activities that benefit distressed areas. Another provision of the legislation adds four new counties to the Region: Hart and Edmonson Counties in Kentucky, and Panola and Montgomery Counties in Mississippi. The act provides an authorization level of $88 million annually for fiscal years 2002 through 2004; $90 million for fiscal year 2005, and $92 million for fiscal year 2006.