Legislative Update: Senate Approves ARC Reauthorization Legislation
On August 3, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a five-year reauthorization of the Appalachian Regional Commission. The legislation continues all of the Commission's existing programs and creates a new economic and energy development initiative that would be funded out of ARC's annual authorization. The bill provides authorization levels of $95.2 million for fiscal year (FY) 2007; $98.6 million for FY 2008; $102 million for FY 2009; $105.7 million for FY 2010; and $109.4 million for FY 2011; and it requires that any earmarks come out of state allocations. The bill also requires the Commission to annually designate economically ""at risk"" counties and permits it to fund up to 70 percent of project costs in those counties. Unlike the House's version of the reauthorization legislation, the measure does not add any counties to the Appalachian Region.The House and Senate will address differences between their respective versions of the reauthorization this fall.