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Legislative Update: President Obama Signs FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Legislation

December 2015

On December 18, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved, and President Barack Obama signed, compromise legislation (the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016) funding the federal government for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The measure provides $146 million for ARC. Within that amount, $70 million is for the Commission's base program, the same funding level as in FY 2015. The total amount also includes $50 million for the administration's POWER+ initiative, and $10 million to continue the program of high-speed broadband deployment in economically distressed counties within the Central Appalachian region that have been most negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal industry.

The funding also includes $16 million for a workforce development program in Southern Appalachia focused primarily on the automotive-supplier sector and the aviation sector in South Central Appalachia, with up to $13.5 million of that amount to be available for work in Southern Appalachia. The funds for this program are to be distributed according to ARC's distressed-county formula.