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Legislative Update: Senate, House Appropriations Committees Approve FY 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bills Containing ARC Funding

May 2018


 
On May 24, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations approved its fiscal year (FY) 2019 energy and water development appropriations bill, which provides $155 million for ARCís nonhighway programs. This is the same amount ARC received for FY 2018. The total includes $73 million for the Commissionís regular program; $50 million for the POWER Initiative to help communities that have been adversely impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector; $16 million for a program of industrial site and workforce development in Southern and South Central Appalachia focused primarily on the automotive-supplier sector and aviation sectors; and $16 million for a program of basic infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties in Central Appalachia.

The committee report accompanying that bill directs the Commission to provide Congress with a report that examines the feasibility of relocating the agency to the Appalachian Region and any potential long-term cost savings the move could accomplish. The report also states the committeeís view that if the agency were to move, it should relocate to West Virginia. Full Senate consideration of the bill is expected in June.

The House Committee on Appropriations approved its FY 2019 energy and water development appropriations bill on May 16. That legislation also provides $155 million for ARCís nonhighway programs. The bill allocates $50 million for the POWER Initiative and $10 million to continue a program of high-speed broadband deployment in economically distressed counties in Central Appalachia that have been most negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal industry. Full House consideration of the legislation is pending.