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Legislative Update: Senate, House Approve FY 2019 Appropriations Bills Containing ARC Funding

June 2018

On June 25, the U.S. Senate approved a minibus appropriations measure (H.R. 5895) containing the Senateís 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 the aviation sector; and $16 million for a program of basic infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties in Central Appalachia.

The committee report accompanying the Senate energy and water development 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.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved its version of the FY 2019 energy and water development appropriations legislation on June 8. Like the Senate bill, it provides a total of $155 million for ARCís nonhighway programs, and allocates $50 million for the POWER Initiative. The House bill also allocates $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.

A Senate-House conference committee is expected to reconcile differences between the two measures later this summer.