- On March 23, President Donald Trump signed compromise legislation (the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018) funding the federal government through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2018. The measure provides $155 million for ARC’s nonhighway programs, an increase of $3 million from the Commission’s FY 2017 funding level and the highest funding level in the agency’s history. The total figure includes:
- $73 million for ARC’s base 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;
- $10 million to continue a program of high-speed broadband deployment in economically distressed counties in Central Appalachia; and
- $6 million for basic infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties in Central Appalachia.
The legislation also provides $6 million in funding for the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service’s Rural Business Program that will be divided equally between ARC and the Delta Regional Authority.
The legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate on March 23 and by the House of Representatives on March 22.