March 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville), along with Rep. Ann Kuster (D-New Hampshire) and a bipartisan group of their colleagues, introduced a bill to extend the Northern Border Regional Commission (NRBC) critical grant program for 10 years, while making additional reforms to encourage business retention and growth.

The legislation will strengthen both federal and state efforts to spur job creation and economic development in Upstate New York and the North Country.

“The Northern Border Regional Commission grants and projects have made a significant impact in our communities,”Stefanik said.“I have seen the success of many of these projects firsthand, and this bill is an important step in increasing access to the program for Upstate NewYork and the North Country.

“This legislation is essential after the forced closure of the Northern Border and delay in fully returning cross border travel to normal, and I am proud to work with my colleagues to extend this critical program.”

In 2018, Stefanik worked to expand Northern Border Regional Commission eligibility to include all counties in New York’s 21st District, which hasresultedin significant funding returned to her district.

TheNBRC Reauthorization Act of 2022:

• Reauthorizes the NBRC for 10 years and increases the authorization from $33 million to $50 million for the first 5 years, and to $60 million for the following five years.

• Reauthorizes the State Capacity Building Grant Program, a program established in 2018 to further strengthen investment in local high-impact projects. Through this program, NBRC states provide additional funds to local economic and community development organizations to improve the development of projects that will support business retention and expansion, infrastructure development, and job creation.

• Provides the NBRC with additional flexibility for projects to address unique challenges facing the region’s rural workforce, including:

• Healthcare and child care by enhancing the NBRC’s ability to fund projects that invest in child care and health care needs. This includes projects to attract, train and retain qualified health care or child care personnel.

• Opioids by directing the Commission to place an emphasis on projects to combat substance use disorders from opioid and methamphetamine use.

The NRBC includes Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Herkimer, Fulton, Warren, Saratoga, Washington, Oneida, Montgomery, and Rensselaer and Oswego Counties.

Established in 2008, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership for economic and community development in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and New York. Rural regions in these states have benefitted from NBRC investments that have helped to develop public infrastructure, promote tourism, assist in job training activities, and promote the use of renewable energy sources in communities that have historically struggled to attract public and private investment.

With the NBRC’s record of successful investments across the region, and as our communities work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for Congress to renew its commitment to the economic revitalization of the Northern Border states.

Read the full article here.