05.25.18

Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy Wins Significant Increase In Funding For Economic Development In The Northeast Kingdom

… Committee advances bill to boost Northern Border Regional Commission grants that bolster small businesses and communities in six Vermont counties …

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) — Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the two appropriations bills approved by the Committee Thursday include a combined $22 million in Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) grant funding. The grants are part of a continuing effort, long supported by Leahy, to revitalize communities in Northern Vermont.

The $22 million is a $7 million increase for the NBRC, which awards grants in Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties. The grants are often leveraged with matching grants that significantly boost their impact. Past NBRC grants have supported a wide variety of projects, from the snowmobile trail renovations to household energy efficiency grants.

Senator Leahy said: “The NBRC has had a massive impact across the Northeast Kingdom due to its flexibility and success in attracting matching grants. Increased funding for this proven program leverages more investments in rural Vermont communities looking to revitalize their economies. I look forward to seeing the creative and dynamic projects that will be launched using these investments.”

The NBRC is a federal-state partnership for economic and community development in northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The program was created as part of the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. Leahy, as a leading member of the Agriculture Committee, was closely involved in the creation of the program, and is working to renew the program in the Farm Bill.

The NBRC funds are contained in the fiscal year 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations bill and the 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The approval Thursday of both bills by the Senate Appropriations Committee is the first step toward these funds being signed into law by the President. The bills head next to the full Senate for approval. Chairman Shelby and Vice Chairman Leahy are working through their bipartisan partnership to pass all 12 appropriations bills this year, returning to regular order, and giving the American people a greater voice in the appropriations process.

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