Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, along with Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH) and a bipartisan group of their colleagues, introduced a bill to extend the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) for ten years, while making critical reforms to encourage economic development, enhance access to rural healthcare, and streamline bureaucratic processes within the NBRC. This legislation will strengthen both federal and state efforts to spur job creation and economic development across Upstate New York and the North Country.
“I am proud to be leading this critical legislation to increase economic development in my district across Upstate New York and the North Country. The hardworking families of NY-21 deserve continued economic and community innovation that leads to success and new opportunities for growth. The NBRC funds these important projects that grow our local economy and deliver economic opportunity to families,” stated Congresswoman Stefanik.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission plays a critical role in driving economic growth and development in many of our rural communities – I’m proud to fight for it in Congress,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02). “By reauthorizing the NBRC and expanding its scope to include rural health care, we can invest in the future success of our state and ensure everyone has the support they need to thrive. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle to get this done.”
"The Northern Border Regional Commission has become an indispensable tool for flexibly funding important projects and programs across the North Country that wouldn't be possible otherwise," says Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "For example, we are currently conducting an innovative program with Clinton Community College and other partners to train high end welders for our transportation equipment manufacturers, sustaining and creating jobs while preparing local people to fill those jobs. We thank the Congresswoman for always being on top of the NBRC's funding and always looking to incorporate added possibilities. Onward and upward!"
“While continuing to adapt to changes to the forestry economy, NBRC funds have been vital in supporting infrastructure projects that promote economic development in rural areas of northern New York State,” said Carl E. Farone, Jr., Executive Director of the Development Authority of the North Country. “NBRC funds have been critical in supporting broadband deployment providing digital equity to those living in rural areas of northern New York State to those living in urban areas. This has stimulated the economy by providing opportunities for telecommuting, access to advanced healthcare through telemedicine, and opportunities for higher education through distance learning. I applaud Congresswoman Stefanik for leading a bipartisan effort to reauthorize the NBRC Program.”
“We are incredibly excited to see the reauthorization of the Northern Border Regional Commission,” said Beth Gilles, Director of the Lake Champlain – Lake George Regional Planning Board. “They are a critical partner in the North Country, providing grants within our communities to improve infrastructure and develop workforce programs, while also supporting our regional efforts for broadband expansion and workforce housing. The Commission understands the needs and challenges of the North Country and has shown-up and responded to them in a big way. We look forward to continuing our partnership well into the future and thank the Congresswoman for her dedication to the Commission and all the benefits it brings to the North Country.”
“Schoharie County is looking forward to joining the Northern Border Regional Commission for which we are thankful to Congresswoman Stefanik for her leadership in advocating for Schoharie County to join the other counties in the Commission which share many of the challenges that we do,” said William Federice, Chairman of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors.
“The central goal of the Commission is to contribute to the economic well-being of the residents and rural communities in New York and Northern New England. Over the last decade an increasing number of communities across the region have looked to the Commission for resources, knowledge and assistance. This bi-partisan reauthorization would make important updates and improvements to the Commission that would allow the NBRC to use its growing set of tools to support communities within the region for years to come,” said Northern Border Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Chris Saunders.
Stefanik and Kuster were joined by Representatives Tenney (R-NY), Pingree (D-ME), Golden (D-ME), Pappas (D-NH), Balint (D-VT), and Molinaro (R-NY).
The NBRC Reauthorization Act of 2023 would:
- Reauthorize the NBRC for 10 years at $40 million per year for the first five years and increase the authorization to $45 million for the following five years.
- Provide the NBRC with additional flexibility to work on rural healthcare and rural housing projects that will address access to care, housing, and child care needs of Upstate New York and the North Country.
- Add Schoharie County, New York, to the NBRC, making it eligible to participate in the NBRC’s critical work.
- Streamline a number of NBRC administrative requirements to allow the NBRC to focus more time on their work and less time on outdated, bureaucratic regulations.
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, enhance economic development, and assist in job training activities in communities that have historically struggled to attract public and private investment. With the NBRC’s record of successful investments across the region, it is more important than ever for Congress to renew its commitment to the economic revitalization of the Northern Border states.
The NRBC includes Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Herkimer, Fulton, Warren, Washington, Montgomery, and Rensselaer counties. This bill will also add Schoharie County to the NBRC.