Stefanik Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Reauthorize Northern Border Regional Commission

Commission Supports Rural Communities in Upstate New York and the North Country

March 9, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Stefanik, along with Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH) and a bipartisan group of their colleagues, introduced a bill to extend the Northern Border Regional Commission (NRBC) critical grant program for ten years, while making additional reforms to encourage business retention and growth. This 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 New York 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.”
 
"We were pleased to work with former Congressman John McHugh years ago who sponsored the original creation of the Northern Border Regional Commission," Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce said. "As we hoped would be the case, it has become a vehicle for assisting a variety of valuable projects in the North Country that don't fit other agency programs or can fill critical funding gaps, and Congresswoman Stefanik has assisted us with several of those. One such project about to get underway is the construction of infrastructure at the old county airport to create ready industrial space, with major developments now at the table. We welcome her commitment to not only extending this regional tool for economic development but for looking to further enhance it. We will be actively supporting this legislation. Onward and upward!" 
In 2018, Stefanik worked to expand Northern Border Regional Commission eligibility to include all counties in New York’s 21st District, which has resulted in significant funding returned to her district.
 
The NBRC 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, 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.