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Bill would create programs to directly support rural communities through federal investment opportunities

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the Rural Partnership and Prosperity Act to advance economic development in rural communities and help them overcome barriers to obtaining federal funding and resources. Currently, many rural communities are unable to compete for federal investment opportunities because of a lack of adequate funding, capacity, and staffing. This legislation would address those shortfalls with targeted support and a whole-of-government effort to better support rural communities. 

“Our rural communities deserve a fair shot to grow their economies and improve their quality of life,” said Senator Casey. “This legislation will put rural communities on a level playing field to compete for federal resources alongside our cities and suburban areas. This is a critical moment to ensure that communities that have been the bedrock of our Nation for generations are receiving the support they need to thrive.” 

“Rural Nebraskans deserve to see their tax dollars invested in projects that help their communities,” said Senator Fischer. “Our bipartisan legislation would optimize federal funding for local communities and enhance their access to federal programs.”

The Rural Partnership and Prosperity Act will create a grant program providing multiyear, flexible awards to communities to be used to address urgent needs, including but not limited to affordable child care, housing, and job training; provide technical assistance grants to help rural communities navigate existing federal funding opportunities and ensure they’re getting their fair share of private and federal investment; and improve supportive services offered by the federal government to rural communities. 

This bill was endorsed by more than 50 Pennsylvania officials and organizations including: Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, Pennsylvania State Grange, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, State Senator Lynda Schlegel Culver, Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission, SEDA-COG, NEPA Alliance, North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission (SAP&DC), Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation, Schuylkill Chamber, Community Foundation of Greene County, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and Business, Bedford County Development Association, Philipsburg Revitalization Corporation, York County Economic Alliance, Harrisburg Regional Chamber, Lancaster Chamber, Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, City of Meadville, Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, Somerset Commissioner Pam Tokar-Ickes (D), Crawford Commissioner Chris Soff (D), Venango Commissioner “Chip” Abramovic (D), McKean Commissioner Cliff Lane (D),  Potter Commissioner Nancy Grupp (R), Potter Commissioner Paul Heimel (R), Potter Commissioner Barry Hayman, (D), Warren Commissioner Jeff Eggleston (D), Cumberland Commissioner Jean Foschi (D), Perry Commissioner Brenda Watson (D), Lebanon Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz (D), Clinton Commissioner Ang Harding (D), State Rep. Scott Conklin (D), Jefferson Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik (D), Huntingdon Borough Mayor Tom Yoder (R), Cameron Commissioner James D. Moate (R), Schuylkill Commissioner Barron “Boots” Hetherington (R), State Rep Jamie Barton (R), Columbia Commissioner Dave Kovach (D), Schuylkill Commissioner Gary Hess (D), Adams Commissioner Marty Qually (D), Perry Commissioner-elect Frank Campbell (R), Mayor Hadzik of Weatherly (R), Berks Commissioner Michael Rivera (R), Rep Tim Twardzik (R), Indiana Commissioner Sherene Hess (D), Johnstown Mayor Frank Janakovic, State Rep. Paul Takac (D), Clearfield Commissioner Dave Glass (D), Mifflin Commissioner Rob Postal (R), Mifflin Commissioner Kevin Kodish (D), State Representative Brian Smith (R).

This bill was endorsed by more than 20 national and regional organizations including: National Association of Counties, National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, International Economic Development Council, BPC Action, Farm Credit Council, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), National Association of Towns & Townships, Cobank, Land O’Lakes, Center on Rural Innovation, National Rural Water Association, Housing Assistance Council, Communities Unlimited, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, National Rural Health Association, Save the Children, Main Street Alliance, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, SERCAP, INC., Enterprise Community Partners, e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, MDC.

See what others are saying about the Rural Partnership and Prosperity Act here.

Read more about the Rural Partnership and Prosperity Act here.