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Senate advances bill to reauthorize, expand EDA

March 14, 2024
By: Jason Rittenberg

By a bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved legislation that would reauthorize the Economic Development Administration for the first time since 2004. The bill amends the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 and does not affect the technology-based economic development programs authorized through separate legislation that are administered by EDA. If the legislation passes, changes to EDA would include: defining EDA’s investment priorities in statute—innovation and entrepreneurship would be third out of only five; increasing the federal cost share of most awards from 50% to 60% and also allowing regional commission funds to count toward local cost share; adding a workforce training grant program; authorizing EDA’s regions to hire technical assistance liaisons to help states; and, creating offices for Tribal economic development and for disaster recovery. A broader summary of the bill is available from the committee. The timing for a potential Senate floor vote is currently unclear, as are the bill’s prospects in the House. The Democratic sponsor of the legislation, Committee Chair Tim Carper, is retiring at the end of this session.

eda, innovation, entrepreneurship