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Sens. Schumer, Gillibrand introduce bill to reauthorize Northern Border Regional Commission

"Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand are pushing to renew the Northern Border Regional Commission’s economic programs and create more agency jobs.

On Thursday, the senators introduced the NBRC Reauthorization Act, which would renew the organization for another decade and increase its funding.

The NBRC is a federal agency that partners with New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to promote economic development and community integration along the northeastern U.S.-Canada border, in identified “distressed counties,” which includes the entirety of the north country.

The agency was formed in 2008, and requires periodic renewals, when its scope and funding are reevaluated.

The reauthorization act would allow the NBRC to run through 2032, with increased annual funding levels to be used on programs creating new jobs, promoting efforts to keep businesses in the area and expand them, investing in public infrastructure and supporting tourism initiatives.

Money for housing development, child care, health care, climate-resilient infrastructure and opioid-use prevention is also included in the legislation, although a spending breakdown was not immediately available. Some rule changes would be required to allow the commission to invest more in child care and health care programs, which are included in the reauthorization bill.

Total funding would budget $50 million per year for the first five years of the authorization, an increase from the $33 million provided per year to the NBRC now. After five years, the NBRC would receive $60 million annually.

In the 12 years between 2010 and 2022, the NBRC invested over $23 million into 60 projects, touching everything from water and sewer lines to building renovations at Clarkson University, conservation land purchases and internet infrastructure.

The senators said the NBRC plays a vital part in the economic redevelopment of the north country, and are proud of the work the NBRC has been able to do in its last 15 years."

For more, see article at NNY360 (Alex Gault, February 23, 2023).

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