Summary: S.34 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.34. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (01/14/1991)

Title I: National Development Investment - Public Works and Economic Development Act Amendments of 1991 - Amends the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to cite such Act as the National Development Investment Act.

Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce (the Secretary) to make development investment assistance grants to qualified applicants for: (1) constructing and improving public facilities; (2) revolving loan funds; and (3) employee stock ownership plans. Authorizes the Secretary to provide technical assistance for improving and enhancing economic development. Describes qualified applicants as States, distressed local governments, economic development districts, economic development organizations, and Indian tribes. Describes a distressed local government as one with a population under 50,000 that is located outside an economic development district.

Requires an application for a grant under this Act to include: (1) a certification that the area concerned meets certain distress requirements; (2) a certification relative to performance of any responsibilities which the Secretary has agreed to accept; and (3) a development investment strategy prepared in accordance with this Act.

Lists as distress requirements any one of which an area must meet in order to be eligible for a grant under this Act: (1) a per capita income of 80 percent or less of the national average; (2) an unemployment rate one percent above the national average for the most recent 24-month period for which statistics are available; (3) a sudden economic dislocation resulting in job losses; or (4) a Labor Force Participation rate of 90 percent or less of the national average.

Sets forth information to be contained in a grant applicant's development investment strategy.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to establish a revolving loan fund for making or guaranteeing loans to small businesses for initial or working capital or for the purchase of facilities or equipment. Limits to $1,000,000 the amount of any such grant.

Limits the amount of any grant under this Act to a maximum of 50 percent of the cost of completing the project as determined at the time of the grant application. Authorizes the Secretary, if certain conditions are met, to increase such percentage to up to 80 percent of the cost. Permits the Secretary to reduce or waive the non-Federal share of a project in the case of an Indian tribe.

Limits expenditures in any one State to a maximum of 15 percent of the appropriations made pursuant to this Act, except for expenditures to Indian tribes. Prohibits the Secretary from obligating more than $4,000,000 in any fiscal year to any person, other than grants for employee ownership organizations. Requires congressionally-mandated Economic Development Administration projects to meet the eligibility criteria of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965. Directs the Secretary, each fiscal year, to obligate minimum amounts of funds for such grants. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Authorizes the Secretary to make economic development planning grants to States, economic development districts, Indian tribes, distressed counties, and distressed units of local governments with populations over 50,000 (if located outside an economic development district).

Earmarks such grants for coordination of investments for community facilities, economic development, manpower training, and transportation services.

Authorizes the Secretary to evaluate Federal, State, and local development investment efforts.

Authorizes the Secretary to conduct demonstration programs to test the feasibility of new ways to increase productivity in the steel industry and related industries, foster innovative technology, match labor force with labor markets, or encourage economic diversity and regional balance. Requires a report to the Congress no later than 90 days after completion of any demonstration program.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to colleges, universities, and other nonprofit educational and research organizations for management and technical assistance. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Declares that the Secretary shall administer this Act with the assistance of a specified Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

Authorizes the Secretary to consult with other persons and agencies.

Prohibits the approval of any grant unless the Secretary is satisfied that the project concerned will be properly and efficiently administered, operated, and maintained.

Permits the Secretary to discharge responsibilities relative to a project by accepting a certification of the grant applicant's performance of such responsibilities.

Requires the Secretary to make comprehensive annual reports to the Congress detailing operations under this Act, beginning with FY 1992.

Requires all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors on projects assisted under this Act to be paid the prevailing rate of wages.

Requires the Secretary to maintain records of approved applications available for public inspection. Requires each recipient of a grant to maintain specified records. Allows the Secretary and the Comptroller General access to all records of such recipients.

Prohibits the Secretary from: (1) discriminating in favor of or against any qualified applicant based on whether it is located in an urban or rural area; (2) creating separate allocations of funds for assistance to urban or rural areas unless allocations are based on objective findings or relative levels of distress in areas qualified for assistance; or (3) denying assistance to qualified applicants because the project is located in a State with low unemployment.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Title II: Appalachian Regional Development - Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 1991 - Amends the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 to authorize appropriations through FY 1994 for administrative expenses of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Authorizes the Commission to lease office space through FY 1993.

Authorizes appropriations through FY 1994 for the Appalachian development highway system.

Increases from 70 to 80 percent the subsequent Federal share of an Appalachian development highway segment when a participating State proceeds to construct a segment of such a highway without the aid of Federal funds. Applies such increase to projects approved after March 31, 1979.

Removes the restriction on financial assistance for the cost of industrial facilities.

Declares that after September 30, 1991, grants shall not exceed 50 percent of the costs of any approved project (except projects concerning Appalachian highways). Permits the Commission to increase such percentage to up to 80 percent of the cost for a county determined to be one of the most distressed in the Appalachian region. Prohibits the Commission from increasing such percentage for more than 25 percent of the grants made in any fiscal year.

Requires that energy enterprise development loan funds established with grants previously approved by the Commission be made available for authorized purposes.

Authorizes appropriations through FY 1994.

Extends the termination date of such Act from 1982 to October 1, 1994.

Title III: Coal Mine Mouth Plant Technology - Coal Mine Mouth Plant Technology Improvement Act of 1991 - Directs the Appalachian Regional Commission to report to the Congress the results of a study of the impact of locating coal-fired power plants using clean coal technologies and high temperature superconductivity technologies near coal mines in the Appalachian region.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct research and development through the Department of Energy, enter into cooperative research and development agreements to promote high temperature superconductivity technologies for power production at coal mine mouth plants, and promote the development of certain clean coal technologies.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1993 through 1997.