Summary: H.R.1429 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1429. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (04/24/1997)

Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 1997 - Amends the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 to repeal a requirement that public investments made in the Appalachian region under the Act be concentrated in areas with a significant potential for future growth and where the expected return on public dollars invested will be the greatest.

Modifies the Act's purpose to include: (1) assisting Appalachia to become a region with an educated and trained work force, healthy people, a sound physical infrastructure, a dynamic economic base, and the capacity to be economically self-sustaining; and (2) directing the Appalachian Regional Commission to be an advocate for and partner with the Appalachian people and to seek to achieve a viable, self- sustaining economy for the region.

(Sec. 3) Requires the Commission to conduct at least one meeting each year with the Federal Co-Chairman and at least a majority of the State members present. Authorizes the Commission to conduct additional meetings by electronic means. Prohibits decisions involving the criteria for the designation of counties as distressed or economically strong from being made without a quorum of State members.

(Sec. 4) Reauthorizes appropriations for: (1) administrative expenses; and (2) the Appalachian development highway system (and increases the Federal cost share).

(Sec. 5) Revises provisions regarding: (1) compensation to authorize the Commission to appoint and fix the compensation of an executive director and other specified personnel at a rate not to exceed the maximum for the Senior Executive Service, including any applicable locality-based comparability payment that may be authorized (and extends the Commission's authorization to lease office space); and (2) supplements to Federal grant-in-aid programs to authorize the Federal Co-Chairman to use sums available to carry out the Act (current law authorizes the President to provide funds to the Co-Chairman to be used to carry out the Act) and to revise the definition of "Federal grant-in-aid programs" to remove the provision limitating such programs to those authorized on or before December 31, 1980.

(Sec. 9) Adds specified criteria and measurements to be considered when determining programs and projects to be given assistance.

(Sec. 10) Directs the Commission to: (1) designate as distressed counties those that are the most severely and persistently distressed and underdeveloped and two categories of economically strong counties (competitive counties are those approaching, and attainment counties are those having attained or exceeded, economic parity with the rest of the country); and (2) give special consideration to the needs of distressed counties. Limits or prohibits funds for projects in a competitive or attainment county, with exceptions and waivers.

(Sec. 11) Empowers the Commission (currently, the President) to make grants for administrative expenses and research and development projects.

(Sec. 12) Extends through FY 2002 the authorization of appropriations and termination date under the Act.