Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (02/08/2002)

Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2002 - Amends the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 to include as functions of the Appalachian Regional Commission that it: (1) support local development districts; (2) encourage the use of eco-industrial development technologies and approaches; and (3) seek to coordinate economic development activities of, and the use of economic development resources by, Federal agencies in the Appalachian region.

(Sec. 4) Directs the President to establish the Interagency Coordinating Council on Appalachia.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Commission to provide technical assistance and make grants, enter into contracts, and otherwise provide funds to persons or entities in the region for projects to: (1) increase affordable access to advanced telecommunications, entrepreneurship, and management technologies or applications; (2) provide education and training in the use of telecommunications and technology; (3) develop programs to increase the readiness of industry groups and businesses in the region to engage in electronic commerce; or (4) support entrepreneurial opportunities for businesses in the information technology sector.

(Sec. 6) Authorizes the Commission to provide technical assistance, make grants, enter into contracts, or otherwise provide funds to persons or entities in the region for projects to: (1) support the advancement of, and provide, entrepreneurial training and education for youths, students, and businesspersons; (2) improve access to debt and equity capital, by such means as the establishment of development venture capital funds; (3) aid communities in identifying, developing, and implementing development strategies for various sectors of the economy; and (4) develop a working network of business incubators and to support entities that provide business incubator services. Defines "business incubator service" as a professional or technical service necessary for the initiation and initial sustainment of the operations of a newly established business.

(Sec. 7) Authorizes the Commission to provide technical assistance, make grants, enter into contracts, or otherwise provide funds to eligible entities in the region for projects to improve the job skills of workers in a specified industry. Limits all grants under this Act to 50 percent of project costs or 80 percent for projects carried out in distress-designated counties.

(Sec. 8) Eliminates from criteria for programs and projects to be given assistance under the Act that an area have significant growth potential. Requires that, for FY 2003 and each fiscal year thereafter, not less than 50 percent of the amount of grant expenditures approved by the Commission support activities or projects that benefit severely and persistently distressed counties and areas.

(Sec. 9) Allows, at the Commission's discretion, for coverage of up to 75 percent of the administrative expenses of local development districts that have a charter or authority that includes the economic development of a county for which a distressed county designation is in effect.

(Sec. 10) Extends through FY 2006 the authorization of appropriations for: (1) carrying out the Act; and (2) the telecommunications and technology initiative.

(Sec. 11) Adds Edmonson and Hart ( Kentucky), and Montgomery and Panola (Mississippi) to the counties included in the Appalachian region.

(Sec. 12) Extends the deadline for the termination of certain provisions of the Act to October 1, 2006.