Summary: S.782 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (05/02/2011)

Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011 - Amends the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to authorize appropriations for economic development assistance programs under such Act for FY2011-FY2015.

(Sec. 3) Includes: (1) within the definition of "Regional Commissions" the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, the Northern Border Regional Commission, and the Southwest Border Regional Commission; and (2) among the purposes for which assistance may be provided encouraging and supporting public-private partnerships that promote innovation and entrepreneurship that is critical to economic competitiveness.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to: (1) cooperate with other agencies, state and local governments, and consortia of governmental organizations that can assist in addressing challenges and capitalize on opportunities that require intergovernmental coordination; and (2) make grants for activities the Secretary determines would be necessary or useful to support the establishment and operation of public works, public service, or development facilities on an ongoing basis,.

(Sec. 7) Modifies provisions regarding grants for planning and administrative expenses for public works and economic development to authorize funding for: (1) fostering regional collaboration among local jurisdictions and organizations, and (2) facilitating a stakeholder process that assists the community or region in creating an economic development vision that takes into account local and regional assets and global economic change. Requires any overall state economic development planning assisted to be part of a comprehensive planning process that considers the provision of public works to support practices that enhance energy and water efficiency, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and encourage efficient coordination and leveraging of public and private investments.

Directs the Secretary, in determining the amount of funds to provide a recipient for planning assistance, to take into account recipients located in regions that are: (1) eligible for an investment rate of 80% or higher, or (2) experiencing severe need due to long-term economic deterioration or sudden and severe economic distress. Authorizes the Secretary in order to encourage district organizations to develop regional economic competitiveness strategies on a broader basis in collaboration with other district organizations and entities outside the confines of a single economic development district, to increase the federal share applicable to, or the amount of assistance provided to, recipients.

(Sec. 8) Limits the federal share to 50% for public works and economic development grants, with a specified increased federal share: (1) based on the relative needs of an area (e.g., the unemployment rate and the impact of severe outmigration, sudden and severe economic dislocations, and other related economic circumstances) (up to 80% funding); and (2) in the case of a federally declared major disaster (up to 100% funding).

(Sec. 9) Allows training, research, and technical grant assistance to be used for a peer exchange program to promote industry-leading practices and innovations relating to the organizational development, program delivery, and regional initiatives of economic development districts.

(Sec. 10) Authorizes assistance for activities identified by communities the economies of which are impacted (currently, injured) by: (1) military base closures, realignments, or mission growth for help in diversifying economies or supporting economic adjustment activities of the Secretary of Defense through projects to be carried out on federal installations or elsewhere in the communities; or (2) the loss of information technology, manufacturing, natural resource-based, agricultural, or service sector jobs, for reinvesting in and diversifying the economies of the communities.

Authorizes the Secretary to solicit comments periodically regarding the guidelines and performance requirements for the revolving loan fund program and recommendations for improving the performance.

Authorizes a recipient of an economic adjustment grant who determines that a revolving loan fund established using such assistance is no longer needed, or that the recipient could make better use of the assistance to carry out another project that meets the requirements of the Act, to request the Secretary to approve conversion of the assistance by: (1) selling fund assets to a third party; or (2) retaining repayments of principal and interest on loans provided through the fund. Requires such a recipient to use the net proceeds from a sale of assets to pay any portion of the costs of one or more projects that meet Act requirements.

Authorizes the Secretary to allocate not more than 2% of the amounts made available for economic adjustment grants for development and maintenance of an automated tracking and monitoring system to ensure the proper operation and financial integrity of the revolving loan program.

(Sec. 11) Authorizes: (1) the Secretary to make grants for the redevelopment of brownfield sites into renewable energy sites (currently, into brightfield sites) through incorporation of one or more renewable energy technologies (currently, one or more solar technologies); and (2) appropriations for such grants for FY2011-FY2015.

Requires the Secretary, in administering programs under such Act, to support activities that employ economic development practices that enhance energy and water efficiency and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

(Sec. 14) Directs each economic development district to engage in the full range of economic development activities included in the list contained in the comprehensive economic development strategy of the district that has been approved by the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

(Sec. 15) Authorizes the Secretary to consult with any persons who can assist in addressing the problems of area and regional outmigration.

(Sec. 16) Declares that the state of Montana shall be served by the Seattle office of the EDA.

(Sec. 17) Authorizes funding for administrative expenses incident to projects associated with the authorized transfers of funds from other federal agencies to the extent that the expenses do not exceed 3% for projects not involving construction and 5% for projects that involve construction.

(Sec. 18) Directs the Secretary, before providing investment assistance for a construction project, to establish the expected period during which: (1) the recipient shall make best efforts to achieve economic development objectives, (2) any property that is acquired or improved shall be held in trust for the project's benefit, and (3) the Secretary shall retain an undivided equitable reversionary interest in the property. Authorizes the Secretary to terminate the reversionary interest when the recipient has fulfilled its obligations, taking into consideration the economic conditions. Provides for an alternative method of termination.

(Sec. 20) Increases the minimum level of funding for planning and grants for administrative expenses, subject to total appropriations.

(Sec. 21) Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to submit to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works a report that describes the specific programs (and portions thereof) of other federal agencies that are duplicative of programs administered by EDA, including those carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Small Business Administration (SBA).