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S. 3698: Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act of 2022


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 17, 2022 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3698

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 17, 2022

(for herself, Mr. Leahy, Ms. Collins, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Sanders, Mr. King, Ms. Hassan, and Mr. Schumer) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

A BILL

To amend title 40, United States Code, to modify certain requirements for Regional Commissions, to reauthorize the Northern Border Regional Commission, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act of 2022.

2.

Regional Commissions modifications

(a)

Membership of Commissions

Section 15301 of title 40, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(2)(C)—

(A)

by striking An alternate member and inserting the following:

(i)

In general

An alternate member

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(ii)

State alternates

If the alternate State member is unable to vote in accordance with clause (i), the alternate State member may delegate voting authority to a designee, subject to the condition that the executive director shall be notified, in writing, of the designation not less than 1 week before the applicable vote is to take place.

; and

(2)

in subsection (f), by striking a Federal employee and inserting an employee.

(b)

Decisions of Commissions

Section 15302 of title 40, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by inserting or State alternate members, including designees after State members; and

(2)

by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

(c)

Quorums

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), a Commission shall determine what constitutes a quorum for meetings of the Commission.

(2)

Requirements

Any quorum for meetings of a Commission shall include—

(A)

the Federal Cochairperson or the alternate Federal Cochairperson; and

(B)

a majority of State members or alternate State members, including designees (exclusive of members representing States delinquent under section 15304(c)(3)(C)).

.

(c)

Administrative powers and expenses of Commissions

Section 15304(a)(9) of title 40, United States Code, is amended by striking maintain a government relations office in the District of Columbia and.

(d)

Meetings of Commissions

Section 15305(b) of title 40, United States Code, is amended by striking with the Federal Cochairperson and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting the following: “with—

(1)

the Federal Cochairperson; and

(2)

at least a majority of the State members or alternate State members (including designees) present in-person or via electronic means.

.

3.

Economic and infrastructure development grants

Section 15501 of title 40, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by redesignating paragraphs (4) through (9) as paragraphs (6) through (11), respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:

(4)

to design, build, implement, or upgrade transportation or basic public infrastructure or workforce capacity to support the adaption to and mitigation of climate challenges;

(5)

to promote the production of housing to meet economic development and workforce needs;

; and

(2)

in subsection (b), by striking paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (7) and inserting paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (9).

4.

Northern Border Regional Commission

(a)

Counties in Maine and New Hampshire

Section 15733 of title 40, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by inserting Lincoln, after Knox,; and

(2)

in paragraph (2), by inserting Merrimack, after Grafton,.

(b)

Authorization of appropriations

Section 15751 of title 40, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

(a)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to each Commission to carry out this subtitle—

(1)

$50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026; and

(2)

$60,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2027 through 2031.

.

5.

Northern Forest region programs

(a)

In general

Subtitle V of title 40, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

159

Northern Forest Region Programs

15901.

Definitions

In this chapter:

(1)

NBRC

The term NBRC means the Northern Border Regional Commission established by section 15301(a)(3).

(2)

Northern Forest region

The term Northern Forest region means the counties included in the NBRC under section 15733.

15902.

State capacity building grant program

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Commission state

The term Commission State means each of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.

(2)

Eligible county

The term eligible county means a county described in section 15733.

(3)

Program

The term program means the State capacity building grant program established under subsection (b).

(b)

Establishment

The NBRC shall establish a State capacity building grant program to provide grants to Commission States to carry out the purpose under subsection (c).

(c)

Purpose

The purpose of the program is to support the efforts of the NBRC—

(1)

to better support business retention and expansion in eligible counties;

(2)

to create programs to encourage job creation and workforce development in eligible counties;

(3)

to prepare economic and infrastructure plans for eligible counties;

(4)

to expand access to high-speed broadband in eligible counties;

(5)

to provide technical assistance that results in NBRC investments in transportation, water, wastewater, and other critical infrastructure;

(6)

to create initiatives to increase the effectiveness of local development districts in eligible counties; and

(7)

to implement new or innovative economic development practices that will better position the eligible counties of Commission States to compete in the global economy.

(d)

Use of funds

(1)

In general

Funds from a grant under the program may be used to support a project, program, or related expense of the Commission State in an eligible county.

(2)

Limitation

Funds from a grant under the program shall not be used for—

(A)

the purchase of furniture, fixtures, or equipment;

(B)

the compensation of—

(i)

any State member of the Commission (as described in section 15301(b)(1)(B)); or

(ii)

any State alternate member of the Commission (as described in section 15301(b)(2)(B)); or

(C)

the cost of supplanting existing State programs.

(e)

Annual work plan

(1)

In general

For each fiscal year, before providing a grant under the program, each Commission State shall provide to the NBRC an annual work plan that includes the proposed use of the grant.

(2)

Approval

No grant under the program shall be provided to a Commission State unless the NBRC has approved the annual work plan of the State.

(f)

Amount of grant

(1)

In general

The amount of a grant provided to a Commission State under the program for a fiscal year shall be based on the proportion that—

(A)

the amount paid by the Commission State (including any amounts paid on behalf of the Commission State by a nonprofit organization) for administrative expenses for the applicable fiscal year (as determined under section 15304(c)); bears to

(B)

the amount paid by all Commission States (including any amounts paid on behalf of a Commission State by a nonprofit organization) for administrative expenses for that fiscal year (as determined under that section).

(2)

Requirement

To be eligible to receive a grant under the program for a fiscal year, a Commission State (or a nonprofit organization on behalf of the Commission State) shall pay the amount of administrative expenses of the Commission State for the applicable fiscal year (as determined under section 15304(c)).

(3)

Approval

For each fiscal year, a grant provided under the program shall be approved and made available as part of the approval of the annual budget of the NBRC.

(g)

Grant availability

Funds from a grant under the program shall be available only during the fiscal year for which the grant is provided.

(h)

Report

Each fiscal year, each Commission State shall submit to the NBRC and make publicly available a report that describes the use of the grant funds and the impact of the program in the Commission State.

(i)

Continuation of program

The program under this section shall be a continuation of the program under section 6304(c) of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (40 U.S.C. 15501 note; Public Law 115–334) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this section).

(j)

Funding

(1)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2028.

(2)

Supplement, not supplant

Funds made available to carry out this section shall supplement and not supplant funds made available for the NBRC and other activities of the NBRC.

15903.

Demonstration health projects

(a)

Purpose

To demonstrate the value of adequate health facilities and services to the economic development of the Northern Forest region, the NBRC may make grants for the planning, construction, equipment, and operation of demonstration health, nutrition, and child care projects, including hospitals, regional health diagnostic and treatment centers, and other facilities and services necessary for the purposes of this section.

(b)

Planning grants

(1)

Authority to provide amounts and make grants

The NBRC may make grants for expenses of planning necessary for the development and operation of demonstration health projects for the Northern Forest region.

(2)

Maximum NBRC contributions

The maximum NBRC contributions for a grant for the construction or equipment of any component of a demonstration health project shall be made in accordance with section 15501(d).

(3)

Sources of assistance

The NBRC contribution may be provided entirely from amounts authorized under this section or in combination with amounts provided under other Federal grant programs.

(4)

Federal share

Notwithstanding any provision of law limiting the Federal share in other Federal grant programs described in paragraph (3), amounts appropriated to carry out this section may be used to increase the Federal share to the maximum percentage cost of a grant authorized by paragraph (2).

(c)

Construction and equipment grants

(1)

Additional uses for construction grants

Grants under this section for construction may also be used for—

(A)

the acquisition of privately owned facilities—

(i)

not operated for profit; or

(ii)

previously operated for profit if the NBRC finds that health services would not otherwise be provided in the area served by the facility if the acquisition is not made; and

(B)

initial equipment.

(2)

Standards for making grants

Grants under this section for construction shall be made in accordance with section 15501 and shall not be incompatible with the applicable provisions of title VI of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 291 et seq.), the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15001 et seq.), and other laws authorizing grants for the construction of health-related facilities, without regard to any provisions in those laws relating to appropriation authorization ceilings or to allotments among the States.

(3)

Maximum NBRC contributions

The maximum NBRC contributions for a grant for the construction or equipment of any component of a demonstration health project shall be made in accordance with section 15501(d).

(4)

Sources of assistance

The NBRC contribution may be provided entirely from amounts authorized under this section or in combination with amounts provided under other Federal grant programs for the construction or equipment of health-related facilities.

(5)

Federal share

Notwithstanding any provision of law limiting the Federal share in other Federal grant programs described in paragraph (4), amounts authorized under this section may be used to increase Federal grants for component facilities of a demonstration health project to a maximum of 80 percent of the cost of the facilities.

(d)

Operation grants

(1)

Standards for making grants

A grant for the operation of a demonstration health project shall not be made unless the facility is publicly owned, or owned by a public or private nonprofit organization, and is not operated for profit.

(2)

Maximum NBRC contributions

Grants under this section for the operation (including initial operating amounts and operating deficits, including the cost of attracting, training, and retaining qualified personnel) of a demonstration health project, whether or not constructed with amounts authorized to be appropriated by this section, shall be made in accordance with section 15501(d).

(3)

Sources of assistance

The NBRC contribution may be provided entirely from amounts appropriated to carry out this section or in combination with amounts provided under other Federal grant programs for the operation of health related facilities and the provision of health and child development services, including parts A and B of title IV and title XX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 620 et seq., 1397 et seq.).

(4)

Federal share

Notwithstanding any provision of law limiting the Federal share in those other programs, amounts appropriated to carry out this section may be used to increase Federal grants for operating components of a demonstration health project to the maximum percentage cost of a grant authorized by this subsection.

(5)

State deemed to meet requirement of providing assistance or services on statewide basis

Notwithstanding any provision of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) requiring assistance or services on a statewide basis, a State providing assistance or services under a Federal grant program described in paragraph (3) in any area of the region approved by the NBRC is deemed to be meeting that requirement.

(e)

Emphasis on programs To address substance use disorders

To provide for the further development of the human resources of the Northern Forest region, grants under this section shall give special emphasis to projects and activities to address substance use disorders, including opioid and methamphetamine use, in the Northern Forest region, including projects and activities—

(1)

to increase access to and disseminate information on the availability of substance use disorder treatment programs;

(2)

to strengthen the substance use disorder workforce operating in the Northern Forest region, including programs to attract and retain relevant health care services, businesses, and staff;

(3)

to facilitate the sharing of best practices among States, counties, and other experts in the Northern Forest region with respect to reducing substance use disorders;

(4)

to initiate or expand programs designed to eliminate or reduce the harm to the workforce and economic growth of the region that results from that abuse; and

(5)

to develop relevant infrastructure, including broadband infrastructure that supports the use of telemedicine.

.

(b)

Repeal

Section 6304(c) of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (40 U.S.C. 15501 note; Public Law 115–334) is repealed.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for subtitle V of title 40, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 157 the following:

“Chapter 159—Northern Forest Region Programs

15901. Definitions.

15902. State capacity building grant program.

15903. Demonstration health projects.

.