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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21)

Yesterday, Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21) introduced a bill that would bring more economic development resources to the Central Valley. H.R. 8783, would add Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare Counties to the Southwest Border Regional Commission (SBRC).  

State and local agencies, government entities, universities, and nonprofit organizations within a federal regional commission are eligible to receive program grants for projects such as public health clinics, wastewater and sewer facilities, business development centers, education and career training centers, and other projects that meet strategic goals.  

“Prosperity in the Central Valley is challenged by economic disparities, yet the region is not part of any federal regional commission. Unemployment in the region is consistently higher and educational attainment is consistently lower than other regions in California, problems that have only been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and recession,” said Rep. Cox. “Adding Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties and funding the SBRC will jumpstart communities and small businesses, helping generate new economic opportunities for hardworking people who are waiting for a chance at achieving the American Dream.”  


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About the SBRC: 

The SBRC, modeled after the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), is an economic development partnership between federal, state, and member county authorities to invest and promote economic growth in underdeveloped areas to bring them up to par socioeconomically with the rest of the country. It encompasses 93 counties in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.

The SBRC was authorized by law in 2008 and initial funding from Congress was included in the House appropriations minibus H.R. 7617 earlier this year. Including Central Valley counties in the SBRC gives the region an opportunity access to another source of federal investment for economic development initiatives as Congress debates increased funding for the SBRC and other federal regional commissions. 

Read the full bill text here.