PA 15-155—sHB 6259

Planning and Development Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE BOUNDARIES OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS

SUMMARY: This act increases, from eight to nine, the maximum number of regional economic development districts (REDD) that can be established in the state. By law, regional planning and economic development organizations may establish REDDs to coordinate economic development projects and prepare comprehensive economic development strategies, which are required for certain types of federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) assistance (e. g. , infrastructure and business development assistance).

Under prior law, REDDs had to either align (1) with at least one planning region's boundaries or (2) to the extent practicable, with former county boundaries. The act eliminates the latter option, thus requiring REDD boundaries to align with at least one planning region's boundaries. Currently, there are nine planning regions.

The act eliminates the requirement that each REDD meet economic distress criteria established in federal regulations (see BACKGROUND). It also makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

Economic Distress Criteria

Federal regulations require recipients of certain types of EDA assistance to meet at least one of the following economic distress criteria:

1. an unemployment rate that is, for the most recent 24–month period for which data are available, at least one percentage point above the national average unemployment rate;

2. per capita income that is, for the most recent period for which data are available, 80% or less of the national average; or

3. a special need, as determined by the EDA (13 CFR 301. 3 (a)(1)).

OLR Tracking: JB: JO: VR: cmg