Home > 105th Congressional Bills > S. 2364 (es) To reauthorize and make reforms to programs authorized by the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 and the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965. ...

S. 2364 (es) To reauthorize and make reforms to programs authorized by the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 and the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965. ...


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        ``(3) international trade, for help in economic restructuring 
    of the communities; or
        ``(4) fishery failures, in areas with respect to which a 
    determination that there is a commercial fishery failure has been 
    made under section 312(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
    Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1861a(a)).
    ``(d) Direct Expenditure or Redistribution by Recipient.--
        ``(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), an eligible 
    recipient of a grant under this section may directly expend the 
    grant funds or may redistribute the funds to public and private 
    entities in the form of a grant, loan, loan guarantee, payment to 
    reduce interest on a loan guarantee, or other appropriate 
    assistance.
        ``(2) Limitation.--Under paragraph (1), an eligible recipient 
    may not provide any grant to a private for-profit entity.

``SEC. 210. CHANGED PROJECT CIRCUMSTANCES.

    ``In any case in which a grant (including a supplementary grant 
described in section 205) has been made by the Secretary under this 
title (or made under this Act, as in effect on the day before the 
effective date of the Economic Development Administration Reform Act of 
1998) for a project, and, after the grant has been made but before 
completion of the project, the purpose or scope of the project that was 
the basis of the grant is modified, the Secretary may approve, subject 
(except for a grant for which funds were obligated in fiscal year 1995) 
to the availability of appropriations, the use of grant funds for the 
modified project if the Secretary determines that--
        ``(1) the modified project meets the requirements of this title 
    and is consistent with the comprehensive economic development 
    strategy submitted as part of the application for the grant; and
        ``(2) the modifications are necessary to enhance economic 
    development in the area for which the project is being carried out.
``SEC. 211. USE OF FUNDS IN PROJECTS CONSTRUCTED UNDER PROJECTED COST.
    ``In any case in which a grant (including a supplementary grant 
described in section 205) has been made by the Secretary under this 
title (or made under this Act, as in effect on the day before the 
effective date of the Economic Development Administration Reform Act of 
1998) for a construction project, and, after the grant has been made 
but before completion of the project, the cost of the project based on 
the designs and specifications that was the basis of the grant has 
decreased because of decreases in costs--
        ``(1) the Secretary may approve, subject to the availability of 
    appropriations, the use of the excess funds or a portion of the 
    funds to improve the project; and
        ``(2) any amount of excess funds remaining after application of 
    paragraph (1) shall be deposited in the general fund of the 
    Treasury.

``SEC. 212. REPORTS BY RECIPIENTS.

    ``(a) In General.--Each recipient of assistance under this title 
shall submit reports to the Secretary at such intervals and in such 
manner as the Secretary shall require by regulation, except that no 
report shall be required to be submitted more than 10 years after the 
date of closeout of the assistance award.
    ``(b) Contents.--Each report shall contain an evaluation of the 
effectiveness of the economic assistance provided under this title in 
meeting the need that the assistance was designed to address and in 
meeting the objectives of this Act.
``SEC. 213. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR ATTORNEY'S AND CONSULTANT'S 
FEES.
    ``Assistance made available under this title shall not be used 
directly or indirectly for an attorney's or consultant's fee incurred 
in connection with obtaining grants and contracts under this title.

``TITLE III--ELIGIBILITY; COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

``SEC. 301. ELIGIBILITY OF AREAS.

    ``(a) In General.--For a project to be eligible for assistance 
under section 201 or 209, the project shall be located in an area that, 
on the date of submission of the application, meets 1 or more of the 
following criteria:
        ``(1) Low per capita income.--The area has a per capita income 
    of 80 percent or less of the national average.
        ``(2) Unemployment rate above national average.--The area has 
    an unemployment rate that is, for the most recent 24-month period 
    for which data are available, at least 1 percent greater than the 
    national average unemployment rate.
        ``(3) Unemployment or economic adjustment problems.--The area 
    is an area that the Secretary determines has experienced or is 
    about to experience a special need arising from actual or 
    threatened severe unemployment or economic adjustment problems 
    resulting from severe short-term or long-term changes in economic 
    conditions.
    ``(b) Political Boundaries of Areas.--An area that meets 1 or more 
of the criteria of subsection (a), including a small area of poverty or 
high unemployment within a larger community in less economic distress, 
shall be eligible for assistance under section 201 or 209 without 
regard to political or other subdivisions or boundaries.
    ``(c) Documentation.--
        ``(1) In general.--A determination of eligibility under 
    subsection (a) shall be supported by the most recent Federal data 
    available, or, if no recent Federal data is available, by the most 
    recent data available through the government of the State in which 
    the area is located.
        ``(2) Acceptance by secretary.--The documentation shall be 
    accepted by the Secretary unless the Secretary determines that the 
    documentation is inaccurate.
    ``(d) Prior Designations.--Any designation of a redevelopment area 
made before the effective date of the Economic Development 
Administration Reform Act of 1998 shall not be effective after that 
effective date.

``SEC. 302. COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES.

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary may provide assistance under 
section 201 or 209 (except for planning assistance under section 209) 
to an eligible recipient for a project only if the eligible recipient 
submits to the Secretary, as part of an application for the 
assistance--
        ``(1) an identification of the economic development problems to 
    be addressed using the assistance;
        ``(2) an identification of the past, present, and projected 
    future economic development investments in the area receiving the 
    assistance and public and private participants and sources of 
    funding for the investments; and
        ``(3)(A) a comprehensive economic development strategy for 
    addressing the economic problems identified under paragraph (1) in 
    a manner that promotes economic development and opportunity, 
    fosters effective transportation access, enhances and protects the 
    environment, and balances resources through sound management of 
    development; and
        ``(B) a description of how the strategy will solve the 
    problems.
    ``(b) Approval of Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.--The 
Secretary shall approve a comprehensive economic development strategy 
that meets the requirements of subsection (a) to the satisfaction of 
the Secretary.
    ``(c) Approval of Other Plan.--The Secretary may accept as a 
comprehensive economic development strategy a satisfactory plan 
developed under another federally supported program.

               ``TITLE IV--ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS

``SEC. 401. DESIGNATION OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS.

    ``(a) In General.--In order that economic development projects of 
broad geographic significance may be planned and carried out, the 
Secretary may designate appropriate economic development districts in 
the United States, with the concurrence of the States in which the 
districts will be wholly or partially located, if--
        ``(1) the proposed district is of sufficient size or 
    population, and contains sufficient resources, to foster economic 
    development on a scale involving more than a single area described 
    in section 301(a);
        ``(2) the proposed district contains at least 1 area described 
    in section 301(a); and
        ``(3) the proposed district has a comprehensive economic 
    development strategy that--
            ``(A) contains a specific program for intra-district 
        cooperation, self-help, and public investment; and
            ``(B) is approved by each affected State and by the 
        Secretary.
    ``(b) Authorities.--The Secretary may, under regulations 
promulgated by the Secretary--
        ``(1) invite the States to determine boundaries for proposed 
    economic development districts;
        ``(2) cooperate with the States--
            ``(A) in sponsoring and assisting district economic 
        planning and economic development groups; and
            ``(B) in assisting the district groups in formulating 
        comprehensive economic development strategies for districts; 
        and
        ``(3) encourage participation by appropriate local government 
    entities in the economic development districts.
``SEC. 402. TERMINATION OR MODIFICATION OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 
DISTRICTS.
    ``The Secretary shall, by regulation, promulgate standards for the 
termination or modification of the designation of economic development 
districts.

``SEC. 403. INCENTIVES.

    ``(a) In General.--Subject to the non-Federal share requirement 
under section 205(c)(1), the Secretary may increase the amount of grant 
assistance for a project in an economic development district by an 
amount that does not exceed 10 percent of the cost of the project, in 
accordance with such regulations as the Secretary shall promulgate, 
if--
        ``(1) the project applicant is actively participating in the 
    economic development activities of the district; and
        ``(2) the project is consistent with the comprehensive economic 
    development strategy of the district.
    ``(b) Review of Incentive System.--In promulgating regulations 
under subsection (a), the Secretary shall review the current incentive 
system to ensure that the system is administered in the most direct and 
effective manner to achieve active participation by project applicants 
in the economic development activities of economic development 
districts.
``SEC. 404. PROVISION OF COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES 
TO APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COMMISSION.
    ``If any part of an economic development district is in the 
Appalachian region (as defined in section 403 of the Appalachian 
Regional Development Act of 1965 (40 U.S.C. App.)), the economic 
development district shall ensure that a copy of the comprehensive 
economic development strategy of the district is provided to the 
Appalachian Regional Commission established under that Act.
``SEC. 405. ASSISTANCE TO PARTS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS NOT 
IN ELIGIBLE AREAS.
    ``Notwithstanding section 301, the Secretary may provide such 
assistance as is available under this Act for a project in a part of an 
economic development district that is not in an area described in 
section 301(a), if the project will be of a substantial direct benefit 
to an area described in section 301(a) that is located in the district.

                       ``TITLE V--ADMINISTRATION

``SEC. 501. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall carry out this Act through 
an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, to be 
appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate.
    ``(b) Compensation.--The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for 
Economic Development shall be compensated at the rate payable for level 
IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United 
States Code.
    ``(c) Duties.--The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic 
Development shall carry out such duties as the Secretary shall require 
and shall serve as the administrator of the Economic Development 
Administration of the Department.

``SEC. 502. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE.

    ``In carrying out this Act, the Secretary shall--
        ``(1) maintain a central information clearinghouse on matters 
    relating to economic development, economic adjustment, disaster 
    recovery, defense conversion, and trade adjustment programs and 
    activities of the Federal and State governments, including 
    political subdivisions of States;
        ``(2) assist potential and actual applicants for economic 
    development, economic adjustment, disaster recovery, defense 
    conversion, and trade adjustment assistance under Federal, State, 
    and local laws in locating and applying for the assistance; and
        ``(3) assist areas described in section 301(a) and other areas 
    by providing to interested persons, communities, industries, and 
    businesses in the areas any technical information, market research, 
    or other forms of assistance, information, or advice that would be 
    useful in alleviating or preventing conditions of excessive 
    unemployment or underemployment in the areas.

``SEC. 503. CONSULTATION WITH OTHER PERSONS AND AGENCIES.

    ``(a) Consultation on Problems Relating to Employment.--The 
Secretary may consult with any persons, including representatives of 
labor, management, agriculture, and government, who can assist in 
addressing the problems of area and regional unemployment or 
underemployment.
    ``(b) Consultation on Administration of Act.--The Secretary may 
provide for such consultation with interested Federal agencies as the 
Secretary determines to be appropriate in the performance of the duties 
of the Secretary under this Act.

``SEC. 504. ADMINISTRATION, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE.

    ``The Secretary shall approve Federal assistance under this Act 
only if the Secretary is satisfied that the project for which Federal 
assistance is granted will be properly and efficiently administered, 
operated, and maintained.

``SEC. 505. BUSINESSES DESIRING FEDERAL CONTRACTS.

    ``The Secretary may provide the procurement divisions of Federal 
agencies with a list consisting of--
        ``(1) the names and addresses of businesses that are located in 
    areas described in section 301(a) and that wish to obtain Federal 
    Government contracts for the provision of supplies or services; and
        ``(2) the supplies and services that each business provides.

``SEC. 506. PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS OF GRANT RECIPIENTS.

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of 
each university center and each economic development district that 
receives grant assistance under this Act (each referred to in this 
section as a `grantee') to assess the grantee's performance and 
contribution toward retention and creation of employment.
    ``(b) Purpose of Evaluations of University Centers.--The purpose of 
the evaluations of university centers under subsection (a) shall be to 
determine which university centers are performing well and are worthy 
of continued grant assistance under this Act, and which should not 
receive continued assistance, so that university centers that have not 
previously received assistance may receive assistance.
    ``(c) Timing of Evaluations.--Evaluations under subsection (a) 
shall be conducted on a continuing basis so that each grantee is 
evaluated within 3 years after the first award of assistance to the 
grantee after the effective date of the Economic Development 
Administration Reform Act of 1998, and at least once every 3 years 
thereafter, so long as the grantee receives the assistance.
    ``(d) Evaluation Criteria.--
        ``(1) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish criteria 
    for use in conducting evaluations under subsection (a).
        ``(2) Evaluation criteria for university centers.--The criteria 
    for evaluation of a university center shall, at a minimum, provide 
    for an assessment of the center's contribution to providing 
    technical assistance, conducting applied research, and 
    disseminating results of the activities of the center.
        ``(3) Evaluation criteria for economic development districts.--
    The criteria for evaluation of an economic development district 

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