2022 NADO Legislative Resources

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Recent NADO Advocacy Accomplishments 

NADO Member Provided Testimony at Senate Hearing on EDA Reauthorization 

On November 3, 2021 the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing focused on the reauthorization of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). During the hearing, NADO member Shane Whitehair, Executive Director of the Region VII Planning and Development Council, testified alongside other witnesses, including EDA Assistant Secretary Alejandra Castillo. To view a recording of the hearing, click here.

NADO and Partner Organizations Successfully Advocate for $3 Billion for EDA in the American Rescue Plan 

On Thursday July 22, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the release of the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) that will guide the administration of the $3 billion in supplemental funding that EDA received through the American Rescue Plan. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced a collection of programs – collectively called Investing in America’s Communities – through which EDA will invest the $3 billion to assist communities across the country. This EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades and is intended to help communities across the country to ‘build back better.’ Investing in America’s Communities includes:

As part of the collection of programs, EDA is also making a Coal Communities Commitment and is allocating $300 million to ensure support for these communities as they recover from the pandemic and other economic shifts.

OMB Maintains the Minimum Urban Area Population Needed to Qualify as an MSA After Advocacy From NADO and Partner Organizations 

IN July of 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that it will maintain the minimum urban area population needed to qualify as an MSA at the current population threshold of 50,000. OMB’s decision means that OMB will NOT raise the population threshold to 100,000 as was previously proposed in a federal register notice published in January 2021.

NADO submitted comments opposing the proposed change earlier this year which expressed our concerns that the proposed change could have had negatively affected federal funding availability, among other potential impacts. Many NADO members also took action on this item, and we thank you for your engagement and attention to this issue.

NADO is glad to share this positive outcome with our membership. From NADO’s perspective, OMB’s decision to maintain current population threshold levels is a positive decision which protects existing federal funding sources and prevents disruptions to statistical measurement and data products. More information about OMB’s decision on the proposed change can be found here.

RLF Act of 2020 Becomes Law After Strong NADO Advocacy Effort  

On Friday October 30 2020 the Reinvigorating Lending for the Future (RLF) Act of 2020 (S. 4075) was signed into law. This legislation reforms the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program by eliminating burdensome “in perpetuity” reporting requirements and releasing the federal interest in EDA RLFs after seven years, thereby providing more local flexibility to RLF operators as they administer this program on behalf of their communities. Now that the bill has been signed into law, EDA will be permitted to release the federal interest in RLFs that have operated satisfactorily for seven years since the disbursement of grant funds. EDA is currently developing policies and procedures to implement this law, so please look out for more information coming directly from EDA on exactly how this process will work. NADO is grateful to all the NADO members, coalition partners, and other advocates who engaged members of Congress and helped advocate for this reform, as well as the Senate and House champions who introduced and supported this legislation, and the congressional staffers who helped facilitate the process.

NADO Successfully Advocates for $1.5 Billion in Funding for EDA in the CARES Act

On March 27 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) was signed into law. The legislation aims to address and mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide economic relief for individuals, businesses, cities, and states. In addition to a variety of other sources of federal funding, the bill includes $1.5 billion in supplemental funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which NADO and other partner organizations successfully advocated to include. The CARES Act is the third tranche of funding passed in response to COVID-19, following the passage of HR 6074 and HR 6201. A summary of the funding breakdown in the CARES Act can be found here.

For more information, please contact Mirielle Burgoyne, Director of Government Relations, at 202-921-4443 or [email protected]


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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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