Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Lead Effort To Reauthorize The Northern Border Regional Commission To Boost Job Creation, Expand Housing And Childcare, Rebuild Infrastructure, And Accelerate Economic Recovery In Upstate New York

Feb 23, 2023

Senators Say Support For NBRC Programs More Important Than Ever To Spur Economic Recovery In Communities Across Upstate NY

New NBRC Bill Would Expand Funding To Invest In Childcare, Back Housing Projects, Combat Opioid Crisis, And Build Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

Schumer, Gillibrand: Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Will Accelerate Job Creation From Western NY, The Finger Lakes, And Central NY To The North Country And Capital Region

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today launched their push to reauthorize the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) economic development programs until 2031 and expand the agency’s investment in job creating opportunities to accelerate Upstate New York’s economic recovery.

The senators formally introduced the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Reauthorization Act of 2023, which would reauthorize the NBRC for another ten years and increase annual authorized funding levels to support the agency’s focus of creating new jobs, promoting business retention and expansion, making critical investment in public infrastructure, and boosting tourism throughout Upstate New York. Additionally, the bill would target funds to support housing projects, address childcare and health care needs, build climate-resilient infrastructure, and combat the opioid crisis, all of which would spur economic recovery and improve the quality of life in communities across Upstate New York.

“From Western and Central New York to the North Country and beyond, I’m proud to stand with Upstate New Yorkers by leading the charge in the Senate to reauthorize the Northern Border Regional Commission’s vital programs, that will breathe life into the state’s job creation efforts and bring new growth to some of our most hard-hit communities and rural regions,” said Senator Schumer. “By spurring business expansion, upgrading public infrastructure, improving quality of life, and bringing an abundance of jobs to the state, the NBRC has played a critical role in Upstate New York’s economic recovery. The expansion of this bill will significantly enhance the impact of the NBRC’s programs to reach even more Upstate communities, which is why I will fight tooth and nail to advance this legislation and help deliver the resources Upstate New Yorkers need to prosper.”

“The Northern Border Regional Commission has provided economic opportunities for rural communities in Upstate New York for years, and I’m proud to support this effort to make sure the NBRC is around for the next ten,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Reauthorization Act of 2023 will help attract more jobs, businesses, and funding for infrastructure projects that keep our Upstate communities running.”

From 2010-2022, the NBRC invested in over 60 projects totaling over $28 million in investment for Upstate New York. The senators explained that in addition to reauthorizing the NBRC for an additional 10 years, the bill would also increase the annual appropriation cap from $33 million to $50 million for the first 5 years, and to $60 million for the following 5 years. The bill also makes critical enhancements to the range of projects the NBRC is able to support to foster growth in the region including:

·       Expanding the NBRC’s ability to fund projects that invest in childcare and health care needs. Including projects to attract, train and retain qualified health care or childcare personnel to underserved areas.

·       Strengthening climate resiliency projects to address new and emerging vulnerabilities of transportation and public infrastructure needed to combat the impacts of climate change.

·       Projects to combat substance use disorders from opioid and methamphetamine use.

·       Increasing the NBRC’s support for housing projects to meet the growing and diverse needs of families and communities in the region.

Schumer and Gillibrand have a long history of championing the Northern Border Regional Commission and its positive economic impacts on the North Country and Upstate New York. In 2021, they successfully secured $150 million for the NBRC, over triple it’s funding from previous years, through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.

Schumer and Gillibrand explained that in 2022 alone, the NBRC awarded $5.8 million in federal funding for twelve projects across the North Country and Upstate New York. They said this represents the NBRC’s largest annual investment in New York to date, thanks to the increase in funding they were able to secure for the NBRC in the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bill. The senators said these projects will help address critical needs across the region, including fixing aging infrastructure, training workers for good-paying jobs, increasing tourism, and accelerating the economic recovery of Main Streets across Upstate New York.

Established in 2008, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership focused on the economic revitalization of communities across the Northern Border region, which includes New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The Commission is composed of the governors of the four Northern Border states and a federal co-chair, and provides financial and technical assistance to communities in the region to support entrepreneurs, improve water, broadband, and transportation infrastructure, and promote other initiatives to improve the region’s economy. The northern border region of New York State includes 28 counties: Cayuga, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Orleans, Oswego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Sullivan, Washington, Warren, Wayne, and Yates.