SB 426 (Montford) makes changes to how the Regional Rural Development Grants Program operates. Specifically, the bill:
•requires grant recipients to serve or be located within a rural area of opportunity.
•authorizes organizations that serve an entire rural area of opportunity to receive grants of up to $250,000 annually.
•increases the maximum amount of funds the Department of Economic Opportunity may expend for the program from $750,000 to $1 million annually.
•reduces the percentage of grant funds that must be matched with non-state funds from 100 percent to 25 percent of the state’s contribution.
•specifies that regional economic development organizations may use grant funds to build their professional capacity and provide technical assistance.
•establishes certain contract and public notice requirements. (Cook)