DENVER, CO– The House Committee on Rural Affairs and Agriculture today unanimously voted to approve Representative Barbara McLachlan’s bill to strengthen the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Grant program. The REDI program provides grants that strengthen and diversify rural economies and create new jobs. The bill has already passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote.
“This bill gives a leg up to rural economies in communities like mine across the state,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “There is a clear need for the rural economic development funds this bill will continue to provide: since the program began, requests for grants from the REDI program have regularly exceeded the amount of funding available. I’m proud to be ensuring that these funds make it to the communities that need them most.”
SB20-002 would codify and strengthen a successful existing program, REDI, in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), to be administered in collaboration with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). The bill will ensure that the program continues to work and that certain improvements are made in order to ensure that rural economies are more successfully bolstered.
In addition to formalizing the program in statute, SB20-002 would require that DOLA adopt rules for application procedures and timelines, criteria for a matching funds requirement, and performance and reporting requirements related to REDI. The bill would also require that DOLA report on the use of the REDI funds.