Kelly, Cortez Masto Introduce Legislation to Bolster Economic Development and Promote Key Tourism and Outdoor Industries

This week, Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the Increasing Our Nation’s Value through Economic Support and Tourism (INVEST) in Our Communities Act to strengthen regional economic development and promote the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries. The bill would expand and enhance the access of valuable Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding and programs that help create stronger and more diverse local economies.  

“Arizona’s economy looks different than other parts of the country, and it’s important that the EDA has programs that support our rural and tribal communities and growing industries, like outdoor recreation and tourism. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to help communities create good-paying jobs by expanding economic development opportunities and boosting tourism and outdoor recreation across our state,” said Kelly.     

“Economic development, especially from tourism and outdoor recreation sectors, is essential across Nevada,” said Cortez Masto. “This commonsense bill will expand economic development resources and make them more accessible for Nevada’s tribes, regional development agencies, and the tourism and outdoor recreation sectors — that’s good for our economy, our workers, and everyone who wants to experience all Nevada has to offer.”   

The INVEST in Our Communities Act would:  

  • Establish a $100 million annual “Hospitality and Outdoor-Recreation Supporting Tourism (HOST) Grant” program to aide in economic recovery, development, and the expansion of vital tourism efforts, including marketing.   
  • Give greater consideration to funding projects that boost tourism and outdoor recreation.  
  • Underscore the economic value of investing in the promotion of tourism and outdoor recreation.   
  • Increase the federal cost share for EDA grant funding to local communities and regional economic development agencies from 50% to 60%.   
  • Authorize EDA funding for specific economic development planning costs, including hiring staff.   
  • Help communities and regions receive EDA consideration to access economic development funding when restricted by limited or exhausted tax revenues.  
  • Establish an Office of Tribal Economic Development to better support Tribal communities.  
  • Establish an Office of Disaster Recovery and Resiliency.  
  • Establish a program of enhanced EDA Technical Assistance.  
  • Create an interagency agreement between the EDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency to support economic development in rural areas.  

Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV-3) and Rudy Yakym (R-IN-2) have introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.  

Click here to read the full bill text.