WATCH: Kelly’s Bills to Reauthorize the Economic Development Administration Pass Committee Vote

Kelly-shaped bipartisan legislation will support economic development across Arizona

Today, legislation introduced by Arizona Senator Mark Kelly to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the first time in nearly 20 years, passed out of committee with strong bipartisan support—a key step towards becoming law. As Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which oversees EDA, Kelly played a major role in shaping the legislation.  

The Economic Development Reauthorization Act of 2024 makes key reforms to modernize EDA’s core programs, including Kelly’s ONSHORE Act, which would supercharge development of shovel-ready sites needed to attract manufactures from critical industries. Kelly also secured key provisions of his Invest in Our Communities Act to improve access to economic development resources for rural and tribal communities. The legislation also authorizes Arizona’s Southwest Border Regional Commission, one of eight authorized federal regional commissions that promote economic development in their regions. 

“When crafting this legislation, my top priority was making sure the EDA has the tools needed to help big and small Arizona communities meet the economic challenges and opportunities of the future. From improving economic development opportunities in rural and tribal communities to attracting manufacturing investments, this will drive economic growth in every corner of our state,” said Kelly.  

Kelly delivers remarks at a EPW Committee business meeting on EDA Reauthorization

Click here to download video of Kelly’s remarks. See below what Arizona economic leaders are saying about Kelly’s legislation: 

“We applaud Senator Kelly for leading on this important legislation. The Economic Development Reauthorization Act of 2024 will expand access to several of EDA’s programs for Arizona companies, create new workforce initiatives, and significantly strengthen U.S. competitiveness for new manufacturing opportunities, bringing more jobs and investment to Arizona. We’re grateful for Senator Kelly’s continued partnership in growing and advancing Arizona’s economy,” said Sandra Watson President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority.  

“The U.S. has a tremendous opportunity to attract increased industrial investment and the ONSHORE Act creates a direct path to such growth,” said Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Chris Camacho. “The region continues to grow as a hotbed for advanced manufacturing and site readiness remains one of the most crucial components in attracting companies to Greater Phoenix. This bill brings communities of all sizes into the fold, including tribal communities and small towns, which would equitably advance the economy of the entire region.” 

“The reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) would greatly benefit communities across northern Arizona by providing additional resources for regional planning and technical assistance, project grants, and targeted assistance to coal impacted communities,” said Northern Arizona Council of Governments Executive Director Chris Fetzer. “These funds are essential to expand regional technical assistance capacity to plan for critical investments from EDA, and other federal partners, that support economic growth and business development, and aid communities facing significant economic transitions.” 

“Southern Arizona benefits immensely from the reauthorization of the EDA. The EDA reauthorization will advance many of Sun Corridor Inc.’s priorities including a focus on advanced manufacturing, dedicated funding for site development and expansion projects, investment in workforce development critical to our business success, and many other priorities,” said Joe Snell, President & CEO, Sun Corridor Inc. “We applaud Senator Mark Kelly ‘s leadership on this important reauthorization.” 

“The reauthorization of the EDA is extremely important to Southern Arizona, including Pima County and the Tucson Metro area. The strategic investments being made from the federal level into our local and regional economies has helped to incentivize companies to invest in our region and has allowed us to reinvest dollars into workforce development initiatives to help spur economic growth,” said Pima County Economic Development Director Heath Vescovi-Chiordi. “A perfect example of this is the recent announcement last December of a coalition consisting of Pima County, Santa Cruz County and the City of Tucson as an EDA Recompete Grant finalist. This opportunity, among other standing EDA programs, truly demonstrates how targeted investments can make significant impacts on our communities and our people.” 

Click here for a summary of the bill. Click here for a section-by-section summary. Click here for the full bill text.