Recently Passed FY 2017 Maryland Operating Budget Includes Historic Funding for Rural Communities
Annapolis, MD – On March 29, 2016, the Maryland Legislature passed the Fiscal Year 2017 State Operating Budget which includes funds to support the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF), a key step forward in addressing disparities in the State’s rural areas. The Rural Maryland Council would like to thank Governor Hogan for inclusion of funds to support RMPIF, the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate for their support and, in particular, the Senate Budget and Taxation and House Appropriations Committees.
“The Rural Maryland Council realizes that our rural, suburban and urban economies in Maryland are interdependent,” said Rural Maryland Council Chair, Doris Mason, “We want to express our gratitude for these important and necessary funds and we will employ every known strategy as we use these resources to invigorate our economies in all of our rural areas!”
For the first time since 2006, the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund will receive $2 million in funding for targeted investment to promote economic prosperity in Maryland’s traditionally disadvantaged and underserved rural communities. By sustaining efforts to promote rural regional cooperation, facilitating entrepreneurial activities and supporting key community colleges and nonprofit providers, the quality of life in rural Maryland can be advanced over the next several years.
The Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund will support the Rural Maryland Council’s activities and the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) which provides capacity-building funds to rural nonprofit service providers. It will also support the states’ five regional councils, regional infrastructure projects, rural entrepreneurship development, rural community development, and rural health care organizations.
The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) operates under the direction of a 40-member executive board in a nonpartisan and nondiscriminatory manner. It serves as the state’s federally designated rural development council and functions as a voice for rural Maryland, advocating for and helping rural communities and businesses across the state to flourish and to gain equity to its suburban and urban counterparts. The vision for RMC is the ultimate realization that residents in rural communities are achieving success in education and employment, have access to affordable, quality health care and other vital public services, and live in an environment where natural and cultural resources are being sustained for future generations.