Recently Passed Fiscal Year 2018 Maryland Operating Budget Includes Historic Funding For Rural Communities
RECENTLY PASSED FISCAL YEAR 2018 MARYLAND OPERATING BUDGET INCLUDES HISTORIC FUNDING FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES
Annapolis, MD – On April 10, 2017, the Maryland Legislature adjourned Sine Die. Among the session’s many accomplishments, the Legislature approved the Fiscal Year 2018 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 budgeting funds to support RMPIF, the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate for their support and, the numerous individuals and organizations that voiced their strong support for increased rural investment.
“We want to express our gratitude for these important and necessary funds that will be used to invigorate the economies in all of our rural areas,” said RMC Board Chair, Josh Hastings, “these funds are critical investments for improving the quality of life in rural communities by focusing on entrepreneurship, infrastructure, and health care.”
The Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund will receive $3,667,000 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. Last year, for the first time, RMPIF received $2 million in funding. For Fiscal Year 2017, 23 grants were distributed to 23 organizations throughout the State. Information on grantees may be found at rural.maryland.gov.
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 the official voice for rural Maryland. The RMC advocates for rural communities and businesses across the state to flourish and to gain parity to their suburban and urban counterparts. The RMC envisions a future where 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.