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Fiscal Year 2020 Administration Budget Includes Historic Funding for Rural Communities

Annapolis, MD – On January 18, 2019, Governor Hogan announced major items in the administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The Fiscal Year 2020 administrative budget includes level funding support for the Rural Maryland Council (RMC), Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF), and the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF). The RMC would like to thank Governor Hogan for budgeting funds to support RMPIF and MAERDAF.

“We want to express our gratitude for the inclusion of these important and necessary funds that will be used to invigorate the economies in all of our rural areas,” said RMC Board Chair, Scott Warner, “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 is included in the budget for $6,000,000 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. In Fiscal Year 2019, RMPIF also received $6 million in funding. Since Fiscal Year 2017, funds for RMPIF have been included in the State’s Operating budget. For Fiscal Year 2019, 36 grants were distributed to 33 organizations throughout the State.

RMPIF will support the Rural Maryland Council’s activities and 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. During Fiscal Year 2019, a total of 42 MAERDAF grants were awarded in the amount of $1,093,930.00 to 39 organizations. Information on grantees may be found at rural.maryland.gov.

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.

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