Florida League of Cities

Rural Development (Support) – Passed 

CS/CS/CS/HB 1209 (Shoaf) specifies that an agency agreement that provides state or federal financial assistance to local government entities within a rural area of opportunity (RAO) must allow the agency to provide for the payment of invoices to the county, municipality or RAO for verified and eligible performance that has been completed in accordance with the terms and conditions in the agreement. The bill amends the Rural Infrastructure Fund to:

•Increase the maximum grant award from 50% to 75% of the total infrastructure cost, or up to 100% of the total infrastructure project cost for a project that is located in a rural community that is also located in a fiscally constrained county or in a RAO; 

•Remove the requirement that projects must be linked to specific job-creation or job-retention opportunities;

•Remove the currently permitted use of funds for improving access, availability and improvement of broadband internet service;

•Increase the maximum grant for infrastructure feasibility studies, design and engineering activities, or other infrastructure planning and preparation activities to $300,000 for all projects and remove the limitation that the grant not exceed 30% of the total project cost; and

•Remove the 33% local match requirement for grants for surveys, feasibility studies and the preclearance review of land for projects in an RAO.

Effective date: July 1, 2023. (Taggart)