'Alaska's ARDOR organizations rose to the occasion during the COVID-19 pandemic and played a critical role in getting funds out to businesses, communities, nonprofits, and fishermen'
JUNEAU – The Alaska House of Representatives today voted 38-1 to pass a bill that will continue the operations of the Alaska Regional Development Organization program for another decade.
House Bill 192 was necessary as Alaska’s nine ARDOR organizations will automatically sunset this year unless specifically renewed by the Legislature. They were created in 1988 to encourage local officials, tribal organizations, and businesses to work together on economic infrastructure and workforce development projects, enhance public-private partnerships, and provide assistance to communities that lack critical resources.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations have supported efforts to get federal money out to Alaskans in need, a task they are poised to continue as additional relief pours into the state.
“Regional economic development organizations, including Southeast Conference in my region, are critical for economic development and diversification across Alaska,” said Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka), the bill’s sponsor. “I’m pleased and grateful for the broad, bipartisan support of today’s vote.”
“Alaska’s ARDOR organizations rose to the occasion during the COVID-19 pandemic and played a critical role in getting funds out to businesses, communities, nonprofits, and fishermen and by steering limited federal money to critical infrastructure projects,” Speaker Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) said. “Their work in the past year provided yet another proof point of their value to our state.”
Rep. Calvin Schrage (I-Anchorage) added, “This bill provides stability for organizations that play a vital role in helping communities across Alaska create jobs, invest in infrastructure, and build a brighter future. Keeping the Alaska Regional Development Organizations alive will help protect local control over future investments.”
HB 192 now heads to the Senate for consideration.