Wednesday March 20th, 2024

Cortez Masto, Kelly Introduce Legislation To Bolster Economic Development and Promote Key Tourism and Outdoor Industries

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) introduced the Increasing Our Nation’s Value through Economic Support and Tourism (INVEST) in Our Communities Act to strengthen regional economic development and promote the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries. The bill would expand and enhance the access of valuable Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding and programs that help create stronger and more diverse local economies.

“Economic development, especially from tourism and outdoor recreation sectors, is essential across Nevada,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This commonsense bill will expand economic development resources and make them more accessible for Nevada’s tribes, regional development agencies, and the tourism and outdoor recreation sectors — that’s good for our economy, our workers, and everyone who wants to experience all Nevada has to offer.”

“Arizona’s economy looks different than other parts of the country, and it’s important that the EDA has programs that support our rural and tribal communities and growing industries, like outdoor recreation and tourism,” said Senator Kelly. “That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to help communities create good-paying jobs by expanding economic development opportunities and boosting tourism and outdoor recreation across our state.”

“LVGEA and Senator Cortez Masto both consider economic diversification and expansion a top priority for Southern Nevada,” said Tina Quigley, President and CEO if the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. We support the Senator’s legislation to provide more tools for our communities to tailor economic development plans to meet local and regional needs. We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with her on this important legislation.”

“The Western Nevada Development District is dedicated to engaging in economic recovery and resiliency in Nevada’s western rural, urban, and tribal communities,” said Christine Brandon, Executive Director of the Western Nevada Development District. “We appreciate the Senator’s support to expand the Economic Development Administration’s capacity and funding to invest in Nevada’s economic development.”

“From Las Vegas to Great Basin National Park, Nevada has a diverse and unique tourism economy across the State,” said Brenda Scolari, Director of the Nevada Department of Tourism. “Supporting Nevada’s tourism infrastructure leads to job creation and elevates community pride through telling our state’s rich history. We greatly appreciate the INVEST in Our Communities Act from Senator Cortez Masto, and her steadfast support and understanding of the importance of tourism in regional economies.”

In the American Rescue Plan, Senator Cortez Masto fought to secure more than $19 million in federal funding from the EDA to help Nevada’s travel tourism and hospitality industries bounce back after the pandemic. The INVEST in Our Communities Act expands the accessibility of these resources to support local communities and expand tourism and outdoor reaction economies. Specifically, this bill would:

  • Establish a $100 million annual “Hospitality and Outdoor-Recreation Supporting Tourism (HOST) Grant” program to aide in economic recovery, development, and the expansion of vital tourism efforts, including marketing.
  • Give greater consideration to funding projects that boost tourism and outdoor recreation.
  • Underscore the economic value of investing in the promotion of tourism and outdoor recreation.
  • Increase the federal cost share for EDA grant funding to local communities and regional economic development agencies from 50% to 60%.
  • Authorize EDA funding for specific economic development planning costs, including hiring staff.
  • Help communities and regions receive EDA consideration to access economic development funding when restricted by limited or exhausted tax revenues.
  • Establish an Office of Tribal Economic Development to better support Tribal communities.
  • Establish of the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resiliency.
  • Establish a program of enhanced EDA Technical Assistance.
  • Create an interagency agreement between the EDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency to support economic development in rural areas.

U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Rudy Yakym (R-Indiana) have introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

You can read the full bill text HERE.

Senator Cortez Masto has been a champion of Nevada’s economy, including supporting the state’s tourism, outdoor recreation and live event sectors and promoting economic development. In the American Rescue Plan, Senator Cortez Masto secured $3 billion in funding to assist states with their economic recovery and their vital tourism industries, including Nevada. Senator Cortez Masto secured over $15 billion in “Save Our Stages” relief for live entertainment venues to address the impacts of the pandemic. She has also been a Senate leader in passing the seven-year reauthorization of ‘Brand USA’, which is a public-private partnership that enhances tourism and job creation across the country.



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