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H.R. 6474 - Augmenting Research and Educational Sites to Ensure Agriculture Remains Cutting-Edge and Helpful Act

Introduced: 2018-07-23
Bill Status: Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.
 

Augmenting Research and Educational Sites to Ensure Agriculture Remains Cutting-Edge and Helpful Act or the AG RESEARCH Act

This bill amends the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to provide funding for maintenance at agricultural research facilities.

The bill requires the Department of Agriculture to: (1) establish a grant program within the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to provide agricultural research facilities with a federal share of the cost for the alteration, modernization, renovation, or remodeling of the research facilities or the equipment necessary for agricultural research; and (2) use specified Commodity Credit Corporation funds to provide direct payments to research facilities of the Agricultural Research Service for addressing deferred maintenance.

Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6474


    To amend the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to address deferred maintenance at agricultural research facilities, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 23, 2018

    Ms. Gabbard (for herself, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. Pocan, Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Mr. Espaillat, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Hanabusa, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Ms. Jackson Lee, Ms. Norton, Mr. Carbajal, and Mr. McGovern) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

    To amend the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to address deferred maintenance at agricultural research facilities, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Augmenting Research and Educational Sites to Ensure Agriculture Remains Cutting-Edge and Helpful Act” or the “AG RESEARCH Act”.

SEC. 2. Agricultural research facilities.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds that—

(1) in 2015, agriculture and related industries—

(A) contributed $992,000,000,000 to the gross domestic product of the United States (5.5 percent of the total gross domestic product of the United States); and

(B) provided 21,000,000 jobs domestically (11 percent of total employment in the United States);

(2) the Department of Agriculture funds more than $1,500,000,000 in research funding each year to schools of agriculture;

(3) a study published in 2015 found that deferred maintenance at 91 schools of agriculture across the United States totaled $8,200,000,000, with a total replacement cost of $29,000,000,000; and

(4) infrastructure investments must be made at schools of agriculture to ensure that United States agricultural research remains globally competitive.

(b) Grants for agricultural research facilities.—Title IV of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 is amended by inserting before section 404 (7 U.S.C. 7624) the following:

“SEC. 401. Grants for agricultural research facilities.

“(a) Purpose.—The purpose of this section is to assist agricultural research facilities in efforts to alter or repair those facilities or equipment of the facilities necessary for conducting agricultural research.

“(b) Definition of agricultural research facility.—In this section, the term ‘agricultural research facility’ has the meaning given the term in section 2 of the Research Facilities Act (7 U.S.C. 390).

“(c) Grant program.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall establish in the National Institute of Food and Agriculture a competitive grant program to provide to agricultural research facilities the Federal share of the cost of the alteration, modernization, renovation, or remodeling of—

“(A) the agricultural research facilities; or

“(B) equipment of the agricultural research facilities necessary for conducting agricultural research.

“(2) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share referred to in paragraph (1) shall be not greater than 50 percent.

“(d) Requirements.—

“(1) AMOUNT; TERMS AND CONDITIONS.—Grants awarded under this section shall be in such amounts and under such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines are necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.

“(2) GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION.—To the maximum extent practicable, grants shall be awarded under this section to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of funds.

“(3) LIMITATION.—Not greater than 20 percent of amounts made available to carry out this section shall be awarded to projects in any 1 State.

“(4) ADMINISTRATION.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall establish procedures for—

“(A) the submission of proposals for competitive grants; and

“(B) in consultation with representatives of National Institute of Food and Agriculture grantmaking peer review panels, the review and selection of proposals submitted under subparagraph (A).

“(5) PRIORITY.—In selecting proposals under paragraph (4)(B), the Secretary shall give priority to proposals that—

“(A) are—

“(i) ready to proceed quickly; and

“(ii) included in the facilities master plan or capital improvement plan of the college, university, or nonprofit institution; or

“(B) incorporate—

“(i) renewable energy;

“(ii) energy- or water-efficient technology; or

“(iii) both energy and technology described in clauses (i) and (ii).

“(e) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,000,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2028.”.

SEC. 3. Agricultural research centers.

(a) Finding.—Congress finds that the Agricultural Research Service Capital Investment Strategy dated April 2012 indicates that research facilities of the Agricultural Research Services have more than $1,000,000,000 in deferred maintenance.

(b) Direct funding for deferred maintenance at ARS research facilities.—Title IV of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7624 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 401 (as added by section 2(b)) the following:

“SEC. 402. Direct funding for deferred maintenance at ARS research facilities.

“(a) In general.—Using amounts made available under subsection (c), the Secretary shall provide direct payments to research facilities of the Agricultural Research Service for the purpose of addressing deferred maintenance.

“(b) Priority.—In providing direct payments under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give priority to the most critical structures in accordance with the Agricultural Research Service Capital Investment Strategy dated April 2012.

“(c) Funding.—Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section $100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2028.”.


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