Alaska, Hawaii Senators Introduce Bill to Improve Economic Prosperity of Tribes

Published January 14, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The quartet of U.S. Senators from Alaska and Hawaii have introduced new legislation aimed at helping tribes attract new investment for community revitalization projects.

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) late last week introduced the Inspiring Nationally Vibrant Economies Sustaining Tribes (INVEST) Act. The legislation aims to make significant improvements to the existing New Markets Tax Credit program to more effectively reach Native American communities, including those in Hawaii and Alaska. For the full text of the bill, click here.

“Despite the impressive record of the New Market Tax Credit program, Native communities have not been proportionately served,” Sen. Murkowski said in a statement. “This legislation will not only give Alaska Natives greater opportunity to receive support for community revitalization projects, but will help ensure they actually receive the funds they’ve been allocated. By improving the existing program, we are creating greater incentive to invest in rural communities across the state, allowing these remote areas to build and sustain strong economies.”

“By attracting new investment to communities that need it most, the New Markets Tax Credit program is a powerful force for economic development. But Native communities have been left behind,” Senator Schatz said in a statement. “This bill will make sure Native communities receive their fair share of allocations and will drive more investments into Native Hawaiian communities to help grow our local economy.”

“The New Market Tax Credit program has shown a lot of promise in directing capital investment toward low-income areas of the country, but the program’s current criteria have challenged the ability of Alaska Native communities to participate,” Sen. Sullivan said in a statement. “I’m glad to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that will ensure these communities are not left behind in this effort, and that Alaskans will see greater benefit and opportunities in the near future.”

“The New Market Tax Credit program has been an effective tool for promoting community development and economic growth across the country, but more can be done to ensure Native communities share in that success. Under this legislation, Native Hawaiian communities in our state and other Native communities across the country will benefit from new access to much-needed resources,” Sen. Hirono said in a statement. “I am proud to join Senator Murkowski to introduce this legislation to support Native communities and build on the program’s success.”

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