§5B-2K-2. Legislative Findings.
The Legislature finds that the historical coal field communities of this state that were once thriving and vital parts of the state have seen decades of decline as changes in coal mining technologies and mining practices and the decline in the market for coal have resulted in a steady decline in the populations and economic vitality of the coal mining regions of our state; and every effort made to revitalize these areas is an important and necessary component of the success and advancement of the economy of this state.
Many funding initiatives available to these areas in the form of matching grants from federal and private sources have become a significant and important opportunity for access to capital to initiate revitalization, but limitations of funds to match grants and having the resources to apply for and facilitate receipt of these grants has encumbered the utilization of these resources.
The Legislature, by enactment of this article, intends to initiate mechanisms to facilitate the access to such capital, by establishing a commission to administer state funds to provide to eligible local entities the required local matching portion for certain grants; and to facilitate assistance to these local entities by providing access to grant writing expertise and support by utilizing our state university and colleges to assist in the development of successful grant writing resources for local entities to maximize their success in rebuilding their communities.