Rural Development Provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill (P.L. 113-79) [September 4, 2014] [open pdf - 399KB]
From the report summary: "While many legislative proposals introduced in a given Congress may have implications for rural America, Congress has generally expressed concern with economic development of rural communities within the context of periodic omnibus farm bills, most recently in Title VI of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79). Congress uses farm bills to address emerging rural issues as well as to reauthorize and/or amend a wide range of rural programs administered by the U.S. [...] The 2014 farm bill authorizes USDA to prioritize otherwise eligible applications that support multijurisdictional strategic economic and community development. The provision reserves 20% of a fiscal year's appropriation for community facilities, water and wastewater projects, and rural business development for such strategic economic development projects. The bill authorizes a new Rural Energy Savings Program that will provide 0% interest rate loans to eligible borrowers to implement energy efficiency measures. The bill also authorizes appropriations of $10 million annually (FY2014-FY2018) for a new Rural Gigabit Network Pilot program for 'ultra-high speed' broadband connectivity, and amends through FY2018 many long-standing programs funded through annual appropriations--water and waste disposal grants, technical assistance for rural water systems, emergency community water assistance, business opportunity grants, water assistance to Native villages in Alaska, community facilities for tribal colleges, and distance learning and telemedicine, to name a few. Most of these programs received authorized funding at levels generally lower than authorized by the 2008 farm bill."
CRS Report for Congress, R43718
National Agricultural Law Center: http:nationalaglawcenter.org/