President Trump’s first effort at a federal budget calls for elimination of funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission. The director of the Appalachian Center at Berea College worries, if enacted, the president’s spending plan would have negative impacts on southeastern Kentucky.
The "skinny budgets" offered by first-term presidents often include wish lists of spending requests and basic economic projections. The Trump proposal includes funding cuts to a number of agencies including the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Loyal Jones Appalachian Center Director Chris Green says these federal dollars support cultural development in the region. "It’s such a central area for the nation’s understanding that when we can hold up places and examples of this American heritage, that’s what the ARC enables places to do.”
Green says, of the $146 million in Appalachian Regional Commission funding in 2016, $50 million went to help coal counties. He says many infrastructure improvements are supported through ARC support.