SECTION 1. The General Court finds and declares that:
(a) the purpose of the Community Development Block Grant, also known as CDBG, appropriation is to assist cities and towns of the commonwealth with community projects of high value at the local level;
(b) the formula for evaluation and distribution of CDBG funds purposefully ranks communities based significantly upon economic factors and favors cities and towns in need of additional funding for community improvements; and
(c) CDBG funds are seldom available to certain communities with high value projects that meet their local needs, the formula for ranking communities shall be amended as provided for in this act.
SECTION 2. Chapter 23B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 31. (a) Beginning in the year 2018 and continuing every fourth year the process for ranking communities eligible for Community Development Block Grant, hereinafter referred to as CDBG, funding by the department shall only include communities that have been or would have been ranked at or below 16 using the existing evaluation criteria. As used in this section the term Community Development Block Grant shall mean funds designated to promote the development of viable urban communities within the commonwealth and which are distributed by the federal government to the commonwealth pursuant to sections 300, et seq., of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, or its successor.
(b) CDBG funding criteria existing in fiscal year 2016, or as amended thereafter, shall continue to apply for the following consecutive five year period resuming in fiscal year 2019 through fiscal year 2023. For 1 year thereafter, in fiscal year 2024, this section shall apply, to again cycle to the traditional practice alternating with the amended practice every sixth year.
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