Rep. Stephanie Barnard’s match program bill unanimously approved by Senate, boosting access to federal grants

Rep. Stephanie Barnard’s landmark bill, Substitute House Bill 1870, won a significant victory in the state Senate today. The bill, aimed at bolstering communities’ access to federal grants, received unanimous approval, advancing community development efforts across the state.

Expressing her elation at the bill’s passage, Barnard, R-Pasco stated, “This bill results from countless interactions with local community members, business owners, government agencies, and elected officials. I’m thrilled we are seizing the moment and capitalizing on the abundant federal grant opportunities available for Washington.”

Recognizing the challenges faced by local communities, particularly those in rural areas, Barnard emphasized the necessity of her measure. “SHB 1870 addresses several hurdles communities encounter when seeking to secure matching funds at the local level, despite increased federal grant opportunities,” she said.

Barnard’s bill enhances accessibility to matching funds within the Department of Commerce, along with additional resource assistance for eligible communities.

“This measure substantially empowers communities with the resources needed to secure federal grants. Action is imperative, and my bill is the key to unlocking the full potential of these funds for Washington state,” Barnard added.

Along with its primary objectives, SHB 1870 also offers a resource guide, technical support, aid in crafting competitive grant applications, and criteria for prioritizing applications for federal funds. Examples of available federal grants include broadband and clean energy, infrastructure for buildings, and transportation.

With unanimous approval in both chambers, SHB 1870 now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.

The 2024 legislative session is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, March 7.


Washington State House Republican Communications