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State unveils details of READI 2.0 program, with $500 million to be awarded next year

The Statehouse dome is seen in the reflection of windows. The words "Coming Soon" are printed on the windows.
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
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IPB News
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will award $500 million in READI 2.0 grants in April 2024.

The Holcomb administration this week unveiled the details of READI 2.0, the second round of economic development funding for regions around the state.

The $500 million in grants will be awarded in April 2024.

The READI program was created in 2021 and funded with federal stimulus money. It awarded grants to regional partners for projects ranging from community centers and parks to early learning centers and workforce housing.

The program proved popular among local and state leaders, prompting the legislature to provide another round of $500 million funding, this time entirely with state dollars.

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The Holcomb administration this week laid out the timeline for proposals and the guidelines applicants should follow to get access to as much as $75 million per region.

Those guidelines include “focus areas:” quality of life, place and opportunity. Projects can include everything from arts and culture to housing and water, sewer and road infrastructure to workforce development and education.

The guidance released by the state Tuesday also includes the framework the Indiana Economic Development Corporation will use to evaluate the proposals. Those include how much each plan focuses on rural communities and the level of regional collaboration.

Proposals are due February 23.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.