Johnson, O’Halleran Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Rapid City Metropolitan Status

June 17, 2021
Press Release
The OMB change would significantly impact federal programs in areas like Rapid City, South Dakota

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) today introduced the Metropolitan Statistical Area Preservation Act, a bill to preserve more than 140 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) from losing their classification as a MSA. In January, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a notice based on a recommendation from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee to increase the MSA qualification from 50,000 to 100,000 people.

If implemented, this rule change would significantly impact federal programs in areas like Rapid City, South Dakota. In March, the South Dakota delegation urged OMB to reject this recommendation.

“Altering the standard MSA classification would impact more than 140 cities across the country, including Rapid City,” said Johnson. “The federal programs and funding MSAs receive are vital to community’s growth and development – this policy will do more harm than good across the larger cities in rural America.”

“Far too many towns in rural Arizona had still not recovered from the Great Recession when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, shuttering more small businesses, and cutting local tax revenues down to near nothing,” said O’Halleran. “Small towns and cities across our state need equitable access to federal funds that support the initiatives that keep families afloat and communities moving forward. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, bicameral initiative that ensures hardworking Arizonans in rural areas throughout our state are not unfairly disadvantaged as we recover from this global health crisis.”

U.S. Senators Thune (R-S.D.) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced companion legislation in the Senate on Tuesday.