Davis Announces Efforts to Preserve Decatur’s “Metro” Status Successful
Davis opposed a recent proposal from OMB that would’ve taken away Decatur’s “metro” status, risking access to federal funding and localized employment data
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) has announced that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will not change the population threshold for municipalities to qualify for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status, commonly referred to as “metro” status. The OMB decision will preserve the City of Decatur’s metro status.
“Decatur’s metro status is a critically important tool for city officials to attract new jobs and qualify for federal funding,” said Rep. Davis. “The proposed regulatory change from OMB had the potential to negatively impact Decatur’s economy, which is why I opposed it. I’d like to thank Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe and her staff for leading the opposition to this damaging regulatory change. Because they and other municipal officials across the country spoke out and made their voices heard, OMB made the right decision and backed down.”
“The City of Decatur is very appreciative of Congressman Davis’ work to protect our status as an MSA. While a few letters might not appear to matter, our community and surrounding area were in jeopardy of losing out on both funding and critical information that helps us support our economic base. The success in keeping the MSA designation allows us to be eligible for federal dollars that touch everyone’s lives in our community. We are thankful for Congressman Davis’ efforts, which will maintain our MSA designation for the next decade.” - Julie Moore Wolfe, Mayor of Decatur
“The Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce (DRCC) commends the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee for leaving the current Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) core population in place. Changing the population threshold could have led to major funding losses, putting vital services at risk within our community, and would have impacted thousands of citizens throughout our area. This is a huge win for all 144 communities. The DRCC applauds the efforts of our legislators, city officials, Chambers of Commerce, and business leaders ensuring our united voices were heard.” - Mirinda Rothrock, President of the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce
Currently, municipalities receive metro status if their population exceeds 50,000 persons. A recent, now-dropped proposal from OMB would’ve raised that threshold to 100,000. This status gives municipalities access to federal grant funding for certain programs and localized economic data, which assists economic development officials with maintaining and attracting businesses to the area. If the MSA population threshold would’ve doubled, the City of Decatur would not have qualified for metro status.
From a July 13, 2021, White House press release announcing OMB’s policy reversal: “On January 19, 2021, OMB published a Federal Register Notice soliciting public comment on recommendations for the 2020 update from a technical advisory committee of interagency experts, known as Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee. Following a public comment period, the Committee submitted a revised recommendation to leave the current Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) core population threshold in place.”
On March 16, 2021, Rep. Davis sent a letter to OMB stating his opposition to the proposed change in population threshold for metro status. You can find a copy of the letter here.
Davis and Decatur Leaders Oppose Reclassification of Decatur’s Metropolitan Statistical Area Designation