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HB 235: "An Act relating to the Alaska Railroad; authorizing the Alaska Railroad Corporation to provide for the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance, equipping, and operation of facilities for the transportation and distribution of natural gas, propane air, and manufactured gas within and outside the state; authorizing the Alaska Railroad Corporation to issue bonds to finance certain public utility service facilities; and providing for an effective date."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 235                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to the Alaska Railroad; authorizing the Alaska Railroad Corporation                                    
02 to provide for the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance, equipping, and                                  
03 operation of facilities for the transportation and distribution of natural gas, propane air,                            
04 and manufactured gas within and outside the state; authorizing the Alaska Railroad                                      
05 Corporation to issue bonds to finance certain public utility service facilities; and                                    
06 providing for an effective date."                                                                                       
07 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
08    * Section 1.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                         
09 to read:                                                                                                                
10       FINDINGS, INTENT, AND PURPOSE.  (a)  The Alaska State Legislature finds that                                      
11            (1)  the Alaska Railroad Corporation is uniquely suited to serve essential                                   
12 functions of the state by providing for financing and operation of facilities for the                                   
13 transportation and distribution of certain gas products within and outside the state;                                   
01            (2)  providing financing for the facilities furthers the purposes of both the state                          
02 and the Alaska Railroad Corporation by assuring that the state's natural gas resources will be                          
03 transported to their appropriate markets and that Alaskans will have access to gas products,                            
04 thus creating revenue for the Alaska Railroad Corporation and for the state and providing                               
05 employment opportunities for residents of the state;                                                                    
06            (3)  these results are essential purposes of the state, and the achievement of                               
07 these purposes is critical to the health and welfare of the state.                                                      
08       (b)  A purpose of this Act is to clarify the statutory functions and powers of the Alaska                         
09 Railroad Corporation by expressly including the power to provide financing for and operation                            
10 of facilities for the transportation and distribution of natural gas, propane air, and                                  
11 manufactured gas.                                                                                                       
12       (c)  It is the intent of the legislature that                                                                     
13            (1)  this Act be construed broadly to permit the Alaska Railroad Corporation                                 
14 the greatest flexibility to accomplish the purpose described in (b) of this section within the                          
15 limitations set out in this Act; and                                                                                    
16            (2)  other provisions of AS 42.40 in existence before the enactment of this Act                              
17 be similarly construed to complement the provisions of this Act.                                                        
18    * Sec. 2.  AS 42.40.250 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read:                                              
19                 (31)  provide financing for the acquisition, construction, improvement,                                 
20       maintenance, equipping, and operation of facilities for the transportation and                                    
21       distribution of natural gas, propane air, or manufactured gas within and outside the                              
22       state without regard to whether the facilities may be owned in whole or in part by the                            
23       corporation or located on land owned by the corporation, and provide for the operation                            
24       of those facilities by the corporation or others.                                                                 
25    * Sec. 3.  AS 42.40.630 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
26            (b)  Before issuing bonds to provide the financing described in                                              
27       AS 42.40.250(31) for a facility to be owned in whole or in part by an entity other than                           
28       the corporation, the corporation shall enter into a contract, lease, or other form of                             
29       agreement that will, in the judgment of the corporation, provide sufficient                                       
30       consideration to                                                                                                  
31                 (1)  pay the principal of and interest on the bonds as they become due;                                 
01                 (2)  create and maintain the reserves for the payments that the                                         
02       corporation considers necessary or desirable; and                                                                 
03                 (3)  pay all costs necessary to service or additionally secure the bonds,                               
04       including trustee's fees and bond insurance premiums, unless these costs are to be paid                           
05       by a party other than the corporation.                                                                            
06    * Sec. 4.  AS 42.40 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
07            Sec. 42.40.695.  Public purpose of bonds.  Bonds of the corporation issued to                            
08       finance facilities described in AS 42.40.250(31) are issued by a public corporation and                           
09       an instrumentality of the state for an essential public and governmental purpose.                                 
10    * Sec. 5.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
11 read:                                                                                                                 
12       LEGISLATIVE AUTHORIZATION AND APPROVAL.  (a)  Subject to the                                                      
13 requirements of AS 42.40.630(b), enacted by sec. 3 of this Act, the Alaska Railroad                                     
14 Corporation is authorized to issue bonds under the power granted to it in AS 42.40 to finance                           
15 the acquisition, design, construction, inventory, and operation of facilities to provide natural                        
16 gas, propane air, or manufactured gas public utility service under Regulatory Commission of                             
17 Alaska Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity No. 572 to the unified municipalities                            
18 of Juneau and Sitka, the boroughs of Haines, Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Yakutat, the cities of                              
19 Angoon, Cordova, Craig, Kake, Klawock, Petersburg, Skagway, Valdez, and Wrangell, and                                   
20 the communities of Klukwan and Metlakatla.  The maximum principal amount of bonds that                                  
21 the Alaska Railroad Corporation may issue under this section is $76,000,000.  The Alaska                                
22 Railroad Corporation may issue the bonds in a single issuance or in several issuances, without                          
23 limitation as to number of issuances or timing, and as the Alaska Railroad Corporation                                  
24 determines best furthers the purpose of financing the facilities described in this section.  The                        
25 Alaska Railroad Corporation shall negotiate with the sponsors of the project and shall enter                            
26 into agreements with the sponsors to provide revenue sufficient to accomplish the purposes                              
27 described in AS 42.40.630.                                                                                              
28       (b)  This section constitutes the approval required by AS 42.40.285 for the issuance of                           
29 the bonds described in this section.                                                                                    
30    * Sec. 6.  This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).