Legislature(1993 - 1994)
05/05/1993 01:00 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 154 An Act relating to the economic development grant program; and providing for an effective date. SB 154 was held in Committee for further discussion. SENATE BILL 154 "An Act relating to the economic development grant program; and providing for an effective date." Mr. Gates stated that CSSB 154 establishes the Economic 6 Development Grant Program and places directly in statute specific economic criteria that municipalities and Regional Development Organizations (ARDOR's) must meet in order to be eligible. The Office of Management and Budget will form an evaluation committee with the Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) and other agencies to prioritize the projects. The amended version of the bill replaces DCED as the administering agency with the Department of Administration (DOA). The program creates an competitive approach in which projects are prioritized. Discussion followed between Representative Navarre and Mr. Gates regarding the grant fund appropriation and the prioritized list. Representative Navarre felt the proposed program was a duplication of other legislation. Mr. Gates replied there are gaps in other proposed project legislation. Co-Chair Larson agreed with Representative Navarre. Mr. Gates stated the legislation is not a matching grant, and there should be no match required. Representative Brown did not understand the project feasibility. She recommended adding a requirement to indicate the economic feasibility of the legislation. The criteria submitted would be used to rank rather than to match. Mr. Gates disagreed with Representative Brown. SENATOR GEORGE JACKO stated that an intent letter had been exchanged between the House and Senate Finance Co-Chairs indicating criteria used for the legislation. Mr. Gates explained the fund at DCED is a matching grant fund for non- profit organizations which requires a match. The proposed legislation does not require a catch match. Economic development projects can be funded without the requirement for a match although one of the criteria is to determine how much money is being brought in from other sources. The primary difference between the two is the match requirement. Representative Parnell asked if a match requirement was imposed on the legislation, would the purpose be defeated. Senator Jacko replied, the established criteria would require that a match be provided by local participation in the project. Co-Chair MacLean pointed out that within the Senate capital budget, $15 million dollars worth of economic matching grant monies are available. Mr. Gates added each project on the list have match components. Representative Brown suggested that taxes and other costs imposed to the State should be indicated. She asked that specified criteria be required. Representative Brown 7 recommended to continue funding economic development projects already in place rather than beginning new programs. Senator Jacko said his intention was to establish a better system with the Administration's assistance. Representative Brown asked why the Department of Administration was chosen to be the lead agency for the proposed legislation. (Tape Change, HFC 93-130, Side 2). Mr. Gates replied that DOA currently administer's all the paper work and could insure a consistent process. Representative Martin noted concern with the criteria used to determine the projects and felt that the unemployment status of an area should be emphasized. Mr. Gates replied ranking the projects was not prioritized. PAUL FUHS, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, stated there are "ready" grants and "small" grants in economic development which are used for feasibility studies. The proposed legislation is meant for the large scale projects which are not indicated in the rest of the budget. Representative Brown asked how the projects differ from the existing process complied in the Governor's capital budget for statewide economic development projects. Commissioner Fuhs stated the difference is that SB 154 establishes six criteria which are to be used by the Legislature to evaluate the projects. CS SB 154 (L&C)(efd fld) was HELD in Committee for further consideration.