Legislature(1993 - 1994)

05/05/1993 01:00 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  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                 
                                                                               
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  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                 
                                                                               
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  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.                                                               

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