Legislature(2001 - 2002)
2001-02-23 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2001-02-23 House Journal Page 0417 HB 146 HOUSE BILL NO. 146 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: 2001-02-23 House Journal Page 0418 "An Act relating to the issuance of certificates of participation to finance deferred maintenance projects, and a construction project, for certain public harbor facilities; giving notice of and approving the entry into, and the issuance of certificates of participation in, lease-financing agreements for those public harbor facility projects; repealing a provision relating to the financing of construction and renovation of facilities for certain ports and harbors; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Community & Regional Affairs, State Affairs, and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Fiscal, Dept. of Revenue The Governor's transmittal letter dated February 22, 2001, appears below: "Dear Speaker Porter: The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has a long- term goal of bringing state-owned harbor facilities up to suitable standard and divesting ownership to the municipalities that operate them. Once deferred maintenance needs are addressed, the municipalities can support operation and maintenance of these valuable facilities through moorage and other fees. In recent years when transferring harbor ownership to the municipalities, the state has provided grant money as well to address deferred maintenance needs. This bill I transmit today would continue the policy, but leverages state general funds through issuance of certificates of participation. From the municipalities' perspective, this is essentially the same as a grant program. Certificates of participation (COPs) are an accepted form of financing that the state has used for many capital projects with high credit ratings -- just one notch below the state's general obligation rating. Pooling the group of harbor transfers in this bill into one bond sale also adds efficiency. 2001-02-23 House Journal Page 0419 The bill identifies the marine motor fuel tax as the likely source of appropriations to retire the certificates. The bill also authorizes payments for the harbor facilities projects to be made from any other valid revenue source, subject to appropriation. The bill repeals AS 29.60.700 passed by the Legislature last year, which required municipalities to pass general obligation bonds for harbor upgrades and transfers with the state reimbursing the cost of bond payments after a two-year delay. All of the affected municipalities found that plan to be burdensome and ultimately unworkable and city councils or local assemblies in seven of nine municipalities passed resolutions opposing the bonding provisions. The financing method in this bill is acceptable to the municipalities and will, therefore, achieve the state's goal of upgrading and transferring ownership of locally operated harbor facilities. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely, /s/ Tony Knowles Governor"