Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/06/2000 01:37 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
            SB 248-AIDEA: BONDS & RURAL DEVELOPMENT                                                                             
MR. KEITH LAUFER, Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority                                                              
(AIDEA), stated support for SB 248.  SB 248 extends AIDEA's bonding                                                             
authority and transfers the rural development initiative fund loan                                                              
program from the Department of Community & Economic Development to                                                              
AIDEA.  SB 248 also makes technical changes to tax provisions                                                                   
concerning AIDEA's projects.                                                                                                    
AIDEA's general bonding authority is subject to a sunset that takes                                                             
place July 1, 2000.  The sunset would prevent AIDEA from issuing                                                                
general obligation bonds under $10 million for projects AIDEA owns,                                                             
and it will prevent AIDEA from issuing conduit revenue bonds.  The                                                              
sunset will have no effect on bonds over $10 million, those bonds                                                               
require specific legislative authorization.                                                                                     
The rural loan program is a small business loan program for rural                                                               
Alaska, for communities with populations under 5000 people, and                                                                 
loans of $200,000 or less.  In 1993 and 1996, the legislature                                                                   
authorized AIDEA to purchase several loan portfolios from the                                                                   
State.  Transferring this program to AIDEA will eliminate the need                                                              
for the periodic recapitalization.  Mr. Laufer referred to changes                                                              
of provisions if SB 248 passed.                                                                                                 
Number 436                                                                                                                      
SENATOR PHILLIPS asked what the public policy was.                                                                              
MR. LAUFER stated the loan program is an enterprise fund and there                                                              
will be no general fund impact.                                                                                                 
VICE-CHAIR MACKIE asked if Mr. Laufer had heard of opposition on SB
MR. LAUFER stated no.                                                                                                           
SENATOR HOFFMAN moved SB 248 from committee with individual                                                                     
recommendations.  Without objection, the motion carried.                                                                        

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