Senate Bill No. 88

Introduced By beck

By Request of the Department of Commerce

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act establishing an annual funding cycle for the treasure state endowment program; transferring project approval authority from the legislature to the governor; revising the criteria and priorities for awarding funding; amending section

90-6-710, MCA; and providing a delayed effective date."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Section 90-6-710, MCA, is amended to read:

"90-6-710.   Priorities for projects -- procedure -- rulemaking. (1) The department of commerce must receive proposals Proposals for projects from local governments, as defined in 90-6-701(3)(b), must be accepted each year by the department of commerce. The department shall work with a local government in preparing cost estimates for a project. In reviewing project proposals, the department may consult with other state agencies with expertise pertinent to the proposal. The department shall annually prepare and submit a list containing the of recommended projects and to the governor and shall inform the legislative finance committee of the department's recommendations. The list must contain the recommended form and amount of financial assistance for each project. to the governor, In recommending financial assistance, the department shall consider whether the applicant's proposed level of financial participation in the project is the maximum amount that can be reasonably expected. The list of recommended projects must be prioritized pursuant to subsection (2). The governor shall review the projects recommended by the department and shall submit a list of recommended projects and the recommended financial assistance to the legislature shall either approve the department's recommendations or, based on the criteria contained in this section, approve the recommendations with modifications.

(2)  In preparing recommendations under subsection (1), the department shall give preference must be given to infrastructure projects based on the following order of priority:

(a)  projects that solve urgent and serious public health or safety problems; or

(b)  projects that enable local governments to meet state or federal health or safety standards;

(b) projects that reflect greater need for financial assistance than other projects;

(c)  projects that incorporate appropriate, cost-effective technical design and that provide thorough, long-term solutions to community public facility needs;

(d)  projects that result in a benefit to the public commensurate with the amount of financial assistance. However, the benefit to the public may not be measured by population alone. reflect substantial past efforts to ensure sound, effective, long-term planning and management of the facility and attempt to resolve the infrastructure problem with local resources;

(e)  projects that reflect greater need for financial assistance than other projects;

(f)(e)  projects that enable local governments to obtain funds from sources other than the funds provided under this part;

(f) projects that would result in SPONSORED BY NONPROFIT OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES FOR the construction of INFRASTRUCTURE FOR housing for low- or moderate-income families and that are sponsored by nonprofit or local government entities;

(g)  projects that provide long-term, full-time job opportunities for Montanans;,

(h)  projects that provide public facilities necessary for the expansion of a business that has a high potential for financial success;, or

(i)  projects that maintain the tax base or that do not discourage encourage expansion of the tax base; and

(j)(h)  projects that are high local priorities and have strong community support.

(3)  After the review required by subsection (1), the projects must be approved by the legislature.

(4)(3)  The department shall adopt rules necessary to implement the treasure state endowment program."

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1998.