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Published on Friday, January 29, 2016

Proposal for infrastructure financing tool reemerges in the Senate

Last session Sen. Keiser (D-Kent) brought forward a proposal SB 5624 aimed at improving access to low-cost market financing for local infrastructure projects through credit enhancements and pooling. The bill is active again this year and is currently eligible for a vote on the Senate floor.

This bill would pledge the state’s full faith, credit and taxing power for bonds issued to finance approved local infrastructure projects and would authorize the State Treasurer to issue bonds in a pool to support multiple projects. Extending the state’s backing to bonds for local projects requires an amendment to our state’s constitution, a substantial hurdle for ultimate approval of this new financing tool.

This tool would likely benefit a limited range of projects and jurisdictions and is clearly not an adequate replacement for the more direct assistance that cities had been receiving from the Public Works Assistance Account, Centennial Clean Water Fund, and another infrastructure programs that have been greatly reduced over the past few years. Nevertheless, we appreciate Sen. Keiser’s efforts to do something to enhance cities’ ability to keep up with local infrastructure demands.

Categories: Infrastructure