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AB-1447 The Rural California Infrastructure Act.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 05/03/2021 09:00 PM
AB1447:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 03, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1447


Introduced by Assembly Members Cooley and Bigelow
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Smith)

February 19, 2021


An act to add Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 8899.80) to Division 1 of Title 2 Article 11 (commencing with Section 63049.73) to Chapter 2 of Division 1 of Title 6.7 of the Government Code, relating to infrastructure development, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1447, as amended, Cooley. The Rural California Infrastructure Act.
Existing law, the Bergeson-Peace Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Act, establishes the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) and authorizes it to, among other things, issue bonds, make loans, and provide other financial assistance to various types of projects that constitute economic development facilities or public development facilities. The act establishes in the State Treasury the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Fund (I-Bank Fund) for the purpose of implementing the objectives and provisions of the act and continuously appropriates moneys in the fund, except as prescribed.
This bill bill, the Rural California Infrastructure Act, would establish the Rural California Infrastructure Act to award grants to specified local agencies to fund rural infrastructure projects, as defined. The bill would create the Rural California Infrastructure Committee, consisting of 7 appointed members, to establish, by July 1, 2022, an application process for the grants and to award the grants, beginning on January 1, 2023, and every 2 years thereafter, in accordance with specified priorities. authorize the I-Bank to establish the Rural California Infrastructure Program for the purpose of making competitive grant awards to eligible local agencies for rural infrastructure projects, as prescribed. The bill act would require the Controller to transfer a sum of $1,000,000,000 to the Rural California Infrastructure Fund Account in the State Treasury, I-Bank Fund, which the bill would create and continuously appropriate for purposes of the act. By requiring the Controller to transfer moneys from the General Fund to the Rural California Infrastructure Fund Account for purposes of the program, the bill would make an appropriation. The act would require the I-Bank to submit a specified report to the Governor and the Legislature regarding program activity in any fiscal year that the account receives funding or in which the I-Bank administers the program.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 11 (commencing with Section 63049.73) is added to Chapter 2 of Division 1 of Title 6.7 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  11. Rural California Infrastructure Act

63049.73.
 This article shall be known as the Rural California Infrastructure Act.

63049.74.
 As used in this article:
(a) “Account” means the Rural California Infrastructure Account established pursuant to Section 63049.77.
(b) “Fund” means the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Fund established pursuant to Section 63050.
(c) “Local agency” means a special district, independent fire district, or county, with a population of less than 300,000 individuals according to the 2020 census data.
(d) “Rural infrastructure project” means a project in a local agency’s jurisdiction that is either an economic development facility or a public development facility and meets any of the following criteria:
(1) The project is a disaster preparedness and mitigation project, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Creating, upgrading, or rehabilitating evacuation or shelter areas.
(B) Maintaining fairgrounds.
(C) Upgrading or rehabilitating highways, streets, and roads used for emergency evacuations or identified in the local, regional, or state disaster response plan as priority ingress and egress routes for first responders.
(D) A project identified as a disaster preparedness and mitigation project in the directives and requirements adopted to implement this article.
(2) The project is a disaster recovery project, including, but not limited to, drainage, water supply, and flood control.
(3) The project is a historic or cultural preservation, rehabilitation, or reconstruction project.

63049.75.
 Article 3 (commencing with Section 63040), Article 4 (commencing with Section 63042), and Article 5 (commencing with Section 63043) shall not apply to grants provided by the bank pursuant to this article.

63049.76.
 (a) (1) The bank may establish the Rural California Infrastructure Program for the purpose of making competitive grant awards to eligible local agencies for rural infrastructure projects pursuant to this article.
(2) The bank shall not implement the program before adopting a resolution finding that there is sufficient money in the account to cover the costs of implementing the Rural California Infrastructure Program, including, but not limited to, appropriate oversight costs.
(b) (1) Within six months of the bank adopting the resolution described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the bank shall begin to accept grant applications from local agencies.
(2) The bank shall administer at least one funding round within both the first and second year of program implementation.
(c) The bank shall prioritize applications for projects that meet either of the following criteria:
(1) The grant will fund no more than 50 percent of the total project cost.
(2) The project is considered shovel ready.
(d) Local agencies that are awarded a grant pursuant to this article may additionally leverage federal or private funding or private-public partnerships to complete the rural infrastructure project for which the grant was awarded.
(e) The bank shall adopt directives and requirements to carry out the purposes of this article.
(f) (1) Grants shall be awarded in a manner that ensures geographic equity.
(2) At least 70 percent of the grant funds shall be used for rural infrastructure projects that address disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery.
(3) Funds shall not be released until the local agency can demonstrate that it has the capacity and the full funding to complete the project.
(g) Notwithstanding any other law, the bank may implement, in whole or in part, the Rural California Infrastructure Program with the administrative support of any bank staff, with the administrative costs of those staff being reimbursed from the account.
(h) The bank may administer the program authorized pursuant to this article through one or more of the bank’s other programs, to the extent the requirements of this article are met.

63049.77.
 (a) There is hereby established in the fund the Rural California Infrastructure Account. Notwithstanding Section 13340, moneys in the account are hereby continuously appropriated without regard to fiscal years for purposes of this article.
(b) On January 1, 2022, the Controller shall transfer one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) to the account.
(c) The bank may create subaccounts in the account for purposes of implementing this article.
(d) (1) To cover the costs of administering the program, each applicant shall pay a nonrefundable application fee that includes an amount equal to a proportional share of the costs of developing the program, reviewing applications, and monitoring and overseeing the program.
(2) Fees paid pursuant to this subdivision shall be deposited into the account for the purpose of administering the grant program created by this article.
(e) Moneys allocated pursuant to subdivision (b) for purposes of administering this article may also be used to cover the costs of developing the program, reviewing applications, and monitoring and overseeing the program. If those moneys are used to cover these costs, the application fee described in subdivision (d) shall be reduced accordingly.

63049.78.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, the bank shall submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature, pursuant to Section 9795, regarding program activity in any fiscal year that the account receives funding or in which the bank administers grants pursuant to this article.
(b) The report submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following items:
(1) The total amount of moneys in the account and its subaccounts at the beginning and end of the most recently completed fiscal year.
(2) The number of projects funded.
(3) The number of jobs created and the number of jobs retained through program assistance in each fiscal year.
(c) The bank may include the information required by this section in any annual report of the bank to the Governor and the Legislature in lieu of submitting a separate report for purposes of complying with this section.

SECTION 1.Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 8899.80) is added to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
17.Rural California Infrastructure Act
8899.80.

This chapter shall be known as the Rural California Infrastructure Act.

8899.81.

For purposes of this chapter, the following shall apply:

(a)“Committee” means the Rural California Infrastructure Committee established in Section 8899.82

(b)“Fund” means the Rural California Infrastructure Fund established pursuant to Section 8899.84.

(c)“Local agency” means a special district, independent fire district, or county, with a population of less than 300,000 individuals according to the 2020 census data.

(d)“Rural infrastructure project” means a project in a local agency’s jurisdiction related to any of the following:

(1)Fairground maintenance.

(2)Disaster preparedness, including creating or maintaining evacuation or shelter areas for emergency evacuations.

(3)Highway or street maintenance or repair.

(4)Historic or cultural preservation or repair.

8899.82.

(a)There is established in state government the Rural California Infrastructure Committee.

(b)The committee shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed as follows:

(1)One member appointed by the Governor.

(2)One member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.

(3)One member appointed by the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate.

(4)Two members appointed by the California State Association of Counties who serve as representatives of that association. One member shall be a representative from northern California and one member shall be a representative from southern California.

(5)Two members appointed by the League of California Cities who serve as representatives of that association. One member shall be a representative from northern California and one member shall be a representative from southern California.

(c)Except as provided in subdivision (d), each member shall serve a two-year term.

(d)The appointing power shall have the power to remove any member of the board from office for neglect of any duty required by law or for incompetency or unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.

(e)Each member shall only receive per diem and expenses as necessary to carry out their duties on the committee.

8899.83.

(a)The committee shall establish, by July 1, 2022, an application process for local agencies to apply for grants to fund rural infrastructure projects.

(b)Beginning January 1, 2023, and every two years thereafter, the committee shall award grants to fund rural infrastructure projects to local agencies that complete the application process.

(c)The committee shall prioritize applications for projects that are considered shovel ready, as determined by the committee.

(d)Local agencies that are awarded a grant under this chapter may additionally leverage federal or private funding or private-public partnerships to complete the rural infrastructure project the grant was awarded for.

(e)The committee may adopt regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3).

8899.84.

(a)There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Rural California Infrastructure Fund. Notwithstanding Section 13340, moneys in the fund are hereby continuously appropriated without regard to fiscal years for purposes of this chapter.

(b)On January 1, 2022, the Controller shall transfer a sum of one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) to the Rural California Infrastructure Fund.