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  • NJ A1909
  • Establishes State Transportation Infrastructure Bank Fund and Clean Energy and Infrastructure Modernization Fund within New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill repeals the existing State Transportation Infrastructure Bank, and establishes two special non-lapsing, revolving funds within the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (trust) to be known as the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank Fund (transportation bank) and the Clean Energy and Infrastructure Modernization Fund (energy bank). The transportation bank replaces the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank that was a subaccount of the Special Transportation Trust Fund. The bill expands the trust's current mission to include transportation and energy projects. Currently, the trust is involved with water and environmental infrastructure projects. The bill requires that funds and accounts of the trust be segregated to prevent the mixing of transportation moneys, energy moneys, and water or environmental infrastructure moneys. The bill permits the trust to issue bonds in maturities of up to 30 years for all types of projects and creates an interim financing program for transportation and energy projects to mirror the existing interim financing program for water and environmental projects. Transportation Bank Federal law requires states to establish a state transportation infrastructure bank fund to be a depository for federal transportation infrastructure bank monies. The federal program allows states to enter into agreements where monies in the state transportation infrastructure bank may be loaned or used to provide other financial assistance to public or private entities for the planning, acquisition, engineering, construction, reconstruction, repair, and rehabilitation of a transportation project or for any other permitted purpose. The transportation bank may be credited with State appropriations, federal fund allocations, proceeds from privately negotiated bond sales, monetary donations made available to the State to support the transportation bank program, and any principle and interest received as loan repayment or otherwise provided pursuant to the program. The bill permits the trust to administer loans of federal funds through the Section 129 loan program. The Section 129 loan program permits federal transportation funds to be issued to public or private entities as loans, as long as revenues can be identified as a source of repayment for the loan funds. Repayments of Section 129 loans are to be deposited into the federal subaccount of the transportation bank as permitted by federal law. The bill also establishes an account within the fund that only receives State funds so that grants can be issued, including for pedestrian infrastructure projects, without violating the terms of the federal program. The federal program only permits infrastructure banks to make loans to transportation projects. The program will be administered by the trust with assistance from the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Commissioner of DOT will become an ex-officio member of the board of trustees for the trust, and the DOT will be responsible for establishing the list of projects that the trust will finance and the priority order in which they will be funded. The trust is also directed to collaborate with the DOT on: the evaluation of potential transportation projects; fulfilling federal regulations regarding capital projects; coordinating with metropolitan planning organizations; ensuring that projects are consistent with the Statewide capital investment strategy; and advancing local, regional, and Statewide transportation objectives. The bill provides that the Legislature consider the full DOT project list through the Senate and General Assembly budget committees before the list is included in the annual appropriations act. The Legislature will also receive a copy of the transportation financial plan developed by the trust for the implementation of the financing of the DOT project list. The Legislature will have until June 15th to approve the transportation financial plan through a concurrent resolution. If the transportation financial plan is not approved by June 15, the project list will be removed from the appropriations act, and the trust will not undertake any proposed activities included in the project list. Energy Bank The energy bank established by the bill is permitted to issue loans for the acquisition, construction, repair, or reconstruction of all or part of any structure, facility or equipment, or real or personal property necessary for or ancillary to: the production, collection, storage, improvement, distribution, maintenance, transmission, supply, consumption, or conservation of Class I renewable energy, Class II renewable energy, and gas energy; or the relocation of power lines underground. The energy bank account may be credited with federal funds, State appropriations, or bond proceeds from public or privately negotiated bond sales. The energy bank will be able to issue both loans and grants and will work with the Board of Public Utilities to develop a formal process for reviewing, evaluating, and ranking applicants for grant or loan funding. The energy bank will not have a formal annual project list or financial plan. The bill is effective immediately, but will remain inoperative until State, Federal, or other private funds are provided to capitalize the banks.
Transportation and Independent Authorities
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified