This week was the first week we took up legislation on the House Floor. These first few weeks, the legislation on floor will be light as we continue to have all House committees/subcommittees vetting bills for consideration. If there are bills of interest to you, please let me know by emailing me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov. I can let you know the current status and also would appreciate your feedback/advice/opinions!
House Floor Review
The House of Representatives amended and gave second reading approval to H. 3604, a joint resolution authorizing Contingency Reserve Fund and American Rescue Plan Act appropriations. The legislation provides for the appropriation of $500 million from the Contingency Reserve Fund for infrastructure funding related to economic development projects that have been authorized by the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority so that the state can finance these projects without issuing additional debt. For remaining funds available, the Department of Commerce shall identify and recommend potential projects for review and comment by the Joint Bond Review Committee before any funds may be awarded or expended (with carry forward authority).
From the funds disbursed to the state under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, the legislation appropriates $586 million to the Rural Infrastructure Authority ARPA Water and Sewer Infrastructure Account to be used towards fulfilling existing grant applications. $86 million of this amount must be available for projects designated by the Secretary of Commerce as being significant to economic development. American Rescue Plan Act funds may not be disbursed to any company owned by a member of the General Assembly; however, a member of the General Assembly may own public shares of a company offered to the general public.
The legislation adds clarification language to Act 244, specifically to the ARPA Resilience Account, to expand eligible expenditures to projects that mitigate the impacts from potential releases of contamination associate with natural hazards.