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Information on The Partnership to Build America Act (H.R. 2084)
Staff Writer, Congressman John Delaney Website
June 18, 2013
-- On May 22, 2013, Congressman John Delaney introduced the Partnership to Build America Act (H.R. 2084). The Partnership to Build America Act finances $750 billion dollar in infrastructure investment using no appropriated funds and has 28 co-sponsors (14 Republicans and 14 Democrats).
Investing in Infrastructure
•According to the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, U.S. Infrastructure has a cumulative grade of “D+” with an estimated $ 3.6 trillion investment needed by 2020.
•The Partnership to Build America Act would finance the rebuilding of our country’s transportation, energy, communications, water, and education infrastructure through the creation of an infrastructure fund using repatriated corporate earnings as well as through utilizing public-private partnerships.
•The legislation would create the American Infrastructure Fund (AIF) which would provide loans or guarantees to state or local governments to finance qualified infrastructure projects. The states or local governments would be required to pay back the loan at a market rate determined by the AIF to ensure they have “skin in the game.” In addition, the AIF would invest in equity securities for projects in partnership with states or local governments.
•The AIF will be funded by the sale of $50 billion worth of Infrastructure Bonds which would have a 50 year term, pay a fixed interest rate of 1 percent, and would not be guaranteed by the U.S. government.◦U.S. corporations would be incentivized to purchase these new Infrastructure Bonds by allowing them to repatriate a certain amount of their overseas earnings tax free for every $1.00 they invest in the bonds. This multiplier will be set by a “reverse Dutch auction” allowing the market to set the rate.
◦Assuming a 1:4 ratio, meaning a company repatriates $4.00 tax-free for every $1.00 in Infrastructure Bonds purchased, a company’s effective tax rate to repatriate these earnings would be approximately 8 percent and the $4.00 could then be spent by the companies however they chose.
•The AIF would leverage the $50 billion of Infrastructure Bonds at a 15:1 ratio to provide up to $750 billion in loans or guarantees.
Many school expansions still not funded for 2013-14
Amanda McElfresh, theadvertiser.com
June 16, 2013
-- The Lafayette Parish School System is at a stalemate.
A six-year turnaround plan to improve schools probably will be suspended in the 2013-14 school year because of a lack of funding.
Relations between Superintendent Pat Cooper and some Lafayette Parish School Board members remain strained, and a committee of about 30 Lafayette citizens appears to be balking at consideration of a parishwide tax that would raise money to improve school facilities and enhance programs.
Concerns are growing that efforts to improve the district will stagnate without more money and better communication.
“It’s as critical as you can get,” Cooper told The Daily Advertiser recently. “From day one, what I’ve told people is that if you want to be an ‘A’ school district and you want to do this turnaround plan, it’s going to take more money. ... (The committee members) know we don’t have the dollars right now to do what we want to do, and they know as they get educated in school finance that we’re not going to be able to survive — even if we don’t do the turnaround plan — if we don’t get some additional dollars.”
School Construction Reimbursement Coming for Naugy High
Paul Singley, Naugatuck Patch
June 16, 2013
-- State Senators Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge) and Joan V. Hartley (D-Waterbury), whose districts each include a portion of Naugatuck, announced today their successful efforts to secure ‘significant’ school construction funding for planned renovation and alteration at the Naugatuck High School. Final authorization was part of this year’s omnibus school construction legislation.
All told, 27 local school construction projects were authorized, along with reauthorization for seven additional projects, wherein the scope and cost of the project had changed.
“I’m delighted by the favorable consideration given to Naugatuck’s application for school construction funding because parts of the building are now more than 50 years old and the entire building will benefit from improved energy efficiency,” Senator Crisco said. “I know how much the administration, faculty, and students are looking forward to having like-new facilities and I’m confident Naugatuck taxpayers will appreciate news about this significant state grant.”
Senators Crisco and Hartley said funding for the construction project at Naugatuck High School was approved at a generous 74.6 percent reimbursement rate. That means the state will cover almost $58.5 million of the nearly $78 million cost of the planned renovation and alteration.
Loudoun officials consider changing school site review process
Caitlin Gibson, Washington Post
June 14, 2013
In the coming weeks, Loudoun County officials will consider changing the long-standing process used to find sites for new public schools — and decide whether public hearings will remain a required part of every review.
That prospect has drawn a sharp response from some residents and representatives of Loudoun’s western districts who worry that the public would lose its voice in critical development decisions.
The Board of Supervisors voted, 7 to 2, at its June 5 meeting to consider amending the county zoning ordinance, which now requires the proposed sites of all new public schools to undergo what’s called a “special exception” review, a process that involves a comprehensive look at whether a site meets the standards required by law and also takes the public’s response to the proposed location into consideration.
County officials will now examine whether building schools should be considered “by right” use of land in many zoning districts, meaning that they would be allowed in those areas without the need for a special permit. In those circumstances, proposed school sites would not necessarily be the subject of a public hearing before receiving approval.
The possibility of changing the process was first raised last year by the county’s Joint Board of Supervisors and School Board Committee. A presentation by the committee included concerns about the high cost and low speed of subjecting all school sites to the special-exception process, especially in a county where the student population continues to rise steadily and new schools are urgently needed, officials said.
Students, teachers say final goodbye as seven Sacramento schools close
Loretta Kalb, The Sacramento Bee
June 14, 2013
-- Hundreds of students at Clayton B. Wire Elementary gathered on the softball field Thursday for the last goodbye of the Sacramento City Unified School District campus.
The students buried under home plate a time capsule bearing stories of their school memories from the past year and their hopes for the future.
"It's an emotional day for all of us," principal Bao Moua told the children as the writings were collected. "This is the final last day."
Thursday marked the end of the academic year for all 80 schools in the district, including 56 campuses that serve elementary school students.
Seven of the elementary schools, however, are shutting down for good: Clayton B. Wire, Washington, Collis P. Huntington, Fruit Ridge, Joseph Bonnheim, Mark Hopkins and Maple.
The closures, tied to falling enrollment, will save the district about $1.1 million and help close a $5.6 million shortfall projected for the upcoming budget year.
In the fall, about 2,300 students will attend other campuses, many of them farther from their homes.
In a last-ditch move, a dozen students and their parents filed a lawsuit Monday asking the Sacramento-based U.S. District Court to block the district from shutting down the seven campuses.
They allege that the district illegally targeted the schools in neighborhoods with high concentrations of minority and low-income students who lack the political power of families in more affluent areas.
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