Senate Bill #295 (2021)

AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT - THE RHODE ISLAND MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT PROGRAM

Removes the prohibition on state appropriations to the municipal infrastructure grant program, and authorize the RI infrastructure bank to evaluate, approve and issue such grants, subject to the appropriations provided to the program.

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  • 2021 – S 0295
  • 2021 – S 0295 SUBSTITUTE A
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  • LC000822
  • LC000822/SUB A
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2021
  • ____________
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT - THE RHODE ISLAND
  • MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT PROGRAM
  • Introduced By: Senators Pearson, Seveney, Murray, Cano, Sosnowski, Ciccone, and
  • Acosta
  • Date Introduced: February 18, 2021
  • Referred To: Senate Finance
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Section 42-11-10 of the General Laws inChapter 42-11 entitled "Department of Administration" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 42-11-10. Statewide planning program.
  • (a) Findings. The general assembly finds that the people of this state have a fundamental interest in the orderly development of the state; the state has a positive interest and demonstrated need for establishment of a comprehensive, strategic state planning process and the preparation, maintenance, and implementation of plans for the physical, economic, and social development of the state; the continued growth and development of the state presents problems that cannot be met by the cities and towns individually and that require effective planning by the state; and state and local plans and programs must be properly coordinated with the planning requirements and programs of the federal government.
  • (b) Establishment of statewide planning program.
  • (1) A statewide planning program is hereby established to prepare, adopt, and amend strategic plans for the physical, economic, and social development of the state and to recommend these to the governor, the general assembly, and all others concerned.
  • (2) All strategic planning, as defined in subsection (c) of this section, undertaken by all departments and agencies of the executive branch unless specifically exempted, shall be conducted by or under the supervision of the statewide planning program. The statewide planning program shall consist of a state planning council, and the division of planning, which shall be a division within the department of administration.
  • SECTION 1. Section 42-11-10 of the General Laws inChapter 42-11 entitled "Department of Administration" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 42-11-10. Statewide planning program.
  • (a) Findings. The general assembly finds that the people of this state have a fundamental interest in the orderly development of the state; the state has a positive interest and demonstrated need for establishment of a comprehensive, strategic state planning process and the preparation, maintenance, and implementation of plans for the physical, economic, and social development of the state; the continued growth and development of the state presents problems that cannot be met by the cities and towns individually and that require effective planning by the state; and state and local plans and programs must be properly coordinated with the planning requirements and programs of the federal government.
  • (b) Establishment of statewide planning program.
  • (1) A statewide planning program is hereby established to prepare, adopt, and amend strategic plans for the physical, economic, and social development of the state and to recommend these to the governor, the general assembly, and all others concerned.
  • (2) All strategic planning, as defined in subsection (c) of this section, undertaken by all departments and agencies of the executive branch unless specifically exempted, shall be conducted by or under the supervision of the statewide planning program. The statewide planning program shall consist of a state planning council, and the division of planning, which shall be a division within the department of administration.
  • (c) Strategic planning. Strategic planning includes the following activities:
  • (1) Establishing or identifying general goals.
  • (2) Refining or detailing these goals and identifying relationships between them.
  • (3) Formulating, testing, and selecting policies and standards that will achieve desired objectives.
  • (4) Preparing long-range or system plans or comprehensive programs that carry out the policies and set time schedules, performance measures, and targets.
  • (5) Preparing functional, short-range plans or programs that are consistent with established or desired goals, objectives, and policies, and with long-range or system plans or comprehensive programs where applicable, and that establish measurable, intermediate steps toward their accomplishment of the goals, objectives, policies, and/or long-range system plans.
  • (6)Monitoringtheplanningofspecificprojectsanddesigningofspecificprogramsofshort duration by the operating departments, other agencies of the executive branch, and political subdivisions of the state to ensure that these are consistent with, and carry out the intent of, applicable strategic plans.
  • (6)Monitoringtheplanningofspecificprojectsanddesigningofspecificprogramsof short duration by the operating departments, other agencies of the executive branch, and political subdivisions of the state to ensure that these are consistent with, and carry out the intent of, applicable strategic plans.
  • (7) Reviewing the execution of strategic plans, and the results obtained, and making revisions necessary to achieve established goals.
  • (d) State guide plan. Components of strategic plans prepared and adopted in accordance with this section may be designated as elements of the state guide plan. The state guide plan shall be comprised of functional elements or plans dealing with land use; physical development and environmental concerns; economic development; housing production; energy supply, including the development of renewable energy resources in Rhode Island, and energy access, use, and conservation; human services; climate change and resiliency; and other factors necessary to accomplish the objective of this section. The state guide plan shall be a means for centralizing, integrating, and monitoring long-range goals, policies, plans, and implementation activities related thereto. State agencies concerned with specific subject areas, local governments, and the public shall participate in the state guide planning process, which shall be closely coordinated with the budgeting process.
  • (e) Membership of state planning council. The state planning council shall consist of the following members:
  • (1) The director of the department of administration as chairperson;
  • (2) The director, policy office, in the office of the governor, as vice-chairperson;
  • (3) The governor, or his or her designee;
  • (4) [Deleted by P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 4, § 13];
  • (5) The chairperson of the housing resources commission;
  • (6) The highest-ranking administrative officer of the division of planning, as secretary;
  • (7) The president of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns or his or her designee;
  • (8) The executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns;
  • (9) Three (3) chief elected officials of cities and towns appointed by the governor after consultation with the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, one of whom shall be from a communitywith a population greater than40,000persons; one of whomshall befroma community with a population of between 20,000 and 40,000 persons; and one of whom shall be from a community with a population less than 20,000 persons;
  • (10) One representative of a nonprofit community development or housing organization appointed by the governor;
  • (11) Four (4) public members, appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be an employer with fewer than fifty (50) employees; one of whom shall be an employer with greater than fifty (50) employees; one of whom shall represent a professional planning or engineering organization in Rhode Island; and one of whom shall represent a chamber of commerce or economic development organization;
  • (12) Two (2) representatives of private, nonprofit, environmental or environmental justice advocacy organizations, both to be appointed by the governor;
  • (13) The director of planning and development for the city of Providence;
  • (14) The director of the department of transportation;
  • (15) The director of the department of environmental management;
  • (16) The director of the department of health;
  • (17) The chief executive officer of the commerce corporation;
  • (18) The commissioner of the Rhode Island office of energy resources;
  • (19) The chief executive officer of the Rhode Island public transit authority;
  • (20) The executive director of Rhode Island housing;
  • (21) The executive director of the coastal resources management council; and
  • (22) The director of the Rhode Island emergency management agency.
  • (f) Powers and duties of state planning council. The state planning council shall have the following powers and duties:
  • (1) To adopt strategic plans as defined in this section and the long-range state guide plan, and to modify and amend any of these, following the procedures for notification and public hearing set forth in § 42-35-3, and to recommend and encourage implementation of these goals to the general assembly, state and federal agencies, and other public and private bodies; approval of strategic plans by the governor; and to ensure that strategic plans and the long-range state guide plan are consistent with the findings, intent, and goals set forth in § 45-22.2-3, the "Rhode Island comprehensive planning and land use regulation act";
  • (2) To coordinate the planning and development activities of all state agencies, in accordance with strategic plans prepared and adopted as provided for by this section;
  • (3) To review and comment on the proposed annual work program of the statewide planning program;
  • (4) To adopt rules and standards and issue orders concerning any matters within its jurisdiction as established by this section and amendments to it;
  • (5) To establish advisory committees and appoint members thereto representing diverse interests and viewpoints as required in the state planning process and in the preparation or implementation of strategic plans. At minimum, the state planning council shall appoint permanent committees:
  • (i) A technical committee, comprised of public members from different geographic areas of the state representing diverse interests along with officials of state, local, and federal government,whoshallreviewallproposedelementsofthestateguideplan,oramendmentorrepeal of any element of the plan, and shall advise the state planning council thereon before the council acts on any such proposal. This committee shall also advise the state planning council on any other matter referred to it by the council; and
  • (ii) An executive committee consisting of major participants of a Rhode Island geographic information system with oversight responsibility for its activities; and
  • (iii) A transportation advisory committee, made up of diverse representation, including, but not limited to, municipal elected and appointed officials; representatives of various transportation sectors, departments, and agencies; and other groups and agencies with an interest in transportation operations, maintenance, construction, and policy, who shall review transportation-related plans and amendments and recommend action to the state planning council.
  • (6) To adopt, amend, and maintain, as an element of the state guide plan or as an amendment to an existing element of the state guide plan, standards and guidelines for the location of eligible, renewable energy resources and renewable energy facilities in Rhode Island with due consideration for the location of such resources and facilities in commercial and industrial areas, agricultural areas, areas occupied by public and private institutions, and property of the state and its agencies and corporations, provided these areas are of sufficient size, and in other areas of the state as appropriate.
  • (7) To act as the single, statewide metropolitan planning organization for transportation planning, and to promulgate all rules and regulations that are necessary thereto.
  • (8) To establish review criteria, evaluate applications, approve and issue grants, and assist municipalities pursuant to the provisions of chapter 11.4 of title 42, and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder.
  • (8)To assist the RhodeIsland infrastructurebankinestablishingreviewcriteria,evaluating applications, approving and issuing grants, and assist municipalities pursuant to the provisions of chapter 11.4 of title 42, and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder.
  • (g) Division of statewide planning.
  • (1) The division of statewide planning shall be the principal staff agency of the state planning council for preparing and/or coordinating strategic plans for the comprehensive management of the state's human, economic, and physical resources. The division of statewide planning shall recommend to the state planning council specific guidelines, standards, and programstobeadoptedtoimplement strategicplanningandthestateguideplanandshall undertake any other duties established by this section and amendments thereto.
  • (2) The division of statewide planning shall maintain records (which shall consist of files of complete copies) of all plans, recommendations, rules, and modifications or amendments thereto adopted or issued by the state planning council under this section. The records shall be open to the public.
  • (3) The division of statewide planning shall manage and administer the Rhode Island geographic information system of land-related resources, and shall coordinate these efforts with other state departments and agencies, including the university of Rhode Island, which shall provide technical support and assistance in the development and maintenance of the system and its associated data base.
  • (4) The division of statewide planning shall coordinate and oversee the provision of technical assistance to political subdivisions of the state in preparing and implementing plans to accomplish the purposes, goals, objectives, policies, and/or standards of applicable elements of the state guide plan and shall make available to cities and towns data and guidelines that may be used in preparing comprehensive plans and elements thereof and in evaluating comprehensive plans and elements thereby.
  • (h) [Deleted by P.L. 2011, ch. 215, § 4, and by P.L. 2011, ch. 313, § 4].
  • (i) The division of planning shall be the principal staff agency of the water resources board established pursuant to chapter 15 of title 46 ("Water Resources Board") and the water resources board corporate established pursuant to chapter 15.1 of title 46 ("Water Supply Facilities").
  • SECTION 2. Section 42-11.4-1 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-11.4 entitled "The Rhode Island Municipal Infrastructure Grant Program" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 42-11.4-1. Establishment.
  • The Rhode Island municipal infrastructure grant program is hereby created within the department of administration and is subject to grant funding. State funds or appropriations shall not be utilized in connection with the implementation of this section. Upon the approval of the state planning council, and subject to the appropriations provided to the program, the The department of administration is authorized to:
  • (1) Issue public infrastructure grants to municipalities and other public instrumentalities for design, construction, building, land acquisition, rehabilitation, repair, and other improvements to publicly owned infrastructure including, but not limited to, sewers, utility extensions, streets, roads, curb-cuts, parking, water-treatment systems, telecommunications systems, transit improvements, and pedestrian ways; and
  • (2) Assist municipalities to advance projects that support job creation and expansion, housing development and rehabilitation, community development projects in areas or districts that communities have determined are best suited to efficiently accommodate future growth and redevelopment, largely in previously developed areas with some level of existing or planned infrastructure.
  • SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.
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  • LC000822
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  • SECTION 2. Sections 42-11.4-1, 42-11.4-3, 42-11.4-4 and 42-11.4-5 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-11.4 entitled "The Rhode Island Municipal Infrastructure Grant Program" are hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 42-11.4-1. Establishment.
  • The Rhode Island municipal infrastructure grant program is hereby created within the Rhode Island infrastructure bank. department of administration and is subject to grant funding. State funds or appropriations shall not be utilized in connection with the implementation of this section. The Rhode Island infrastructure bank shall have all the powers necessary and convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including, without limiting the generality of the preceeding statement, the authority to: The department of administration is authorized to:
  • (1) Issue public infrastructure grants to municipalities and other public instrumentalities for design, construction, building, land acquisition, rehabilitation, repair, and other improvements to publicly owned infrastructure including, but not limited to, sewers, utility extensions, streets, roads, curb-cuts, parking, water-treatment systems, telecommunications systems, transit improvements, and pedestrian ways; and
  • (2) Assist municipalities to advance projects that support job creation and expansion, housing development and rehabilitation, community development projects in areas or districts that communities have determined are best suited to efficiently accommodate future growth and redevelopment, largely in previously developed areas with some level of existing or planned infrastructure. ;
  • (3) Establish a fund within the Rhode Island infrastructure bank to receive and disburse such funds as may be available for the purpose of the program, subject to the provisions of this section;
  • (4) Make and enter into binding commitments to provide grants to municipalities and other pubic instrumentalities from amounts on deposit in the program fund;
  • (5) Engage the services of third-party vendors to provide professional services;
  • (6) Establish one or more accounts within the fund; and
  • (7) Such other authority as granted to the Rhode Island infrastructure bank under this chapter and chapter 12.2 of title 46.
  • 42-11.4-3. Solicitations.
  • (a) There shall be at least one open solicitation period each year to accept and consider new applications. Not The Rhode Island infrastructure bank shall provide not less than twelve (12) eight (8) weeks notice before the annual an open solicitation period. , the department of administration shall release the criteria upon which the applications shall be judged including, but not limited to, a minimum project readiness standard, overall spending targets by project type, preferences for projects that align with the state's prevailing economic development plan, and other preferences applying to that funding round. Grants may be made outside of the open solicitation period at the discretion of the director of administration subject to the provisions of this section. The Rhode Island infrastructure bank shall review and approve all applications for projects to be financed through the Rhode Island municipal infrastructure grant program. All grant awards shall be made after consultation with the Rhode Island division of statewide planning program and the Rhode Island infrastructure bank.
  • (b) An eligible city or town, acting by and through its municipal officers or by and through any agency designated by the municipal officers to act on their behalf, may apply to the program for a grant in a specific amount to fund a specified project. Two (2) or more municipalities may apply jointly, with one municipality acting as fiscal agent. The grants may be made in addition to otherforms of local, state,and federal assistance.Receipt of a grant that is part of ajoint application shall not preclude a municipality from receiving additional funds under a separate application.
  • 42-11.4-4. Rules and regulations.
  • The director of administration Rhode Island infrastructure bank may shall establish reasonable rules and regulations to govern the application and distribution of grants under the program, to include, but not be limited to, provisions for joint applications by two (2) or more eligible municipalities for a single project serving those municipalities. The rules and regulations shall include the criteria upon which the applications shall be judged including, but not limited to, a minimum project readiness standard, overall spending targets by project type, preferences for projects that align with the state's prevailing economic development plan, and other preferences applying to that funding round.
  • 42-11.4-5. Reports.
  • The director of administration Rhode Island infrastructure bank shall report annually to the governor, speaker of the house, president of the senate, and the chairs of the house committee on finance, senate committee on finance, house committee on oversight, senate committee on government oversight, house committee on municipal government, senate committee on housing and municipal government, and the permanent joint committee on economic development. The report shall includealist anddescriptionofall projectsthat receivedgrantfundsunder theprogram; the amount of the grant awarded to the project; other sources of public funds that supported the project; and a detailed analysis of the economic impact of each project including, where applicable, the number of construction and full-time equivalent jobs to be created, number of housing units to be created, the private investment in the project, and the expected tax revenue generated from the project.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage. ======== LC000822/SUB A ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT - THE RHODE ISLAND
  • MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT PROGRAM
  • ***
  • This act would remove the prohibition on state appropriations to the municipal infrastructuregrantprogram,andauthorizethestateplanningcounciltoevaluate,approveandissue such grants, subject to the appropriations provided to the program.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC000822 ========
  • This act would remove the prohibition on state appropriations to the municipal infrastructure grant program, and authorize the Rhode Island infrastructure bank to evaluate, approve and issue such grants, subject to the appropriations provided to the program.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC000822/SUB A ========

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