S.1647 - Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998105th Congress (1997-1998)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Baucus, Max [D-MT] (Introduced 02/12/1998)(by request)|
|Committees:||Senate - Environment and Public Works|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 07/14/1998 Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Hearings held. Hearings printed: S.Hrg. 105-914. (All Actions)|
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Introduced in Senate (02/12/1998)
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [S. 1647 Introduced in Senate (IS)] 105th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 1647 To reauthorize and make reforms to programs authorized by the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES February 12, 1998 Mr. Baucus (by request) (for himself, Ms. Snowe, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Kempthorne, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Lautenberg, Ms. Collins, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Kennedy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To reauthorize and make reforms to programs authorized by the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; EFFECTIVE DATE. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998''. (b) Effective Date.--Except as otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect as determined by the Secretary of Commerce (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary), but not later than three months after the date of the enactment of this Act. SEC. 2. REAUTHORIZATION OF PUBLIC WORKS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1965. The Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3131 et seq.) is amended by striking all after the first section and inserting the following: ``SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION. ``(a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- ``(1) the maintenance of the national economy at a high level is vital to the best interests of the United States, but that some of our regions, counties, and communities are suffering substantial and persistent unemployment and underemployment that cause hardship to many individuals and their families, and waste invaluable human resources; ``(2) to overcome this problem the Federal Government, in cooperation with the States, should help areas and regions of substantial and persistent unemployment and underemployment to take effective steps in planning and financing their public works and economic development; ``(3) Federal financial assistance, including grants for public works and development facilities to communities, industries, enterprises, and individuals in areas needing development should enable such areas to help themselves achieve lasting improvement and enhance the domestic prosperity by the establishment of stable and diversified local economies, sustainable development, and improved local conditions, if such assistance is preceded by and consistent with sound, long-range economic planning; and ``(4) under the provisions of this Act, new employment opportunities should be created by developing and expanding new and existing public works and other facilities and resources rather than by merely transferring jobs from one area of the United States to another, and by supporting firms and industries which add to the growth of the nation's economy through improved technology, increased exports, and the supply of goods and services to satisfy unmet demand. ``(b) Declaration.--Congress declares that, in furtherance of maintaining the national economy at a high level-- ``(1) the assistance authorized by this Act should be made available to both rural and urban areas; ``(2) such assistance should be made available for planning for economic development prior to the actual occurrences of economic distress in order to avoid such condition; and ``(3) Such assistance should be used for long-term economic rehabilitation in areas where long-term economic deterioration has occurred or is taking place. ``TITLE I--ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS COOPERATION AND COORDINATION ``SEC. 101. ESTABLISHMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS. ``(a) In General.--In providing assistance under this Act, the Secretary shall cooperate with States and other entities to assure that, consistent with national objectives, Federal programs are compatible with and further the objectives of State, regional and local economic development plans and comprehensive economic development strategies. ``(b) Technical Assistance.--The Secretary shall provide such technical assistance to States, local governmental subdivisions of States, sub-State regional organizations (including organizations which cross State boundaries, and multi-State regional organizations as the Secretary determines may be necessary or desirable to alleviate economic distress, encourage and support public-private partnerships for the formation and improvement of economic development strategies which promote the growth of the national economy, stimulate modernization and technological advances in the generation and commercialization of goods and services, and enhance the effectiveness of American firms in the global economy. ``(c) Intergovernmental Review.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations which will assure that appropriate State and local governmental authorities have been given a reasonable opportunity to review and comment upon proposed projects which the Secretary determines may have a significant direct impact on the economy of the area. ``(d) Cooperative Agreements.--The Secretary may enter into a cooperative agreement with any two or more adjoining States, or an organization thereof, in support of effective economic development. Each such agreement shall provide for suitable participation by other governmental and nongovernmental parties representative of significant interests in and perspectives on economic development in the area. ``SEC. 102. COOPERATION OF FEDERAL AGENCIES. ``Each Federal department and agency, in accordance with applicable laws and within the limits of available funds, shall exercise its powers, duties and functions, and shall cooperate with the Secretary in such manner as will assist the Secretary in carrying out the objectives of this Act. ``SEC. 103. COORDINATION. ``The Secretary shall actively coordinate with other Federal programs, States, economic development districts, and other appropriate planning and development organizations the activities relating to the requirements for comprehensive economic development strategies and making grants under this Act. ``SEC. 104. NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE. ``The Secretary may appoint a National Public Advisory Committee on Regional Economic Development which shall consist of twenty-five members and shall be composed of representatives of labor, management, agriculture, State and local governments, Federal agencies, and the public in general. From the members appointed to such Committee the Secretary shall designate a Chairman. Such Committee, or any duly established subcommittee thereof, shall from time to time make recommendations to the Secretary relative to the carrying out of the Secretary's duties under this Act, including the coordination of activities as provided in section 103. Such Committee shall hold not less than two meetings during each calendar year, and shall be governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. ``TITLE II--GRANTS FOR PUBLIC WORKS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ``SEC. 201. PUBLIC WORKS GRANTS. ``(a) Upon the application of any eligible recipient the Secretary may make direct grants for acquisition or development of land improvements for public works, public service, or development facility usage, and the acquisition, design and engineering, construction, rehabilitation, alteration, expansion, or improvement of such facilities, including related machinery and equipment. ``(b) The Secretary may provide assistance under this section only if the Secretary finds that-- ``(1) the project for which financial assistance is sought will directly or indirectly-- ``(A) tend to improve the opportunities, in the area where such project is or will be located, for the successful establishment or expansion of industrial or commercial plants or facilities; ``(B) otherwise assist in the creation of additional long-term employment opportunities of such area; ``(C) primarily benefit the long-term unemployed and members of low-income families; or ``(D) in the case of projects within areas described in section 302(a)(8), the project will enhance the economic growth potential of the area or result in additional long-term employment opportunities commensurate with the amount of Federal financial assistance requested; ``(2) the project for which a grant is requested will fulfill a pressing need of the area, or part thereof, in which it is, or will be, located; and ``(3) the area for which a project is to be undertaken has a satisfactory comprehensive economic development strategy as provided by section 303 and such project is consistent with such strategy. ``(c) In the case of an area described in section 302(a)(4), the Secretary may provide assistance only if the Secretary finds that the project to be undertaken will provide immediate useful work to unemployed and underemployed persons in that area. ``(d) Not more than 15 per centum of the appropriations made pursuant to this section may be expended in any one State. ``SEC. 202. CONSTRUCTION COST INCREASES. ``In any case where a grant (including a supplemental grant) has been made by the Secretary under this title or made, before the effective date of the Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998, under title I of this act, as in effect before such effective date, for a construction project and after such grant has been made but before completion of the project, the cost of such project based upon the designs and specifications which were the basis of the grant has been increased because of increases in costs, the amount of such grant may be increased by an amount equal to the percentage increase, as determined by the Secretary, in such costs, but in no event shall the percentage of the Federal share of such project exceed that originally provided for in such grant. ``SEC. 203. PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES. ``(a) Upon the application of any eligible recipient the Secretary may make direct grants for economic development planning and the administrative expenses of organizations undertaking such planning. ``(b) The planning for cities, other political subdivisions, Indian tribes, and sub-State planning and development organizations (including areas described in section 302(a) and economic development districts) assisted under this title shall include systematic efforts to reduce unemployment and increase incomes. ``(c) The planning shall be a continuous process involving public officials and private citizens in analyzing local economies, defining development goals, determining project opportunities and formulating and implementing a development program. ``(d) The planning assistance authorized under this title shall be used in conjunction with any other available Federal planning assistance to assure adequate and effective planning and economical use of funds. ``(e) Any State plan prepared with assistance under this section shall be prepared cooperatively by the State, its political subdivisions, and the economic development districts located in whole or in part within such State, as a comprehensive economic development strategy. Upon completion of any such plan, the State shall (1) certify to the Secretary that in the preparation of the State plan, the local and economic development district plans were considered and, to the fullest extent possible, the State plan is consistent with the local and economic development district plans, and (2) identify any inconsistencies between the State plan and the local and economic development district plans, with the justification for each inconsistency. Any overall State economic development planning shall be a part of a comprehensive planning process that shall consider the provisions of public works to stimulate and channel development, economic opportunities and choices for individuals, to support sound land use, to foster effective transportation access, to promote sustainable development, to enhance and protect the environment including the conservation and preservation of open spaces and environmental quality, to provide public services, and to balance physical and human resources through the management and control of physical development. Each State receiving assistance for the preparation of a plan according to the provisions of this subsection shall submit to the Secretary an annual report on the planning process assisted under this subsection. ``SEC. 204. COST SHARING. ``Subject to section 205, the amount of any direct grant under this title for any project shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of such project. In determining the amount of the non-Federal share of costs or expenses, the Secretary shall give due consideration to all contributions both in cash and in kind, fairly evaluated, including contributions of space, equipment, and services. ``SEC. 205. SUPPLEMENTARY GRANTS. ``(a) In General.--Upon the application of any eligible recipient, the Secretary may make a supplementary grant for a project for which the applicant is eligible but, because of its economic situation, for which it cannot supply the required matching share. Included therein may be supplementary grants made to enable the States and other entities within areas described in section 302(a) to take maximum advantage of designated Federal grant-in-aid programs (as defined in subsection (b)(4) of this section), direct grants-in-aid authorized under this title, and Federal grant-in-aid programs authorized by the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (68 Stat. 666), and the 11 watersheds authorized by the Flood Control Act of December 22, 1944 (58 Stat. 887). ``(b) Requirements Applicable to Supplementary Grants.-- ``(1) Amount of supplementary grants.--The amount of any supplementary grant under this title for any project shall not exceed the applicable percentage established by regulations promulgated by the Secretary, but in no event shall the non- Federal share of the aggregate cost of any such project (including assumptions of debt) be less than 20 percent of such cost, except as provided in subsection (b)(6). ``(2) Form of supplementary grants.--Supplementary grants shall be made by the Secretary, in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, by increasing the amounts of direct grants authorized under this title or by the payment of funds appropriated under this act to the heads of the departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal Government responsible for the administration of the applicable Federal programs. ``(3) Federal share limitations specified in other laws.-- Notwithstanding any requirement as to the amount or sources of non-Federal funds that may otherwise be applicable to the Federal program involved, funds provided under this subsection may be used for the purpose of increasing the Federal contribution to specific projects in areas described in section 302(a) under such programs above the fixed maximum portion of the cost of such project otherwise authorized by the applicable law. ``(4) Designated federal grant-in-aid programs defined.--In this section, the term `designated Federal grant-in-aid programs' means such existing or future Federal grant-in-aid programs assisting in the construction or equipping of facilities as the Secretary may, in furtherance of the purposes of this Act, designate as eligible for allocation of funds under this section. ``(5) Consideration of relative need in determining amount.--In determining the amount of any supplementary grant available to any project under this title, the Secretary shall take into consideration the relative needs of the area and the nature of the project to be assisted. ``(6) Exceptions.--In the case of a grant to an Indian tribe, the Secretary may reduce the non-Federal share below the percentage specified in subsection (b)(1) or may waive the non- Federal share. In the case of a grant to a State or a political subdivision of a State which the Secretary determines has exhausted its effective taxing and borrowing capacity, or of a grant to a nonprofit organization which the Secretary determines has exhausted its effective borrowing capacity, the Secretary may reduce the non-Federal share below the percentage specified in subsection (b)(1) or may waive the non-Federal share for (i) a project in an area described in section 302(a)(4), or (ii) a project the nature of which the Secretary determines warrants the reduction or waiver of the non-Federal share. ``SEC. 206. REGULATIONS TO ASSURE RELATIVE NEEDS ARE MET. ``The Secretary shall prescribe rules, regulations, and procedures to carry out this title which will assure that adequate consideration is given to the relative needs of eligible areas. In prescribing such rules, regulations, and procedures for assistance under section 201 the Secretary shall consider among other relevant factors-- ``(1) the severity of the rates of unemployment in the eligible areas and the duration of such unemployment; ``(2) the income levels of families and the extent of underemployment in eligible areas; and ``(3) the out-migration of population for eligible areas. ``SEC. 207. TRAINING, RESEARCH, & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. ``(a) Upon the application of any eligible recipient the Secretary may make direct grants for training, research, and technical assistance, including grants for program evaluation and economic impact analyses, which would be useful in alleviating or preventing conditions of excessive unemployment or underemployment. Such assistance may include project planning and feasibility studies, demonstrations of innovative activities or strategic economic development investments, management and operational assistance, establishment of university centers, establishment of business outreach centers, and studies evaluating the needs of, and development potentialities for, economic growth of areas which the Secretary finds have substantial need for such assistance. The Secretary may waive the non-Federal share in the case of a project under this section, without regard to the provisions of section 204 or 205. ``(b) In carrying out the Secretary's duties under this Act, the Secretary may provide research and technical assistance through members of the Secretary's staff; the payment of funds authorized for this section to departments or agencies of the Federal Government; the employment of private individuals, partnerships, firms, corporations, or suitable institutions under contracts entered into for such purposes; or the award of grants under this title. ``SEC. 208. RELOCATION OF INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES. ``Grants to eligible recipients shall include such amounts as may be required to provide relocation assistance to affected persons, as required by the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act 1970, as amended. ``SEC. 209. ECONOMIC ADJUSTMENT. ``(a) Upon the application of any eligible recipient the Secretary may make direct grants for public facilities, public services, business development (including a revolving loan fund), planning, technical assistance, training, and other assistance which demonstrably furthers the economic adjustment objectives of this Act, including activities to alleviate long-term economic deterioration, and sudden and severe economic dislocations. ``(b) The Secretary may provide assistance under this section only if the Secretary finds that-- ``(1) the project will help the area meet a special need arising from-- ``(A) actual or threatened severe unemployment arising from economic dislocation, including unemployment arising from actions of the Federal Government or from compliance with environmental requirements which remove economic activities from a locality; or ``(B) economic adjustment problems resulting from severe changes in economic conditions (including long- term economic deterioration); and ``(2) the area for which a project is to be undertaken has a satisfactory comprehensive economic development strategy as provided by section 303 and such project is consistent with such strategy. This subsection (b)(2) shall not apply to planning projects. ``(c) Assistance under this section shall extend to activities identified by communities impacted by military base closures, defense contractor cutbacks, and Department of Energy reductions, to help the communities diversify their economies. Nothing in this section is intended to replace the efforts of the economic adjustment program of the Department of Defense. ``(d) Assistance under this section shall extend to post-disaster activities in areas affected by natural and other disasters. ``SEC. 210. DIRECT EXPENDITURE OR REDISTRIBUTION BY RECIPIENT. ``Amounts from grants under section 209 of this title may be used in direct expenditures by the eligible recipient or through redistribution by the eligible recipient to public and private entities in grants, loans, loan guarantees, payments to reduce interest on loan guarantees, or other appropriate assistance, but no grant shall be made by an eligible recipient to a private profit-making entity. ``SEC. 211. CHANGED PROJECT CIRCUMSTANCES. ``In any case where a grant (including a supplemental grant) has been made by the Secretary under this title (or made under this Act, as in effect on the day before the effective date of the Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998) for a project, and after such grant has been made but before completion of the project, the purpose or scope of such project which were the basis of the grant has changed, the Secretary may approve the use of grant funds on such changed project if the Secretary determines that such changed project meets the requirements of this title and that such changes are necessary to enhance economic development in the area. ``SEC. 212. USE OF FUNDS IN PROJECTS CONSTRUCTED UNDER PROJECTED COST. ``In any case where a grant (including a supplemental grant) has been made by the Secretary under this title (or made under this Act, as in effect on the day before the effective date of the Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998) for a construction project, and after such grant has been made but before completion of the project, the cost of such project based upon the designs and specifications which was the basis of the grant has decreased because of decreases in costs, such underrun funds may be used to improve the project either directly or indirectly as determined by the Secretary. ``SEC. 213. BASE CLOSINGS AND REALIGNMENTS. ``(a) Location of Projects.--In any case in which the Secretary determines a need for assistance under this title due to the closure or realignment of a military or Department of Energy installation, the Secretary may make such assistance available for projects to be carried out on the installation and for projects to be carried out in communities adversely affected by the closure or realignment. ``(b) Interest in Property.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may provide to an eligible recipient any assistance available under this Act for a project to be carried out on a military or Department of Energy installation that is closed or scheduled for closure or realignment without requiring that the eligible recipient have title to the property or a leasehold interest in the property for any specified term. ``SEC. 214. PREVENTION OF UNFAIR COMPETITION. ``No financial assistance under this Act shall be extended to any project when the result would be to increase the production of goods, materials, or commodities, or the availability of services or facilities, when there is not sufficient demand for such goods, materials, commodities, services, or facilities, to employ the efficient capacity of existing competitive commercial or industrial enterprises. ``SEC. 215. REPORTS BY RECIPIENT. ``Reports to the Secretary shall be required of recipients of assistance under this Act. Such reports shall be at such intervals and in such manner as the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation, not to exceed ten years from the time of closeout of the assistance award, and shall contain an evaluation of the effectiveness of the economic assistance provided under this Act in meeting the need it was designed to alleviate and the purposes of this Act. ``TITLE III--DEFINITIONS, ELIGIBILITY AND COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES ``SEC. 301. DEFINITIONS. ``In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions apply: ``(a) Economic development district.--The term `economic development district' refers to any area within the United States composed of cooperating areas described in section 302(a) and, where appropriate, designated economic development centers and neighboring counties or communities, which has been designated by the Secretary as an economic development district. Such term includes any economic development district designated by the Secretary under section 403 of this Act, as in effect on the day before the effective date of the Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998. ``(b) Economic development center.--The term `economic development center' refers to any area within the United States which has been identified as an economic development center in an approved comprehensive economic development strategy and which has been designated by the Secretary as eligible for financial assistance under this Act in accordance with the provisions of this section. ``(c) Eligible recipient.--The term `eligible recipient' means an area described in section 302(a), an economic development district designated under section 401, an Indian tribe, a State, a city or other political subdivision of a State or a consortium of such political subdivisions, an institution of higher education or a consortium of such institutions, or a public or private nonprofit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of such political subdivisions. For grants made under section 207, `eligible recipient' also includes private individuals and for- profit organizations. ``(d) Grant.--The term `grant' includes cooperative agreement, as that term is used in the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977. ``(e) Indian tribe.--The term `Indian tribe' means an Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe pursuant to 25 U.S.C. section 479a-1. ``(f) State.--The terms `State', `States', and `United States' include the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. ``SEC. 302. AREA ELIGIBILITY. ``(a) Certification.--In order to be eligible for assistance for activities described under section 201 or 209, an applicant shall certify, as part of an application for such assistance, that the project is located in an area which on the date of submission of such application meets one or more of the following criteria: ``(1) The area has a per capita income of 80 percent or less of the national average. ``(2) The area has an unemployment rate one percent above the national average percentage for the most recent 24-month period for which statistics are available. ``(3) The area has experienced or is about to experience a sudden economic dislocation resulting in job loss that is significant both in terms of the number of jobs eliminated and the effect upon the employment rate of the area. ``(4) The area is one in which the Secretary determines that any activities authorized to be undertaken under section 201 or 209 will provide immediate useful work to unemployed and underemployed persons in that area, and the area is a community or neighborhood (defined without regard to political or other subdivisions or boundaries) which the Secretary determines has one or more of the following conditions: ``(A) A large concentration of low-income persons; ``(B) Areas having substantial out-migration; or ``(C) Substantial unemployment. ``(5) The area has demonstrated long-term economic deterioration. ``(6) The area has an unemployment rate, for the most recent 12 month period for which statistics are available, above a rate established by regulation as an indicator of substantial unemployment during conditions of significantly high national unemployment. ``(7) The area is one which the Secretary has determined has experienced, or may reasonably be foreseen to be about to experience, a special need to meet an expected rise in unemployment, or other economic adjustment problems (including those caused by any action or decision of the Federal Government). ``(8) The area contains a population of 250,000 or less and is identified in a comprehensive economic development strategy as having growth potential and the ability to alleviate distress within an economic development district. ``(9) The area is experiencing severe outmigration. ``(b) Documentation.--A certification made under subsection (a) shall be supported by Federal data, when available or, in the absence of recent Federal data, by data available through the State government. Such documentation shall be accepted by the Secretary unless the Secretary determines the documentation to be inaccurate. The most recent statistics available shall be used. ``(c) Special Rule.--An area which the Secretary determines is eligible for assistance because it meets 1 or more of the criteria of subsection (a)(4)-- ``(1) shall not be subject to the requirements of sections 201(b) or 303; and ``(2) shall not be eligible to meet the requirement of section 401(a)(1)(B). ``(d) Prior Designations.--Any designation of a redevelopment area made before the effective date of the Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998 shall not be effective after such effective date. ``SEC. 303. COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY. ``(a) In General.--The Secretary may provide assistance under section 201 or 209 (except for section 209 planning) to an applicant for a project only if the applicant submits to the Secretary, as part of an application for such assistance, evidence satisfactory to the Secretary of a comprehensive economic development strategy which-- ``(1) identifies the economic development problems to be addressed using such assistance; ``(2) identifies past, present, and projected future economic development investments in the area receiving such assistance and public and private participants and sources of funding for such investments; and ``(3) sets forth a strategy for addressing the economic problems identified pursuant to paragraph (a) and describes how the strategy will solve such problems. ``(b) Other Plan.--The Secretary may accept as a comprehensive economic development strategy a satisfactory plan prepared under another Federally supported program. ``TITLE IV--ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS ``SEC. 401. DESIGNATION OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTERS. ``(a) In General.--In order that economic development projects of broader geographic significance may be planned and carried out, the Secretary may-- ``(1) designate appropriate `economic development districts' within the United States with the concurrence of the States in which such districts will be wholly or partially located, if-- ``(A) the proposed district is of sufficient size or population, and contains sufficient resources, to foster economic development on a scale involving more than a single area described in section 302(a); ``(B) the proposed district contains at least 1 area described in section 302(a); ``(C) the proposed district contains 1 or more areas described in section 302(a) or economic development centers identified in an approved district comprehensive economic development strategy as having sufficient size and potential to foster the economic growth activities necessary to alleviate the distress of the areas described in section 302(a) within the district; and ``(D) the proposed district has a district comprehensive economic development strategy which includes sustainable development, adequate land use and transportation planning and contains a specific program for district cooperation, self-help, and public investment and is approved by the State or States affected and by the Secretary; ``(2) designate as `economic development centers', in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe, such areas as the Secretary may deem appropriate, if-- ``(A) the proposed center has been identified and included in an approved district comprehensive economic development strategy and recommended by the State or States affected for such special designation; ``(B) the proposed center is geographically and economically so related to the district that its economic growth may reasonably be expected to contribute significantly to the alleviation of distress in the areas described in section 302(a) of the district; and ``(C) the proposed center does not have a population in excess of 250,000 according to the most recent Federal census; and ``(3) provide financial assistance in accordance with the criteria of this Act, except as may be herein otherwise provided, for projects in economic development centers designated under subsection (a)(2), if-- ``(A) the project will further the objectives of the comprehensive economic development strategy of the district in which it is to be located; ``(B) the project will enhance the economic growth potential of the district or result in additional long- term employment opportunities commensurate with the amount of Federal financial assistance requested; and ``(C) the amount of Federal financial assistance requested is reasonably related to the size, population, and economic needs of the district. ``(b) Authorities.--The Secretary may, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary-- ``(1) invite the several States to draw up proposed economic development district boundaries and to identify potential economic development centers; ``(2) cooperate with the several States-- ``(A) in sponsoring and assisting district economic planning and development groups; and ``(B) in assisting such district groups to formulate district comprehensive economic development strategies; and ``(3) encourage participation by appropriate local governmental authorities in such economic development districts. ``SEC. 402. TERMINATION OR MODIFICATION. ``The Secretary shall by regulation prescribe standards for the termination or modification of economic development districts and economic development centers designated under the authority of section 401. ``SEC. 403. BONUS. ``Subject to the 20 per centum non-Federal share required for any project by subsection 205(b)(1) of this Act, the Secretary is authorized to increase the amount of grant assistance authorized by sections 204 and 205 for projects within designated economic development districts by an amount not to exceed 10 per centum of the aggregate cost of such project, in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe if-- ``(1) the project applicant is actively participating in the economic development activities of the district; and ``(2) the project is consistent with an approved district comprehensive economic development strategy. ``SEC 404. STRATEGY PROVIDED TO APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COMMISSION. ``Each economic development district designated by the Secretary under this title shall provide that a copy of the district comprehensive economic development strategy be furnished to the Appalachian Regional Commission established under the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, if any part of such district is within the Appalachian region. ``SEC. 405. PARTS NOT WITHIN AREAS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 302(A). ``The Secretary is authorized to provide the financial assistance which is available to an area described in section 302(a) under this Act to those parts of an economic development district which are not within an area described in section 302(a), when such assistance will be of a substantial direct benefit to an area described in section 302(a) within such district. Such financial assistance shall be provided in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided in this Act for an area described in section 302(a). ``TITLE V--ADMINISTRATION ``SEC. 501. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. ``The Secretary will administer this Act with the assistance of an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development to be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development will perform such functions as the Secretary may prescribe and will serve as the administrator of the Economic Development Administration within the Department of Commerce. ``SEC. 502. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE. ``It shall be a duty of the Secretary in administering this Act-- ``(a) to serve as a central information clearinghouse on matters relating to economic development, economic, adjustment, disaster recovery, and defense conversion programs and activities of the Federal and State governments, including political subdivisions of the States; ``(b) to help potential and actual applicants for economic development, economic adjustment, disaster recovery, and defense conversion assistance under Federal, State, and local laws in locating and applying for such assistance, including financial and technical assistance; and ``(c) to aid areas described in section 302(a) and other areas by furnishing to interested individuals, communities, industries, and enterprises within such areas any technical information, market research, or other forms of assistance, information, or advice which would be useful in alleviating or preventing conditions of excessive unemployment or underemployment within such areas. ``SEC. 503. CONSULTATION WITH OTHER PERSONS AND AGENCIES. ``(a) Consultation on Problems Relating to Employment.--The Secretary is authorized from time to time to call together and confer with any persons, including representatives of labor, management, agriculture, and government, who can assist in meeting the problems of area and regional unemployment or underemployment. ``(b) Consultation on Administration of Act.--The Secretary may make provisions for such consultation with interested departments and agencies as the Secretary may deem appropriate in the performance of the functions vested in the Secretary by this Act. ``SEC. 504. ADMINISTRATION, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE. ``No Federal assistance shall be approved under this Act unless the Secretary is satisfied that the project for which Federal assistance is granted will be properly and efficiently administered, operated, and maintained. ``SEC. 505. FIRMS DESIRING FEDERAL CONTRACTS. ``The Secretary may furnish the procurement divisions of the various departments, agencies, and other instrumentalities of the Federal Government with a list containing the names and addresses of business firms which are located in areas of high economic distress and which are desirous of obtaining Government contracts for the furnishing of supplies or services, and designating the supplies and services such firms are engaged in providing. ``SEC. 506. AMENDMENT TO TITLE 5, U.S.C. ``Section 5316 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking `Administrator for Economic Development.' ``TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS ``SEC. 601. POWERS OF SECRETARY. ``(a) In General.--In performing the Secretary's duties under this Act, the Secretary is authorized to-- ``(1) adopt, alter, and use a seal, which shall be judicially noticed; ``(2) subject to the civil-service and classification laws, select, employ, appoint, and fix the compensation of such personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act; ``(3) hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, and take such testimony, as the Secretary may deem advisable; ``(4) request directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics needed to carry out the purposes of this Act; and each department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, establishment, or instrumentality is authorized to furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Secretary; ``(5) consistent with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, assign or sell at public or private sale, or otherwise dispose of for cash or credit, in the Secretary's discretion and upon such terms and conditions and for such consideration as the Secretary determines to be reasonable, any evidence of debt, contract, claim, personal property, or security assigned to or held by the Secretary in connection with assistance extended under the Act, and collect or compromise all obligations assigned to or held by the Secretary in connection with such assistance until such time as such obligations may be referred to the Attorney General for suit or collection; ``(6) deal with, complete, renovate, improve, modernize, insure, rent, or sell for cash or credit, upon such terms and conditions and for such consideration as the Secretary determines to be reasonable, any real or personal property conveyed to or otherwise acquired by the Secretary in connection with assistance extended under this Act; ``(7) consistent with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, pursue to final collection, by way of compromise or other administrative action, prior to reference to the Attorney General, all claims against third parties assigned to the Secretary in connection with assistance extended under this Act; ``(8) acquire, in any lawful manner, any property (real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible), whenever necessary or appropriate in connection with assistance extended under this Act; ``(9) in addition to any powers, functions, privileges, and immunities otherwise vested in the Secretary, take any action, including the procurement of the services of attorneys by contract, determined by the Secretary to be necessary or desirable in making, purchasing, servicing, compromising, modifying, liquidating, or otherwise administratively dealing with assets held in connection with financial assistance extended under this Act; ``(10) employ experts and consultants or organizations as authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, compensate individuals so employed, including travel time, and allow them, while away from their homes or regular places of business, travel expenses (including per diem in lieu of subsistence) as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United States Code, for persons in the Government service employed intermittently, while so employed, except that contracts for such employment may be renewed annually; ``(11) establish performance measures for grants and other assistance provided under this Act, and use such performance measures to evaluate the economic impact of economic development assistance programs; the establishment and use of such performance measures to be provided by the Secretary through members of his staff, through the employment of appropriate parties under contracts entered into for such purposes, or through grants to such parties for such purposes, using any funds made available by appropriations to carry out this Act; ``(12) sue and be sued in any court of record of a State having general jurisdiction or in any United States district court, and jurisdiction is conferred upon such district court to determine such controversies without regard to the amount in controversy; but no attachment, injunction, garnishment, or other similar process, mesne or final, shall be issued against the Secretary or the Secretary's property; and ``(13) establish such rules, regulations, and procedures as the Secretary considers appropriate in carrying out the provisions of this Act. ``(b) Deficiency Judgments.--The authority under subsection (a)(7) to pursue claims shall include the authority to obtain deficiency judgments or otherwise in the case of mortgages assigned to the Secretary. ``(c) Inapplicability of Certain Other Requirements.--Section 3709 of the Revised Statutes of the United States shall not apply to any contract of hazard insurance or to any purchase or contract for services or supplies on account of property obtained by the Secretary as a result of assistance extended under this Act if the premium for the insurance or the amount of the insurance does not exceed $1,000. ``(d) Property Interests.--The powers of the Secretary, pursuant to this section, in relation to property acquired by the Secretary in connection with assistance extended under this Act, shall extend to property interests of the Secretary in relation to projects approved under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, title I of the Public Works Employment Act of 1976, title II of the Trade Act of 1974, and the Community Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1977. Property interests in connection with grants may be released, in whole or in part, in the Secretary's discretion, after 20 years from the date of grant disbursement. ``(e) Powers of Conveyance and Execution.--The power to convey and to execute, in the name of the Secretary, deeds of conveyance, deeds of release, assignments and satisfactions of mortgages, and any other written instrument relating to real or personal property or any interest therein acquired by the Secretary pursuant to the provisions of this Act may be exercised by the Secretary, or by any officer or agent appointed by the Secretary for such purpose, without the execution of any express delegation of power or power of attorney. ``SEC. 602. MAINTENANCE OF STANDARDS. ``The Secretary shall continue to implement and enforce the provisions of section 712 of this Act, as in effect on the day before the effective date of the Economic Development Partnership Act of 1998. ``SEC. 603. ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS. ``The Secretary shall transmit a comprehensive and detailed annual report to Congress of the Secretary's activities under this Act for each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year ending September 30, 1999. Such report shall be printed and shall be transmitted to Congress not later than July 1 of the year following the fiscal year with respect to which such report is made. ``SEC. 604. USE OF OTHER FACILITIES. ``(a) Delegation of Functions to Other Federal Departments and Agencies.--The Secretary may delegate to the heads of other departments and agencies of the Federal Government any of the Secretary's functions, powers, and duties under this Act as the Secretary may deem appropriate, and authorize the redelegation of such functions, powers, and duties by the heads of such departments and agencies. ``(b) Transfer Between Departments.--Funds authorized to be appropriated under this Act may be transferred between departments and agencies of the Government, if such funds are used for the purposes for which they are specifically authorized and appropriated. ``(c) Funds Transferred From Other Departments and Agencies.--In order to carry out the objectives of this Act, the Secretary may accept transfers of funds from other departments and agencies of the Federal Government if the funds are used for the purposes for which (and in accordance with the terms under which) the funds are specifically authorized and appropriated. Such transferred funds shall remain available until expended, and may be transferred to and merged with the appropriations under the heading `salaries and expenses' by the Secretary to the extent necessary to administer the program. ``SEC. 605. PENALTIES. ``(a) False Statements; Security Overvaluation.--Whoever makes any statement knowing it to be false, or whoever willfully overvalues any security, for the purpose of obtaining for such person or for any applicant any financial assistance under this Act or any extension of such assistance by renewal, deferment or action, or otherwise, or the acceptance, release, or substitution of security for such assistance, or for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of the Secretary or for the purpose of obtaining money, property, or anything of value, under this Act, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. ``(b) Embezzlement and Fraud-Related Crimes.--Whoever, being connected in any capacity with the Secretary in the administration of this Act-- ``(1) embezzles, abstracts, purloins, or willfully misapplies any moneys, funds, securities, or other things of value, whether belonging to such person or pledged or otherwise entrusted to such person; ``(2) with intent to defraud the Secretary or any other body politic or corporate, or any individual, or to deceive any officer, auditor, or examiner, makes any false entry in any book, report, or statement of or to the Secretary or without being duly authorized draws any orders or issues, puts forth, or assigns any note, debenture, bond, or other obligation, or draft, bill of exchange, mortgage, judgment, or decree thereof; ``(3) with intent to defraud, participates or shares in or receives directly or indirectly any money, profit, property, or benefit through any transaction, loan, grant, commission, contract, or any other act of the Secretary; or ``(4) gives any unauthorized information concerning any future action or plan of the Secretary which might affect the value of securities, or having such knowledge invests or speculates, directly or indirectly, in the securities or property of any company or corporation receiving loans, grants, or other assistance from the Secretary, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. ``SEC. 606. EMPLOYMENT OF EXPEDITERS AND ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES. ``No financial assistance shall be extended by the Secretary under this Act to any business enterprise unless the owners, partners, or officers of such business enterprise-- ``(1) certify to the Secretary the names of any attorneys, agents, and other persons engaged by or on behalf of such business enterprise for the purpose of expediting applications made to the Secretary for assistance of any sort, under this Act, and the fees paid or to be paid to any such person; and ``(2) execute an agreement binding such business enterprise, for a period of 2 years after such assistance is rendered by the Secretary to such business enterprise, to refrain from employing, tendering any office or employment to, or retaining for professional services, any person who, on the date such assistance or any part thereof was rendered, or within the 1-year period ending on such date, shall have served as an officer, attorney, agent, or employee, occupying a position or engaging in activities which the Secretary determines involves discretion with respect to the granting of assistance under this Act. ``SEC. 607. MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS OF APPROVED APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE; PUBLIC INSPECTION. ``(a) Maintenance of Record Required.--The Secretary shall maintain as a permanent part of the records of the Department of Commerce a list of applications approved for financial assistance under this Act, which shall be kept available for public inspection during the regular business hours of the Department of Commerce. ``(b) Posting to List.--The following information shall be posted in such list as soon as each application is approved: ``(1) The name of the applicant and, in the case of corporate applications, the names of the officers and directors thereof. ``(2) The amount and duration of the financial assistance for which application is made. ``(3) The purposes for which the proceeds of the financial assistance are to be used. ``SEC. 608. RECORDS AND AUDIT. ``(a) Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements.--Each recipient of assistance under this Act shall keep such records as the Secretary shall prescribe, including records which fully disclose the amount and the disposition by such recipient of the proceeds of such assistance, the total cost of the project or undertaking in connection with which such assistance is given or used, and the amount and nature of that portion of the cost of the project or undertaking supplied by other sources, and such other records as will facilitate an effective audit. ``(b) Access to Books for Examination and Audit.--The Secretary, the Inspector General of the Department of Commerce, and the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any books, documents, papers, and records of the recipient that are pertinent to assistance received under this Act. ``SEC. 609. PROHIBITION AGAINST A STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION WHICH MIGHT CAUSE DIMINUTION IN OTHER FEDERAL ASSISTANCE. ``All financial and technical assistance authorized under this Act shall be in addition to any Federal assistance previously authorized, and no provision of this Act shall be construed as authorizing or permitting any reduction or diminution in the proportional amount of Federal assistance which any State or other entity eligible under this Act would otherwise be entitled to receive under the provisions of any other Act. ``SEC. 610. ACCEPTANCE OF APPLICANTS' CERTIFICATIONS. ``The Secretary may accept, when deemed appropriate, the applicants' certifications to meet the requirements of this Act. ``TITLE VII--FUNDING ``SEC. 701. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. ``There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $397,969,000 for fiscal year 1999 and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2002, such sums to remain available until expended. ``SEC. 702. DEFENSE CONVERSION ACTIVITIES. ``In addition to the appropriations authorized by section 701, there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as may be necessary to provide assistance for defense conversion activities. Such funding may include pilot projects for privatization and economic development activities for closed or realigned military or Department of Energy installations. Such sums shall remain available until expended. ``SEC. 703. DISASTER ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACTIVITIES. ``In addition to the appropriations authorized by section 701, there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as may be necessary to provide assistance for disaster economic recovery activities. Such sums shall remain available until expended.'' SEC. 3. SAVINGS PROVISIONS. (a) Existing Rights, Duties, and Obligations Not Affected.--This Act shall not be construed as affecting the validity of any right, duty, or obligation of the United States or any other person arising under or pursuant to any contract, loan, or other instrument or agreement which was in effect on the day before the effective date of this Act. (b) Continuation of Suits.--No action or other proceeding commenced by or against any officer or employee of the Economic Development Administration shall abate by reason of the enactment of this Act. (c) Liquidating Account.--The Economic Development Revolving Fund hitherto established under section 203 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 shall continue to be available to the Secretary as a liquidating account as defined under section 502 of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 for payment of obligations and expenses in connection with financial assistance extended under this Act, said Act of 1965, the Area Redevelopment Act, and the Trade Act of 1974. (d) Administration.--The Secretary shall take such actions as authorized before the effective date of this Act as necessary or appropriate to administer and liquidate existing grants, contracts, agreements, loans, obligations, debentures, or guarantees heretofore made by the Secretary or the Secretary's delegatee pursuant to provisions in effect immediately prior to the effective date of this Act. <all>