Text: S.1647 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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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>