House Bill 1406 – Water Infrastructure Assistance Fund and Program
Authored by Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso)
This bill annually appropriates $20 million to the Water Infrastructure Assistance Fund from the state general fund and promotes sustainability of water resources and attempts to keep costs as low as possible.
Chamber Position: Support
The Latest: Heard by the House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee on Wednesday and passed unanimously, 13-0. With the fiscal component, the bill has now been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for deliberation.
Chamber Action/Commentary: The Indiana Chamber testified in support of this bill, which is a priority for us; it is consistent with our Indiana Vision 2025 plan and our long-term position on water resources.
This bill puts some needed dollars to the Water Infrastructure Assistance Fund, which was created through SB 416 in the 2017 legislative session. The Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) can use this money to create a leveraged loan program and provide financial assistance that may include grants, loans and other financial assistance for water infrastructure.
The bill specifically requires that in order for a participant to receive a loan, grant or other financial assistance from the fund, it must have an asset management program and demonstrate to the IFA that it has a plan to participate with one or more other participants in cooperative activities. It also requires a participant, if appropriate, to conduct or participate in efforts to determine and eliminate the causes of non-revenue water (leaks) in its water distribution system. Another requirement is for the IFA to establish a project prioritization system and project priority list for the purposes of awarding loans and grants from the fund. The annual appropriations to the fund would begin July 1, 2020.
The Indiana Chamber expects this bill to continue to have bipartisan support as it makes its way through the process.
Resource: Greg Ellis at (317) 264-6881 or email: [email protected]