National Infrastructure Bank Proposal and Sign-On Letter

24 August 2009

At our August Green L.A. Transportation Work Group meeting, Executive Director of Move L.A. Denny Zane made a presentation about the proposed National Infrastructure Development Bank. This is a proposed federal bank that would be able to loan money to agencies at a reduced rate – allowing local dollars to be spent sooner and to go further. This could help transportation projects (locally especially those funded by Measure R) and ultimately could also be open to fronting other infrastructure dollars for things like stormwater, libraries, parks, etc.

Right now it’s a federal bill HR2521 the “National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2009” introduced by Congressmember Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. Reportedly soon to be introduced in the U.S. Senate, too. Locally, Metro endorsed it on June 23rd (It’s item 63 on page 20 here, but more helpful is their 3-page analysis of HR2521,) but, at least as of a few weeks ago, no Southern California legislators had signed on.

Denny circulated copies of this 5-page summary of the NIDBA bill. Move L.A. is requesting organizations to sign on to the letter below which will be copied to California’s senators and L.A.’s representatives. If your organization is intersted in signing on to this letter, please email dennyzane [at] movela.org

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
3rd Congressional District
New Haven, Connecticut

Dear Congresswoman DeLauro:

The undersigned organizations deeply appreciate the strong leadership you have displayed in the development and introduction of HR 2521, a bill that would create a National Infrastructure Development Bank.  We endorse this bill and will encourage our members and our communities to support the bill as well. 

HR 2521 is landmark legislation that will play, we believe, a very significant role in our nation’s effort, and in the efforts of countless communities, to address significant deficiencies and remedy long term deterioration and decay in our nation’s transportation and other vital systems.
 
HR 2521 would fund and create a bank that would direct public and private dollars toward infrastructure projects of national or regional significance.  A similar proposal was included in the Obama Administration’s Budget released earlier this year.  Like the proposal in the Obama Budget, HR 2521 would capitalize the bank at a rate of $5 billion for five years and would provide the Bank with $250 billion in total subscribed capital and $625 billion in total loan making capability. 

We believe that a properly capitalized infrastructure bank as proposed in HR 2521 could be used to accelerate major transportation projects in Los Angeles County, and other communities, by providing loans secured by Measure R funds, a recently approved ½ cent sales tax increase for transportation projects approved by more than 2/3 of Los Angeles County voters last November.  Measure R will provide a revenue stream of up to $40 billion over 30 years, nearly 70% of which will be used for public transit infrastructure and operations.

NIDB  loans secured by Measure R funds could enable LA County to accelerate the development of many voter approved transit and highway projects, thereby reducing their development costs, creating good new jobs quickly, and jump starting economic recovery while energizing our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

The undersigned, therefore, endorse:

• H.R. 2521,  to create a National Infrastructure Development Bank as introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Further, to enable this program to better fulfill its mission, we urge that:

• NIDB loans be available not only for project-specific applications, but also for multi-project infrastructure programs backed by broad-based revenue streams, e.g., locally approved taxes; and that,

• Congress authorize interest-forgiveness on NIDB loans for projects that significantly advance national economic development or environmental goals, such as zero-GHG-emission transit projects, like electric transit, powered by zero-emission renewable energy resources.

Thank you for your leadership and for your time and attention.

Sincerely

Denny Zane
Executive Director
Move LA  
  
CC: 
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Diane Feinstein 
Members, Los Angeles County Delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives

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3 Responses to “National Infrastructure Bank Proposal and Sign-On Letter”

  1. Joe Linton said

    One small concern I had about this proposed bank, which I generally think is a good idea and worth our support, is that it could be a double-edged sword. Funding could go to green projects such as rail and bus, but it could also go toward freeway widening.

    Greener modes can be prioritized by federal provisions (as Denny suggests in the last paragraph of the letter above) or through local prioritization. Advocates of green transportation will need to keep the pressure on to make sure the infrastructure bank advances sustainable projects.

  2. […] matters into their own hands, and designed their own bike plan. Write your Congress person to support HR 2521, which would create a development bank to fund infrastructure projects, railways and — dare we […]

  3. Perry Barette said

    Joe Klein made analysis of the proposal (can’t access swampland.com) which is to make it National. Public Works as a launching pad for a New Deal by stimulating growth in the local economy. But where is Jimmy Cagney ? Black Dragon Society and “The Federal Reserve Bank Lion” would know. He’s using a Vision USA mug drinking coffee … somewhere in the New City.

    Pterodactyl Wings

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