Senate Bill No. 632

(By Senator Craigo)


[Introduced February 21, 2000; referred to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section six, article fifteen, chapter thirty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to authorizing the economic development authority to refinance loans under certain circumstances; and offering loans as incentives to attract business to locate in this state.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That section six, article fifteen, chapter thirty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§31-15-6. General powers of authority.

The authority, as a public corporation and governmental instrumentality exercising public powers of the state, shall have has and may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article, including the power:

(a) To cooperate with industrial development agencies in efforts to promote the expansion of industrial, commercial, manufacturing and tourist activity in this state.

(b) To determine, upon the proper application of an industrial development agency or an enterprise, whether the declared public purposes of this article have been or will be accomplished by the establishment by such the agency or enterprise of a project in this state.

(c) To conduct examinations and investigations and to hear testimony and take proof, under oath or affirmation, at public or private hearings, on any matter relevant to this article and necessary for information on the establishment of any project.

(d) To issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers relevant to any hearing before such the authority or one or more members appointed by it to conduct any hearing.

(e) To apply to the circuit court having venue of such the
offense to have punished for contempt any witness who refuses to obey a subpoena, to be sworn or affirmed or to testify or who commits any contempt after being summoned to appear.
(f) To authorize any member of the authority to conduct hearings, administer oaths, take affidavits and issue subpoenas.

(g) To financially assist projects by insuring obligations in the manner provided in this article through the use of the insurance fund.

(h) To finance any projects by making loans to industrial development agencies or enterprises upon such terms as the authority shall deem considers appropriate: Provided, That nothing contained in this subsection (h) or under any other provision in this article shall may be construed as permitting the authority to make loans for working capital: Provided, however, That nothing contained in this article shall may be construed as prohibiting the authority from insuring loans for working capital made to industrial development agencies or to enterprises by financial institutions: Provided further, That nothing contained in this subsection or any other provision of this article shall may be construed as permitting prohibiting the authority to refinance from refinancing existing debt except when such refinancing will result in the expansion of the enterprise whose debt is to be refinanced
or in the creation of new jobs if the enterprise has sufficient assets and a successful history to warrant the refinancing: And provided further, That nothing contained in this subsection or any other provision of this article may be construed as prohibiting the authority from offering financing to an enterprise or activity as an inducement or incentive to locate in this state when funds are available and the enterprise or activity otherwise meets the requirements of the authority and this article.
(i) To issue revenue bonds or notes to fulfill the purposes of this article, and to secure the payment of such the bonds or notes, all as hereinafter provided in this section.

(j) To issue and deliver revenue bonds or notes in exchange for a project.

(k) To borrow money for its purposes and issue bonds or notes for the money and provide for the rights of the holders of the bonds or notes or other negotiable instruments, to secure the bonds or notes by a deed of trust on, or an assignment or pledge of, any or all of its property and property of the project, including any part of the security for loans, and the authority may issue and sell its bonds and notes, by public or private sale, in such those principal amounts as it shall deem the authority considers necessary to provide funds for any purposes under this article,
including the making of loans for the purposes set forth in this article.
(l) To maintain such those sinking funds and reserves as the board shall determine determines to be appropriate for the purposes of meeting future monetary obligations and needs of the authority.

(m) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded and complain and defend in any court.

(n) To adopt, use and alter at will a corporate seal.

(o) To make, amend, repeal and adopt both bylaws and rules and regulations for the management and regulation of its affairs.

(p) To appoint officers, agents and employees and to contract for and engage the services of consultants.

(q) To make contracts of every kind and nature to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for carrying on its business.

(r) To accept grants and loans from and enter into contracts and other transactions with any federal agency.

(s) To take title by conveyance or foreclosure to any project where acquisition is necessary to protect any loan previously made by the authority and to sell, by public or private sale, transfer, lease or convey such the project to any enterprise.

(t) To participate in any reorganization proceeding pending pursuant to the United States Code (being the act of Congress
establishing a uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States, as amended) or in any receivership proceeding in a state or federal court for the reorganization or liquidation of an enterprise. The authority may file its claim against any such enterprise in any of the foregoing proceedings, vote upon any questions pending therein which requires the approval of the creditors participating in any reorganization proceeding or receivership, exchange any evidence of such the indebtedness for any property, security or evidence of indebtedness offered as a part of the reorganization of such the enterprise or of any other entity formed to acquire the assets thereof and may compromise or reduce the amount of any indebtedness owing to it as a part of any such reorganization.
(u) To acquire, construct, maintain, improve, repair, replace and operate projects within this state, as well as streets, roads, alleys, sidewalks, crosswalks and other means of ingress and egress to and from projects located within this state.

(v) To acquire, construct, maintain, improve, repair and replace and operate pipelines, electric transmission lines, waterlines, sewer lines, electric power substations, waterworks systems, sewage treatment and disposal facilities and any combinations thereof for the use and benefit of any enterprise
located within this state.
(w) To acquire watersheds, water and riparian rights, rights-of-way, easements, licenses and any and all other property, property rights and appurtenances for the use and benefit of any enterprise located within this state.

(x) To acquire, by purchase, lease, donation or eminent domain, any real or personal property, or any right or interest therein, as may be necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of the authority. Title to all property, property rights and interests acquired by the authority shall be taken in the name of the authority.

(y) To issue renewal notes, or security interests, to issue bonds to pay notes or security interests and, whenever it deems considers refunding expedient, to refund any bonds or notes by the issuance of new bonds or notes, whether the bonds or notes to be refunded have or have not matured and whether or not the authority originally issued the bonds or notes to be refunded.

(z) To apply the proceeds from the sale of renewal notes, security interests or refunding bonds or notes to the purchase, redemption or payment of the notes, security interests or bonds or notes to be refunded.

(aa) To accept gifts or grants of property, funds, security
interests, money, materials, labor, supplies or services from the United States of America or from any governmental unit or any person, firm or corporation and to carry out the terms or provisions of, or make agreements with respect to, or pledge, any gifts or grants and to do any and all things necessary, useful, desirable or convenient in connection with the procuring, acceptance or disposition of gifts or grants.
(bb) To the extent permitted under its contracts with the holders of bonds, security interests or notes of the authority, to consent to any modification of the rate of interest, time of payment of any installment of principal or interest, security or any other term of any bond, security interests, note or contract or agreement of any kind to which the authority is a party.

(cc) To sell loans, security interests or other obligations in the loan portfolio of the authority. Such The security interests shall be evidenced by instruments issued by the authority. Proceeds from the sale of loans, security interests or other obligations may be used in the same manner and for the same purposes as bond and note revenues.

(dd) To procure insurance against any losses in connection with its property, operations or assets in such those amounts and from such those insurers as the authority deems considers
(ee) To sell, license, lease, mortgage, assign, pledge or donate its property, both real and personal or any right or interest therein to another or authorize the possession, occupancy or use of such the property or any right or interest therein by another, in such a manner and upon such terms as it deems considers appropriate.

(ff) To participate with the state and federal agencies in efforts to promote the expansion of commercial and industrial development in this state.

(gg) To finance, organize, conduct, sponsor, participate and assist in the conduct of special institutes, conferences, demonstrations and studies relating to the stimulation and formation of business, industry and trade endeavors.

(hh) To conduct, finance and participate in technological, business, financial and other studies related to business and economic development.

(ii) To conduct, sponsor, finance, participate and assist in the preparation of business plans, financing plans and other proposals of new or established businesses suitable for support by the authority.

(jj) To prepare, publish and distribute, with or without
charge as the authority may determine, such those technical studies, reports, bulletins and other materials as it deems considers appropriate, subject only to the maintenance and respect for confidentiality of client proprietary information.
(kk) To exercise such any other and additional powers as may be necessary or appropriate for the exercise of the powers herein conferred.

(ll) To exercise all of the powers which a corporation may lawfully exercise under the laws of this state.

(mm) To contract for the provision of legal services by private counsel and notwithstanding the provisions of article three, chapter five, such the counsel may, but is not limited to, represent the authority in court, negotiate contracts and other agreements on behalf of the authority, render advice to the authority on any matter relating thereto, prepare contracts and other agreements, and provide such any other legal services as may be requested by the authority.

(nn) To develop, maintain, operate and apply for the establishment of foreign trade zones pursuant to and in accordance with all applicable provisions of federal law.