PBBC Congressional Action
Public Buildings Renewal Act
Our nation’s public buildings (e.g. schools, public hospitals, justice facilities, universities, police and fire stations) are in a historic state of disrepair. The nation’s public schools are literally crumbing with well over $50 billion in infrastructure needs nationally. States and city governments have significant shortfalls in infrastructure funding, which have resulted in facilities that often are not maintained, do not comply with current codes, disability requirements, and do not have adequate security. (See article: Politico: How to Fix Our Crumbling Schools)
One practical solution is to expand the use of public-private partnerships (P3) to public buildings. However, in the U.S., P3s have been predominantly used for transportation projects. Currently, public buildings are not eligible to use federal tax exempt facility bonds. The Public Buildings Renewal Act (PBRA) would change that, opening the U.S. buildings market to P3 by creating a tax exempt bond that state and local governments can pair with private financing to fund public building projects, such as schools and hospitals.
On February 14, 2019 the PBRA was reintroduced by Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) as H.R. 1251 and currently has 13 cosponsors – 7 Democrats and 6 Republicans. Cosponsors include: Larson (D-CT), Marchant (R-TX), Kind (D-WI), Walorski (R-IN), Suozzi (D-NY), Zeldin (R-NY), Tonko (D-NY), Malinowski (D-NJ), Filemon (D-TX), Miller (R-WV), Beyer (D-VA), and Hurd (R-TX) are on as original cosponsors. On March 28, 2019 the Senate version of the bill, S.932 was introduced by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV). Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Tim Scott (R-SC) joined as original cosponsors.
The PRBA would create a new class of projects eligible for financing through private activity bonds (PABs) including public buildings such as schools, post offices, libraries, and courthouses. In short, the bill would create $5 billion allocation for public buildings for states to access through the Treasury Department.
H.R. 1251 & S. 932
Send a Letter to Key Legislators
Our primary focus is on members of Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee.
(Send the attached letter or draft a letter of your own)
Support from State and Local Leaders
More than a dozen Governors have signed onto a letter supporting this legislation including: John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Paul LePage (R-ME), Rick Snyder (R-MI), Brian Sandoval (R-NV), Kate Brown (D-OR), Gina Raimondo (D-RI), Gary Herbert (R-UT), Tom Wolf (D-PA), and Doug Burgum (R-ND). In addition, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is leading a support letter with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that includes numerous Mayors.