The following Bill has often been difficult to find on the web, and is copied here for your convenience. Please note that it is easy to amend the Bill to suit the requirements of any country. Thus "Indian Tribes" could become "Aboriginal Groups".  


2nd Session

H. R. 4371

To direct the Secretary of Commerce to make noninterest bearing loans to State and local governments solely for the purpose of funding capital projects, and for other purposes.


May 17, 2004

Mr. LAHOOD (for himself, Mr. EMANUEL, Mr. JEFFERSON,


of Ohio, Mr. MANZULLO, and Mr. QUINN) introduced the

following bill; which was referred to the Committee

on Transportation and Infrastructure



To direct the Secretary of Commerce to make noninterest bearing loans to State and local governments solely for the purpose of funding capital projects, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `State and Local Government Economic Empowerment Act'.


(a) IN GENERAL- Subject to subsection (b), each State, county, incorporated municipality, and Indian tribe shall be entitled to obtain a loan under section 3, unless such unit of government is delinquent in repaying a prior loan.

(b) MAXIMUM AMOUNT LIMITATION- The total amount of money to which any entity described in subsection (a) is entitled to borrow under this section shall not exceed the amount equal to the product of–


(1) the resident population, as determined by the Secretary on the basis of the 2000 census, of the geographic territory over which the entity has jurisdiction; and

(2) the amount equal to--

(A) in the case of a State, $200;

(B) in the case of a county (as defined in section 2 of title 1, United States Code), $200;

(C) in the case of an incorporated municipality, $600; and

(D) in the case of an Indian tribe, $1,000.


Subject to sections 2(b) and 4, the Secretary shall issue an interest-free loan to any government unit described in section 2(a) if the Secretary obtains such assurances as the Secretary determines to be appropriate from the unit that the proceeds of such loan will be used solely for the purpose of funding capital projects of the governmental unit, including

the construction of or improvements to--

(1) streets, highways, bridges, and tunnels;

(2) waste water and sewer systems; and

(3) infrastructure and other public facilities.


(a) DISBURSEMENT REQUIREMENTS- Loans made under section 3 shall be disbursed by the Secretary--

(1) in a lump sum for the full amount of the loan; or

(2) if the Secretary determines that partial disbursements are appropriate in the case of loans for construction projects in order to accommodate a greater number of loan requests, over the construction period of the project.

(b) MINIMUM PHASE-IN PERIOD- Disbursements on all eligible loans made under section 3 shall begin before the end of the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act.

(c) PERIOD TO MATURITY- The period to maturity of any loan made under section 3 shall be the estimated number of years of the useful life of the infrastructure installation (if any) which is financed by the loan, but, in any case, shall be a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 30 years.

(d) APPLICABILITY OF STATE LAW- The number or the principal amounts of interest-free loans made under section 3 to any governmental unit established by a State, or the period to maturity of any such loan, may not exceed the maximum number, amount, or period to maturity established under the law of such State, unless the State provides a waiver from any such limitation with respect to any such governmental unit.

(e) ADMINISTRATIVE FEES- The Secretary shall impose an administrative fee on each recipient of a loan under section 3 in an amount not to exceed the lesser of–


(1) 0.25 percent of the total amount of the loan; or

(2) an amount sufficient to cover all administrative costs incurred by the Secretary, including overhead, for making and administering the loan.

(f) TERMS OF REPAYMENT- The repayment terms of any loan made under section 3 shall require quarterly payments by the recipient in equal amounts determined by dividing--

(1) the sum of the principal and the administrative fees applicable with respect to such loan; by

(2) the number of calendar quarters any portion of which falls within the period to maturity of the loan.


(1) ENFORCED COLLECTIONS- The Secretary shall take action to enforce collection of past due amounts of any loan on which 4 or more quarterly payments are due and payable.

(2) IMPOUNDMENT OF DELINQUENT AMOUNT- In the case of any delinquent loan described in paragraph (1), the Secretary may seek an order from a district court of the United States of appropriate jurisdiction directing a United States Marshall to impound, under authority of this subsection, any available funds of the debtor in an amount equal to the amount currently due as of the date of such action to reduce or eliminate the delinquency.

(3) WAIVER OF DEBTOR'S RIGHT TO DEFEND AGAINST COLLECTION- As a condition for receiving any loan under section 3, the recipient shall waive any right to take any legal action to prevent or defend against the collection by the Secretary of any amount which the parties agree is past due.

(4) COST OF COLLECTION- The costs incurred by the Secretary in collecting any amount under this subsection with respect to any loan shall be added to and treated as a part of the principal amount of the loan.

(5) BALANCE OF LOAN PRINCIPAL AND FEES PAYABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH TERMS OF LOAN- A debtor who is subject to collection proceedings under this subsection for any delinquent portion of a loan under section 3 shall continue to meet the repayment schedule applicable to such loan for the remaining amount of principal and fees.

(h) REPAYMENT OF LOANS- Loans made under section 3 shall be repaid to the Secretary in accordance with the terms established under this Act and shall be deposited into the Treasury of the United States.


For purposes of this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Commerce.

(2) INDIAN TRIBE- The term `Indian tribe' means any Indian tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

(3) STATE- The term `State' includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.


In accordance with the provisions of this Act, there are hereby made available, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as may be necessary to make loans to all entities described in section 2(a).


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