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                    SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5341



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor (originally sponsored by Senators Roach, Sheldon and Rasmussen)


Read first time 02/19/97.

Revising authority of the Washington economic development authority to finance projects.

    AN ACT Relating to the Washington economic finance authority; and amending RCW 43.163.210.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 43.163.210 and 1996 c 310 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    For the purpose of facilitating economic development in the state of Washington and encouraging the employment of Washington workers at meaningful wages:

    (1) The authority may develop and conduct a program or programs to provide nonrecourse revenue bond financing ((for the project costs for no more than five economic development activities, per fiscal year, included under the authority's general plan of economic development finance objectives.  In addition, the authority may issue tax-exempt bonds to finance ten manufacturing or processing activities, per fiscal year, for which the total project cost is less than one million dollars per project)).

    (2) The authority may ((also)) develop and conduct a program that will stimulate and encourage the development of new products within Washington state by the infusion of financial aid for invention and innovation in situations in which the financial aid would not otherwise be reasonably available from commercial sources.  The authority is authorized to provide nonrecourse revenue bond financing for this program.

    (a) For the purposes of this program, the authority shall have the following powers and duties:

    (i) To enter into financing agreements with eligible persons doing business in Washington state, upon terms and on conditions consistent with the purposes of this chapter, for the advancement of financial and other assistance to the persons for the development of specific products, procedures, and techniques, to be developed and produced in this state, and to condition the agreements upon contractual assurances that the benefits of increasing or maintaining employment and tax revenues shall remain in this state and accrue to it;

    (ii) Own, possess, and take license in patents, copyrights, and proprietary processes and negotiate and enter into contracts and establish charges for the use of the patents, copyrights, and proprietary processes when the patents and licenses for products result from assistance provided by the authority;

    (iii) Negotiate royalty payments to the authority on patents and licenses for products arising as a result of assistance provided by the authority;

    (iv) Negotiate and enter into other types of contracts with eligible persons that assure that public benefits will result from the provision of services by the authority; provided that the contracts are consistent with the state Constitution;

    (v) Encourage and provide technical assistance to eligible persons in the process of developing new products;

    (vi) Refer eligible persons to researchers or laboratories for the purpose of testing and evaluating new products, processes, or innovations; and

    (vii) To the extent permitted under its contract with eligible persons, to consent to a termination, modification, forgiveness, or other change of a term of a contractual right, payment, royalty, contract, or agreement of any kind to which the authority is a party.

    (b) Eligible persons seeking financial and other assistance under this program shall forward an application, together with an application fee prescribed by rule, to the authority.  An investigation and report concerning the advisability of approving an application for assistance shall be completed by the staff of the authority.  The investigation and report may include, but is not limited to, facts about the company under consideration as its history, wage standards, job opportunities, stability of employment, past and present financial condition and structure, pro forma income statements, present and future markets and prospects, integrity of management as well as the feasibility of the proposed product and invention to be granted financial aid, including the state of development of the product as well as the likelihood of its commercial feasibility.  After receipt and consideration of the report set out in this subsection and after other action as is deemed appropriate, the application shall be approved or denied by the authority.  The applicant shall be promptly notified of action by the authority.  In making the decision as to approval or denial of an application, priority shall be given to those persons operating or planning to operate businesses of special importance to Washington's economy, including, but not limited to:  (i) Existing resource-based industries of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries; (ii) existing advanced technology industries of electronics, computer and instrument manufacturing, computer software, and information and design; and (iii) emerging industries such as environmental technology, biotechnology, biomedical sciences, materials sciences, and optics.

    (3) The authority may also develop and implement, if authorized by the legislature, such other economic development financing programs adopted in future general plans of economic development finance objectives developed under RCW 43.163.090.

    (4) The authority may not issue any bonds for the programs authorized under this section after June 30, 2000.


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