S-1051.2  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5836



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Fairley, Oke, Deccio, B. Sheldon, Winsley, Thibaudeau, Kline, Roach, Prentice, Constantine, Costa and Kohl‑Welles


Read first time 02/05/2001.  Referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Creating the community health center capital trust fund account.

    AN ACT Relating to community health center facilities; amending RCW 70.37.020 and 70.37.090; adding new sections to chapter 70.37 RCW; and creating a new section.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  (1) The legislature finds that current economic conditions and declining resources at the federal, state, and local level adversely affect the ability of low-income and underserved persons to obtain quality and affordable health care.  Community health centers provide access to health care to those persons who are otherwise unable to obtain these services.

    (2) The legislature further finds that community health centers face the challenge of meeting a growing demand for services in cramped and outdated facilities and meeting the need of establishing new facilities to serve additional communities with large, underserved populations.

    (3) The legislature declares that it is in the public interest to establish a continuously renewable resource known as the community health center capital trust fund account to assist low and very low-income citizens and other underserved citizens to meet their basic health care needs.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 70.37.020 and 1994 c 92 s 505 are each amended to read as follows:

    ((As used in this chapter,)) The ((following words and terms have the following meanings,)) definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context ((indicates or)) clearly requires ((another or different meaning or intent and the singular of any term shall encompass the plural and the plural the singular unless the context indicates)) otherwise((:)).

    (1) "Authority" means the Washington health care facilities authority created by RCW 70.37.030 or any board, body, commission, department or officer succeeding to the principal functions thereof or to whom the powers conferred upon the authority shall be given by law.

    (2) "Bonds" mean bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness of the authority issued pursuant hereto.

    (3) "Community health center" means a nonprofit corporation providing health care services to needy populations where all of the following apply:  (a) It is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code (26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3)); (b) it is governed by a community-based board over half of whom are users of health care services; (c) it utilizes a sliding fee scale based on the federal poverty level; (d) at least two-fifths of the patients it serves are uninsured or on medicaid; and (e) at least three-fourths of the patients it serves have incomes below two hundred percent of the federal poverty level.

    (4) "Health care facility" means any land, structure, system, machinery, equipment or other real or personal property or appurtenances useful for or associated with delivery of inpatient or outpatient health care service or support for such care or any combination thereof which is operated or undertaken in connection with hospital, clinic, health maintenance organization, diagnostic or treatment center, extended care facility, or any facility providing or designed to provide therapeutic, convalescent, or preventive health care services, and shall include research and support facilities of a comprehensive cancer center, but excluding, however, any facility which is maintained by a participant primarily for rental or lease to self-employed health care professionals or as an independent nursing home or other facility primarily offering domiciliary care.

    (((4))) (5) "Participant" means any city, county, or other municipal corporation or agency or political subdivision of the state or any corporation, hospital, comprehensive cancer center, or health maintenance organization authorized by law to operate nonprofit health care facilities, or any affiliate, as defined by ((regulations promulgated)) rules adopted by the director of the department of financial institutions pursuant to RCW 21.20.450, which is a nonprofit corporation acting for the benefit of any entity described in this subsection.

    (((5))) (6) "Project" means a specific health care facility or any combination of health care facilities, constructed, purchased, acquired, leased, used, owned, or operated by a participant, and alterations, additions to, renovations, enlargements, betterments, and reconstructions thereof.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  (1) The community health center assistance program is created within the authority.  The intent of the program is to carry out the purposes of this section and section 4 of this act.

    (2) The community health center capital trust fund account is created in the custody of the state treasurer.  All receipts from appropriations made by the legislature, private contributions, repayment of loans, and any other sources must be deposited into the account.  Expenditures from the account may be used only for the purposes of this section and section 4 of this act.  Only the authority or the authority's designee may authorize expenditures from the account.  The account is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW, but an appropriation is not required for expenditures.  Subaccounts may also be set up within this account.

    (3) The authority shall use moneys from the community health center capital trust fund account established under subsection (2) of this section to guarantee or subsidize loans for community health centers, and for other general purposes associated with making community health center credits more attractive to the municipal bond market, and finance in whole or in part any loans for community health centers.

    (4) Activities eligible for assistance from the community health center capital trust fund account established under subsection (2) of this section include but are not limited to:

    (a) New construction, renovation, or acquisition of an existing building, or acquisition of land to be converted into a community health center;

    (b) Equipment acquisition for community health centers;

    (c) Technical assistance, design and finance services and consultation, administrative costs for eligible community health centers, and costs associated with providing and administering loans to community health centers;

    (d) Loan subsidies;

    (e) Guarantees or payments for eligible projects; and

    (f) Refinancing of existing debt.

    (5) Moneys in the community health center capital trust fund account may be used only for the purposes of this section and section 4 of this act, and not for the administrative costs of the authority.

    (6) Moneys from repayment of loans issued by the authority from the community health center capital trust fund account may be used for all activities necessary for the proper functioning of the community health center assistance program.

    (7) Organizations that may receive assistance from the authority under this section and section 4 of this act are community health centers as defined in RCW 70.37.020.  Eligibility for assistance from the authority under this chapter also requires that the recipient have no outstanding tax warrants under RCW 82.32.210 at the time the grant is made.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  (1) During each calendar year in which moneys in the community health center capital trust fund account, created in section 3 of this act, are available for use by the authority for the community health center assistance program, the authority shall announce to all known community health centers located in the state of Washington a loan application period of at least ninety days' duration.  This announcement shall be made as often as the executive director of the authority deems appropriate for proper utilization of resources.  The authority shall then grant as many applications as will utilize available moneys.

    (2) The authority shall evaluate applicants based on the following considerations:

    (a) Applicants must demonstrate the ability to provide health care services to a caseload that is comprised primarily of low-income and underserved persons;

    (b) Applicants must demonstrate the ability, stability, and resources to implement the provisions of its application on an ongoing basis; and

    (c) Applicants must meet the definition of community health center as defined in RCW 70.37.020.


    Sec. 5.  RCW 70.37.090 and 1974 ex.s. c 147 s 9 are each amended to read as follows:

    The authority shall have power to require community health centers, health care facilities, and other persons applying for its assistance in connection with the investigation and financing of projects to pay fees and charges to provide the authority with funds for investigation, financial feasibility studies, expenses of issuance and sale of bonds and other charges for services provided by the authority in connection with such projects((.  All other expenses of the authority)), including compensation of its employees and consultants, expenses of administration, and conduct of its work and business and other expenses.  These expenses shall be paid out of such fees and charges, out of contributions and grants to ((it)) the authority, out of the proceeds of bonds issued for projects of participants, or out of revenues of such projects((; none)).  No expense may be paid by the state of Washington.  The authority shall have power to establish special funds into which such money shall be received and out of which it may be disbursed by the persons and with the procedure and in the manner established by the authority.  The authority has the power to invest revenue from fees and charges or other income in excess of expenses.  The authority also has the power to establish special funds into which excess revenue from fees and charges, contributions and grants, and investment earnings on any such moneys shall be received and out of which it may be disbursed by grant, loan, or other financing method to participants to finance health care facilities by the persons and with the procedure and in the manner established by the authority.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  Sections 3 and 4 of this act are each added to chapter 70.37 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.


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