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HB 253 Literary Fund; open application process for loans, maximum loan amounts, etc.

Introduced by: Shelly A. Simonds | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Literary Fund; loans; application process; maximum loan amounts; rates of interest; closing costs; waiting lists. Makes several changes to the provisions relating to loans from the Literary Fund to finance the construction and renovation of public elementary and secondary school buildings in the Commonwealth. The bill requires the Board of Education (the Board) to establish an annual open application process for Literary Fund loans to occur during the period that the Board deems most suitable. The bill increases from $7.5 million to $25 million the maximum Literary Fund loan amount and permits the Board to increase such maximum to up to $35 million for loans for any school construction or renovation project that facilitates the consolidation of schools. The bill requires the Board to fix the interest rate on all loans made from the Literary Fund at not less than one percent per year, not more than three percent per year, and at increments of one half of one percent per year between such minimum and maximum rates, payable annually, and to utilize a sliding scale based on the local school division's composite index of local ability to pay to determine the interest rate on each such loan. Under current law, such rates are required to be set between two and six percent per year. The bill requires the Board to establish a competitive program for the award of up to $25,000 to a school division that receives a Literary Fund loan for the purpose of subsidizing all or a portion of the closing costs for such loan. The bill also permits the Board to remove any project that has been inactive for at least five years from any Literary Fund loan project waiting list that it maintains. This bill is a recommendation of the Commission on School Construction and Modernization.