HARRISBURG, PA – The Corbett administration hopes to promote business growth by taking advantage of low-interest bond rates and having more flexibility to move funds among different state economic development programs to meet evolving needs.
The administration wants to create a Liberty Financing Authority to oversee this initiative. The authority idea surfaced shortly after Gov. Tom Corbett took office last January, but it was left out of state budget negotiations after lawmakers of both parties raised concerns about it.
Now the proposal is getting a second wind with more details ironed out and lawmakers more receptive to it. The shift in attitude was noticeable when Alan Walker, secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, testified about the authority recently before the Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development.
The proposal contained in a Senate bill would combine nine existing state authorities and programs under a single authority with the ability to sell bonds to investors to generate revenue and shift available funds around to meet demand by businesses for financing.