Mahoning Valley Lawmakers Applaud Passage Of State Bond Bank Legislation
Say bond bank could be used to clear foreclosed properties, fight blight

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 54, legislation to establish a state bond bank to help fund public projects and permanent improvements. 

“This is a great tool to have in our toolbox as we try to address the overwhelming number of empty houses in the Youngstown area,” said Boccieri. “Giving the state the ability to provide loans to improve our neighborhoods will do a lot to help revitalize cash-strapped communities.” 

Under the bill, the state bond bank would issue bonds and use the proceeds to make loans to local governments. Communities could use the loans to fund any “permanent improvement,” defined as any property, asset or improvement that will last at least five years. A permanent improvement for parking, highway, road and street purposes includes resurfacing, but does not include ordinary repair. 

“As a Youngstown resident and member of the team of dedicated elected officials, local leaders and residents who are working hard to revitalize our city, I enthusiastically support HB 54 because it provides an effective way for the state of Ohio to support our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I am pleased that this innovative and critically important legislation moved through the House without opposition. I urge my Senate colleagues to consider and pass HB 54 as quickly as possible so we can begin using this new tool to rebuild communities across the state.” 

Eleven other states have bond banks, including neighboring Indiana. 

HB 54 did not receive any opposition testimony in committee and yesterday passed the House with unanimous support. The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration. 

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