Senate Revenue and Tax

August 10, 2022


Sample I’ll call the Senate Revenue and Tax Committee to order. And I’m going to recognize Senator Dismang to present House Bill 1002. Senator Dismang.


Dismang Members, this is the same bill that we passed yesterday. We had a good discussion on it and be happy to take any questions today. Same one we just passed on the floor. 


Sample Senator Ingram, you have a question. 


Ingram Could you find out for us and let us know, because I can’t get an answer. I’ve tried. If we pass this, are we going to hold ARPA funds up or it’s going to be business as usual? Are we going to meet in August and dispense money? But I’m serious about it, I can’t get an answer. I tried Robert yesterday six ways. And Paul, I tried him. But, but if you could just find out if this is going to impact the distribution of ARPA funds. I think it’s an important question. 


Dismang Well, I mean, I think my answer to that would be that’s going to be a decision that will be made first by the Peer Committee and then, second, the ALC Committee. I hope that we are prudent in how we spend those funds, and I think this will help ensure knowing that we, we need to be helping as many people as we can and having as big of an impact we can with these ARPA funds. I think there will be maybe some additional scrutiny on how we utilize those and I look forward to that. 


Ingram Well, that cleared it up for me. 


Dismang Well, I mean, I think you, I mean, you probably know the answer as well as I do, which is it’s going to be up to the majority of the Peer Committee and the majority of the ALC Committee on what happens to those funds. I mean, we could hold up funds for a number of different reasons, for instance, not liking the project or thinking that the project didn’t benefit people the way that it should. So there are a number of different reasons that we could not approve the expenditure of ARPA funds. Again, I hope that we’re prudent. I’m confident that we will be and then ultimately it will be up to the majority of the Peer Committee and then the majority of the ALC. 


Sample Are there other questions from the committee? Senator Johnson. 


M Johnson Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I’m going to address this to the chair and, hopefully, perhaps even Senator Caldwell or Senator Ingram can answer it. When was the last time the ARPA committee met? Because I think his question may be moot if nothing comes out of that committee that affects anything. Does anyone have an answer? Senator Dismang? 


Ingram Oh, I do. We were waiting on the second tranche of money to come in. It has come in. We have approximately $900 million total. The second tranche was rated $800 million. I fully anticipated a meeting in August. All of the– as you know, the committee has hired a firm that vets to make sure that the projects that are submitted are qualified. And Senator Sample is on it as well. And I fully expected us to have a meeting in August to, to, to start to get this money out. We have to spend it by– or designated by 2024, has to be spent by 2026. And the bulk, I think, you know, the bulk of the money, I think, general, the legislature has been for broadband and water and sewer. And so those are huge projects. And when you start letting those, they have a lot of lead time. So we can’t procrastinate a lot and then bank on Congress extending the 2026 deadline. But I don’t know how Senator Caldwell or Senator Sample, but I had taken that we were going to have a meeting in August. 


Sample I’m going to ask that question of Mr. McVey. 


M Johnson Thank you for having him come, Mr. Chairman. 


Sample Let’s get this question answered. Mr. McVey, would you identify yourself and the department you work for and try to answer our question? 


McVey Alan McVey, chief of staff for the Department of Finance and Administration. A date has not been determined for the next ARPA meeting. However, Senator Ingram, your comments are, are absolutely correct. We have received the second tranche of funding and we anticipate that in the, in the near future, if not in August, but early September, we anticipate calling a meeting of the steering committee. 


Sample Senator Johnson, does that answer your question? 


M Johnson Except for the fact that my question was when was the last time they met? 


Sample The last time I think was in February. 


McVey I think that’s correct. 


M Johnson February. Okay. I– thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. 


Sample And at that time, we had expended all of the funds that we had available. 


M Johnson On broadband, I presume.


Sample Do what? 


M Johnson On broadband projects, I presume? 


Sample No, it was a multitude of projects. We funded hospitals and broadband also. 


M Johnson I was just wondering about water and sewer, Mr. Chairman. And I know we’re getting off the subject here, but thank you for, for allowing me to ask that question. 


Sample Thank you. Thank you. Members, are there other questions? And I don’t think we have anyone from the audience signed up. So, will of the committee? I have a motion do pass by Senator Johnson, a second from Senator Ingram. Is there any– I mean, Senator Caldwell. 


Ingram Nice try, Bill. 


Sample I was trying to get out from yesterday. Any discussion on the motion? Seeing none, all in favor, say aye. All opposed, no. 


Ingram No. 


Sample Duly noted. Motion passes. We are adjourned.