Young’s bill sets up $5B bond allocation to spur public building improvements

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) recently offered a bipartisan bill that would authorize a multibillion-dollar fund to provide tax-exempt financing of certain government-owned buildings.

The Public Buildings Renewal Act, S. 1299, which Sen. Young sponsored on April 22 with lead cosponsor U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), would create a $5 billion private activity bond allocation for state and local governments, which would be able to enter into long-term contracts with a private-sector company to design, build, finance, and/or operate the building for a defined period of time, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Young’s office. 

The legislation aims to incentivize private investment to rebuild schools and public buildings through public-private partnerships, which if allowed to fund repairs in just 20 percent of all government-owned buildings would create 1.3 million jobs nationwide, according to the senator’s staff. 

“Many of our schools, courthouses, hospitals, and other public buildings in Indiana are in need of upgrades, particularly as in-person learning resumes for our schools as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sen. Young said. “The Public Buildings Renewal Act would enable local governments to more quickly address these needs by leveraging public-private partnerships to generate significant investment in critical upgrades.”

Additionally, Sen. Young said the bill would “help to ensure that students, teachers, public employees, and Hoosiers across the state can safely access these spaces to work and learn for years to come.”

S. 1299 is the U.S. Senate version of the same-named H.R. 1396, which was introduced on Feb. 26 by U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Earl Blumenaur (D-OR) in the U.S. House of Representatives.