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Shaheen, Hassan Reintroduce LOCAL Infrastructure Act

**Shaheen and Hassan were lead negotiators of the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill.**

 (Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced this week that they again worked across the aisle with U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and a group of lawmakers to reintroduce the Lifting Our Communities through Advance Liquidity for Infrastructure (LOCAL Infrastructure) Act. The legislation would amend the federal tax code to restore state and local governments’ ability to use advance refunding to manage bond debt and reduce borrowing costs for public projects. Shaheen and Hassan were both lead negotiators of the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law and has resulted in numerous allocations of federal investments in Granite State priorities. 

“Over the last two years, Congress and the Biden administration have successfully ushered historic bipartisan pieces of legislation forward that invest in our workforce, infrastructure needs, spur job creation and much more to ensure the United States is poised to out innovate and out build the rest of the world. To keep up that momentum, we need to leave no stone unturned to empower our local communities with the resources and mechanisms necessary to address public infrastructure projects that will lift up our communities and workforce – that’s precisely what the LOCAL Infrastructure Act aims to do,” said Senator Shaheen.  

“I worked with my colleagues to negotiate the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make significant investments in infrastructure in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill builds on that work by making it cheaper for communities across New Hampshire to upgrade their local infrastructure.” 

Advance refunding is an accounting practice that allows state and local governments to refinance outstanding municipal bonds to more favorable borrowing rates or conditions before the end of the initial bond term. This process is very similar to how a homeowner may refinance the mortgage on their property to lock in a lower interest rate. The LOCAL Infrastructure Act would restore municipalities’ ability to advance refund bonds on a on a tax-exempt basis. 

The federal tax-exempt debt could be refinanced only once, but local communities would be able to take advantage of the lower interest rates to generate additional savings on existing bonds. Local governments could reinvest these savings to fund infrastructure, education, health care, or other capital improvement projects. 

Advance refunding has saved state and local governments billions of dollars over decades but has been unavailable to state and local governments since 2017. 

In addition to Shaheen, Hassan Wicker and Stabenow, cosponsors of the legislation include U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Katie Britt (R-AL), John Barrasso (R-WY), John Boozman (R-AR), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Michael Bennet (D-CO). 

Shaheen and Hassan were lead negotiators of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Now law, the IIJA provides a $550 billion investment in our nation’s core infrastructure priorities – including roads and bridges, rail, transit, ports, airports, the electric grid, water systems and broadband. In June 2021, Shaheen joined President Biden and a bipartisan group of Senators to announce the framework of the package. Shaheen led negotiations around provisions related to broadband and water infrastructure. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen historically works to provide funding for programs that support New Hampshire’s infrastructure needs, and has successfully secured government funding for New Hampshire-specific projects through the congressionally directed spending (CDS) process. Hassan, also a member of the bipartisan group that negotiated the infrastructure bill, helped secure provisions for transit and passenger rail funding. She also led negotiations for key provisions that address coastal resiliency, high-speed internet expansion and cybersecurity.