Legislation Regarding New PawSox Stadium to be Heard Tuesday
Tuesday, January 09, 2018
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 9 at the rise of the Senate at about 4:30 p.m. in room 313 on the third floor of the State House.
The legislation has the support of Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, but House Speaker Nick Matteillo has repeated voiced that the financial package lacks public support.
PawSox Legislation to be Heard
The committee will hear or consider a resolution introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman William J. Conley Jr. that would authorize the state to enter into lease and financing agreements in connection with a new ballpark.
The committee will also hear or consider a bill introduced by Chairman Conley that would permit redevelopment agencies to finance the construction of projects for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, institutional, public or other purposes contemplated by a redevelopment plan.
READ THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LEGISLATION BELOW
The hearing will be broadcast live on Capitol TV.
Related Slideshow: New PawSox Deal—December, 2017
Here are the provisions of the legislation according to the Senate Finance Committee,
Compliance with Public Corporation Debt Management Act: The legislation was amended to better conform to the requirements of the State’s Public Corporation Debt Management Act, or “Kushner Act.” The Budget Office’s fiscal note indicated that the bill as originally written did not meet these requirements. The statute requires that financing leases to which the state is a party must be authorized by the General Assembly through resolution. The resolution must include the maximum possible obligation of the state. The original language only listed the value of the principal to be borrowed and not the cost of issuance and total debt service. The amended language more clearly identifies the maximums as $41.0 million, $26.0 million, and $18.0 million for the Series A, B, and C bonds respectively.
Naming Rights: Based on the fact that the Pawtucket’s redevelopment agency will be the owner of the new ballpark and the determination that Pawtucket will experience a gap between new revenue and its annual debt obligation until sufficient ancillary development has taken place, S-0989 was amended to direct 50 percent of the ballpark naming rights revenue to the City of Pawtucket to assist with its annual debt service payment. This revenue is estimated to be $250,000.
Ticket Pricing: Based on the determination that Pawtucket will experience a gap between new revenue and its annual debt obligation until sufficient ancillary development has taken place, S-0989 was amended to reflect the transfer of the premium ticket surcharge revenue from the state to the city. The bill clarifies the definition of a “ticket” and was amended to include language memorializing the team’s commitment not to raise ticket prices for five years.
Maintenance and Capital Improvement: S-0989 was amended so that any future lease must contain a requirement that the team is responsible for the daily, operational maintenance of the ballpark and its costs. The lease must also explicitly make clear that the state is not responsible for operational maintenance. The lease shall require that the team be responsible for a minimum 50 percent of annual capital expenditures and that the city, state, and team must contribute a minimum of $150,000 in total per year into a capital expenditure fund to finance capital expenditures. The parties will be required to develop a multi-year capital improvement plan detailing expected, future capital projects and outlays. No capital expenditure funds shall be used for operational maintenance.
Construction Costs: The $12.0 million of equity pledged by team owners is required by the legislation to be the first funds expended towards the construction costs of the new ballpark. In the event that land acquisition and ballpark construction costs come in less than $83.0 million, the savings shall be distributed on a pro-rata basis to the team, city, and state at a rate of 46.5 percent, 32.4 percent, and 21.1 percent respectively. Lastly, any construction cost overruns that exist will be paid by the team.
Public Park: The bill memorializes the commitment by the parties of making the new ballpark available as a public park facility. The bill requires the lease to contain a provision directing the city to provide planning and operational assistance on public park aspects of the park. The lease must also specify that the facility will be operated year-round in and around the ballpark, separate and apart from the ballpark’s baseball-related uses, in order to create public recreational, social, and communal benefits.
Green Design & RIIB Financing: S-0989 was amended to encourage the use of energy efficient and sustainable design, construction, and operations at the new ballpark. It encourages the use of financing programs available through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, including, to the extent practicable, the State Revolving Funds and the Efficient Buildings Fund, which provide low cost financing for eligible renewable and energy efficiency, stormwater abatement, water conservation, and other sustainable infrastructure projects.
Fair Labor Standards Act Compliance: The legislation was amended to affirm the requirement that the team comply with fair labor standards. Employers associated with the business of the ballpark, including the team, would be required to adhere to state and federal Fair Labor Standards practices, including provisions that prevent labor misclassification by incorrectly designating workers as “independent contractors.”
Eminent Domain: Based on the concerns expressed during public testimony and a subsequent determination that the need for this expansion was overstated, S-0990 was amended to eliminate the expansion of eminent domain powers under the Redevelopment Act and to restore the definition of “blighted and substandard” throughout the bill.
- EDITORIAL: The PawSox Stadium Solution
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Sheehan: New PawSox Proposal Still Falls Short of Public’s Approval
- Grebien Sounds the Alarm on PawSox on GoLocal LIVE
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Mathieu - Vote Them Out of Office if They Approve New PawSox Deal
- New PawSox Deal: Cost Spikes to $85M — 16% Increase UPDATED
- Top Union Leader Warns Time Is Running Out for a PawSox Deal
- Lucchino Says PawSox Have Identified Attleboro Site As Alternative to Apex Location in Pawtucket
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Sheehan: PawSox Deal Breaker
- GoLocal Benchmark Poll: RIers Overwhelmingly Oppose Public Funding for the PawSox Stadium
- PawSox to Host Annual Open House & BallYard Sale at McCoy Stadium
- Facing Overwhelming Public Opposition for PawSox Deal, What is Next for Owners
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Stewart: Supporting PawSox Gentrification Efforts is Not Progressive
- PawSox Claim Potential New Stadium Must Be Pushed Back to 2021 at Earliest
- Tuesday on LIVE: Singer Gilman & Kinch on New PawSox Deal
- “PawSox Will End Up on Ballot, or Leave,” Says Former Pawtucket City Councilman Kinch
- Sasse Says RI Commerce Failed to Properly Review PawSox Deal
- PawSox Deal is in Chaos
- I Will Vote Against Current PawSox Deal: Guest MINDSETTER™ Sheehan
- PawSox Deal Looks Dead for 2017, Mattiello Raises Concerns
- Sen. Sheehan Discusses the Need for a New PawSox Deal on GoLocal LIVE
- Kinch Says PawSox Deal is a Threat to Pawtucket’s Finances
- On LIVE Thursday: Festival Ballet, Kinch on PawSox, and Dem’s McNamara & Much More