RS 51:2312     

§2312. Powers and authority; duties

            A. The corporation shall serve as the single review board for all financial assistance, loans, incentives or inducements, customized workforce training, investment programs, and any related appropriations, grants, or joint ventures administered by the Department of Economic Development, excluding those financial incentive programs administered by the State Board of Commerce and Industry. The corporation shall formulate and implement the policies for the delivery of services to obtain the following effects:

            (1) The support of innovative private sector research and development activities by Louisiana businesses intended to generate commercial products, processes, or services by providing funds to Louisiana small businesses that will apply for or have received federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant funds, for such federal applications submitted or received after January 1, 2023.

            (2) The encouragement of existing venture capital funds to invest in qualified Louisiana businesses in Louisiana and the encouragement of the formation of seed and venture capital funds in Louisiana.

            (3) The leverage of funds from Louisiana financial institutions by issuing guarantees for economically disadvantaged and other Louisiana based micro-businesses, small businesses, medium sized businesses, and business enterprises of persons with disabilities.

            (4) The encouragement of firms organized under the Louisiana Business and Industrial Development Corporation Act to invest in qualified Louisiana businesses in Louisiana.

            (5) The provision of funds for qualified local entities, both private nonprofit and public, to establish and expand small business incubators.

            (6) The provision of funds for infrastructure improvements to retain, expand, or attract existing and prospective businesses in or to Louisiana.

            (7) The assistance to Louisiana local governments to provide infrastructure for economic development.

            (8) The provision of customized workforce training programs to existing and prospective Louisiana businesses.

            (9) The assurance that all qualified Louisiana businesses have capital access.

            (10) The provision of lower cost funds for low-interest loans through a linked deposit program in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of the Treasury.

            B. The corporation shall also have the power, authority, and duty to examine the impediments to the success of Louisiana small businesses from time to time and to adjust existing programs and develop financial programs that will alleviate such impediments.

            C. All programs of the corporation shall be administered pursuant to rules promulgated and adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

            D. The corporation is hereby authorized and shall have all the authority and power necessary in order to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this Chapter, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following specific powers which shall be in addition to others herein granted:

            (1) To develop, implement, and undertake programs of financing assistance, grants, and investment in order to fulfill the authorized purposes of this Chapter and to provide uniform programs of public finance for the projects and programs described in this Chapter.

            (2) To sue and be sued.

            (3) To adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws, orders, rules, and regulations in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act to govern the affairs and conduct of its business in order to effectuate the provisions of this Chapter.

            (4) To acquire, by purchase, lease, option, gift, grant, bequest, or devise, any property, real or personal, or any interest therein which it may deem necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Chapter.

            (5) To sell, convey, mortgage, lease, transfer, donate, option, exchange, or otherwise dispose of any property, either real or personal, or any interest therein, as the objects and purposes of the corporation may require to carry out the provisions of this Chapter, subject to such limitations as may be prescribed by law.

            (6)(a) To issue industrial revenue bonds of the corporation, not to exceed fifty million dollars annually and subject to approval by the State Bond Commission, payable from and secured by a pledge of assets of the corporation derived or to be derived by it from undertakings, including any loans, grants, or contribution of funds made or to be made to it by the federal government or by state or local governments in aid of any of its other activities or operations. The principal and interest on any bonds issued by the corporation shall be secured by a second mortgage or other instrument covering all or any part of any lands or all or any part of a development project, including any additions, improvements, extensions to, or enlargements of any development project thereafter made.

            (b) Bonds which are issued under this Section are declared to be issued for an essential public purpose and, together with all interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempt from all taxes.

            (7) To make, enter into, and execute all contracts, agreements, guarantees, and to give such security as the corporation determines may be required, with any person or agency, public or private, necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this Chapter.

            (8) To borrow money and to apply for and to receive and accept from any federal agency, the state, or any political subdivision of the state, or from any public or private source, any grants, loans, or advances for or in the aid of an economic development cooperative endeavor, project, or projects, and to give such security as may be required and to enter into and carry out a contract of agreements in connection therewith, provided that public notice is given prior to such action and such action has been approved by a simple majority of the board.

            (9) To invest funds in venture capital financing in the manner prescribed by this Chapter.

            (10) To invest any funds not required for immediate use or held in reserve in the manner prescribed by this Chapter.

            (11) To prepare and promulgate reasonable rules, regulations, and policies for applications for loans, credit instruments, and any and all other forms, rules, policies, regulations, or procedures necessary in order to carry out its functions.

            (12) To procure insurance against any losses in connection with its property in such amounts and from such insurers as may be necessary and desirable.

            (13) To make, participate in, or guarantee loans, either directly or in cooperation with banks or other lending agencies through agreements to participate on an immediate or deferred basis.

            (14) To adapt its programs in such manner as to make maximum use of new sources of leverage and federal and other programs, in the interest of expanding the small business sector in Louisiana and encouraging the existence of capital markets accessible to small businesses.

            E. In addition to those powers granted to the corporation by this Chapter, the corporation shall have the following powers:

            (1) To borrow money and to issue, from time to time, its bonds to pay the cost of the projects for which such bonds have been issued, including but not limited to the power to issue, from time to time, bonds to renew or to pay bonds, including the interest thereon. Whenever bonds can be refunded to obtain interest rates which are lower than the interest paid on existing bonds, the corporation shall have the power to refund any bonds by the issuance of new bonds, whether the bonds to be refunded have or have not matured, and to refund bonds partly to refund outstanding bonds. Refunding bonds may be sold and the proceeds applied to the purchase, redemption, or payment of the bonds to be refunded, or exchanged for the bonds to be refunded.

            (2) The corporation may undertake the financing of the cost of a project for an eligible small business from the proceeds of its bonds by one or more of the following methods:

            (a) Entering into a lease for the facilities of the eligible small business being financed.

            (b) Selling such facilities to the eligible small business under a sales contract.

            (c) Entering into such other transaction or transactions as the corporation deems appropriate to accomplish the purposes of this Chapter and the security of the bonds.

            (3) In addition to, and not as a limitation upon, the powers of the corporation to issue bonds as elsewhere conferred in this Chapter, the corporation shall also have the power to issue bonds, the proceeds of which, after payment of the costs of issuance thereof, will be used to carry out the purposes of this Section.

            (4) The corporation may create an insurance or guaranty fund which may be used for any of the following:

            (a) To insure the payment and repayment of all or any part of the principal of, redemptions or prepayment premiums or penalties on, and interest on its bonds.

            (b) To insure the payment or repayment of all or any part of the principal of, redemption or prepayment premiums or penalties on, and interest on any instrument executed, obtained, or delivered in connection with the issuance and sale of its bonds.

            (5)(a) The bonds shall be authorized by resolution of the corporation, shall bear such date or dates, and shall mature at such time or times as such resolution may provide, except that no bond shall mature more than thirty years from the date of issue.

            (b) The bonds shall bear interest at such rate or rates, be in such denominations, be in such form, carry such registration privileges, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, and be subject to such terms of redemption, including redemption prior to maturity, as such resolution may provide.

            (6) Such bonds may be sold by the corporation in such manner and from time to time at public or private sale, at such price or prices as may be determined by the corporation, and the corporation may pay all expenses and commissions that it may deem necessary or advantageous in connection with the issuance and sale thereof. Such bonds shall have all the qualities of negotiable instruments under the law merchant and the commercial laws of the state of Louisiana.

            (7) All bonds authorized to be issued by the corporation shall be submitted to and approved by the State Bond Commission prior to the issuance and delivery of said bonds.

            (8) The corporation shall have the power to contract with the holders of any of its bonds as to the custody, collection, securing, investment, and payment of any money of the corporation and of any money held in trust or otherwise for the payment of bonds and to carry out such contract. Money held in trust or otherwise for the payment of bonds or in any way to secure bonds and deposits of money of the corporation, and all banks and trust companies are authorized to give security for the deposits.

            (9) In the event that any of the members or officers of the corporation shall cease to be members or officers of the corporation prior to the delivery of any bonds signed by them, their signatures or facsimiles thereof shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such members or officers had remained in office until such delivery.

            (10) Subsequent amendments to this Chapter shall not limit the rights vested in the corporation with respect to any agreements made with, or remedies available to, the holders of bonds issued under this Chapter prior to enactment of the amendments until the bonds, together with all interest thereon, and all costs and expenses in connection with any proceeding by or on behalf of the holders, are fully met and discharged.

            (11) The corporation is hereby declared to be performing a public function and to be a public body corporate. Accordingly, the income, including any profit made on the sale thereof from all bonds issued by the company, shall at all times be exempt from all taxation by the state or any public subdivision thereof. If, after all indebtedness and other obligations of the company are discharged the corporation is dissolved, its remaining assets shall inure to the benefit of the state.

            (12)(a) The bonds issued by and under the authority of this Chapter by the corporation are declared to be legal instruments in which all public officers or public bodies of the state, its political subdivisions, all municipalities and municipal subdivisions, all insurance companies and associations, and other persons carrying on insurance business, all banks, bankers, banking associations, trust companies, savings associations, including savings and loan associations, building and loan associations, investment companies, and other persons carrying on banking business, all administrators, guardians, executors, trustees, and other fiduciaries, and all other persons who are now or may later be authorized to invest in bonds or in other obligations of the state, may invest funds, including capital, in their control or belonging to them.

            (b) Such bonds are also hereby made securities which may be deposited with and received by all public officers and bodies of the state or any agency or political subdivision of the state and all municipalities and public corporations for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or other obligations of the state is now or may be later authorized by law.

            F. Repealed by Acts 2010, No. 1034, §3.

            G. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person receiving any financial assistance or grant or participating in investment programs administered by the Department of Economic Development through the corporation shall be a citizen of the United States.

            Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 29, §3; Acts 1997, No. 225, §1; Acts 1997, No. 726, §1, eff. July 9, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 9, §9, eff. July 1, 2001; Acts 2003, No. 183, §8; Acts 2010, No. 1034, §3; Acts 2014, No. 811, §28, eff. June 23, 2014; Acts 2022, No. 476, §1, eff. June 15, 2022; Acts 2022, No. 477, §1, eff. June 15, 2022; Acts 2022, No. 508, §1, eff. June 15, 2022.