Read 1st time January 16, 2007 and copies ordered printed.





To amend chapter 26, RSMo, by adding thereto four new sections relating to urban revitalization.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 26, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto four new sections, to be known as sections 26.800, 26.802, 26.804, and 26.806, to read as follows:

            26.800. 1. There is hereby created within the office of the governor a "Revitalization and Reconstruction Commission". The governor may, by executive order, assign this commission to the office of any executive department or statewide elected official.

            2. The commission is established to promote the restoration, redevelopment, and revitalization of the urban resources of the state. The commission shall devise a comprehensive plan for alleviation of problems associated with distressed urban areas in this state. The plan shall cover a period of at least ten years after the publication of the plan, and shall address the needs as listed in subsection 2 of section 26.804. The commission shall have authority over state programs, as provided by law, which are designed to remedy blight and deterioration of urban areas, and to facilitate the revitalization of, and to reverse, declining property values in distressed urban areas.

            26.802. The commission shall consist of nine members, seven of whom shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, not more than four of whom shall be of the same political party. At least two appointed members of the commission shall be residents of the largest municipality in the state, at least two appointed members shall be residents of the second largest municipality in the state, and at least one member shall be a resident of the third largest municipality in the state. All appointed members shall have knowledge of and interest in the restoration, redevelopment, and revitalization of urban areas. The appointed members shall hold office for terms of six years beginning on the first day of July of consecutive odd years; provided, that for the original seven appointed members, the governor shall designate three members for terms expiring June 30, 2014, two members for terms expiring June 30, 2016, and two members for terms expiring June 30, 2018. If the governor fails to fill a vacancy caused by the death, resignation, or removal from office of any appointed member of the commission, or to replace an appointed member whose term has expired within thirty days of the occurrence of the vacancy or term expiration, the remaining members of the commission shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term or replace the member whose term has expired for a six-year term. In addition to the members of the commission appointed by the governor, the state treasurer and state auditor shall serve as members of the commission. The members shall receive no salary or other compensation for their services as members, but shall receive reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The members of the commission shall elect one of their members to serve as chair of the commission, and may elect other officers as deemed necessary.

            26.804. 1. The commission shall have the following powers and duties:

            (1) To accept, from any source, moneys and property paid, offered, or granted to the commission to be expended and used by the commission for the purposes specified in sections 26.800 to 26.806;

            (2) To designate specific distressed urban areas in the state in which the commission shall direct a program of concentrated revitalization based on an assessment of extraordinary need;

            (3) To develop a plan to effectuate such targeted concentrated revitalization in cooperation with federal, state, and local governments and agencies. Such plan may include the formation of nonprofit public development corporations or the activities of existing nonprofit corporations and entities, the redirection of existing programs and resources for the benefit of such areas, and proposals for the creation of new or expanded programs in such areas;

            (4) To acquire, through purchase, donation, gift, or eminent domain, land in distressed urban areas, to remove obsolete, inefficient, dilapidated, or outdated structures and assemble suitable sites for building and development of industrial, business, and residential facilities to attract and house new industries and business and allow expansion and improvement of existing industrial, business, and residential operations. The commission shall exercise the right of eminent domain in the manner provided by law for the highways and transportation commission, and may sell, lease, or otherwise transfer or convey, on terms it deems appropriate, any interest it has in lands owned by the commission;

            (5) To appoint an advisory commission from a distressed urban area, whose members shall include residents of the distressed urban area and representatives of business and industry in the distressed urban area. The advisory commission shall advise the commission regarding the creation of a program of concentrated revitalization for the distressed urban area based upon the commission's assessment of extraordinary need. The advisory commission may advise the commission concerning how the revitalization plan will be integrated with available community and governmental resources. The members of the advisory commission shall receive no compensation for their service as members of the advisory commission, but shall receive their necessary traveling and other expenses incurred while actually engaged in the discharge of their official duties;

            (6) To apply for and receive grants, gifts, donations, and financial assistance from federal agencies or private individuals or entities to complete its duties;

            (7) To provide relocation assistance, under sections 523.200 to 523.215, RSMo, to displaced persons who relocate permanently and voluntarily from real property as a direct result of the acquisition, rehabilitation, or demolition of, or the written notice of intent to acquire such real property, in whole or in part, by the commission;

            (8) To provide assistance to municipalities and community organizations engaging in the improvement of economic opportunities, housing, and industrial and commercial revitalization of urban areas;

            (9) To provide comprehensive information on existing federal, state, and local urban development and revitalization programs upon request to municipalities and community organizations;

            (10) To coordinate the programs of state agencies and public benefit nonprofit corporations to remedy problems in distressed urban areas;

            (11) To provide information and assistance to the governor and general assembly in the coordination, consolidation, and improvement of state policy regarding urban areas; and

            (12) To represent the governor before federal agencies on matters of importance to coordinate policy for the revitalization of urban areas.

            2. The plan adopted by the commission shall address the following needs in distressed urban areas of the state:

            (1) Promoting a vigorous and growing economy;

            (2) Preventing economic stagnation and encouraging of the creation of new job opportunities to ameliorate the hazards of unemployment and underemployment;

            (3) Reducing the level of public assistance;

            (4) Reducing the rate of crime and delinquency;

            (5) Increasing the level of education;

            (6) Reversing declining property values in urban areas;

            (7) Increasing revenues to the state and municipalities; and

            (8) Achieving a diversified economy.

            3. The comprehensive plan shall contain initial proposals for addressing revitalization of each identified distressed urban area and state a proposed time line for revitalization of each such area. The commission shall not be required to allocate resources in a particular geographic pattern or to all distressed urban areas simultaneously, and may concentrate all of its efforts in a particular distressed urban area or several distressed urban areas to the exclusion of other distressed urban areas until revitalization of such area is complete. The comprehensive plan shall be periodically updated by the commission, but the commission shall publish and operate under a current comprehensive plan prior to February 28, 2009.

            4. For purposes of this section, "distressed urban area" means that portion of a municipality or municipalities which, by reason of structural age, obsolescence, inadequate or outmoded design, or physical deterioration, has become an economic or social liability; that such conditions are conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, crime, or the inability to pay reasonable taxes; and that conservation, restoration, redevelopment, and revitalization are necessary to correct such conditions.

            5. The commission shall compile a full report of its findings for submission to the general assembly. The report shall be submitted not later than the fifteenth of January of each year in which the general assembly convenes in regular session. The commission shall also submit a report to the general assembly before undertaking any project, in which it identifies the nature and plan of the proposed project.

            26.806. 1. There is hereby created in the state treasury the "Revitalization and Reconstruction Fund", which shall consist of money collected under sections 26.800 to 26.806. Upon appropriation, money in the fund shall be used solely for the administration of sections 26.800 to 26.806. The state treasurer shall deposit to the credit of the fund all moneys which may be appropriated to it by the general assembly and also any gifts, contributions, grants, bequests, or other aid received from federal, private, or other sources.

            2. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 33.080, RSMo, to the contrary, any moneys remaining in the fund at the end of the biennium shall not revert to the credit of the general revenue fund.

            3. The state auditor shall periodically cause an audit to be made of the books, accounts, and records of the commission with respect to its receipts, disbursements, contracts, mortgages, leases, assignments, loans, and all other matters relating to its financial operations. Copies of the audit shall be furnished to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the president pro tem of the senate.