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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2012 03:24 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Next-Generation Infrastructure Technologies
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation (SB 1446 of last session) called the Technology Infrastructure Investment Act. This is part of the economic development and job creation package called PA Works Now.

Pennsylvania has billions of dollars of aging infrastructure in need of repair. Investing in infrastructure technology development and commercialization will help extend the life of our existing infrastructure, cut down on the exorbitant costs of monitoring our infrastructure and repairs to it in the future, and stimulate small and medium-sized companies at the forefront of evolving technologies.

My proposal would transfer $8 million in each of the next three fiscal years from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) for investments in Pennsylvania-related companies for the development of next-generation infrastructure technology. Some examples of these types of technologies include traffic monitoring and flow control technologies, sensor technologies that detect loads, stress, and cracks in our transportation and other infrastructure systems, as well as wastewater and hazardous waste treatment technologies and power grid monitoring software and hardware.

The funding would be distributed equally between each of the four Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) in Pennsylvania. The guidelines for businesses applying for funding through the BFTPs would be developed by the Board of Directors of the BFTDA and would ensure that minority-owned, women-owned and other disadvantaged businesses have opportunities to participate in the funding. Administrative costs may not exceed 1% of funding transferred to the BFTPs and an annual report must be provided by BFTDA each year.

Former co-sponsors include Senators Boscola, Costa, Fontana, Hughes and Stack.

Introduced as SB213