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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 1015



No. 876 Session of 2001

           MAY 17, 2001


                                     AN ACT

     1  Creating the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority;
     2     defining its powers and duties; establishing a fund; and
     3     making a repeal.

     4     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     5  hereby enacts as follows:
     6  Section 1.  Short title.
     7     This act shall be known and may be cited as The Ben Franklin
     8  Technology Development Authority Act.
     9  Section 2.  Definitions.
    10     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    11  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    12  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    13     "Authority."  The Ben Franklin Technology Development
    14  Authority.
    15     "Ben Franklin Technology Partner" or "partner."  A nonprofit
    16  corporation certified in accordance with this act.
    17     "Board."  The Board of Directors of the Ben Franklin
    18  Technology Development Authority.

     1     "Department."  The Department of Community and Economic
     2  Development of the Commonwealth.
     3     "Private sector funds."  Monetary or in-kind support from
     4  private businesses, corporations, individuals, trade
     5  associations, foundations, federally and locally supported grant
     6  programs and other non-Commonwealth sources. The term includes
     7  machinery and equipment and other forms of tangible assets
     8  approved by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.
     9     "Secretary."  The Secretary of Community and Economic
    10  Development of the Commonwealth.
    11  Section 3.  Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.
    12     (a)  Creation.--There is hereby created a public authority
    13  and instrumentality of the Commonwealth known as the Ben
    14  Franklin Technology Development Authority. The authority shall
    15  be a body corporate and politic and exercise the powers of the
    16  Commonwealth as an agency of the Commonwealth.
    17     (b)  Management.--The powers of the authority shall be
    18  exercised by the board.
    19     (c)  Staffing.--The department shall provide staff services
    20  to the authority. The department may, with the approval of the
    21  Governor, contract with consultants or other entities to augment
    22  these services as needed. No more than 3% of funds annually
    23  appropriated to the authority shall be used to pay
    24  administrative costs, expenses and fees associated with the
    25  operations of the authority.
    26     (d)  Powers.--The authority, through action of the board,
    27  shall have all of the following powers:
    28         (1)  To adopt bylaws, guidelines and regulations as it
    29     deems necessary.
    30         (2)  To contract and to execute instruments necessary or
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     1     convenient for the carrying on of its business.
     2         (3)  To appoint committees and subcommittees as are
     3     needed.
     4         (4)  To sue and be sued, complain and defend in court.
     5         (5)  To accept funds from all available sources.
     6     (e)  Duties.--The authority shall encourage and coordinate
     7  programs and investments which advance the competitiveness of
     8  Commonwealth companies in the global economy. The authority
     9  shall:
    10         (1)  Develop policies and implement programs which
    11     promote an entrepreneurial business environment, advances
    12     technologies and a technology-ready work force.
    13         (2)  Select and certify four regional nonprofit
    14     corporations as partners.
    15         (3)  Coordinate funding for the programs, initiatives and
    16     actions of the authority and the partners.
    17         (4)  Award grants and other forms of financial incentives
    18     to companies, economic development agencies, educational
    19     institutions, government agencies or other entities for
    20     research activities related to economic development at
    21     academic and research institutions and community-based and
    22     economic development technology initiatives.
    23         (5)  Establish a revolving loan fund for the purpose of
    24     making financing available to technology companies.
    25         (6)  Invest in companies, economic development agencies,
    26     educational institutions, government agencies or other
    27     entities as necessary to carry out the authority's
    28     activities.
    29         (7)  Assist efforts to identify and pursue funding
    30     opportunities from the Federal Government and other sources.
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     1         (8)  Establish and require audits, disclosures and other
     2     review procedures for all activities funded by the authority.
     3  Section 4.  Board.
     4     (a)  Members.--The authority shall be governed by a board
     5  consisting of 21 members. The following individuals shall be
     6  members of the board:
     7         (1)  The Governor.
     8         (2)  The Secretary of Community and Economic Development.
     9         (3)  The Secretary of Education.
    10         (4)  The Secretary of Administration.
    11         (5)  Seven representatives from the technology business
    12     sector to be appointed by the Governor, four of whom shall be
    13     selected from the current members of the regional partners'
    14     boards of directors, and at least one from the private
    15     capital community.
    16         (6)  One representative from the Pennsylvania Economic
    17     Development Association to be appointed by the Governor.
    18         (7)  One representative from the local government sector
    19     to be appointed by the Governor.
    20         (8)  One representative from the community development
    21     sector to be appointed by the Governor.
    22         (9)  Three representatives from the education sector to
    23     be appointed by the Governor.
    24         (10)  Four members of the General Assembly appointed as
    25     follows:
    26             (i)  One member appointed by the President pro
    27         tempore of the Senate.
    28             (ii)  One member appointed by the Minority Leader of
    29         the Senate.
    30             (iii)  One member appointed by the Speaker of the
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     1         House of Representatives.
     2             (iv)  One member appointed by the Minority Leader of
     3         the House of Representatives.
     4     (b)  Terms.--
     5         (1)  The Governor, the secretary, the Secretary of
     6     Education and the Secretary of Administration shall serve for
     7     as long as they hold their respective positions.
     8         (2)  Those remaining members of the authority initially
     9     appointed by the Governor shall serve for the following term
    10     of years:
    11             (i)  Four representatives from the private sector and
    12         two representatives from the education sector shall serve
    13         terms of four years.
    14             (ii)  Three representatives from the private sector,
    15         one representative from the education sector, the
    16         representative from the Pennsylvania Economic Development
    17         Association, the representative from the local government
    18         sector and the representative from the community
    19         development sector shall serve for terms of two years.
    20         (3)  All of the respective successors appointed under
    21     subsection (a)(5), (6), (7), (8) and (9) shall serve for
    22     terms of four years or until their respective successors
    23     shall be duly appointed by the Governor. Any members
    24     appointed to fill a vacancy created otherwise than by
    25     expiration of term shall be appointed for the unexpired term
    26     of the member whom he or she is to succeed.
    27         (4)  The members of the General Assembly shall serve
    28     terms of two years, such terms to run concurrently with the
    29     term of the legislative session.
    30     (c)  Designees.--A public officer of the board may designate
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     1  an officer or employee of the Commonwealth to represent him or
     2  her at meetings of the board. A designee may lawfully vote and
     3  otherwise act on behalf of the member of the board. The
     4  designation shall be in writing, delivered to the authority and
     5  continue in effect until revoked or amended in writing.
     6     (d)  Compensation.--The members of the board shall receive no
     7  compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for
     8  their expenses actually incurred in the performance of their
     9  official duties under this act.
    10     (e)  Organization.--The secretary shall be the chairman and
    11  chief executive officer of the board. The chairman may designate
    12  an officer or employee of the department to chair board meetings
    13  in his absence. The board shall elect a secretary and treasurer
    14  from its members at the first meeting of each calendar year.
    15     (f)  Quorum.--A majority of the members of the board shall
    16  constitute a quorum of the board for the purpose of organizing
    17  the authority and conducting the business. Only members or their
    18  designees who are physically present at a meeting or able to
    19  participate fully in the deliberations by appropriate
    20  telecommunications means shall count toward a quorum of the
    21  board. Action shall be taken by a vote of a majority of the
    22  members present and voting unless otherwise specified in this
    23  act.
    24     (g)  Committees.--The board may appoint committees to advise
    25  and assist its work. A committee may not certify a partner or
    26  award a grant. Committees of the board shall be appointed by the
    27  chairman and may consist of board members and nonmembers.
    28  Section 5.  Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
    29     The Ben Franklin Technology Partners shall be independent
    30  nonprofit institutions, working individually and in partnership
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     1  with each other, to advance the development of new technologies
     2  in this Commonwealth. The partners will be overseen by regional
     3  boards of directors comprised of economic development,
     4  university or nonprofit research institutions and private
     5  industry representatives, with at least 50% representation from
     6  private industry. The activities of the partners may include,
     7  but not be limited to, the following:
     8         (1)  Serve as the Commonwealth's key regional partners in
     9     identifying, developing, adapting and implementing advanced
    10     technologies to enable the growth and competitiveness of
    11     existing and emerging companies through technology
    12     development, commercialization and implementation.
    13         (2)  Act as regional facilitators and managers for
    14     interactions, programs and initiatives by and among the
    15     authority, technology enterprises, economic development
    16     organizations, corporate community, academic/research
    17     institutions, government, organized labor and other interests
    18     working collaboratively to advance the development of a
    19     technology-based economy across this Commonwealth.
    20         (3)  Directly provide, and serve as the conduit to, seed
    21     and later stage capital for existing and emerging companies
    22     involved in the development and commercialization of
    23     technologically advanced products and processes.
    24         (4)  Develop, provide or support business incubation
    25     resources and space and facilitate the development of
    26     technology business campuses.
    27         (5)  Establish and administer a research grant fund for
    28     the economic impact assessments of university-based
    29     technology development projects seeking funding through the
    30     authority.
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     1         (6)  Establish partnerships to support and enhance the
     2     scale, scope and impact of initiatives that support the
     3     purpose and mission of the authority and the partners.
     4  Section 6.  Certification.
     5     A nonprofit corporation may submit an application for
     6  certification as a partner to the authority. After a review of
     7  the applications, the authority shall select and certify four
     8  regional nonprofit corporations as partners. The authority shall
     9  select one partner from each of the four regions of this
    10  Commonwealth meeting its criteria and the requirements of
    11  section 5. The authority shall modify or revoke a partner's
    12  certification consistent with the regulations, policies and
    13  guidelines of the authority. The authority may change the number
    14  of regions or change the minimum service boundary within a given
    15  region with a two-thirds majority vote of the board. A partner
    16  in existence and in receipt of funds from the department as of
    17  the effective date of this act is hereby deemed certified as a
    18  partner.
    19  Section 7.  Grants to partners.
    20     (a)  Awards.--A partner may apply for a grant by submitting
    21  an application to the authority. After review and approval of
    22  the application, the authority shall sign a grant agreement with
    23  the partner and award a grant. The grant agreement shall permit
    24  the partner to award grants and other forms of financial
    25  assistance to entities only if matched by private sector funds
    26  on a minimum basis to be established by the authority.
    27     (b)  Implementation.--Upon receipt of a grant pursuant to
    28  this section, a partner shall implement the terms of the grant.
    29  Failure to comply with the terms of the grant agreement shall
    30  result in forfeiture of the grant.
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     1  Section 8.  Reporting.
     2     A partner shall annually submit the following information to
     3  the authority:
     4         (1)  The partner's current mailing address and telephone
     5     number.
     6         (2)  A copy of the partner's current articles of
     7     incorporation and bylaws.
     8         (3)  A list of the partner's current officers and
     9     directors.
    10         (4)  An independent audit covering all funds received
    11     from the Commonwealth.
    12         (5)  Upon request, an independent audit covering all
    13     funds received and partner activities supported by non-
    14     Commonwealth sources.
    15         (6)  Such other information as the authority may require.
    16  Section 9.  Records.
    17     Upon request, a partner shall permit authorized employees or
    18  agents of the authority to inspect its books and records during
    19  regular business hours.
    20  Section 10.  Fund established.
    21     There is hereby established in the State Treasury a special
    22  fund to be known as the Ben Franklin Technology Development
    23  Authority Fund into which shall be deposited any State
    24  appropriations to the authority, to the partners, to technology
    25  and research activities assigned to the authority, any other
    26  State appropriations for a purpose related to this act, Federal
    27  funds, royalties, gifts, grants, bequests, devises, private
    28  funds and funds from any other source which are designated to
    29  the authority. Funds appropriated by the General Assembly,
    30  including Federal funds, which are earmarked for a specific
    20010S0876B1015                  - 9 -

     1  program or purpose, including the Ben Franklin Technology
     2  Partners and university research efforts, shall be allocated
     3  directly to that program or purpose. Moneys in the fund are
     4  hereby appropriated to the authority, upon approval of the
     5  Governor, to carry out the purposes of this act.
     6  Section 11.  Transfers.
     7     All allocations, appropriations, equipment, files, records,
     8  contracts, agreements, obligations and other materials of the
     9  board of the Ben Franklin/IRC Partnership Fund under the act of
    10  July 2, 1993 (P.L.439, No.64), known as the Ben Franklin/IRC
    11  Partnership Act, as they pertain to the Ben Franklin Technology
    12  Centers are hereby transferred to the authority with the same
    13  force and effect as if the allocation and appropriations have
    14  been made to and the items had been the property of the
    15  authority in the first instance and as if the contracts,
    16  agreements and obligations had been incurred or entered into by
    17  the authority. The Pennsylvania Technology Investment Authority
    18  revolving loan account in the department is hereby transferred
    19  to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority Fund and
    20  may be established as a revolving loan fund by the authority.
    21  Section 12.  Regulations.
    22     The authority shall develop policies and guidelines and
    23  promulgate regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions
    24  of this act.
    25  Section 13.  Repeal.
    26     As much of the act of July 2, 1993 (P.L.439, No.64), known as
    27  the Ben Franklin/IRC Partnership Act, as refers to the Ben
    28  Franklin technology centers is repealed.
    29  Section 14.  Effective date.
    30     This act shall take effect July 1, 2001, or immediately,
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     1  whichever is later.

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