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IMA Executive News & Views Blog

Hultgren Reintroduces Legislation to Modernize Manufacturing Bonds to Bolster Expansion of Illinois Industry

Washington, DC U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) along with Reps. Richard Neal (D-MA-01) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) reintroduced a bipartisan bill to modernize the financial tools used by manufacturers in Illinois and nationwide. The Modernizing American Manufacturing Bonds Act (MAMBA) of 2017, H.R. 1115, which updates the three-decades-old rules governing manufacturing bonds, is supported by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) and 14th District manufacturers. These changes will help struggling manufacturers expand their businesses, invest in new equipment and, most importantly, hire more workers.

“Illinois’ manufacturers are ready for the challenge of increasing engagement in our global and technology-based economy. Unfortunately, decades-old policies governing a key tool that manufacturers use to expand operations no longer address today’s challenges, needlessly impeding growth and job creation in the Illinois manufacturing sector,” said Rep. Hultgren. “MAMBA is a bipartisan bill that sensibly reforms these outdated rules without raising taxes. I am pleased Rep. Neal, Rep. Renacci and my colleagues in the Senate and I can work together on these reforms, and I look forward to getting this bill signed into law.”

Ten percent of all Illinois workers are involved in manufacturing and 12.4 percent of Illinois’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is attributable to manufacturing, making up the largest share of Illinois GDP. Manufacturing facilities employ more than 27,000 workers across the 14th Congressional District.

“It’s vitally important that Congress does all it can to support the American manufacturing industry. The Modernizing American Manufacturing Bonds Act is a commonsense, bipartisan proposal that will ensure struggling manufacturers in New England and across the country have access to the resources and capital they need to invest in their businesses and hire more workers in their local communities,” said Rep. Richard Neal. “We know that when American manufacturing succeeds, the middle class succeeds. This legislation is an important step toward ensuring that we have a strong and robust manufacturing sector that continues to make products right here in America with American workers.”

“Now more than ever, America needs to preserve and expand our small and mid-sized manufacturing companies which retain and create jobs as well as strengthen our communities,” said Eric Anderberg, Vice President of Dial Machine in Rockford and volunteer board member of the Illinois Finance Authority, the state’s largest issuer of federally tax-exempt conduit bonds, which includes traditional industrial development bonds. “I know first-hand the power of industrial development bonds, a proven private-public tool to encourage capital investment, create jobs and increase the competitiveness of American manufacturers. But I also know that few of us wear the same clothes, have the same haircuts or drive the same cars as we did in 1986. Sadly, federal law regarding industrial development bonds remains stuck in 1986 and has not kept up with the needs of 21st century American manufacturing. I support U.S. Representative Hultgren in his bipartisan effort with Rep. Richard Neal to enact the Modernizing American Manufacturing Act (MAMBA) into federal law. MAMBA will give small and mid-sized American manufacturers a capital financing tool to create jobs and compete in 2017, not 1986.”

“On behalf of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and our thousands of member companies across our State, I applaud Congressman Randy Hultgren and Congressman Richard Neal for introducing the Modernizing American Manufacturing Bonds Act,” said Mark Denzler, Vice President and COO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “Industrial revenue bonds provide low-cost and efficient access to capital for small and mid-sized manufacturing companies but this important job creation tool has not been updated in nearly 30 years. The Modernizing American Manufacturing Bonds Act will help bring good jobs back to America’s shores and help expand today’s manufacturing renaissance in Illinois and across the country.”

H.R. 1115 expands the number of eligible projects using Qualified Small Issue Manufacturing Bonds, more commonly known as Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs) or manufacturing bonds, to better reflect today’s manufacturing sector:

  • Expands the definition of manufacturing facilities to include those that manufacture, process or produce intangible property like software, patents and similar intellectual property, giving the high-tech manufacturing sector access to manufacturing bonds.
  • Removes the “functionally related and subordinate facility” restriction, reducing the complexity involved in financing projects and letting manufacturers better develop projects that align the company with modern business practices and higher quality of life.
  • Increases the manufacturing bond size limitation from $10 million to $30 million, allowing businesses to finance the larger projects of the 21st century.
  • Increases manufacturing bonds’ 6-year capital expenditure limitation from $20 million to $40 million, helping manufacturers better plan for long-term expansion.