Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 29 of chapter 23A of the General Laws as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the seventh paragraph the following paragraph:-
Provision for new, additional and alternative means of financing for public bodies and businesses in the commonwealth will increase the efficiency and economy by which funds can be generated for the important public purposes of encouraging economic growth and stability and insuring employment in the commonwealth and furthering the public purposes of public bodies to be assisted by this act. Among the advantages will be improved access to international as well as domestic capital markets by enabling the agency, among its other purposes, to borrow funds on a non-tax-exempt basis for public purposes including the financing of economic development projects in the commonwealth.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 23A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out section 30 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 30. (a) The following words as used in sections twenty-nine to thirty-eight, inclusive, shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the meanings set forth in section one of chapter forty D: "Authority", "Construction", "Cost of the project" and "Costs", "Current expenses", "Federal agency", "Governing body", "Improvement", "Industrial occupant", "Lease", "Lessee", "Rental", "Municipality", "Pollution control facilities", "Solid waste disposal facilities", "Liquid waste disposal facilities", "Waste disposal facilities", "Trust agreement".
The words "Industrial enterprise" as used in sections twenty-nine to thirty-eight, inclusive, shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the same meaning as set forth in section one of chapter forty D, except that the next to the last sentence of paragraph (1) of said section one shall not apply to the agency.
The words "Industrial development facilities" or "facilities" as used in sections twenty-nine to thirty-eight, inclusive, shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the meaning set forth in section one of chapter forty D, except that as used in section thirty-four of this chapter said terms shall have the meaning set forth in said section thirty-four.
(b) The following words as used in sections twenty-nine to thirty-eight, inclusive, and in any sections of chapter forty D applicable to the agency shall have the following meanings unless the context requires otherwise:
"Agency", the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency (MIFA) established pursuant to section thirty-one.
"Board", the board of directors of the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency.
"Bonds", when used in reference to the agency, any bonds, notes, debentures, interim certificates, or other financial undertakings for the purpose of raising capital, including, but not limited to, lines of credit, forward purchase agreements, investment agreements and other banking or financial arrangements, issued by or entered into by the agency pursuant to section thirty-five. "Bonds", when used in reference to a public body, any bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued by such public body pursuant to any provision of general or special law heretofore or hereafter enacted authorizing the public body to incur debt.
"Economic development project", a project providing public benefits through the establishment, expansion, securing, financing or operating of an industrial, recreational, research and development, commercial or service enterprise or facility, or any parts or combinations thereof, located within or partially within the commonwealth and including, but not limited to, all facilities necessary or desirable in connection therewith or incidental thereto, including provision for working capital.
"Financing document", an instrument entered into by the agency with one or more other persons pertaining to the issue or securing of bonds or the application to the purposes of the agency of proceeds of bonds or other funds of the agency. A financing document may include, but need not be limited to, a lease, installment sale agreement, conditional sale agreement, mortgage, loan agreement, trust agreement, security agreement, letter of credit, reimbursement agreement, or currency or interest rate swap agreement. A financing document may also be an agreement between the agency and a lending institution which has agreed to make a loan to a user to finance a project.
"Industrial Mortgage Insurance Fund", the fund established pursuant to section thirty-three.
"Lending Institution", any bank or trust company; Federal National Mortgage Association; approved mortgage banker; savings bank; credit union; national banking association; insurance company; financial institution or governmental agency approved by the agency to participate in the financing of a project.
"Loan", shall include, but not be limited to, industrial mortgage loans, and may include bonds issued under the provisions of section thirty-five and under chapter forty D.
"Person", any natural or corporate person, including bodies politic and corporate, public departments, offices, agencies, authorities and political subdivisions of the commonwealth, corporations, trusts, societies, associations, and partnerships and subordinate instrumentalities of any one or more political subdivisions of the commonwealth.
"Primary employment", work which pays at least one and one-half times the minimum wage, as defined in chapter one hundred fifty-one or as established by federal law, whichever is higher, offers adequate fringe benefits including health insurance, and is not seasonal or part-time.
"Project", shall have the meaning set forth in section one of chapter forty D and, when used in reference to a financing pursuant to paragraph (b) of section thirty-five at this chapter, shall also include any economic development project, and, when used in reference to a financing pursuant to paragraph (c) of said section thirty-five, shall also include any activity for which a public body is authorized to expend funds.
"Public body", the commonwealth, and any body politic and corporate of the commonwealth, including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof, which is empowered to issue bonds secured by a pledge of revenues or other special funds, but not including any municipality or district for which the issuance of debt is governed or limited by the provisions of chapter forty-four of the General Laws.
"Revenues", any receipts, fees, rentals or other payments or income received or to be received on account of obligations to the agency under a financing document, including, without limitation, income on account of the leasing, mortgaging, sale or other disposition of a project or proceeds of a loan made by the agency in connection with any project, and also including amounts in reserves or held in other funds or accounts established in connection with the issuance of bonds and the proceeds of any investments thereof, proceeds of foreclosure and any other fees, charges or other income received or receivable by the agency other than the industrial mortgage insurance fund established pursuant to section thirty-three with respect to a project or the financing thereof.
"Sponsor", any person endeavoring to secure the assistance of the agency or of a local authority in financing a project.
"User", one or more persons, other than a public body, a municipality, a public district or a lending institution, acting as lessee, purchaser, mortgagor or borrower who has obtained or is seeking to obtain financing for a project, either from the agency or from a lending institution which has obtained or is seeking to obtain funds from the agency to finance a project and may include a party who transfers the right of use and occupancy to another party by lease, sublease or otherwise.
SECTION 3. Clause (b) of section 31 of said chapter 23A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:-
(b) The agency shall be governed and its corporate powers exercised by a board of directors, which shall consist of the secretary of administration and finance, the secretary of manpower affairs, the commissioner of commerce and labor, or their designees and six other members to be appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be experienced in real estate development, one of whom shall be experienced in industrial mortgage credit or in commercial credit, one shall be experienced in banking or investment banking, one of whom shall be experienced in business management, one of whom shall be a representative of organized labor.
SECTION 4. Said chapter 23A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out section 32 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
The agency shall have all powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate its purposes, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the powers:
(a) to adopt and amend bylaws, regulations and procedures for the governance of its affairs and the conduct of its business;
(b) to adopt an official seal;
(c) to sue and be sued, to prosecute and defend actions relating to its properties and affairs, and to be liable in tort in the same manner as a private person, provided, however, that the agency is not authorized to become a debtor under the United States Bankruptcy Code;
(d) to appoint officers and employees and to engage consultants, agents and advisors;
(e) to enter into contracts and agreements and execute all instruments necessary or convenient thereto for accomplishing the purposes of sections twenty-nine to thirty-eight inclusive; such contracts and agreements may include, without limiting the foregoing, construction agreements, purchase or acquisition agreements, loan or lease agreements including agreements conditioned upon the subleasing of the demised premises, partnership agreements including limited partnership agreements, joint ventures, participation agreements or loan agreements with leasing corporations or other financial institutions or intermediaries, and agreements with one or more persons for the servicing of loans made by the agency including the receipt by such servicer of payments made by a user under a financing document. Any such payments shall constitute trust funds to be held and applied solely as provided in such agreement for the servicing of loans, shall constitute pledged funds of the agency and shall be entitled to the same protection when received by a person for the servicing of loans, without the need for filing and recording of the servicing agreement under the provisions of chapter one hundred and six or otherwise except in the records of the agency, as is afforded to funds received by an issuer and pledged to a trustee under section fourteen of chapter forty D.
(f) to acquire personal property, or any interest therein, on either a temporary or long term basis in the name of the agency and to acquire real property on a temporary basis, by gift, purchase, transfer, foreclosure, lease or otherwise including rights or easements; to hold, sell, assign, lease, encumber, mortgage or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property, or any interest therein, or mortgage any interest owned by it or under its control, custody or in its possession; to release or relinquish any right, title, claim, lien, interest, easement or demand however acquired, including any equity or right of redemption in property foreclosed by it; to take assignments of leases and rentals, proceed with foreclosure actions, or take any other actions necessary or incidental to the performance of its corporate purposes;
(g) to invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds, or in the Industrial Mortgage Insurance Fund, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in such investments as may be provided in any financing document relating to the use of such funds, or, if not so provided, as the board may determine;
(h) to appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments or other agencies of municipal, state or federal government;
(i) to obtain insurance;
(j) to apply for and accept subventions, grants, loans, advances and contributions from any source of money, property, labor or other things of value, to be held, used and applied for its corporate purposes;
(k) to borrow money, issue bonds and apply the proceeds thereof as provided in section thirty-five of this chapter, in order to implement the purposes of this chapter and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to augment the means of securing financing authorized by law for or otherwise available to public bodies and other users;
(l) to lend money to and to acquire or hold obligations issued by public bodies or other users at such prices and in such manner as the agency shall deem advisable and sell such bonds acquired or held by it at prices without relation to cost and in such manner as the agency shall deem advisable and to secure its own issues of bonds with such obligations held by it, all as provided in section thirty-five;
(m) to administer federally-insured pollution control loan guaranty programs;
(n) to plan, acquire or lease on a temporary basis facilities and to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration or repair of any facility or part thereof;
(o) to provide and pay for such advisory services and technical assistance as may be necessary or desired to carry out the purposes of sections twenty-nine to thirty-eight, inclusive;
(p) to establish and collect such fees and charges as the agency without appropriation shall determine to be reasonable; and to receive and apply revenues from fees and charges to the purposes of the agency or allotment by the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof;
(q) to make loans to any person for the acquisition, construction, alteration, or any combination thereof, or other financing of a project, including but not limited to loans to lending institutions under terms and conditions requiring the proceeds of such loans to be used by such lending institutions for the making of loans to users for qualified projects;
(r) to give assistance to local authorities, public bodies and sponsors through the providing of information, guidelines and suggested forms and procedures for implementing their financing programs;
(s) to prepare, publish and distribute, with or without charge, as the agency may determine, such studies, reports and bulletins and other material as the agency deems appropriate;
(t) to exercise any other powers of a corporation organized under chapter one hundred and fifty-six B; and
(u) to do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out its purposes and exercise the powers expressly granted in sections twenty-nine to thirty-eight, inclusive; provided, however, that nothing in this act or the General Laws shall be construed to authorize the agency to engage directly in the business of a manufacturing, industrial, real estate development or non-governmental service enterprise.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the agency shall not be authorized or empowered:
(i) to emit bills of credit or accept deposits of money for time or demand deposit, to administer trusts, to engage in any form or manner in, or in the conduct of, any private or commercial banking business, or to act as a savings bank or savings and loan association;
(ii) to be or to constitute a bank or trust company within the jurisdiction or under the control of the department of banking and insurance of the commonwealth, or the commissioner thereof, the comptroller of the currency of the United States of America or the treasury department thereof; or
(iii) to be or constitute a bank, banker or dealer in securities within the meaning of, or subject to the provisions of, any securities, securities exchange or securities dealers' law of the United States of America or the commonwealth.
SECTION 5. Said chapter 23A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out section 35 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
(a) The agency may finance industrial development facilities and pollution control facilities and waste disposal facilities and exercise the powers of an industrial development financing authority under the provisions of chapter forty D throughout the commonwealth and may issue bonds under this paragraph (a) in furtherance of these purposes in the same manner provided by said chapter for local authorities. For this purpose the provisions of said chapter relating to local authorities and to municipalities acting by and through them and to their bonds shall apply to the agency and its bonds except that the following provisions of chapter forty D shall not apply to the agency: sections two, three, four, five, six, the third paragraph of section eight, the fourth paragraph of section ten, section twelve, except the findings required to be made under subsection (2), the sixth to eleventh sentences, inclusive, of section eighteen, section nineteen and paragraphs (a) to (e), inclusive, of section twenty-one and the power of the agency in this section thirty-five shall be exercised notwithstanding the provisions of clause (ii) of section eight, sections nine, ten, thirteen and fourteen of chapter forty D.
With respect to bonds issued for the foregoing purposes under this paragraph (a), the agency shall make the findings required to be made by the finance board in chapter forty D, except that in the case of bond anticipation financing no findings shall be required concerning a trust agreement as specified in clauses (d) and (h) of subsection (2) of section twelve of said chapter forty D. The agency may issue bonds under this paragraph (a) to finance the improvement of any building or buildings for mixed commercial and residential use only if the agency and the governing body of the municipality in which the project is located find, after a public hearing held not less than ten days after publication of notice thereof in a newspaper of general circulation in such municipality, with respect to the portion of the project to be used for housing, that such portion is located in, or is needed to prevent the area in which it is located from becoming, a substandard, decadent or blighted open area, as defined in section one of chapter one hundred and twenty-one A; that the area will not by private enterprise alone and without either governmental subsidy or the exercise of governmental powers be developed or revitalized in such a manner as will prevent, arrest or alleviate the spread of blight or decay; and that such portion of the project is consistent with the sound needs of the municipality as a whole.
The agency shall inform sponsors of projects in appropriate cases of available federal programs to guarantee or otherwise assist in financing certain types of activities and shall assist sponsors in such cases in implementing such programs through commercial and investment bankers. When the agency receives an inquiry from a potential sponsor of a project for financing under this paragraph (a), it shall promptly notify in writing (i) the industrial development financing authority if such an authority exists in the city or town where such project is proposed to be financed; or (ii) the mayor or board of selectmen in said city or town where no such authority exists. In the case of a city or town having an industrial development financing authority the agency shall provide such authority with all practicable assistance in completing the said project promptly. If, however, the board of the agency shall find that such local authority has not acted in a timely fashion in processing the application of the project's sponsor or other aspects of the project without reasonable grounds for such delay, the agency may undertake the financing of the project directly with the sponsor without the intervention of the local authority. At any time a city or town may require the agency to assume the role of an authority in financing a project under this paragraph (a). If a city or town having an industrial development finance authority has rejected, in a timely fashion, a proposed project for financing by such authority under chapter forty D, it shall notify the agency of that rejection, and the agency shall not undertake that project in the city or town.
(b) The agency may lend money to one or more users to finance economic development projects as an alternative to its authority under paragraph (a) of this section, and as an incident to any such loan the agency may enter into financing documents and may acquire and hold any duly authorized payment obligations of such users. The agency may issue its bonds for financing such loans, provided that no bonds issued by the agency under the authority of this paragraph (b) shall be accompanied by a certificate or legal opinion to the effect that interest on the bonds is excludable from gross income of the recipients for federal income tax purposes. No financing shall be provided by the agency under this paragraph (b) for any project for the use of a non-profit entity or for housing if such financing may be provided by the agency through the intermediacy of another public body pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, and no financing shall be made by the agency for the purposes of this paragraph (b) unless the agency shall first have determined that:
(i) the user is a responsible party;
(ii) the financing of the project is reasonably expected to stimulate economic growth or stability within the commonwealth and will, as a result, confer a definite benefit on the citizens of the commonwealth, and any private benefit which may be derived from the project will not be so disproportionate as to override the public purpose of stimulating or stabilizing the economy of the commonwealth;
(iii) the project will provide employment, or security against loss of employment, having a reasonable relationship to the principal amount of the agency's loan therefor;
(iv) the agency's bonds and any financing document contain reasonable provisions and comply with the provisions of this chapter;
(v) payments to be made under applicable financing documents are adequate to pay the current expenses of the agency in connection with the project and to make payments on the bonds; and
(vi) the sponsor of the project does not do business in the Union of South Africa;
(vii) the sponsor of the project does not do business in Northern Ireland absent compliance with the McBride Principles.
(c) The agency may lend money to one or more public bodies in order to assist said public bodies in carrying out their corporate purposes and as an incident to any such loan the agency may acquire and hold the bonds, notes or other duly authorized payment obligations of said public bodies. The agency may issue bonds for the purpose of financing such lending; provided, however, that no bonds issued by the agency for these purposes shall be accompanied by a certificate or legal opinion to the effect that interest on the bonds is excludable from gross income of the recipients for federal income tax purposes. In financing documents pertaining to such lending, the agency may require the public body to pay any fixed annual charges and any fees and expenses charged by the agency for its services rendered in connection with the acquisition by the agency of such obligation. Upon the issue to the agency of any obligations of a public body for purposes of this section, the public body issuing such obligations shall be deemed to have agreed that, in the event of the failure of such public body to pay the interest and premium, if any, on, and principal of, such obligations, and notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the agency may thereupon avail itself of all remedies, rights and provisions of law applicable in such circumstances, and no delay or failure to exercise any such rights and remedies on the part of the agency may be raised as a defense by such public body.
No loan shall be made by the agency for the purposes of this paragraph (c) unless the agency shall have first received assurance satisfactory to the agency that the payment obligations of the public body to be acquired by the agency in connection with such loan are valid and binding obligations of the public body enforceable in accordance with their terms; provided, however, that the provisions of this act shall not be construed to expend the power or purpose of any public body except MIFA.
(d) The agency shall provide for issuance of its bonds from time to time by resolution of the board of directors. An issue of bonds of the agency may combine more than one of the agency's authorized purposes for borrowing money. Bonds issued by the agency may be issued as general obligations of the agency or as special obligations payable solely from particular revenues or funds as may be provided for in any financing document pertaining thereto. Bonds of each issue may be dated, may bear interest at such rate or rates, including rates variable from time to time, may be payable in any domestic or foreign currency and at any domestic or foreign location, and may mature or otherwise be payable at such time or times, as may be provided for by the agency, and may be made redeemable or determinable before maturity at the option of the agency or the holder thereof at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the agency. The agency shall determine the form of bonds, including interest coupons, if any, to be attached thereto, and the manner of execution of such bonds, and shall fix the denomination or denominations of such bonds and the place or places of payment of principal, redemption premium, if any, and interest thereon. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery thereof, such signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes as if such officer had remained in office until delivery. The agency may provide for authentication of bonds by a trustee, fiscal agent, registrar or transfer agent. Bonds may be issued in bearer on in registered form, or both, and, if notes, may be made payable to bearer or to order, as the agency may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, for the reconversion into coupon bonds of bonds registered as to both principal and interest and for the interchange of bonds registered as to both principal and interest and for the interchange of registered and coupon bonds. The agency may also establish and maintain a system of registration for any bonds whereby the name of the registered owners, the rights evidenced by the bonds, the transfer of the bonds and such rights and other similar matters are recorded in books or other records maintained by or on behalf of the agency, and no instrument evidencing such bond or rights need be delivered to the registered owner by the agency. A copy of the books or other records of the agency pertaining to any bond registered under such registration system certified by an authorized officer of the agency or by the agent of the agency maintaining such system shall be admissible in any proceeding without further authentication. The board may by resolution delegate to any director or directors or officer or officers of the agency or any combination thereof the power to determine any of the matters set forth in this section. In the discretion of the agency, bonds of the agency may be issued with such terms as will cause the interest thereon to be subject to federal income taxation. The agency may sell its bonds in the manner, either at public or private sale, for the price, at the rate or rates of interest, or at discount in lieu of interest, as it determines will best effect its corporate purposes. The agency may issue bonds for any of its authorized purposes without obtaining a certificate of convenience and necessity from the department of commerce and development. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b), the bonds of any such issue may be issued prior to the making by the agency of the findings required to be made, provided that the board makes such findings prior to the disbursement of the proceeds of a loan to a user or a public body.
(e) Said agency may issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when the bonds shall have been executed and are available for delivery. The agency may also provide for replacement of any bonds which shall have become mutilated or shall have been destroyed or lost. The agency, by itself or through such agent as it may select, may purchase and invite offers to tender for purchase any bonds of the agency at any time outstanding, provided, however, that no such purchase by the agency shall be made at a price, exclusive of accrued interest, if any, exceeding the principal amount thereof or, if greater, the redemption price of such bonds when next redeemable at the option of the agency, and may resell any bonds so purchased in such manner and for such price as it may determine will best effect its corporate purposes.
(f) Without limiting the powers of the agency contained elsewhere in this chapter or in chapter forty D, in connection with any such issue of bonds, the agency may create and establish one or more special funds, hereafter referred to as "bond reserve funds", and may establish one or more costs of issuance accounts, and shall pay into each such bond reserve fund or costs of issuance account any proceeds of sale of bonds or letter of credit or insurance policy or other financing document as may be provided in the resolution authorizing the issuance of, or financing document securing, such bonds and any other moneys which may be available to the agency for the purpose of each such fund or account from any other source or sources. Whenever the agency issues such bonds to fund reserves or costs of issuance, it may determine whether or not the cost of funding such reserves or costs of issuance, shall be treated as a cost of the project and whether or not a financing document shall be required to provide payments to amortize principal and interest of such bonds. In any event, the expected yield on bond reserve funds may, with the approval of the agency, be taken into account in determining the sufficiency of payments required under a financing document to amortize bonds issued for costs of the project. All moneys held in any bond reserve fund may be pledged to, and charged with, the payment of the principal of and the interest on the bonds with respect to which such bond reserve fund may be established, as the same shall become due, and the redemption or purchase price of such bonds retired by call or purchase as therein provided. Such pledge shall be valid and binding from the time when the pledge is made. The use and disposition of moneys to the credit of such bond reserve fund shall be subject to the provisions of the resolution authorizing the issuance of, or financing document securing, such bonds. Except as may otherwise be provided in such resolution or such financing document, such bond reserve fund shall be a fund for bonds issued to finance all such projects without any distinction or priority of any bond over another; provided the agency in any such resolution or financing document may provide that such bond reserve fund shall be the fund for a particular project and for the bonds issued to finance a particular purpose and may, additionally, permit and provide for the issuance of bonds having subordinate lien in respect of the security authorized to other bonds of the agency and, in such case, the agency may create separate or other similar funds in respect of such subordinate lien bonds.
(g) In the discretion of the board of directors, any bonds issued hereunder may be secured by a financing document in such form and executed in such manner as may be determined by the board of directors between the agency and the purchasers or holders of such bonds or between the agency and a corporate trustee which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or without the commonwealth. Such financing document may pledge or assign, in whole or in part, the revenues and funds held or to be received by the agency, and any contract or other rights to receive the same, whether then existing or thereafter coming into existence and whether then held or thereafter acquired by the agency, and the proceeds thereof. Such financing document may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights, security and remedies of bondholders as may be reasonable and proper, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, provisions defining defaults and providing for remedies in the event thereof which may include the acceleration of maturities, restrictions on the individual right of action by bondholders and covenants setting forth duties of and limitations on the agency in conduct of its programs and the management of its property. In addition to other security provided herein or otherwise by law, bonds issued by the agency may be secured, in whole or in part, by financial guarantees, by insurance or by letters of credit issued to the agency or a trustee or any other person, by any bank, trust company, insurance or surety company or other financial institution, within or without the commonwealth, and the agency may pledge or assign, in whole or in part, the revenues and funds held or to be received by the agency, and any contract or other rights to receive the same, whether then existing or thereafter coming into existence and whether then held or thereafter acquired by the agency, and the proceeds thereof, as security for such guarantees or insurance or for the reimbursement by the agency to any issuer of such letter of credit of any payments made under such letter of credit.
(h) It shall be lawful for any bank or trust company to act as a depository or trustee of the proceeds of bonds, revenues or other moneys under a resolution, financing document or other agreement of the agency and to furnish indemnification and to provide security as may be required by the agency. Any pledge of revenues and other funds made by the agency under the provisions of this act shall be valid and binding and shall be deemed continuously perfected for the purposes of the uniform commercial code and other laws when such pledge is made. The revenues and funds, rights therein and thereto and proceeds so pledged and then held or thereafter acquired or received by the agency shall immediately be subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery or segregation thereof or further act, and the lien of any such pledge shall be valid and binding against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the agency, whether or not such parties have notice thereof. The resolution or financing document by which a pledge is created need not be filed or recorded to perfect such pledge except in the records of the agency and no filing need be made under the uniform commercial code. It is hereby declared that any pledge or assignment made under the authority of this act is an exercise of the political and governmental powers of the agency, and revenues or funds, contract or other rights to receive the same and the proceeds thereof which are subject to the lien of a pledge or assignment created under this act shall not be applied to any purposes not permitted by such pledge or assignment.
(i) Any holder of a bond issued by the agency or of any of the coupons appertaining thereto and any trustee or other representative under an applicable financing document pertaining to the same, except to the extent the rights herein given may be restricted by a financing document, may bring suit upon the bonds or coupons and may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus, or other proceeding for legal or equitable relief, including proceedings for the appointment of a receiver to take possession and control of the business and properties of the agency, to fix, revise and collect charges, protect and enforce any and all rights under the laws of the commonwealth or granted hereunder or under a resolution or financing document, and may enforce and compel performance of all duties required by this act or by such bond resolution, trust agreement or other agreement, to be performed by the agent or by any officer thereof.
(j) Bonds issued by the agency shall not constitute a debt or a pledge of the faith and credit of the commonwealth, but shall be payable solely from the revenues provided for under a financing document in connection therewith or from reserve funds or other funds of the agency or from funds derived from the issuing of duly authorized refunding bonds. All bonds issued by the agency shall suitably state that the bonds are not an obligation of the commonwealth but are payable solely from the funds specifically pledged for their payment.
(k) The agency may issue refunding bonds for the purpose of paying any of its bonds issued pursuant to section thirty-five of this act at or prior to maturity or upon acceleration or redemption or purchase and retirement. Refunding bonds may be issued at such times at or prior to the maturity, redemption or purchase and retirement of the refunded bonds as the board deems to be in the interest of the agency. Refunding bonds may be issued in sufficient amounts to pay or provide for payment of the principal of the bonds being refunded, together with any redemption premium thereon, any interest or discount accrued or to accrue to the date of payment of such bonds, the costs of issuance of the refunding bonds, the expenses of paying, redeeming or purchasing the bonds being refunded, the costs of holding and investing proceeds of refunding bonds pending such payment, redemption or purchase and such reserves for debt service or other capital or current expenses from the proceeds of such refunding bonds as may be required by a bond resolution, financing document or other agreement securing bonds. The issue and sale of refunding bonds issued pursuant to this paragraph (k), the maturities and other details thereof, the security therefor, the rights of the holders thereof, and the rights, duties and obligations of the agency in respect of the same shall be governed by the provisions of this act relating to the issue of bonds other than refunding bonds insofar as the same may be applicable.
SECTION 6. Subdivision (2) of section 12 of chapter 40D of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out clause (k) and inserting in place thereof the following clause:-
(k) the project has, so far as feasible, been located in a low income area of a municipality so that employment opportunities will become available to residents of such area, and, in the case of a project including a commercial enterprise or incidental thereto for use by a governmental or nonprofit entity, the project is located in a predominantly commercial area for which a commercial area revitalization plan has been adopted by the governing body of the municipality and approved by the secretary of communities and development and the project is consistent with the plan. The purposes of a commercial area revitalization plan shall be to prevent or arrest and reverse the decay of the area covered by the plan. The plan shall describe the area and set forth the development or redevelopment, including public improvements, proposed to carry out the purposes of the plan. Nothing herein shall preclude the undertaking of such development or redevelopment through urban renewal or an economic development and industrial corporation or by other means, subject to the laws applicable thereto. In exercising the power of approval granted by this clause, the secretary shall, among other lawful and relevant considerations, seek to avoid and correct the deterioration of older commercial centers which result from the movement of commercial enterprise to previously noncommercial areas.
SECTION 7. The provisions of this act are severable and if any of its provisions or an application thereof shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of such court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions or other applications thereof.