May 23, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a provision today that provides important support for states’ access to low-cost financing for public infrastructure projects. Included in legislation already passed by the Senate, the provision reclassifies investment grade municipal securities as High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA), which gives state and local governments greater ability to address the country’s infrastructure needs.
“The National Association of State Treasurers commends Congress for taking a positive step toward supporting indispensable infrastructure projects across the nation,” said Beth Pearce, NAST President and Vermont State Treasurer. “One of our top priorities as treasurers is to finance public infrastructure upgrades at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. Lawmakers have taken concrete action to lower borrowing costs and better position states to invest in infrastructure projects at the state and local level.”
The provision is included in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) and alters the liquidity requirements for banks so that highly rated municipal securities are included as 2B assets. This reclassification strengthens the municipal bond market, which will lead to lower borrowing costs for public infrastructure projects and result in savings for state and local governments and taxpayers.
“This legislation is vital to the future of this country’s infrastructure. We are especially grateful to the members of Congress who sponsored this key HQLA provision, including Representatives Luke Messer, Carolyn Maloney and Randy Hultgren, and Senators Mike Rounds and Mark Warner, along with many more,” said David Damschen, State Treasurer of Utah and NAST Senior Vice President. “We would also like to thank Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling for their support in advancing this measure.”