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Learn about Ohio Public Facilities Commission, including Featured News.
The Ohio Public Facilities Commission (OPFC) issues general obligation bonds for common schools, higher education, natural resources, coal research and development, conservation projects, local infrastructure improvements, Third Frontier research and development, job-ready site development, and veterans' compensation. Each of these currently authorized programs is described below.
Coal Research and Development - A 1985 constitutional amendment authorizes $100 million of general obligation debt to be issued to finance grants, loans, or loan guarantees for research, development, and implementation of coal technology that will encourage the use of Ohio coal. Funding is available to any individual, association, or corporation doing business, or to any educational or scientific institution located in the state. Additional debt may be issued as outstanding debt is retired, provided that not more than $100 million is outstanding at any time.
Common Schools - A 1999 constitutional amendment authorizes general obligation debt to be issued to pay the costs of school buildings and related capital facilities for a system of common schools throughout the state. There is no constitutional limit on the amount of debt that can be outstanding at any time. The full faith and credit, revenue (including net state lottery proceeds, if pledged) and taxing power (excluding highway user receipts) of the state are pledged to retire this debt.
Conservation - Constitutional amendments in 2008 and 2000 authorize $400 million of general obligation debt to be issued to finance preservation of green space and natural areas, development of recreational trails, and protection of farmland through the purchase of agricultural easements, all through partnerships with local governments. Not more than $50 million may be issued in any fiscal year. Additional debt may be issued as outstanding debt is retired, provided that not more than $400 million is outstanding at any time.
Higher Education - A 1999 constitutional amendment authorizes general obligation debt to be issued to pay the cost of school buildings and related capital facilities for state-supported and state-assisted institutions of higher education. There is no constitutional limit on the amount of debt that can be outstanding at any time.
Infrastructure Improvements - A 2014 constitutional amendment authorized $1.875 billion of general obligation debt as a 10-year extension of this program to finance public infrastructure capital improvements of municipal corporations, counties, townships, and other local government entities as designated by law, with an annual issuance limit of $175 million in the first five years increasing to $200 million in the second five-years. This extension followed a prior 10-year extension passed in 2005 which authorized an additional $1.35 billion of general obligation debt. Additionally, there were two prior debt authorizations for this purpose (passed in 1985 and 1995) that each authorized $1.2 billion in debt.
Natural Resources - A 1993 constitutional amendment authorizes $200 million of general obligation debt to be issued to finance capital facilities for parks and natural resources improvements. Additional debt may be issued as outstanding debt is retired, provided that no more than $200 million is outstanding at any time. Not more than $50 million may be issued in any fiscal year. The full faith and credit, revenue (excluding net state lottery proceeds), and taxing power (excluding highway user receipts) of the state are pledged to retire this debt.
Site Development - A 2005 constitutional amendment authorizes the issuance of $150 million of general obligation debt for the development of sites for industry, commerce, distribution, and research and development by preparing those sites for immediate development by business prospects. Not more than $30 million was permitted to be issued in each of the first three fiscal years and not more than $15 million in any other fiscal year.
Third Frontier Research and Development - Constitutional amendments in 2010 and 2005 authorize the issuance of $1.2 billion of general obligation debt to provide grants to nonprofit and for-profit entities for research and development projects in support of Ohio industry, commerce and business. Project awards focus on biosciences, advanced materials, information technology, power and propulsion, and instruments-controls-electronics. No more than $450 million total may be issued in state fiscal years 2006 through 2011, no more than $225 million in fiscal year 2012 and no more than $175 million in any fiscal year thereafter.
Veterans' Compensation - A 2009 constitutional amendment authorizes the issuance of state general obligation debt to provide compensation to persons who have served in active duty in the United States armed forces at any time during the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts. Not more than $200 million may be issued and no obligations may be issued later than December 31, 2013.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced today that Fitch Ratings upgraded Ohio’s long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to “AAA” from “AA+”.
Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced the Ohio Public Facilities Commission closed on the refinancing of $185 million of outstanding general obligation debt, achieved $38 million in cash flow savings, and reduced interest costs to 1.22 percent from 4 percent.
The “refunding” bonds for debt originally issued in 2012 benefited from a historically low interest rate environment, sizable investor demand, and Ohio’ strong (AA+/Aa1/AA+) General Obligation credit ratings, which gained momentum earlier this summer when Fitch Ratings elevated the State’s rating outlook from “Stable” to “Positive.”
On a cumulative basis for the calendar year, OBM’s debt savings initiatives will save the General Revenue Fund (GRF) $260 million in cash flow in future fiscal years.
“I’m proud that our efforts have saved Ohio tax dollars this year and into the future. We achieved these results due to the State’s strong economic recovery, our ability to pay off some debt early, and our high-quality credit rating. Ohio is well-managed with strong leadership and conservative fiscal practices and investors notice – our fall transaction was five times oversubscribed”, said OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks.
Pricing alongside the refunding bonds, the OPFC sold $181.2 million of “new money” Infrastructure and Conservation bonds at an all-in interest rate of 2.02 percent.
The infrastructure sale supports grants and loans to local governments for investment in roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems. Proceeds from the sale of Conservation bonds, are utilized for green space preservation, recreational trails at Ohio’s state parks, and to protect and preserve farmland.
Citigroup served as senior managing underwriter along with KeyBanc Capital Markets as designated co-senior manager. PFM Financial Advisors LLC. provided financial advisory services.
Governor DeWine serves as chairperson of the OPFC while the OBM director serves as secretary. Additional members include representatives from the Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.