IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 21, 2016
Mr. Vitter introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
To improve the HUBZone program.
This Act may be cited as the
Small Business Transforming America's Regions Act of 2016.
Modification to the HUBZone program
Section 3(p) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(p)) is amended—
in paragraph (1)—
in subparagraph (E), by striking
or at the end;
by redesignating subparagraph (F) as subparagraph (G); and
by inserting after subparagraph (E) the following:
another qualified area designated by the Administrator under section 31(d); or
in paragraph (4)(C), by striking
until the later of and all that follows and inserting
for the 7-year period following the date on which the census tract or nonmetropolitan county ceased to be so qualified..
The amendment made by subsection (a)(2) shall apply to any census tract that becomes a redesignated area under section 3(p)(4)(C) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(p)(4)(C)) on or after the date of enactment of this Act.
Other qualified areas
Section 31 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657a) is amended—
by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and
by inserting after subsection (c) the following:
Other qualified areas
In this subsection—
the term governor means the chief executive of a State; and
the term State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
A governor may petition the Administrator to designate 1 or more census tracts in the State of the governor as a HUBZone if each tract—
has a median household income that is less than 70 percent of the median household income of the State in which the tract is located based on the most recent data available from the Bureau of the Census;
has an unemployment rate that is not less than 120 percent of the average unemployment rate of the United States or of the State in which the tract is located, whichever is less, based on the most recent data available from the Department of Labor; or
meets other criteria determined by the Administrator.
With respect to a petition submitted by a governor to the Administrator under paragraph (2)—
the governor may submit not more than 1 petition in a fiscal year unless the Administrator determines that an additional petition from the State of the governor is appropriate;
the governor may not submit a petition for more than 30 percent of the total number of census tracts in the State of the governor; and
if the Administrator grants the petition and designates 1 or more census tracts as a HUBZone, the governor shall, not less frequently than annually, submit data to the Administrator certifying that each census tract continues to meet the criteria establishing the eligibility of the tract under the HUBZone program.
The Administrator shall establish procedures to—
ensure that the Administration accepts petitions under paragraph (2) from all States each fiscal year; and
provide technical assistance, before the filing of a petition under paragraph (2), to a governor who is interested in filing such a petition.