Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 12
Indebtedness of Towns and Cities

R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-12-2.1

§ 45-12-2.1. Ministerial approval.

Effective January 1, 2008, a city or town shall have authority to incur debt for money borrowed, through the issuance of bonds, if such application for approval of bonds is approved by the auditor general as described below, as meeting all of the following standards:

(1) The city or town has a long-term unenhanced credit rating from one nationally recognized credit rating agency in at least the “A” rating category without regard to gradations within such category;

(2) The city or town has represented in the application that the proposed bonds will finance a capital asset or assets and the average useful life of the capital asset or assets to be financed will be greater than or equal to the average maturity of the proposed borrowing as determined by an appropriate official of the city or town at the time of the issuance of bonds therefore under this section or notes therefore under § 45-12-18;

(3) The city or town is in compliance with financial reporting requirements as set forth in § 45-10-5 and is not subject to enforcement proceedings or remedies as provided for in § 45-12-22.7; and

(4) The authorization for the issuance of such bonds has been approved by local referendum at a general or special election or financial town meeting.

(5) Notwithstanding any provision of the general or public laws, or rule or regulation to the contrary, the projects or activities set forth in this act receiving ministerial approval shall not qualify for school housing aid as set forth in Chapter 16-7 of the general laws.

The auditor general shall establish standards and rules for the submission of applications for approval of bonds by cities and towns in accordance with this section. Upon the submission of a complete application from a city or town, the auditor general shall within thirty (30) days determine whether the standards set forth in this section have been met. If the standards have been met, then the auditor general shall give approval to the application and the city or town shall have the power under law to issue bonds, provided it is otherwise lawful; if the auditor general finds that the borrowing does not meet said standards, the city or town shall be notified that the certification standards have not been met, which notification shall state the standards that were and were not met, and if otherwise required, the city or town shall seek special statutory authority as provided in § 45-12-2. No ministerial approval pursuant to this section shall be given by the auditor general for tax year synchronization bonds, pension obligation bonds or bonds to fund other post employment benefits. The auditor general shall submit a copy of each approval and each notification that approval has been denied within five (5) business days after issuance to the director of administration and the chairpersons of the house committees on corporations and finance and the chairpersons of the senate committees on housing and municipal government and finance.

History of Section.
P.L. 2007, ch. 252, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 292, § 2.