WASHINGTON -- The Anthony Public Finance Commission will meet Nov. 20 to develop proposals for bond legislation to present to President-elect Bill Clinton to help further his goal of rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, the group's staff director said yesterday.
The commission, which is chaired by Rep Beryl Anthony, D-Ark., is trying to help the President-elect "make the infrastructure program he is espousing work better and accomplish the goals he is talking about," J.W. Rayder, the group's staff director, said.
"We think we're uniquely suited to try to help make this infrastructure policy work," Ryder said. "We want to have something that we can talk to the President about."
Clinton said yesterday at a press conference that improving infrastructure is still one of his top priorities. Clinton plans to include a proposal for increased spending for infrastructure projects in the economic growth package he will submit to Congress early next year.
Rayder said he expects the commission's recommendations to be presented to Clinton by the end of the year, but did not know how they would be presented.
Clinton has been a member of the commission since it was formed by Anthony in 1988. The 21-member group, which includes governors, mayors, bond lawyers, and others involved in public finance, published a report in 1989 on the effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on the municipal bond market.
Rayder said he did not know whether Clinton can remain on the commission when he becomes President.
Anthony, who was defeated in his bid to win re-election to his seat in Congress, said last month he intends to keep the commission alive. Even though the group will lose its voice in Congress when Anthony leaves Capitol Hill in January, he has said the commission can still be useful by explaining municipal finance to politicians in Washington. To that end, he has said he plans to seek tax-exempt status for the group under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Anthony Commission is likely to rely on a new committee of bond lawyers for help in drafting its legislative proposals.
The committee is being formed by the National Association of Bond Lawyers, whose President is M. Jane Dickey, a lawyer with the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Ark., the firm that Hillary Clinton, President-elect Clinton's wife, was with until this week. Dickey said in an interview that the committee will stand ready to evaluate and comment upon any of the many bond-related legislative proposals that are expected to surface this year and next.
The association's board of directors approved the new committee last week at a meeting in Florida. The committee will be chaired by Richard Chirls, a lawyer with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in New York, and will have four or five members, including Neil Arkuss, from Palmer & Dodge in Boston, and Charles Henck, from Ballard, Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in Washington.