1997 Regular Session
To: Insurance; Appropriations
By: Representative Bozeman
House Bill 873
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A SUPPLEMENTAL RURAL FIRE TRUCK ACQUISITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES IN THE ACQUISITION OF FIRE TRUCKS; TO CREATE A SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY TO BE DESIGNATED AS THE "SUPPLEMENTAL RURAL FIRE TRUCK FUND"; TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE FISCAL OFFICER SHALL TRANSFER THE SUM OF $8,200,000.00 FROM THE STATE GENERAL FUND TO THE SPECIAL FUND IN TWO EQUAL PAYMENTS, WITH THE FIRST PAYMENT ON JULY 1, 1997, AND THE SECOND PAYMENT DURING THE 1998 REGULAR SESSION; TO PROVIDE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) In addition to the rural fire truck acquisition assistance program established in Section 17-23-1, there is established a supplemental rural fire truck acquisition assistance program to be administered by the Department of Insurance for the purpose of assisting counties and municipalities in the acquisition of fire trucks.
(2) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Supplemental Rural Fire Truck Fund." The State Fiscal Officer shall transfer the sum of Eight Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($8,200,000.00) from the State General Fund to such special fund. The transfer shall be made in two (2) equal payments, with the first payment to be made on July 1, 1997, and the second payment to be made during the 1998 Regular Session. Such monies as are deposited into the fund under the provisions of this section may be expended, with Four Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($4,100,000.00) being available after July 1, 1997, and Four Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($4,100,000.00) being available during the 1998 Regular Session and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per county being available after July 1, 1997, and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per county being available during the 1998 Regular Session, upon legislative appropriation, and upon requisition therefor by the Commissioner of Insurance, in accordance with the provisions of this section. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund.
(3) (a) A county that meets the requirements provided herein may receive an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) and such amount shall be divided equally with not more than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per fire truck. Monies distributed under this chapter shall be expended only for the purchase of new fire trucks and such trucks must meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards in the 1900 series.
(b) The board of supervisors of the county shall submit its request for the receipt of monies to the Department of Insurance. A committee composed of the Commissioner of Insurance, the State Fire Coordinator, the Director of the Rating Bureau and the Director of the State Fire Academy shall review the requests by the boards of supervisors and shall determine whether the county or municipality for which the board of supervisors has requested a truck meets the requirements of eligibility under this chapter.
(c) To be eligible to receive monies under this chapter:
(i) A county or municipality must pledge to set aside or dedicate each year as matching funds, for a period not to extend over five (5) years, local funds in an amount equal to or not less than one-fifth (1/5) of the amount of monies for which it is requesting distribution from the Supplemental Rural Fire Truck Fund, which pledged monies may be derived from local ad valorem tax authorized by law or from any other funds available to the county or municipality, except for those funds received by municipalities or counties from the Municipal Fire Protection Fund or the County Volunteer Fire Department Fund, as defined in Sections 83-1-37 and 83-1-39.
(ii) A municipality must provide adequate documentation of its contract with the county that requires the municipality to provide fire protection in rural areas. The term "rural areas" means any area within the county located outside the boundaries of an incorporated municipality.
(d) The Department of Insurance shall maintain an accurate record of all monies distributed to counties and municipalities and the number of fire trucks purchased and the cost for each fire truck, such records to be kept separate from other records of the Department of Insurance; notify counties and municipalities of the supplemental rural fire truck acquisition assistance program and the requirements for them to become eligible to participate; adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary and desirable to implement the provisions of this chapter; and file with the Legislature on or before January 2, 1998, and July 1, 1998, a report detailing how monies made available under this section were distributed and spent during the preceding portion of the fiscal year in each county and municipality, the number of fire trucks purchased, the counties and municipalities making such purchases and the cost of each fire truck purchased.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.