1997 Regular Session
By: Representative Ford
House Bill 1616
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO CREATE IN THE STATE TREASURY A TRUST FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE AYERS ENDOWMENT FUND; TO PROVIDE THAT THE INTEREST AND INCOME FROM THE INVESTMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF THE TRUST FUND SHALL BE APPROPRIATED TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING FOR THE BENEFIT OF JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY, ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY AND MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY, TO BE USED FOR CONTINUING EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT AND RACIAL DIVERSITY; TO PROVIDE THAT THE CREATION OF THE ENDOWMENT FUND SHALL BE TO COMPLY WITH THE COURT ORDER IN THE CASE OF AYERS V. FORDICE WITH REGARD TO JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY AND ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY, AND TO PROVIDE EQUAL FUNDING TO MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY FOR THE SAME PURPOSES; TO AMEND SECTION 27-103-203, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT $15,000,000.00 SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE AYERS ENDOWMENT FUND FROM UNINCUMBERED CASH IN THE GENERAL FUND AT THE END OF FISCAL YEAR 1998; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is created in the State Treasury a trust fund to be known as the Ayers Endowment Fund, which shall be used as provided in this section. Monies in the endowment fund shall be provided from unincumbered cash in the General Fund as specified in Section 27-103-203.
(2) The principal of the endowment fund shall remain inviolate, and shall be invested in the same manner as the principal of the Education Improvement Trust Fund is invested under Section 7-9-103. Monies in the endowment fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest and income earned on amounts in the endowment fund shall be deposited to the credit of the endowment fund.
(3) The interest and income earned from the investment of the principal of the endowment fund shall be appropriated by the Legislature to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning for the benefit of Jackson State University, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University, the historically black institutions of higher learning in Mississippi, with one-third (1/3) of the amount of the interest and income earned being allocated for the benefit of each of those universities. The money allotted for each university shall be used for continuing educational enhancement and racial diversity, including recruitment of white students and scholarships for white applicants.
(4) The creation of the endowment fund and the appropriation of the interest and income for the purposes specified in this section shall be to comply with the order of the United States District Court in the case of Ayers v. Fordice, 879 F.Supp. 1419 (N.D. Miss. 1995), with regard to Jackson State University and Alcorn State University, and to provide Mississippi Valley State University with an equal amount of funding for the same purposes as for the other historically black institutions of higher learning.
SECTION 2. Section 27-103-203, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-103-203. (1) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund, separate and apart from any other fund, to be designated the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund, into which shall be deposited * * * one hundred percent (100%) of the unencumbered General Fund cash balance at the close of each * * * fiscal year until such time as the balance in the fund reaches Forty Million Dollars ($40,000,000.00). After the balance in the fund reaches Forty Million Dollars ($40,000,000.00), fifty percent (50%) of the unencumbered General Fund cash balance at the close of each fiscal year, not to exceed seven and one-half percent (7-1/2%) of the General Fund appropriations for such fiscal year, shall be deposited into the fund. The remainder of the year-end unencumbered cash after transfer to the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund shall remain in the General Fund; provided, however, that in the event that the balance of the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund reaches seven and one-half percent (7-1/2%) of the General Fund appropriations for the fiscal year, fifty percent (50%) of the unencumbered cash balance shall be transferred into the Education Enhancement Fund. Unencumbered cash in the General Fund may be used for new year cash flow needs and may also be used for deficit appropriations or regular appropriations. At the end of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1998, the State Fiscal Officer shall transfer the sum of Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000.00) from unincumbered cash in the General Fund to the Ayers Endowment Fund created in Section 1 of this act.
(2) The Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund shall not be considered as a surplus or available funds when adopting a balanced budget as required by law. The State Treasurer shall invest all sums in the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund not needed for the purposes provided for in this section in certificates of deposit, repurchase agreements and other securities as authorized in Sections 27-105-33(d) or 7-9-103, Mississippi Code of 1972, as the State Treasurer may determine to yield the highest market rate available. The interest earned on such sums shall be deposited in the fund until the balance of principal and interest therein reaches seven and one-half percent (7-1/2%) of the total General Fund appropriations for the current fiscal year, and all interest earned in excess of amounts necessary to maintain the seven and one-half percent (7-1/2%) fund balance requirement shall be deposited by the State Treasurer into the State General Fund.
(3) The Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund, except for Four Million Dollars ($4,000,000.00), shall be used by the State Treasurer for cash flow needs throughout the year when the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration certifies that in his opinion there will be cash flow deficiencies in the State General Fund. No borrowing of monies from other special funds for such purposes as authorized by Section 31-17-101 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be made as long as an unencumbered balance in excess of Four Million Dollars ($4,000,000.00) remains in the fund. The State Treasurer shall reimburse the fund for all sums borrowed for such purposes from General Fund revenues collected during the fiscal year in which such funds are used. The State Treasurer shall immediately notify the Legislative Budget Office and the State Department of Finance and Administration of each transfer into and out of such fund. Four Million Dollars ($4,000,000.00) in the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund shall remain available for use pursuant to Section 27-103-81, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(4) The Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund, except for Forty Million Dollars ($40,000,000.00), shall also be used for the purpose of covering any projected deficits that may occur in the General Fund at the end of a fiscal year as a result of revenue shortfalls. In the event the Governor determines that a deficit in revenues from all sources may occur, it shall be the duty of the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration to transfer such funds as necessary to the General Fund to alleviate the deficit in accordance with Sections 27-104-13 and 31-17-123; however, not more than Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00) may be transferred from the fund for such purpose in any one (1) fiscal year. In the event it becomes necessary to apply a part of the fund to this purpose, the amount so applied shall be restored to the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund out of future annual surpluses, as provided in subsection (1) of this section, until the seven and one-half percent (7-1/2%) maximum is again attained.
(5) The Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund also shall be used to provide funds for the Disaster Assistance Trust Fund when such funds are immediately needed to provide for disaster assistance under Sections 33-15-103 through 33-15-317. Any transfer of funds from the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund to the Disaster Assistance Trust Fund shall be made in accordance with the provisions of subsection (5) of Section 33-15-307.
(6) The Department of Finance and Administration shall immediately send notice of any transfers made, or other action taken under authority of this section, to the Legislative Budget Office.
(7) Funds deposited in the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund shall be used only for the purposes specified in this section and as long as the provisions of this section remain in effect, no other expenditure, appropriation or transfer of funds in the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund shall be made except by act of the Legislature making specific reference to the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund as the source of such funds.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.