1998 Regular Session
By: Representatives Watson, Stevens, Bowles, Coleman (29th), Denny, Perry, Simmons (37th)
House Bill 1730
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING THE EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR FISCAL YEARS 1998 AND 1999.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the State General Fund not otherwise appropriated, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the Office of the Attorney General for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, and ending June 30, 1999 $ 7,023,312.00.
SECTION 2. The following sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in any special fund in the State Treasury to the credit of the Office of the Attorney General which is comprised of special source funds collected by or otherwise available to the office, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the office for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, and ending June 30, 1999 $ 6,569,795.00.
SECTION 3. With the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 1 and Section 2, the following positions are authorized:
Permanent: Full Time. . . . . . . . . 107
Part Time. . . . . . . . . 3
Time-Limited: Full Time. . . . . . . . . 104
Part Time. . . . . . . . . 0
From the funds provided in the budget category "Personal Services: Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits," funds may be expended for the following purposes, in compliance with the policies established by the State Personnel Board and any conditions placed on such expenditures:
(a) The components of the Variable Compensation Plan shall be maintained within the constraints of the funds appropriated herein. Unless otherwise permitted by law, no single event, including promotion, reclassification or reallocation, shall exceed the greater of (1) the difference between the starting salary (start step) of the current classification and the new classification added to the employee's current salary (current step), or (2) the salary that could be paid to an equally qualified, newly hired employee. If an eligible employee is currently at or above the end salary for his or her job classification, then the increase authorized by subparagraphs (b), (c) and (d) shall be built into the employee's base salary. To be eligible, employees may not have a current performance rating below "meets expectations" (2.0), as of the effective date of the increase. Employees who subsequently receive a performance rating of "meets expectations" or above during Fiscal Year 1999 shall receive the salary increase effective the date of the rating.
(b) Funds are provided to adjust the Variable Compensation Plan, including realignment, to ensure that all full time employees receive a minimum increase of Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) and not more than Nine Hundred Dollars ($900.00), to the next higher step.
(c) Funds are provided for MH-Direct Care Worker Classifications to receive an average increase of One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00). It is the intention of the Legislature that MH-Direct Care Worker Classifications increases resulting from the provisions of Senate Bill No. 2100, 1997 Regular Session, may be fully implemented as funds become available.
(d) Funds are provided for a Nine Hundred Dollar ($900.00) increase for Information Technology positions. Agencies may effect additional increases in accordance with the Information Technology Special Compensation Plan established by the State Personnel Board as funds become available.
It is the agency's responsibility to make certain that funds required to be appropriated for "Personal Services" for Fiscal Year 2000 do not exceed Fiscal Year 1999 funds appropriated for that purpose unless programs or positions are added to the agency's budget by the Mississippi Legislature.
Any transfers or escalations shall be made in accordance with the terms, conditions and procedures established by law.
No general funds authorized to be expended herein shall be used to replace federal funds and/or other special funds which are being used for salaries authorized under the provisions of this act and which are withdrawn and no longer available.
SECTION 4. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 2, funds included therein which are derived from penalties and/or other funds collected by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit shall be available for the purpose of providing the state match for federal funds available for the support of the unit, or for other lawful purposes as deemed appropriate by the Attorney General. Further, it is the intent of the Legislature that any penalties and/or other funds collected and/or expended shall be accounted for separately as to source and/or application of such funds.
SECTION 5. It is the intention of the Legislature that the Attorney General's Office charge legal fees to all agencies where such legal services are provided. The Attorney General's Office may contract these fees on a contract rate or an hourly rate, whichever is more appropriate. Contracts with the Attorney General's Office for legal services or reimbursement for hourly legal services shall not require the approval of the State Personnel Board. The Attorney General's Office is further authorized to escalate the amount of any of its major objects of expenditure in an amount not to exceed Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($750,000.00) above any amounts herein authorized, and to increase the number of authorized positions in order to provide the required legal services for such state agencies.
SECTION 6. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 2, the amount of Four Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($420,000.00), or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall be made available for expenditure by the Prosecutors Training Division.
SECTION 7. It is the intention of the Legislature that the Attorney General's Office shall have the authority to accept, budget and expend any source funds not to exceed Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($750,000.00), that become available to the office to carry out the provisions of those funds in a manner consistent with the rules and regulations of the Department of Finance and Administration. None of the funds authorized in this section shall be used to increase the major object of expenditure "Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits."
SECTION 8. No part of the money herein appropriated shall be used, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of paying any clerk, stenographer, assistant, deputy or other person who may be related by blood or marriage within the third degree, computed by the rules of civil law, to the official employing or having the right of employment or selection thereof; and in the event of any such payment, then the official or person approving and making or receiving such payment shall be jointly and severally liable to return to the State of Mississippi and to pay into the State Treasury three (3) times any such amount so paid or received; however, when the relationship is by affinity and the person through whom the relationship was established is dead, this provision shall not apply.
SECTION 9. None of the funds appropriated by this act shall be expended for any purpose that is not actually required or necessary for performing any of the powers or duties of the Office of the Attorney General that are authorized by the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, state or federal law, or rules or regulations that implement state or federal law.
SECTION 10. In compliance with the "Mississippi Performance Budget and Strategic Planning Act of 1994," it is the intent of the Legislature that the funds provided herein shall be utilized in the most efficient and effective manner possible to achieve the intended mission of this agency. Based on the funding authorized, this agency shall make every effort to attain the targeted performance measures provided below:
Performance Measures Target
Cost of support services as percentage of
budget (percent) 6.25
DFA error exception slips per month (items) 36
Approval on prosecutors training (%) 95
Minimum affirmation of criminal convictions (%) 85
Minimum affirmations of death penalty appeals (%) 60
Minimum denial of relief in federal habeas
corpus (%) 90
Minimum positive results of civil cases (%) 70
Minimum positive results of Section 1983 cases (%) 80
Assigned to attorneys in three days or less (%) 100
Opinions completed in 30 days or less (%) 75
Good/excellent ratings for training (%) 85
State Agency Contracts
Good/excellent ratings for legal services (%) 80
Other Mandated Programs
Medicaid fraud convictions vs dispositions (%) 80
Medicaid abuse convictions vs dispositions (%) 80
Minimum defendants convicted after indictments (%) 90
Response to consumer complaints (days) 7
Minimum positive results of consumer cases (%) 75
A reporting of the degree to which the performance targets set above have been or are being achieved shall be provided in the agency's budget request submitted to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee for Fiscal Year 2000.
SECTION 11. The following sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the General Fund not otherwise appropriated for the purpose of the support of the Insurance Integrity Enforcement Bureau within the Office of the Attorney General and shall be effective from and after its passage through June 30, 1999 $ 150,000.00.
SECTION 12. The following sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the State Treasury to the credit of any special fund created in House Bill 428, 1998 Regular Session, for the support of the Insurance Integrity Enforcement Bureau within the Office of the Attorney General, for fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, and ending June 30, 1999 $ 150,000.00.
SECTION 13. With the funds appropriated in Sections 11 and 12, the following positions are authorized:
Time-Limited: Full Time . . . . . . . 4
SECTION 14. The money herein appropriated shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of any money in the State Treasury to the credit of the proper fund or funds as set forth in this act, upon warrants issued by the State Fiscal Officer; and the State Fiscal Officer shall issue his warrants upon requisitions signed by the proper person, officer or officers in the manner provided by law.
SECTION 15. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998, except Sections 11 and 13 shall take effect and be in force from and after passage, and Sections 11, 12 and 13, which shall be effective only if House Bill No. 428, 1998 Regular Session, becomes law.