1998 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representatives Reynolds, Holland, Stringer, Eaton, Moak, Simmons (100th), Warren, Gadd, Scott (80th)
House Bill 1783
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF STATE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,000,000.00 FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THE MISSISSIPPI WATERSHED REPAIR AND REHABILITATION COST-SHARE PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTION 51-37-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, at one (1) time or from time to time, may declare by resolution the necessity for issuance of general obligation bonds of the State of Mississippi to provide funds for the Mississippi Watershed Repair and Rehabilitation Cost-Share Program established in Section 51-37-3, Mississippi Code of 1972. Upon the adoption of a resolution by the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, declaring the necessity for the issuance of any part or all of the general obligation bonds authorized by this section, the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission shall deliver a certified copy of its resolution or resolutions to the State Bond Commission. Upon receipt of such resolution, the State Bond Commission, in its discretion, may act as the issuing agent, prescribe the form of the bonds, advertise for and accept bids, issue and sell the bonds so authorized to be sold, and do any and all other things necessary and advisable in connection with the issuance and sale of such bonds. The total amount of bonds issued under Sections 1 through 14 of this act shall not exceed Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00).
SECTION 2. The principal of and interest on the bonds authorized under Sections 1 through 14 of this act shall be payable in the manner provided in this section. Such bonds shall bear such date or dates, be in such denomination or denominations, bear interest at such rate or rates not exceeding the limits set forth in Section 75-17-101, be payable at such place or places within or without the State of Mississippi, shall mature absolutely at such time or times not to exceed twenty (20) years from date of issue, be redeemable before maturity at such time or times and upon such terms, with or without premium, shall bear such registration privileges, and shall be substantially in such form, all as determined by resolution of the State Bond Commission.
SECTION 3. The bonds authorized under Sections 1 through 14 of this act shall be signed by the Chairman of the State Bond Commission, or by his facsimile signature, and the official seal of the State Bond Commission shall be affixed thereto, attested by the Secretary of the State Bond Commission. The interest coupons, if any, to be attached to such bonds may be executed by the facsimile signatures of such officers. Whenever any such bonds shall have been signed by the officials designated to sign the bonds who were in office at the time of such signing but who may have ceased to be such officers before the sale and delivery of such bonds, or who may not have been in office on the date such bonds may bear, the signatures of such officers upon such bonds and coupons shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes and have the same effect as if the person so officially signing such bonds had remained in office until their delivery to the purchaser, or had been in office on the date such bonds may bear. However, notwithstanding anything in this act to the contrary, such bonds may be issued as provided in the Registered Bond Act of the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 4. All bonds and interest coupons issued under Sections 1 through 14 of this act have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, and in exercising the powers granted by this act, the State Bond Commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
SECTION 5. The State Bond Commission shall act as the issuing agent for the bonds authorized under Sections 1 through 14 of this act, prescribe the form of the bonds, advertise for and accept bids, issue and sell the bonds so authorized to be sold, pay all fees and costs incurred in such issuance and sale, and do all other things necessary and advisable in connection with the issuance and sale of the bonds. The State Bond Commission may pay the costs that are incident to the sale, issuance and delivery of the bonds authorized under Sections 1 through 14 of this act from the proceeds derived from the sale of the bonds. The State Bond Commission shall sell such bonds on sealed bids at public sale, and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interest of the State of Mississippi, but no such sale may be made at a price less than par plus accrued interest to the date of delivery of the bonds to the purchaser. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually or annually; however, the first interest payment may be for any period of not more than one (1) year.
Notice of the sale of any such bond shall be published at least one (1) time, not less than ten (10) days before the date of sale, and shall be so published in one or more newspapers published or having a general circulation in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, and in one or more other newspapers or financial journals with a national circulation, to be selected by the State Bond Commission.
The State Bond Commission, when issuing any bonds under Sections 1 through 14 of this act, may provide that the bonds, at the option of the State of Mississippi, may be called in for payment and redemption at the call price named therein and accrued interest on such date or dates named therein.
SECTION 6. The bonds issued under Sections 1 through 14 of this act are general obligations of the State of Mississippi, and for the payment thereof the full faith and credit of the State of Mississippi is irrevocably pledged. If the funds appropriated by the Legislature are insufficient to pay the principal of and the interest on such bonds as they become due, then the deficiency shall be paid by the State Treasurer from any funds in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated. All such bonds shall contain recitals on their faces substantially covering the provisions of this section.
SECTION 7. The State Treasurer is authorized, without further process of law, to certify to the Department of Finance and Administration the necessity for warrants, and the Department of Finance and Administration shall issue such warrants, in such amounts as may be necessary to pay when due the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on, or the accreted value of, all bonds issued under Sections 1 through 14 of this act; and the State Treasurer shall forward the necessary amount to the designated place or places of payment of such bonds in ample time to discharge such bonds, or the interest on the bonds, on their due dates.
SECTION 8. Upon the issuance and sale of bonds under Sections 1 through 14 of this act, the State Bond Commission shall transfer the proceeds of any such sale or sales to the special fund authorized in Section 51-37-3, Mississippi Code of 1972. The proceeds of such bonds shall be disbursed solely upon the order of the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission under such restrictions, if any, as may be contained in the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds.
SECTION 9. The bonds authorized under Sections 1 through 14 of this act may be issued without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things other than those proceedings, conditions and things that are specified or required by this act. Any resolution providing for the issuance of bonds under Sections 1 through 14 of this act shall become effective immediately upon its adoption by the State Bond Commission, and any such resolution may be adopted at any regular or special meeting of the State Bond Commission by a majority of its members.
SECTION 10. The bonds authorized under Sections 1 through 14 of this act may be validated in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, in the manner and with the force and effect provided by Chapter 13, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, for the validation of county, municipal, school district and other bonds. The notice to taxpayers required by such statutes shall be published in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in the City of Jackson, Mississippi.
SECTION 11. Any holder of bonds issued under Sections 1 through 14 of this act or of any of the interest coupons pertaining to the bonds may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding, protect and enforce all rights granted under Sections 1 through 14 of this act, or under such resolution, and may enforce and compel performance of all duties required by Sections 1 through 14 of this act to be performed, in order to provide for the payment of bonds and interest on the bonds.
SECTION 12. All bonds issued under Sections 1 through 14 of this act shall be legal investments for trustees and other fiduciaries, and for savings banks, trust companies and insurance companies organized under the laws of the State of Mississippi, and such bonds shall be legal securities that may be deposited with and shall be received by all public officers and bodies of this state and all municipalities and political subdivisions for the purpose of securing the deposit of public funds.
SECTION 13. Bonds issued under Sections 1 through 14 of this act and income from the bonds shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 14. Sections 1 through 14 of this act shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the exercise of the powers granted, but this act shall not be deemed to repeal or to be in derogation of any existing law of this state.
SECTION 15. Section 51-37-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
51-37-3. (1) There is created the Mississippi Watershed Repair and Rehabilitation Cost-Share Program to be administered by the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission ("commission") through the Soil and Water Cost-Share Program for the purpose of assisting local watershed districts in the repair, rehabilitation or removal of water impoundment structures constructed with financing from the United States of America under Public Law 534 and Public Law 566. For the purposes of this section, the term "watershed district" shall include any "watershed district, soil and water conservation district, drainage district, flood control district, or water management district authorized by the Mississippi Legislature which has the management responsibility for any Public Law 534 or Public Law 566 water impoundment structure."
(2) The Legislature may appropriate such sums as it may deem necessary to a special fund for the commission to be expended by them in accordance with this section. The commission is authorized to receive and expend any funds appropriated by the federal government for the purposes of this section. The commission is authorized to receive and expend proceeds from bonds issued under Sections 1 through 14 of House Bill No. , 1998 Regular Session. Unexpended amounts remaining at the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund.
(3) The commission shall:
(a) Establish rules and regulations for participation and assistance under this cost-share program consistent with the requirements of this section.
(b) Establish a priority list of the watershed structures for which cost-share assistance has been applied.
(c) Determine which structures shall be eligible for cost-share assistance.
(d) Establish maximum sums and cost-share rates which any eligible entity may receive for implementation of the cost-share assistance.
(e) Award cost-share assistance in accordance with the rules and regulations. The awarding of cost-share assistance may be in the form of direct payment to the watershed district or may be in the form of the commission's directly managing the repair, renovation or removal as agreed between the commission and the watershed district.
(4) Any watershed district must meet the following minimum criteria to be eligible for consideration for approval of cost-share assistance under this program:
(a) The water impoundment structure has been certified not to meet the technical standards established by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, as a result of needed maintenance, structural defect, equipment failure or public access.
(b) A maintenance agreement has been reached with either the watershed district or the landowner upon which the structure is situated. Any impoundment structure where the watershed district is the maintainer shall have a new maintenance agreement which includes the concurrence and approval of the county board of supervisors or city governmental authority as guarantor of the performance of the watershed district.
(c) The local watershed district, county board of supervisors or landowner upon whose land the structure is located must agree to provide financial or in-kind match at the rate established by the commission.
(5) The impoundment structure may be situated on land owned by a private landowner or any state or federal governmental entity.
(6) Any county board of supervisors or municipal governmental authority, within whose boundaries a qualifying impoundment structure lies, wishing to participate in this program shall have the authority to expend public monies, personnel, and/or equipment on private property to repair, renovate or remove any impoundment structure authorized by the commission for participation in this program.
(7) This section is supplemental to any powers and authorities granted watershed districts, county boards of supervisors, or municipal governmental authorities and does not supersede existing law.
SECTION 16. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.