1998 Regular Session
By: Representatives Williams, Stringer, Eaton, Reynolds
House Concurrent Resolution 67
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO AMEND THE MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890 BY ADDING A NEW SECTION TO CREATE A SPECIAL TRUST FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY INTO WHICH SHALL BE DEPOSITED ALL MONIES, THE USE OR PURPOSE FOR EXPENDITURE OF WHICH IS NOT RESTRICTED, THAT ARE RECEIVED BY THE STATE FROM ANY SETTLEMENT OR JUDGEMENT IN LITIGATION AGAINST TOBACCO COMPANIES OR FROM ANY NATIONAL TOBACCO SETTLEMENT OR FROM LEGISLATION ENACTED BY CONGRESS REQUIRING TOBACCO COMPANIES TO PAY MONEY TO STATES; TO PROVIDE THAT INTEREST AND INCOME EARNED ON THE PRINCIPAL OF THE TRUST FUND MAY BE EXPENDED FOR SUCH PURPOSES AND IN SUCH AMOUNT AS PRESCRIBED BY GENERAL LAW; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PRINCIPAL OF THE TRUST FUND MAY BE EXPENDED ONLY UPON A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF THE ELECTED MEMBERSHIP OF EACH HOUSE OF THE LEGISLATURE; TO AUTHORIZE THE LEGISLATURE, BY GENERAL LAW, TO PRESCRIBE A GREATER VOTE REQUIREMENT FOR EXPENDITURE OF THE PRINCIPAL OF THE TRUST FUND OR TO PROHIBIT THE EXPENDITURE OF ANY OF THE PRINCIPAL; TO PROVIDE THAT THE LEGISLATURE SHALL PRESCRIBE THE MANNER IN WHICH MONIES IN THE TRUST FUND ARE TO BE INVESTED AND MAY PLACE RESTRICTIONS, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS ON THE EXPENDITURE OF ANY OF THE MONIES IN THE TRUST FUND; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That the following amendment to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 is proposed to the qualified electors of the state:
Amend the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 by creating a new section to read as follows:
"Section ____. (1) There is created in the State Treasury a special trust fund into which shall be deposited all monies, the use or purpose for expenditure of which is not restricted, that are received or to be received by the State of Mississippi resulting from:
(a) Any present or future settlement agreement or judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction in any lawsuit against tobacco companies brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the State of Mississippi, or brought by or on behalf of another state;
(b) Any national tobacco settlement agreement between the state attorneys general and tobacco companies; and
(c) Any legislation enacted by Congress requiring tobacco companies to pay money to states.
(2) In addition, the Legislature may require, by general law, monies from any other source to be deposited into the trust fund.
(3) Interest and income earned on the principal of the trust fund may be expended for such purposes and in such amount as prescribed by general law. The principal of the trust fund may be expended, upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the elected membership of each house of the Legislature, for such purposes and in such amount as prescribed by general law; however, the Legislature, by general law, may prescribe a greater vote requirement for expenditure of the principal of the trust fund or may prohibit the expenditure of any of the principal. The Legislature shall prescribe the manner in which monies in the trust fund are to be invested and may place restrictions, conditions and limitations on the expenditure of any of the monies in the trust fund. Any amounts of the interest and income derived from the investment of the principal of the trust fund that are not appropriated shall not lapse into the State General Fund at the end of the fiscal year but shall be deposited to the credit of the trust fund and shall be added to and become a part of the principal."
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this proposed amendment shall be submitted by the Secretary of State to the qualified electors at an election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 1998, as provided by Section 273 of the Constitution and by general law.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the explanation of this amendment for the ballot shall read as follows: "This proposed constitutional amendment creates a trust fund in the State Treasury and requires monies received by the state from any tobacco litigation or settlement, the expenditure of which is not restricted, to be deposited into the fund. Interest earned on the principal may be expended by the Legislature but the principal of the trust fund may be expended only upon a two-thirds vote of the elected membership of both houses of the Legislature."