1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Hamilton, Burton
Senate Bill 2887
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 57-1-255, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXTEND THE AUTHORITY TO ISSUE BONDS FOR CERTAIN MAJOR ENERGY PROJECTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 57-1-255, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
57-1-255. (1) Upon notification to the department by the enterprise that the state has been finally selected as the site for the project, the State Bond Commission shall have the power and is hereby authorized and directed, upon receipt of a declaration from the department as hereinafter provided, to borrow money and issue general obligation bonds of the state in one or more series for the purposes herein set out. Upon such notification, the department may thereafter from time to time declare the necessity for the issuance of general obligation bonds as authorized by this section and forward such declaration to the State Bond Commission, provided that prior to said notification, the department may enter into agreements with the United States government, private companies and others that will commit the department to direct the State Bond Commission to issue bonds for eligible undertakings set out in subsection (4) of this section, conditioned on the siting of the project in the state.
(2) Upon receipt of any such declaration from the department, the State Bond Commission, upon verifying that the state has been selected as the site of the project, shall act as the issuing agent for the series of bonds directed to be issued in such declaration pursuant to authority granted in this section.
(3) Bonds issued under the authority of this section shall not exceed an aggregate principal amount in the sum of Thirty Million Dollars ($30,000,000.00). No bonds shall be issued under the authority of this section after June 30, 2000.
(4) The proceeds from the sale of the bonds issued pursuant to this section may be applied for the purposes of: (a) defraying all or any designated portion of the costs incurred with respect to acquisition, planning, design, construction, installation, rehabilitation, improvement and relocation of the project and any facility related to the project, including costs of design and engineering, all costs incurred to provide land, easements and rights-of-way, relocation costs with respect to the project and with respect to any facility related to the project located within the project area, and costs associated with mitigation of environmental impacts; (b) providing for the payment of interest on the bonds; (c) providing debt service reserves; and (d) paying underwriters discount, original issue discount, accountants' fees, engineers' fees, attorneys' fees, rating agency fees and other fees and expenses in connection with the issuance of the bonds. Such bonds shall be issued from time to time and in such principal amounts as shall be designated by the department not to exceed in aggregate principal amount the amount authorized in subsection (3) of this section. Proceeds from the sale of the bonds issued pursuant to this section may be invested, subject to federal limitations, pending their use, in such securities as may be specified in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or the trust indenture securing them, and the earning on such investment applied as provided in such resolution or trust indenture.
(5) The principal of and the interest on the bonds shall be payable in the manner hereinafter set forth. The bonds shall bear date or dates, be in such denomination or denominations, bear interest at such rate or rates, be payable at such place or places within or without the state, shall mature absolutely at such time or times, be redeemable prior to 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 shall be determined by resolution of the State Bond Commission. Provided, however, that such bonds shall mature or otherwise be retired in annual installments beginning not more than five (5) years from date thereof and extending not more than twenty-five (25) years from date thereof. The bonds 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 imprinted on or affixed thereto, attested by the manual or facsimile signature of the Secretary of the State Bond Commission. Whenever any such bonds shall have been signed by the officials herein designated to sign the bonds, who were in office at the time of such signing but who may have ceased to be such officers prior to 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 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 the delivery of the same to the purchaser, or had been in office on the date such bonds may bear.
(6) All bonds issued under the provisions of this section shall be and are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code and in exercising the powers granted by Sections 57-1-251 through 57-1-261, the State Bond Commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
(7) The State Bond Commission shall sell the 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 shall be made at a price less than par plus accrued interest to date of delivery of the bonds to the purchaser. The bonds shall bear interest at such rate or rates not exceeding the limits set forth in Section 75-17-101, as shall be fixed by the State Bond Commission. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually or annually; provided that the first interest payment may be for any period of not more than one (1) year.
Notice of the sale of any bond shall be published at least one (1) time, the first of which shall be made not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of sale, and shall be so published in one or more newspapers having a general circulation in the City of Jackson and in one or more other newspapers or financial journals with a large national circulation, to be selected by the State Bond Commission.
The State Bond Commission, when issuing any bonds under the authority of this section, may provide that the bonds, at the option of the state, may be called in for payment and redemption at the call price named therein and accrued interest on such date or dates named therein.
(8) State bonds issued under the provisions of this section shall be the general obligations of the state and backed by the full faith and credit of the state, and if the funds appropriated by the Legislature shall be 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 bonds shall contain recitals on their faces substantially covering the foregoing provisions of this section.
(9) The State Treasurer is hereby 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 is hereby authorized and directed to issue such warrants payable out of any funds authorized by this section for such purpose, in such amounts as may be necessary to pay when due the principal of and interest on all bonds issued under the provisions of this section; 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 thereon, on the due dates thereof.
(10) The bonds may be issued without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things other than those proceedings, conditions and things which are specified or required by Sections 57-1-251 through 57-1-261. Any resolution providing for the issuance of general obligation bonds under the provisions of this section 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.
(11) In anticipation of the issuance of bonds hereunder, the State Bond Commission is hereby authorized to negotiate and enter into any purchase, loan, credit or other agreement with any bank, trust company or other lending institution or to issue and sell interim notes for the purpose of making any payments authorized under this section. All borrowings made under this provision shall be evidenced by notes of the state which shall be issued from time to time, for such amounts not exceeding the amount of bonds authorized herein, in such form and in such denomination and subject to such terms and conditions of sale and issuance, prepayment or redemption and maturity, rate or rates of interest not to exceed the maximum rate authorized herein for bonds, and time of payment of interest as the State Bond Commission shall agree to in such agreement. Such notes shall constitute general obligations of the state and shall be backed by the full faith and credit of the state. Such notes may also be issued for the purpose of refunding previously issued notes; provided that no notes shall mature more than three (3) years following the date of issuance of the first note hereunder and provided further, that all outstanding notes shall be retired from the proceeds of the first issuance of bonds hereunder. The State Bond Commission is authorized to provide for the compensation of any purchaser of the notes by payment of a fixed fee or commission and for all other costs and expenses of issuance and service, including paying agent costs. Such costs and expenses may be paid from the proceeds of the notes.
(12) The bonds and interim notes authorized under the authority of this section may be validated in the First Judicial District of the Chancery Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, in the manner and with the force and effect provided now or hereafter by Chapter 13, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, for the validation of county, municipal, school district and other bonds. The necessary papers for such validation proceedings shall be transmitted to the State Bond Attorney, and the required notice shall be published in a newspaper published in the City of Jackson, Mississippi.
(13) Any bonds or interim notes issued under the provisions of Sections 57-1-251 through 57-1-261, a transaction relating to the sale or securing of such bonds or interim notes, their transfer and the income therefrom shall at all times be free from taxation by the state or any local unit or political subdivision or other instrumentality of the state, excepting inheritance and gift taxes.
(14) All bonds issued pursuant to Sections 57-1-251 through 57-1-261 shall be legal investments for trustees, other fiduciaries, savings banks, trust companies and insurance companies organized under the laws of the State of Mississippi; and such bonds shall be legal securities which may be deposited with and shall be received by all public officers and bodies of the state and all municipalities and other political subdivisions thereof for the purpose of securing the deposit of public funds.
(15) There is hereby created a special fund in the State Treasury to be known as the "Major Energy Project Development Fund" wherein shall be deposited the proceeds of the bonds issued under Sections 57-1-251 through 57-1-261 and all monies received by the department to carry out the purposes of such sections. Expenditures authorized herein shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants drawn from the fund, and the Department of Finance and Administration shall issue warrants upon requisitions signed by the director of the department.
(16) (a) There is hereby created the "Major Energy Project Development Sinking Fund" from which the principal of and interest on such bonds shall be paid by appropriation. All monies paid into the sinking fund not appropriated to pay accruing bonds and interest shall be invested by the State Treasurer in such securities as are provided by law for the investment of the sinking funds of the state.
(b) In the event that all or any part of the bonds and notes are purchased, they shall be canceled and returned to the loan and transfer agent as canceled and paid bonds and notes and thereafter all payments of interest thereon shall cease and the canceled bonds, notes and coupons, together with any other canceled bonds, notes and coupons, shall be destroyed as promptly as possible after cancellation but not later than two (2) years after cancellation. A certificate evidencing the destruction of the canceled bonds, notes and coupons shall be provided by the loan and transfer agent to the seller.
(c) The State Treasurer shall determine and report to the Department of Finance and Administration and Legislative Budget Office by September 1 of each year the amount of money necessary for the payment of the principal of and interest on outstanding obligations for the following fiscal year and the times and amounts of the payments. It shall be the duty of the Governor to include in every executive budget submitted to the Legislature full information relating to the issuance of bonds and notes under the provisions of Sections 57-1-251 through 57-1-261 and the status of the sinking fund for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds and notes.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.