1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Hawks
Senate Concurrent Resolution 543
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO ADD A NEW SECTION TO THE MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, CREATING A TRUST FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY INTO WHICH ALL MONIES RECEIVED BY THE STATE ARISING OUT OF TOBACCO LITIGATION SHALL BE DEPOSITED AND REQUIRING FUNDS TO BE USED FOR TAX CUTS FOR STATE TAX PURPOSES; 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 by adding the following section:
SECTION . There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special fund designated as the Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund into which shall be deposited such money as may be received by the state or by any attorney as settlement of any litigation in which the State of Mississippi is a plaintiff or claimant for damages suffered by the state as a result of the use of tobacco or tobacco products by the residents of the State of Mississippi. Money in this fund shall be appropriated by the Legislature and solely limited to funding tax cuts for the state taxpayers and to the payment of attorneys' fees in connection with the litigation for which the settlement money was received.
Any attorney seeking fees to be paid out of the Tobacco Litigation Settlement Fund shall be limited to recover only actual expenses incurred plus One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) per hour for time actually expended in professional legal services on behalf of the state's taxpayers in such litigation. This limitation will apply to all fees sought for any such litigation on behalf of the state, including, without limitation, fees sought through negotiation, court order, settlement agreement, contingency fee arrangement, arbitration procedure, alternative dispute resolution procedure or other arrangement for payment of attorneys' fees. Full disclosure for public review of all documents, including invoices, billing records, expense reimbursement forms and other information in whatever form maintained to document an attorney's time and expenses, must be made in order to authorize payment of any attorney's fees from the fund.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this amendment shall be submitted 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 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 into which all monies received by the state arising out of tobacco litigation shall be deposited. It also provides that the funds shall be used to provide tax cuts for state taxpayers.