2007 Regular Session
To: Transportation; Ways and Means
By: Representative Lane, Clarke, Buck, Cummings, Eaton, Flaggs, Fredericks, Montgomery, Moss, Peranich, Robinson (84th), Shows, Snowden, Watson
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 542, LAWS OF 2006, TO REVISE THE AMOUNT OF DEBT OR FUNDS THAT AN OWNER OR OPERATOR OF A RAILROAD LINE MUST INCUR OR DEDICATE FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, CAPITAL INVESTMENTS OR CAPITAL UPGRADES TO CERTAIN RAILROAD LINES BEFORE STATE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS MAY BE ISSUED TO ASSIST WAYNE COUNTY, CLARKE COUNTY AND LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AND MUNICIPALITIES LOCATED WITHIN SUCH COUNTIES, IN PAYING COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH CONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT OF RAILROAD LINES AND RELATED FACILITIES LOCATED IN SUCH COUNTIES AND WHICH CONSTITUTE PART OF A COOPERATIVE PLAN OF SUCH COUNTIES FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 542, Laws of 2006, is amended as follows:
Section 1. As used in Sections 1 through 17 of this act, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Accreted value" of any bond means, as of any date of computation, an amount equal to the sum of (i) the stated initial value of such bond, plus (ii) the interest accrued thereon from the issue date to the date of computation at the rate, compounded semiannually, that is necessary to produce the approximate yield to maturity shown for bonds of the same maturity.
(b) "State" means the State of Mississippi.
(c) "Commission" means the State Bond Commission.
(d) "This act" means Sections 1 through 17 of this act.
Section 2. (1) (a) A special fund, to be designated as the "2006 Railroad Lines and Bridges Improvements Fund," is created within the State Treasury. The fund shall be maintained by the State Treasurer as a separate and special fund, separate and apart from the General Fund of the state. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned or investment earnings on amounts in the fund shall be deposited into such fund.
(b) Monies deposited into the fund shall be allocated and disbursed as follows:
(i) Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000.00) shall be disbursed, in the discretion of the Mississippi Development Authority, to assist Wayne County, Clarke County and Lauderdale County, and municipalities located within such counties, in paying costs associated with construction and improvement of railroad lines and related facilities, including projects necessary to ensure safety and structural integrity of rail lines and rail beds, located in such counties and which constitute part of a cooperative plan of such counties for the improvement of rail transportation; provided, however:
1. Not more than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) may be disbursed for such purposes in any fiscal year; and
2. No bonds shall be issued for the projects described in this paragraph (b)(i) until the Mississippi Development Authority is provided proof that the owner or operator of the railroad line has incurred debt or has otherwise dedicated funds or a combination of debt and funds in the amount of not less than Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000.00) for capital improvements, capital investments or capital upgrades on such railroad line.
(ii) Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00) shall be disbursed, in the discretion of the Mississippi Development Authority, to assist Tippah County, Union County, Tishomingo County and Alcorn County, and municipalities located within such counties, in paying costs associated with construction and improvement of bridges, viaducts and overpasses, including approaches thereto, spanning railroad lines and related railroad facilities and paying the cost of other railroad line improvements; provided, however, not more than One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00) may be disbursed for such purposes in any fiscal year.
(c) If the owner or operator of a railroad line that is benefitted from assistance provided under this section sells such railroad line within ten (10) years of the date the assistance was provided, then such owner or operator shall repay to the State of Mississippi the amount of assistance provided under this section that benefitted the railroad line as follows:
(i) If the railroad line is sold within one (1) year of such assistance, one hundred percent (100%) of the amount of the assistance;
(ii) If the railroad line is sold within two (2) years of such assistance, ninety percent (90%) of the amount of the assistance;
(iii) If the railroad line is sold within three (3) years of such assistance, eighty percent (80%) of the amount of the assistance;
(iv) If the railroad line is sold within four (4) years of such assistance, seventy percent (70%) of the amount of the assistance;
(v) If the railroad line is sold within five (5) years of such assistance, sixty percent (60%) of the amount of the assistance;
(vi) If the railroad line is sold within six (6) years of such assistance, fifty percent (50%) of the amount of the assistance;
(vii) If the railroad line is sold within seven (7) years of such assistance, forty percent (40%) of the amount of the assistance;
(viii) If the railroad line is sold within eight (8) years of such assistance, thirty percent (30%) of the amount of the assistance;
(ix) If the railroad line is sold within nine (9) years of such assistance, twenty percent (20%) of the amount of the assistance; and
(x) If the railroad line is sold within ten (10) years of such assistance, ten percent (10%) of the amount of the assistance.
(d) Monies in the special fund may be used to reimburse reasonable actual and necessary costs incurred by the Mississippi Development Authority in providing assistance related to a project for which funding is provided under this act. The Mississippi Development Authority shall maintain an accounting of actual costs incurred for each project for which reimbursements are sought. Reimbursements under this paragraph (c) shall not exceed Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) in the aggregate. Reimbursements under this paragraph (c) shall satisfy any applicable federal tax law requirements.
(2) Amounts deposited into such special fund shall be disbursed to pay the costs of the projects described in subsection (1) of this section. Promptly after the commission has certified, by resolution duly adopted, that the projects described in subsection (1) of this section shall have been completed, abandoned, or cannot be completed in a timely fashion, any amounts remaining in such special fund shall be applied to pay debt service on the bonds issued under this act, in accordance with the proceedings authorizing the issuance of such bonds and as directed by the commission.
Section 3. (1) The commission, at one 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 all costs incurred or to be incurred for the purposes described in Section 2 of this act. Except as otherwise provided in Section 2(1)(b) of this act, upon the adoption of a resolution by the Mississippi Development Authority, declaring the necessity for the issuance of any part or all of the general obligation bonds authorized by this section, the Mississippi Development Authority shall deliver a certified copy of its resolution or resolutions to the commission. Upon receipt of such resolution, the 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 this act shall not exceed Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00); provided, however, that not more than Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,500,000.00) of bonds may be issued in any fiscal year.
(2) Any investment earnings on amounts deposited into the special fund created in Section 2 of this act shall be used to pay debt service on bonds issued under this act, in accordance with the proceedings authorizing issuance of such bonds.
Section 4. The principal of and interest on the bonds authorized under 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 to exceed the limits set forth in Section 75-17-101, Mississippi Code of 1972), 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-five (25) 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 shall be determined by resolution of the commission.
Section 5. The bonds authorized by this act shall be signed by the chairman of the commission, or by his facsimile signature, and the official seal of the commission shall be affixed thereto, attested by the secretary of the 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 herein to the contrary, such bonds may be issued as provided in the Registered Bond Act of the State of Mississippi.
Section 6. All bonds and interest coupons issued under the provisions 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 commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
Section 7. The commission shall act as the issuing agent for the bonds authorized under 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 any and all other things necessary and advisable in connection with the issuance and sale of such bonds. The commission is authorized and empowered to pay the costs that are incident to the sale, issuance and delivery of the bonds authorized under this act from the proceeds derived from the sale of such bonds. The 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 shall 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 bonds shall be published at least one 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 commission.
The commission, when issuing any bonds under the authority of this act, may provide that 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 8. The bonds issued under the provisions 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 9. Upon the issuance and sale of bonds under the provisions of this act, the commission shall transfer the proceeds of any such sale or sales to the special fund created in Section 2 of this act. The proceeds of such bonds shall be disbursed solely upon the order of the Mississippi Development Authority under such restrictions, if any, as may be contained in the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds.
Section 10. The bonds authorized under 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 which are specified or required by this act. Any resolution providing for the issuance of bonds under the provisions of this act shall become effective immediately upon its adoption by the commission, and any such resolution may be adopted at any regular or special meeting of the commission by a majority of its members.
Section 11. The bonds authorized under the authority 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 12. Any holder of bonds issued under the provisions of this act or of any of the interest coupons pertaining thereto may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding, protect and enforce any and all rights granted under this act, or under such resolution, and may enforce and compel performance of all duties required by this act to be performed, in order to provide for the payment of bonds and interest thereon.
Section 13. All bonds issued under the provisions 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 which 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 14. Bonds issued under the provisions of this act and income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
Section 15. The proceeds of the bonds issued under this act shall be used solely for the purposes herein provided, including the costs incident to the issuance and sale of such bonds.
Section 16. 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 is authorized and directed to 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 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 thereon, on the due dates thereof.
Section 17. This act shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the exercise of the powers herein granted, but this act shall not be deemed to repeal or to be in derogation of any existing law of this state.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.