2007 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Ellis, Watson
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF STATE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF A STATEWIDE WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM; TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF BONDS THAT MAY BE ISSUED DURING CERTAIN STATE FISCAL YEARS; TO PROVIDE THAT A CERTAIN PORTION OF THE MONIES EXPENDED FOR SUCH PURPOSES DURING ANY FISCAL YEAR MUST BE EXPENDED WITH COMPANIES THAT ARE SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS OWNED AND CONTROLLED BY SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED INDIVIDUALS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) As used in this section, 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.
(2) (a) (i) A special fund, to be designated as the "Statewide Wireless Communications System 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.
(ii) Monies deposited into the fund shall be disbursed, in the discretion of the Department of Finance and Administration, based upon recommendations of the Wireless Communication Commission created in Section 25-53-171, to provide funds for the construction, maintenance and operation of a statewide wireless communications system, including, but not limited to, design and other engineering services, purchase of equipment, purchase and lease of real property, rent or lease of tower space, personnel and other associated project costs.
(iii) In making expenditures of monies in the special fund, at least twenty percent (20%) of the monies expended for the purposes described in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (a) during any fiscal year shall be expended with companies that are small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The term "socially and economically disadvantaged individuals" shall have the meaning ascribed to such term under Section 8(d) of the Small Business Act (15 USCS 637(d)) and relevant subcontracting regulations promulgated pursuant thereto; except that women shall be presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged individuals for the purposes of this subparagraph (iii). The purpose of the minimum expenditures requirement of this subparagraph (iii) is to attempt to maximize access to federal funds that may be made available for the purposes described in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (a).
(iv) In addition to the requirements of subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph (a), the Wireless Communication Commission, when awarding contracts for such purposes, shall exhaust all efforts to contract with businesses that are domiciled in the State of Mississippi, provided that the minimum requirements of subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph (a) are satisfied.
(b) Amounts deposited into such special fund shall be disbursed to pay the costs of the projects described in paragraph (a) of this subsection. Promptly after the commission has certified, by resolution duly adopted, that the projects described in paragraph (a) of this subsection 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 section, in accordance with the proceedings authorizing the issuance of such bonds and as directed by the commission.
(c) The Department of Finance and Administration, acting through the Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management, is expressly authorized and empowered to receive and expend any local or other source funds in connection with the expenditure of funds provided for in this subsection. The expenditure of monies deposited into the special fund shall be under the direction of the Department of Finance and Administration, and such funds shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants issued by such department, which warrants shall be issued upon requisitions signed by the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, or his designee.
(3) (a) 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 subsection (2) of this section. Upon the adoption of a resolution by the Wireless Communication Commission, declaring the necessity for the issuance of any part or all of the general obligation bonds authorized by this subsection, the Wireless Communication Commission 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 section shall not exceed Two Hundred Million Dollars ($200,000,000.00); provided however, that: (a) not more than Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000.00) of bonds may be issued during state fiscal year 2007; (b) not more than Sixty-five Million Dollars ($65,000,000.00) of bonds may be issued during state fiscal year 2008; (c) not more than Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00) of bonds may be issued during state fiscal year 2009; (d) not more than Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00) of bonds may be issued during state fiscal year 2010; and (e) not more than Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000.00) of bonds may be issued during state fiscal year 2011. In addition, the amount of bonds authorized to be issued under this section shall be reduced by the amount of any federal funds made available for the purposes described in subsection (2)(a) of this section.
(b) Any investment earnings on amounts deposited into the special fund created in subsection (2) of this section shall be used to pay debt service on bonds issued under this section, in accordance with the proceedings authorizing issuance of such bonds.
(4) The principal of and interest on the bonds authorized under this section shall be payable in the manner provided in this subsection. 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.
(5) The bonds authorized by this section 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.
(6) All bonds and interest coupons issued under the provisions of this section 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 section, the commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
(7) The commission shall act as the issuing agent for the bonds authorized under this section, 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 section 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 section, 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.
(8) The bonds issued under the provisions of this section 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 subsection.
(9) Upon the issuance and sale of bonds under the provisions of this section, the commission shall transfer the proceeds of any such sale or sales to the special fund created in subsection (2) of this section. The proceeds of such bonds shall be disbursed solely upon the order of the Department of Finance and Administration under such restrictions, if any, as may be contained in the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds.
(10) The bonds authorized under this section 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 section. Any resolution providing for the issuance of bonds under the provisions of this section 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.
(11) The bonds authorized under the authority of this section 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.
(12) Any holder of bonds issued under the provisions of this section 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 section, or under such resolution, and may enforce and compel performance of all duties required by this section to be performed, in order to provide for the payment of bonds and interest thereon.
(13) All bonds issued under the provisions of this section 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.
(14) Bonds issued under the provisions of this section and income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
(15) The proceeds of the bonds issued under this section shall be used solely for the purposes herein provided, including the costs incident to the issuance and sale of such bonds.
(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 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.
(17) This section shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the exercise of the powers herein granted, but this section 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.