2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Gordon, Little, Frazier, Davis, Flowers, Jackson (32nd), Turner, Burton, Butler, Carmichael, Chaney, Dearing, Doxey, Fillingane, Harden, Horhn, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), King, Lee (35th), Mettetal, Michel, Posey, Thomas, Walls
AN ACT MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING THE EXPENSES OF THE VETERANS AFFAIRS BOARD FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the State General Fund not otherwise appropriated, for the purpose of defraying the expenses and paying salaries of the Veterans Affairs Board for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007, and ending June 30, 2008........................ $ 4,852,375.00.
SECTION 2. The following sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the special fund in the State Treasury to the credit of the Veterans Affairs Board which is comprised of special source funds collected by or otherwise available to the board, for the support and maintenance of said board for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007, and ending June 30, 2008........................ $ 27,287,358.00.
SECTION 3. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Sections 1 and 2, not more than the amounts set forth below shall be expended for the respective major objects or purposes of expenditure:
MAJOR OBJECTS OF EXPENDITURE:
Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits$ 15,052,840.00
Travel and Subsistence.............. 70,971.00
Contractual Services..................... 13,527,024.00
Other Than Equipment................ 200,000.00
Wireless Communication Devices...... 0.00
Subsidies, Loans and Grants.............. 50,000.00
Total.............................. $ 32,139,733.00
General Funds........................... $ 4,852,375.00
Special Funds............................ 27,287,358.00
Total.............................. $ 32,139,733.00
Permanent: Full Time........... 75
Part Time........... 0
Time-Limited:Full Time........... 567
Part Time........... 96
Funds are provided herein to adjust the Variable Compensation Plan to ensure that all full-time employees receive a pay increase equal to the realignment component of the Variable Compensation Plan or One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or Three Percent (3%) whichever is greater, to be awarded on July 1, 2007.
With the funds herein appropriated, it is the intention of the Legislature that it shall be the agency's responsibility to make certain that funds required to be appropriated for "Personal Services" for Fiscal Year 2009 do not exceed Fiscal Year 2008 funds appropriated for that purpose, unless programs or positions are added to the agency's Fiscal Year 2009 budget by the Mississippi Legislature. Based on data provided by the Legislative Budget Office, the State Personnel Board shall determine and publish the projected annual cost to fully fund all appropriated positions in compliance with the provisions of this act. It shall be the responsibility of the agency head to insure that no single personnel action increases this projected annual cost and/or the Fiscal Year 2008 appropriation for "Personal Services" when annualized, with the exception of escalated funds. If, at the time the agency takes any action to change "Personal Services," the State Personnel Board determines that the agency has taken an action which would cause the agency to exceed this projected annual cost or the Fiscal Year 2008 "Personal Services" appropriated level, when annualized, then only those actions which reduce the projected annual cost and/or the appropriation requirement will be processed by the State Personnel Board until such time as the requirements of this provision are met.
Any transfers or escalations shall be made in accordance with the terms, conditions and procedures established by law or allowable under the terms set forth within this act. The State Personnel Board shall not escalate positions without written approval from the Department of Finance and Administration. The Department of Finance and Administration shall not provide written approval to escalate any funds for salaries and/or positions without proof of availability of new or additional funds above the appropriated level.
No general funds authorized to be expended herein shall be used to replace federal funds and/or other special funds which are being used for salaries authorized under the provisions of this act and which are withdrawn and no longer available.
The agency shall not take any action to promote or otherwise award salary increases through reallocation, reclassification, realignment, education benchmark, career ladder, or any other means to increase salaries of employees or positions unless specifically exempted by the following conditions: the award of teacher pay increases, the advancement of a trainee/cadet to the next level of a bona fide career ladder, the award of an educational benchmark for the attainment of Certified Public Accountant License or higher level professional certification as determined by the State Personnel Board, the immediate replacement of a departing employee with an individual from within state service or a new hire at a salary level equivalent to that of the departing employee, and the emergency appointment of nurses, pharmacists or other health care professionals at a salary to be determined by the State Personnel Board, unless otherwise authorized in this act.
SECTION 4. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Sections 1 and 2, funds in the amount of Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) are provided to defray the cost of providing care to indigent/low-income Mississippi veterans and the non-veteran surviving spouses of Mississippi veterans if the surviving spouse was a resident of a state veterans home at the time of the veteran's death and who, subsequent to the veteran's death, meets the indigent/low-income criteria established by the State Veterans Affairs Board, in the state veterans homes. It is the intention of the Legislature that the provision pertaining to use of indigent/low-income surviving spouses be retroactive for any such period, prior to the effective date of this act, that a current surviving spouse may have met the criteria. This section and its provisions shall be known and cited as the "Hilton R. 'Jack' Vance Act of 1997."
SECTION 5. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 2, Three Hundred Fifty-four Thousand One Hundred Twenty-three Dollars ($354,123.00) shall be derived from the Health Care Expendable Fund created in Section 43-13-407, Mississippi Code of 1972, for the support and maintenance of the Veterans' Affairs Board.
SECTION 6. It is the intention of the Legislature that the Executive Director of the Veterans' Affairs Board may authorize increases in any major objects of expenditures in total amounts not to exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the appropriated amount of each major object of expenditure, provided that other major objects of expenditure are decreased by a corresponding dollar amount. However, no transfers shall be authorized which increase the major object of expenditure "Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits."
SECTION 7. It is the intention of the Legislature that the Veterans Affairs Board shall maintain complete accounting and personnel records related to the expenditure of all funds appropriated under the provisions of this act and that such records shall be in the same format and level of details as maintained for Fiscal Year 2007. It is further the intention of the Legislature that the budget request for Fiscal Year 2009 shall be submitted to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in a format and level of detail comparable to the format and level of detail provided during the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request process.
SECTION 8. It is the intention of the Legislature that whenever two (2) or more bids are received by this agency for the purchase of commodities or equipment, and whenever all things stated in such received bids are equal with respect to price, quality and service, the Mississippi Industries for the Blind shall be given preference. A similar preference shall be given to the Mississippi Industries for the Blind whenever purchases are made without competitive bids.
SECTION 9. It is legislative intent to ensure beneficial information reaches as many Mississippians as possible. Further, it is legislative intent that the expenditure of public funds for this purpose be accomplished in an efficient and effective manner:
Therefore, state agencies as standard procedure, will observe the following criteria:
(1) Develop goals and desired result for a campaign.
(2) Evaluate effectiveness through respected advertising standards, including market reach and cost effectiveness.
(3) Seek public service announcements, which would be aired by media without cost.
(4) Itemize and justify professional assistance and related expenses for creative and production costs outside of the actual media expenditures.
(5) Utilize Mississippi owned media companies when feasible.
SECTION 10. Of the funds appropriated herein, the State Veterans Affairs Board is authorized to make payment for expenses incurred in fiscal years 2004 and 2005 not to exceed Twenty-four Thousand Sixty-eight Dollars and Fifteen Cents ($24,068.15), payable to the Department of Finance and Administration Office of Insurance.
SECTION 11. The money herein appropriated shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of any money in the State Treasury to the credit of the proper fund or funds as set forth in this act, upon warrants issued by the State Fiscal Officer; and the State Fiscal Officer shall issue his warrants upon requisitions signed by the proper person, officer or officers in the manner provided by law.
SECTION 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.