2021 Regular Session
By: Representatives Read, Bounds, Arnold, Beckett, Eure, Hale, Mangold, Oliver, Turner
AN ACT MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2022.
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 appropriated out of any money in the State General Fund not otherwise appropriated, for the support and maintenance of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022..........................
............................................ $ 5,990,033.00.
SECTION 2. The following sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated out of any money in any special fund in the State Treasury to the credit of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks which is comprised of special source funds collected by or otherwise available to the department for the support and maintenance of the department, including the Museum of Natural Science and the Bureau of Parks and Recreation, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022...........................................
............................................ $ 77,023,000.00.
The following sum, which is included in the sum appropriated above in this section, is appropriated out of the state excise taxes upon gasoline, oil and other petroleum products to the Fisheries and Wildlife Fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022............................................ $ 5,750,000.00.
The Department of Revenue is directed to set aside the amount of this appropriation or any part thereof at any time it sees fit, out of any collections of taxes upon gasoline, oil and other petroleum products, and to deduct the amounts so set aside from such funds before making distribution thereof. However, provisions shall first be made for the Highway Bonds Sinking Fund, as required under the provisions of Chapter 130, Laws of 1938, and any amendments thereto, and Section 27-5-101, Mississippi Code of 1972.
Any funds available in the Wildlife Heritage Fund may be expended by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks as authorized by law. The department shall make a detailed report to the Legislature regarding the spending of the Wildlife Heritage funds by September 1 for the preceding fiscal year.
SECTION 3. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 2 to the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries, funds in the amount of One Hundred Twenty-five Thousand Three Hundred Thirty-five Dollars ($125,335.00) shall be derived from the Education Enhancement Fund deposited pursuant to Sections 27-65-75 and 27-67-31, Mississippi Code of 1972, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of Project WILD for Fiscal Year 2022.
SECTION 4. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of this act, the following positions are authorized:
Permanent: Full Time............ 634
Part Time............ 0
Time-Limited: Full Time............ 63
Part Time............ 0
With the funds herein appropriated, it shall be the agency's responsibility to make certain that funds required to be appropriated for "Personal Services" for Fiscal Year 2023 do not exceed Fiscal Year 2022 funds appropriated for that purpose unless programs or positions are added to the agency's Fiscal Year 2022 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. Absent a special situation or circumstance approved by the State Personnel Board, or unless otherwise authorized by this act, no state agency shall take any action to promote or otherwise award salary increases through reallocation or realignment. If the State Personnel Board determines a special situation or circumstance exists and approves an action, then the agency and the State Personnel Board shall provide a monthly report of each action approved by the State Personnel Board to the chairmen of the Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives and the chairmen of the Appropriations Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives. It shall be the responsibility of the agency head to ensure that no single personnel action increases this projected annual cost and/or the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations for "Personal Services" when annualized, with the exception of escalated funds and the award of benchmarks. 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 2022 "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.
None of the funds herein appropriated shall be used in violation of Internal Revenue Service’s Publication 15-A relating to the reporting of income paid to contract employees, as interpreted by the Office of the State Auditor.
Funds have been appropriated herein for the purpose of implementation and funding Project SEC2 of the Colonel Guy Groff State Variable Compensation Plan beginning January 1, 2022, and ending June 30, 2022. It shall be the agency’s responsibility to make certain that each person, excluding executive directors, agency heads, and elected judges, shall receive no more than a 3% annual increase in salary which shall not exceed the market rate established by the State Personnel Board pursuant to the Colonel Guy Groff State Variable Compensation Plan for each classification.
SECTION 5. Each conservation officer and supervisor shall be furnished an allowance for uniforms not to exceed Five Hundred Fifty Dollars ($550.00) per annum.
Provided further, when any personnel of the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries are transferred from one (1) county to another on a permanent assignment, the expense monies now paid on out-of-county duty shall not be applicable.
SECTION 6. It is the intention of the Legislature that the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall maintain complete accounting and personnel records related to the expenditure of all funds appropriated under this act and that such records shall be in the same format and level of detail as maintained for Fiscal Year 2021. It is further the intention of the Legislature that the agency's budget request for Fiscal Year 2023 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 2022 budget request process.
SECTION 7. In compliance with the "Mississippi Performance Budget and Strategic Planning Act of 1994," it is the intent of the Legislature that the funds provided herein shall be utilized in the most efficient and effective manner possible to achieve the intended mission of this agency. Based on the funding authorized, this agency shall make every effort to attain the targeted performance measures provided below:
Performance Measures Target
Hunting & Fishing Licenses Sold (Number Of) 450,000
Registration of Boats (Number Of) 46,000
Change in License Sales (%) 1.00
Change in Boat Registration (%) 1.00
Fish Stock for Public Water (Fish) 2,000,000
Number of Customers of DWFP Lakes 65,000
Increase in Participation in Aquatic
Education (%) 6,500.00
Number of Access Facilities Built or
Maintained (Boat Ramps) 38
MDWFP Management for Hunters &
Non-consumptive Users (Man-days) 125,000
Research Projects Conducted to Sustain
Healthy & Abundant Wildlife Populations 4
Acres of Forest Inventory 10,000
Acres of Prescribed Burning, Waterfowl
Management, & Timber Management on WMA's
to sustain Healthy and Abundant
Change in Number of Research Projects
Conducted to Sustain Healthy and
Abundant Wildlife Populations(%) 0.00
Change in number of Private Land Acres
Influenced (%) 0.00
Change in the number of Forest
Inventories Conducted (%) 0.00
Hunter Education (Participants) 10,000
Number of Hours Patrolled on Land 160,000
Number of Hours Patrolled on Water 72,000
Number of Criminal Investigations Conducted 8,000
Number of Shooting Sport Programs 840
Number of Boating Accidents 20
Number of Boating Fatalities 5
Cost per student for Hunter Education 48.00
Increase in Shooting Sports Program (%) 23.00
Change in number of Boating Accidents (%) 50.00
Change in Boating Related Fatalities (%) 50.00
Change in Public Contacts per
Officer/per Day (%) 10.00
Improve use of special funds (%) 0.20
Motor Vehicle Fund
Vehicles Purchased 41
Used Vehicle Sold 41
Change in Number of Vehicles in the
Fleet in Order to Maintain Efficient and
Reliable Fleet of Vehicles (%) 3.00
Overnight Accommodation (Cabins/Motels) 450,000
Overnight Accommodations (Camping) 745,000
Day Use Services (Persons) 300,000
Change in Day Use Services (%) 2.00
Change in the Prior Year of Occupancy
Rate of Cabins (%) 1.00
Statewide Education Programming
Total Public Programming (Persons) 200,000
Number of Visitors to Exhibits 60,000
Number of Natural Heritage Records Entered 50,000
Increase in Students that Understand the
Importance of Natural Resource
Conservation (%) 15.00
Increase of Visitors to Exhibits (%) 5.00
Change in the number of Natural Heritage
Records (%) 10.00
A reporting of the degree to which the performance targets set above have been or are being achieved shall be provided in the agency's budget request submitted to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee for Fiscal Year 2023.
SECTION 8. Of the funds appropriated in Section 2, the following amount shall come from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Special Pearl River Timber Fund No. 3465, for the purpose of making improvements to the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area $ 50,000.00.
SECTION 9. Of the funds appropriated within this act, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks may enter into cooperative agreements with the board of supervisors of any county or any group or combination of counties for the purpose of creating, improving or restoring parks, public game and fish habitat lying or to be situated wholly or partially within such county or in an adjoining county; and each county is empowered and authorized, in its discretion, to expend funds from the general county fund for such purposes from which fund they shall reimburse to the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks the actual cost of all surveying and engineering projects incurred by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks incidental thereto. Such boards of supervisors are further authorized and empowered, in their discretion, to enter into agreements necessary to carry out the purposes of this act with any other county, the United States Forest Service or any other agency if same should be necessary for the acquisition of land by lease or otherwise for such purposes.
SECTION 10. It shall be unlawful for any officer, employee or other person whatsoever to use or permit or authorize the use of any automobile or any other motor vehicle owned by the State of Mississippi or any department, agency or institution thereof for any purpose other than upon the official business of the State of Mississippi or any agency, department or institution thereof.
It is the intent of the Legislature that motor vehicles authorized to be owned and operated by this agency shall comply with Sections 25-1-77 through 25-1-93, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 11. In order to be in compliance with Section 63-1-201 et seq., funds are herein provided and may be expended by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to pay the costs of commercial driver's licenses for specific employees and/or to reimburse such costs for specific employees who, in the course of their duties and responsibilities, are required to hold a valid Mississippi Commercial Driver's License.
SECTION 12. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is authorized to provide financial support of One Hundred Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($175,000.00) and to enter into an agreement with the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service for a project specialist and related supportive cost.
SECTION 13. The department is authorized to spend up to sixty percent (60%) of revenue in the State Park Timber Endowment Fund, as needed, to operate and maintain the state parks.
SECTION 14. 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 15. Of the funds appropriated herein, Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) may be provided to fund the Youth Participation Initiative for the purpose of educating children in the areas of hunting, fishing, conservation, and safety.
SECTION 16. The fund created pursuant to Section 49-5-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, and known as the "Fisheries and Wildlife Fund" shall be treated as a special trust fund. All funds derived from the sale of licenses, fees, fines and other revenues received by the department as provided by law, shall be deposited in the Fisheries and Wildlife Fund. In addition, revenue derived from the sale of timber on wildlife management areas, refuges and preserves shall be deposited into an account established for such revenues under the Fisheries and Wildlife Fund. The interest and any investment income earned on the fund shall be credited by the State Treasurer to the Fisheries and Wildlife Fund and shall not be paid into the General Fund. Any unexpended funds remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse and shall remain in the fund. Nothing in this section shall prevent the use of said funds from maintenance and upgrade of wildlife management areas.
SECTION 17. It is the intention of the Legislature that no more than One Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,300,000.00) be expended from the Motor Vehicle Fund for the purchase of any type of motor vehicle.
SECTION 18. The executive director of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is authorized to enter into an agreement with any public or private entities to manage any park or parks within the state park system.
SECTION 19. It is the intent of the Legislature that no state-owned wildlife management area be closed and that to the greatest practicable extent, department land management decisions and actions may not result in any net loss of any acreage available for hunting opportunities that existed on July 1, 2006, as provided in Section 49-5-99(4). It is the intention of the Legislature that no state park be closed without legislative approval.
SECTION 20. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall have the authority to enter into multi-year contracts for the purpose of placing a sign on such state park property under the department's domain, in accordance with any applicable rules and regulations. All proceeds generated from these activities shall remain with the department and shall be deposited into the proper special fund.
SECTION 21. It is the intent of the Legislature that from the funds available to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the department may purchase and pay premium(s) on property damage insurance on its motor vehicles, boats, trailers, real property improvements, buildings, furnishings, and such other assets as may be appropriate or practical, and/or as required by a granting entity.
SECTION 22. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 2, One Million Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,750,000.00) shall be designated for the purpose of defraying the operational expenses of Special Projects. None of these funds shall be used for "Personal Services".
SECTION 23. It is the intention of the Legislature that the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall have the authority to receive, budget and expend funds from the Gulf and Wildlife Protection Fund, not to exceed Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) for the purpose of preservation, protection, conservation, and acquisition of waters, land and wildlife of this state.
SECTION 24. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 2, Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($400,000.00), or so much thereof, shall be derived out of any money in the State Treasury to the credit of the Capital Expense Fund, as created in Section 27-103-303, Mississippi Code of 1972, and allocated in a manner as determined by the Treasurer's Office, is provided for the detection and prevention of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer populations across the state.
SECTION 25. Of the funds appropriated under the provisions of Section 2, Three Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($3,100,000.00), or so much thereof, shall be derived out of any money in the State Treasury to the credit of the Capital Expense Fund, as created in Section 27-103-303, Mississippi Code of 1972, and allocated in a manner as determined by the Treasurer's Office, is provided for the purchase of land to provide public access to hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities.
SECTION 26. It is the intention of the Legislature that the funds herein appropriated shall be expended in compliance with Section 27-104-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, that no state agency shall incur obligations or indebtedness in excess of their appropriation and that the responsible officers, either personally or upon their official bonds, shall be held responsible for actions contrary to this provision.
SECTION 27. Of the funds appropriated in Section 1, it is the intention of the Legislature that Fifty-eight Thousand Five Hundred Ninety-three Dollars ($58,593.00) may be allocated for the Hunter Education program supported from the General Fund court assessments.
SECTION 28. 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 29. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.