COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO 1 PROPOSED TO
House Bill No. 1231
Amend by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
SECTION 1. For the purposes of this act, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Board" means the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund.
(b) "Conservation land" means land and water, or interests therein, that are in their undeveloped, natural states or that have been developed only to the extent consistent with, or are restored to be consistent with, at least one (1) of the following environmental values or conservation benefits:
(i) Water quality protection for wetlands, rivers, streams or lakes;
(ii) Protection of wildlife habitat;
(iii) Protection of cultural sites and archeological and historic resources;
(iv) Protection of land around Mississippi's military installations to ensure that missions are compatible with surrounding communities and that encroachment on military installations does not impair future missions;
(v) Provision for recreation in the form of archery, boating, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, running, jogging, biking, walking or shooting facilities, or similar outdoor activities; or
(vi) Recruiting or retention of recreation in the form of archery, boating, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, running, jogging, biking, walking or shooting facilities, or similar outdoor activities.
(c) "Permanently protected conservation areas" means those resources:
(i) Owned by the federal government and dedicated for recreation or conservation or as a natural resource;
(ii) Owned by the State of Mississippi and dedicated for recreation or conservation or as a natural resource; or
(iii) Owned by a state, county or municipal unit of government or authority and subject to:
1. A conservation easement ensuring that the property will be maintained in a manner consistent with conservation land; or
2. Contractual arrangements ensuring that if the protected status is discontinued on a parcel, such property will be replaced by other conservation land which at the time of such replacement is of equal or greater monetary and resource protection value.
(d) "Project proposal" means any application seeking monies from the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund.
(e) "State agency" means any agency, department, commission or institution of the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 2. (1) (a) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund." The special fund shall consist of funds appropriated by the Legislature. Funds shall be accounted for in such a manner to be termed unobligated funds or obligated funds. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any investment earnings or interest earned on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund; however, any unobligated monies in excess of Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000.00) remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year that have not been appropriated shall lapse into the State General Fund. Monies in the fund may be used by the Department of Finance and Administration upon appropriation by the Legislature. The Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund may make recommendation to the Legislature, for the purpose of providing assistance to counties, municipalities and state agencies, as provided in this act. The board may use not more than one percent (1%) of monies in the special fund to defray the expenses of the board in carrying out its duties under this act.
(b) Subject to the provisions of this subsection (1), monies in the fund may be used and expended as appropriated by the Legislature for grants to counties, municipalities and state agencies for:
(i) Improvement of state park outdoor recreation features and trails;
(ii) Providing funds to counties and municipalities to acquire and improve parks and trails under the control and within the jurisdiction of such counties and municipalities;
(iii) Restoration or enhancement projects to create or improve access to public waters and lands for public outdoor recreation, conservation education, use or safe enjoyment of permanently protected conservation land;
(iv) Restoration or enhancement of wetlands, native forests, native grasslands and other unique habitats important for Mississippi's fish and wildlife; and
(v) Acquisition of critical areas for the provision or protection of clean water, wildlife, hunting or fishing, for military installation buffering, or for natural resource-based outdoor recreation. Real property may only be acquired under this subparagraph (v) where such property:
1. Is, at the time of acquisition, being leased by the state as a wildlife management area;
2. Adjoins or is in close proximity to state or federal wildlife management areas or state parks, or would provide better public access to such areas;
3. Is identified in any wildlife action plan developed by a state agency;
4. Constitutes riparian lands so as to protect any drinking water supply; or
5. Surrounds any military base or military installation.
Acquisition of land under this subparagraph (v) may not be made through the exercise of any power of eminent domain or condemnation proceeding.
(c) Unless otherwise authorized by the board, a county, municipality or state agency that receives funds for a project under this section must expend the funds for the project within two (2) years after receipt of the funds in order to be eligible to apply for additional funds for the project under this section. If a county, municipality or state agency receiving funds for a project does not expend the funds within two (2) years after receipt of the funds, then the county, municipality or state agency must provide an accounting of such unused funds and the reason for failure to expend the funds.
(d) A county, municipality or state agency receiving funds under this section may use the funds for purposes for which the funds were provided to the county, municipality or state agency.
(e) Monies in the special fund may not be used, expended or transferred for any other purpose other than authorized under this act.
(2) (a) The board shall accept applications from counties, municipalities and state agencies for project proposals eligible for funding under this section. The board shall evaluate the proposals received in accordance with this section and pursuant to priorities established by the board.
(b) (i) A county, municipality or state agency desiring assistance under this section must submit a complete application to the board. The application must include a description of the purpose for which assistance is requested, the type and amount of assistance requested and any other information required by the board.
(ii) The board shall review an application for assistance and determine whether the applicant is eligible for assistance under this section and whether the applicant should receive assistance under this section. In reviewing applications, the board shall give increased priority to projects:
1. That leverage or match other nonfederal and/or federal funds which are available for similar purposes;
2. That support and promote hunting, fishing and provision for recreation in the form of archery, boating, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, running, jogging, biking, walking or shooting facilities, or similar outdoor activities;
3. That contribute to improving the quality and quantity of surface water and ground water;
4. That contribute to achieving the goals and objectives of local, state, regional and national conservation or outdoor recreational plans.
(c) If the board determines that an applicant should receive assistance, then the board shall prepare a recommendation for assistance. A recommendation for assistance shall provide the purpose for which the assistance is to be provided, the type of assistance to be provided, the amount of assistance to be provided, and any other information determined necessary by the board. The board shall provide its recommendation for assistance to the Legislature, which may appropriate funds from the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund for the purpose of providing the assistance.
SECTION 3. (1) (a) There is established the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, which shall consist of twelve (12) members as follows:
(i) The State Forester, who is an ex officio nonvoting member;
(ii) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, who is an ex officio nonvoting member;
(iii) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, who is an ex officio nonvoting member;
(iv) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, who is an ex officio nonvoting member;
(v) The Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, who is an ex officio nonvoting member
(vi) Four (4) members appointed by the Governor; and
(vii) Three (3) members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
This board shall not approve any funding to a county, municipality or state agency whereby a voting member of this board is an executive, other employee or is a voting member of a governing board with such county, municipality or state agency.
The members of the board appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be appointed from the following private sectors: forestry, conservation, agriculture, marine resources, hunting or fishing. Such members shall be and shall remain Mississippi residents during their tenure on the board and shall possess a demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to land conservation and outdoor recreation.
(b) (i) One (1) person initially appointed by the Governor and two (2) persons initially appointed by the Lieutenant Governor shall serve for a term ending June 30, 2024; and (ii) one (1) person initially appointed by the Governor and two (2) persons initially appointed by the Lieutenant Governor shall serve for a term ending June 30, 2025.
After the expiration of the initial terms, all such appointments shall be for terms of four (4) years from the expiration of the previous term.
(c) A majority of the voting members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of meetings and all actions of the board shall require a majority vote of the voting members of the board.
(d) The board shall annually elect one (1) member to serve as chairman of the board and one (1) member to serve as vice chairman of the board. The vice chairman shall act as chairman in the absence of or upon the disability of the chairman or if there is a vacancy in the office of chairman.
(2) The members of the board appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall receive a per diem as provided in Section 25-3-69, plus travel and necessary expenses incidental to the attendance at each meeting of the board, including mileage, as provided in Section 25-3-41.
(3) No member of the board shall use his official position to obtain, or attempt to obtain, pecuniary benefit for himself other than that compensation provided for by law, or to obtain, or attempt to obtain, pecuniary benefit for any relative or any business with which he is associated, as provided in Section 25-4-105.
(4) The Department of Finance and Administration shall provide the office space, staff and other support necessary for the board to perform its duties.
(5) Following the close of each state fiscal year, the board shall submit an annual report of its activities for the preceding state fiscal year pursuant to this act to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate.
SECTION 4. The board shall have all powers necessary to implement and administer Sections 1 through 3 of this act, and the board shall promulgate rules and regulations, in accordance with the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law, necessary for the implementation of this act.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021, and shall stand repealed on June 30, 2021.
Further, amend by striking the title in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
AN ACT TO CREATE A SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY TO BE DESIGNATED AS THE MISSISSIPPI OUTDOOR STEWARDSHIP TRUST FUND; TO PROVIDE THAT MONIES IN THE SPECIAL FUND SHALL BE USED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION AS APPROPRIATED BY THE LEGISLATURE; TO ALLOW THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE MISSISSIPPI OUTDOOR STEWARDSHIP TRUST FUND TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LEGISLATURE FOR THE PURPOSES OF PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO COUNTIES, MUNICIPALITIES AND STATE AGENCIES FOR THE SUPPORT OF WILDLIFE, NATURE AND OTHER OUTDOOR ACTIVITY CONSERVATION AND PROMOTION PURPOSES; TO CREATE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE MISSISSIPPI OUTDOOR STEWARDSHIP TRUST FUND; TO PROVIDE FOR THE COMPOSITION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE MISSISSIPPI OUTDOOR STEWARDSHIP TRUST FUND; TO PROVIDE THAT THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHALL REVIEW APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.