2022 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) DeBar, Thomas, Jordan, Simmons (12th), Simmons (13th), Jackson (11th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 31-7-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROCUREMENT CARD FOR CLASSROOM SUPPLIES USING EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT FUNDS SHALL BE ISSUED TO TEACHERS ON AUGUST 1 OF EACH YEAR; TO PROVIDE THAT LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS SHALL REQUIRE EACH SCHOOL TO ISSUE CREDENTIALS FOR A DIGITAL SOLUTION SELECTED OR PROCUREMENT CARDS FOR THE USE OF TEACHERS IN MAKING INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPLY FUND EXPENDITURES UNDER THE EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT FUND; TO AMEND SECTION 37-61-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION TO DISTRIBUTE EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT FUNDS FOR CLASSROOM SUPPLIES TO ELIGIBLE TEACHERS THROUGH THE USE OF DIGITAL SOLUTIONS AND THEIR APPLICABLE CREDENTIALS; TO SET TIMELINES FOR THE ISSUANCE OF THESE SOLUTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 31-7-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-9. (1) (a) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall adopt purchasing regulations governing the purchase by any agency of any commodity or commodities and establishing standards and specifications for a commodity or commodities and the maximum fair prices of a commodity or commodities, subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board. It shall have the power to amend, add to or eliminate purchasing regulations. The adoption of, amendment, addition to or elimination of purchasing regulations shall be based upon a determination by the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management with the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board, that such action is reasonable and practicable and advantageous to promote efficiency and economy in the purchase of commodities by the agencies of the state. Upon the adoption of any purchasing regulation, or an amendment, addition or elimination therein, copies of same shall be furnished to the State Auditor and to all agencies affected thereby. Thereafter, and except as otherwise may be provided in subsection (2) of this section, no agency of the state shall purchase any commodities covered by existing purchasing regulations unless such commodities be in conformity with the standards and specifications set forth in the purchasing regulations and unless the price thereof does not exceed the maximum fair price established by such purchasing regulations. The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall furnish to any county or municipality or other local public agency of the state requesting same, copies of purchasing regulations adopted by the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management and any amendments, changes or eliminations of same that may be made from time to time.
(b) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management may adopt purchasing regulations governing the use of credit cards, procurement cards and purchasing club membership cards to be used by state agencies, governing authorities of counties and municipalities, school districts and the Chickasawhay Natural Gas District. Use of the cards shall be in strict compliance with the regulations promulgated by the office. Any amounts due on the cards shall incur interest charges as set forth in Section 31-7-305 and shall not be considered debt.
(c) Pursuant to the provision of Section 37-61-33(3), the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management of the Department of Finance and Administration is authorized to issue procurement cards or credentials for a digital solution to all public school district classroom teachers, full- or part-time gifted or special education teachers and other necessary direct support personnel at the beginning of the school year, but no later than August 1 of each year, for the purchase of instructional supplies using Educational Enhancement Funds. The cards will be issued in equal amounts per teacher determined by the total number of qualifying personnel and the then current state appropriation for classroom instructional supplies under the Education Enhancement Fund. All purchases shall be in accordance with state law and teachers are responsible for verification of capital asset requirements when pooling monies to purchase equipment. The cards will expire on a predetermined date at the end of each school year, but not before April 1 of each year. All unexpended amounts will be carried forward, to be combined with the following year's instructional supply fund allocation, and reallocated for the following year. The Department of Finance and Administration is authorized to loan any start-up funds at the beginning of the school year to fund this procurement system for instructional supplies with loan repayment being made from sales tax receipts earmarked for the Education Enhancement Fund.
(d) In a sale of goods or services, the seller shall not impose a surcharge on a buyer who uses a state-issued credit card, procurement card, travel card, or fuel card. The Department of Finance and Administration shall have exclusive jurisdiction to enforce and adopt rules relating to this paragraph. Any rules adopted under this paragraph shall be consistent with federal laws and regulations governing credit card transactions described by this paragraph. This paragraph does not create a cause of action against an individual for a violation of this paragraph.
(2) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall adopt, subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board, purchasing regulations governing the purchase of unmarked vehicles to be used by the Bureau of Narcotics and Department of Public Safety in official investigations pursuant to Section 25-1-87. Such regulations shall ensure that purchases of such vehicles shall be at a fair price and shall take into consideration the peculiar needs of the Bureau of Narcotics and Department of Public Safety in undercover operations.
(3) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall adopt, subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board, regulations governing the certification process for certified purchasing offices, including the Mississippi Purchasing Certification Program, which shall be required of all purchasing agents at state agencies. Such regulations shall require entities desiring to be classified as certified purchasing offices to submit applications and applicable documents on an annual basis, and in the case of a state agency purchasing office, to have one hundred percent (100%) participation and completion by purchasing agents in the Mississippi Purchasing Certification Program, at which time the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management may provide the governing entity with a certification valid for one (1) year from the date of issuance. The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall set a fee in an amount that recovers its costs to administer the Mississippi Purchasing Certification Program, which shall be assessed to the participating state agencies.
(4) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall adopt purchasing regulations authorizing rural water associations to purchase at the state contract price afforded to agencies and governing authorities under this chapter.
SECTION 2. Section 37-61-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-61-33. (1) There is created within the State Treasury a special fund to be designated the "Education Enhancement Fund" into which shall be deposited all the revenues collected pursuant to Sections 27-65-75(7) and (8) and 27-67-31(a) and (b).
(2) Of the amount deposited into the Education Enhancement Fund, Sixteen Million Dollars ($16,000,000.00) shall be appropriated each fiscal year to the State Department of Education to be distributed to all school districts. Such money shall be distributed to all school districts in the proportion that the average daily attendance of each school district bears to the average daily attendance of all school districts within the state for the following purposes:
(a) Purchasing, erecting, repairing, equipping, remodeling and enlarging school buildings and related facilities, including gymnasiums, auditoriums, lunchrooms, vocational training buildings, libraries, teachers' homes, school barns, transportation vehicles (which shall include new and used transportation vehicles) and garages for transportation vehicles, and purchasing land therefor.
(b) Establishing and equipping school athletic fields and necessary facilities connected therewith, and purchasing land therefor.
(c) Providing necessary water, light, heating, air-conditioning and sewerage facilities for school buildings, and purchasing land therefor.
(d) As a pledge to pay all or a portion of the debt service on debt issued by the school district under Sections 37-59-1 through 37-59-45, 37-59-101 through 37-59-115, 37-7-351 through 37-7-359, 37-41-89 through 37-41-99, 37-7-301, 37-7-302 and 37-41-81, or debt issued by boards of supervisors for agricultural high schools pursuant to Section 37-27-65, if such pledge is accomplished pursuant to a written contract or resolution approved and spread upon the minutes of an official meeting of the district's school board or board of supervisors. The annual grant to such district in any subsequent year during the term of the resolution or contract shall not be reduced below an amount equal to the district's grant amount for the year in which the contract or resolution was adopted. The intent of this provision is to allow school districts to irrevocably pledge a certain, constant stream of revenue as security for long-term obligations issued under the code sections enumerated in this paragraph or as otherwise allowed by law. It is the intent of the Legislature that the provisions of this paragraph shall be cumulative and supplemental to any existing funding programs or other authority conferred upon school districts or school boards. Debt of a district secured by a pledge of sales tax revenue pursuant to this paragraph shall not be subject to any debt limitation contained in the foregoing enumerated code sections.
(3) The remainder of the money deposited into the Education Enhancement Fund shall be appropriated as follows:
(a) To the State Department of Education as follows:
(i) Sixteen and sixty-one one-hundredths percent (16.61%) to the cost of the adequate education program determined under Section 37-151-7; of the funds generated by the percentage set forth in this section for the support of the adequate education program, one and one hundred seventy-eight one-thousandths percent (1.178%) of the funds shall be appropriated to be used by the State Department of Education for the purchase of textbooks to be loaned under Sections 37-43-1 through 37-43-59 to approved nonpublic schools, as described in Section 37-43-1. The funds to be distributed to each nonpublic school shall be in the proportion that the average daily attendance of each nonpublic school bears to the total average daily attendance of all nonpublic schools;
(ii) Seven and ninety-seven one-hundredths percent (7.97%) to assist the funding of transportation operations and maintenance pursuant to Section 37-19-23; and
(iii) Nine and
sixty-one one-hundredths percent (9.61%) for classroom supplies, instructional
materials and equipment, including computers and computer software, to be distributed
to all eligible teachers within the state through the use of procurement cards or
a digital solution capable of tracking, paying and reporting purchases.
Classroom supply funds shall not be expended for administrative purposes. On * * *
a date to be
determined by the State Department of Education, but not later than July 1 of
each year, local school districts shall determine and submit to the State
Department of Education the number of teachers eligible to receive an
allocation for the current year. For purposes of this subparagraph, "teacher"
means any employee of the school board of a school district, or the Mississippi
School for the Arts, the Mississippi School for Math and Science, the Mississippi
School for the Blind or the Mississippi School for the Deaf, who is required by
law to obtain a teacher's license from the State Department of Education and
who is assigned to an instructional area of work as defined by the department * * * , and
shall include any full- or part-time gifted or special education teacher.
It is the intent of the Legislature that all classroom teachers shall utilize
these funds in a manner that addresses individual classroom needs and supports
the overall goals of the school regarding supplies, instructional materials,
equipment, computers or computer software under the provisions of this
subparagraph, including the type, quantity and quality of such supplies,
materials and equipment. Classroom supply funds allocated under this
subparagraph shall supplement, not replace, other local and state funds
available for the same purposes. The State Board of Education shall develop and
promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this subparagraph
consistent with the above criteria, with particular emphasis on allowing the individual
teachers to expend funds as they deem appropriate. * * *
The local school board shall require each school to issue credentials for a
digital solution selected by or procurement cards provided by the
Department of Finance and Administration under the provisions of Section 31-7-9(1)(c)
for the use of teachers and necessary support personnel in making instructional
supply fund expenditures under this section, consistent with the regulations of
the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration pursuant to Section 31-7-9.
Such credentials or procurement cards shall be * * * provided by the State Department of
Education to local school districts on a date determined by the State
Department of Education, but not later than August 1 of each year. Local school
districts shall issue such credentials or procurement cards to classroom
teachers at the beginning of the school year, but no later than August 1
of each year, and shall be issued in equal amounts per teacher determined
by the total number of qualifying personnel and the current state appropriation
for classroom supplies with the Education Enhancement Fund. After initial
cards are issued under the timeline prescribed by this section, the State
Department of Education may issue cards to districts for any classroom teacher
hired after July 1 under a timeline prescribed by the State Department of
Education. Such credentials or cards will expire on a predetermined
date at the end of each school year, but not before April 1 of each year.
All unexpended amounts will be carried forward, combined with the following
year's allocation of Education Enhancement Fund instructional supplies funds and
reallocated for the following year;
(b) Twenty-two and nine one-hundredths percent (22.09%) to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning for the purpose of supporting institutions of higher learning; and
(c) Fourteen and forty-one one-hundredths percent (14.41%) to the Mississippi Community College Board for the purpose of providing support to community and junior colleges.
(4) The amount remaining in the Education Enhancement Fund after funds are distributed as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall be appropriated for other educational needs.
(5) None of the funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (3)(a) of this section shall be used to reduce the state's General Fund appropriation for the categories listed in an amount below the following amounts:
(a) For subsection (3)(a)(ii) of this section, Thirty-six Million Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars ($36,700,000.00);
(b) For the aggregate of minimum program allotments in the 1997 fiscal year, formerly provided for in Chapter 19, Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, excluding those funds for transportation as provided for in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(6) Any funds appropriated from the Education Enhancement Fund that are unexpended at the end of a fiscal year shall lapse into the Education Enhancement Fund, except as otherwise provided in subsection (3)(a)(iii) of this section.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.