2023 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities
By: Representatives Bounds, Stamps
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI BROADBAND ACCESSIBILITY ACT; TO PROVIDE LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; TO DEFINE THE TERM "BEAM"; TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI BROADBAND ACCESSIBILITY FUND FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE EXPANSION AND ACCESSIBILITY OF BROADBAND IN UNSERVED AREAS; TO PROVIDE THAT DISBURSEMENTS FROM THE FUND SHALL BE MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION UPON APPROPRIATION OR DESIGNATION BY THE LEGISLATURE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Broadband Accessibility Act".
SECTION 2. The Legislature finds that the availability of high-speed broadband services, in unserved areas of Mississippi is important for economic development, education, health care, and emergency services in Mississippi, and that grants and other incentives set forth in this act will further those objectives by encouraging new investment in broadband infrastructure.
SECTION 3. For the purposes of this act, the term "BEAM" means the Office of Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi within the Department of
Finance and Administration, as created in Section 77-19-5.
SECTION 4. There is created within the State Treasury the "Mississippi Broadband Accessibility Fund" for the purpose of the expansion and accessibility of broadband in unserved areas. The fund shall consist of all monies designated or appropriated by the State of Mississippi as provided in Section 77-19-7.
Disbursements from the fund shall be made by the Department of Finance and Administration upon appropriation or designation by the Legislature in accordance with the provisions of this act. The administration of this program and disbursements for this program shall comply with the provisions as set forth in Sections 77-19-7, 77-19-9, 77-19-11, 77-19-13, 77-19-15 and 77-19-17.
All unexpended and unencumbered monies in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the fund. Monies in the fund shall be invested by the State Treasurer in the same manner as monies in the State General Fund and interest earned on the investment of these monies shall be credited to the fund.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023.