2006 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Watson
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF $16,000,000.00 IN STATE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AT AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM DESTINATION FACILITY IN HANCOCK COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, THAT FEATURES A SPACE, SCIENCE AND EDUCATION CENTER; TO REQUIRE THE COMMITMENT OF A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PRIVATE, LOCAL OR FEDERAL FUNDS FOR SUCH PROJECT AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS UNDER THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Accreted value" of any bond means, as of any date of computation, an amount equal to the sum of (i) the stated initial value of such bond, plus (ii) the interest accrued thereon from the issue date to the date of computation at the rate, compounded semiannually, that is necessary to produce the approximate yield to maturity shown for bonds of the same maturity.
(b) "Commission" means the State Bond Commission.
(c) "Project" means an economic development and tourism destination facility in Hancock County, Mississippi, that will feature a space, science and education center. The title to the project facilities is to be vested in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
(d) "State" means the State of Mississippi.
(e) "Authority" means the Mississippi Development Authority.
SECTION 2. The authority may use the proceeds from general obligation bonds issued under this act for the project as it considers necessary to further the project.
SECTION 3. (1) (a) A special fund, to be designated as the "Infinity Space, Science and Education Center Fund," is created within the State Treasury. The fund shall be maintained by the State Treasurer separate and apart from the State General Fund. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned or investment earnings on amounts in the fund shall be deposited into such fund.
(b) Monies deposited into the fund shall be disbursed, in the discretion of the authority, to pay the costs incurred for the construction, furnishing and equipping the project.
(2) Amounts deposited into such special fund shall be disbursed to pay the costs of the project. If any monies in the special fund are not used within four (4) years after the date the proceeds of the bonds authorized under this act are deposited into such fund, then the authority shall provide an accounting of such unused monies to the commission. Promptly after the commission has certified, by resolution duly adopted, that the project has been completed, abandoned, or cannot be completed in a timely fashion, any amounts remaining in such special fund shall be applied to pay debt service on the bonds issued under this act, in accordance with the proceedings authorizing the issuance of such bonds and as directed by the commission. Before monies in the special fund may be used for the project, the authority shall require that the developer and operator of the project enter into binding commitments regarding at least the following:
(a) That a certain minimum number of jobs will be created over a certain period of time as determined by the authority (which jobs must be held by persons eligible for employment in the United States under applicable state and federal law); and
(b) That if any such commitments are not satisfied, an amount equal to all or a portion of the funds provided by the state under this act as determined by the authority shall be repaid.
SECTION 4. (1) The commission, at one time, or from time to time, may declare by resolution the necessity for issuance of general obligation bonds of the State of Mississippi to provide funds for all costs incurred or to be incurred for the purposes described in Section 3 of this act. No bonds shall be issued under this act until the authority is provided proof that the funds from private, local and/or federal sources have been irrevocably dedicated to the project in the amount of not less than Sixteen Million Dollars ($16,000,000.00). Upon the adoption of a resolution by the authority, declaring that funds have been irrevocably dedicated in the required amount and declaring the necessity for the issuance of any part or all of the general obligation bonds authorized by this section, the authority shall deliver a certified copy of its resolution or resolutions to the commission. Upon receipt of such resolution, the commission, in its discretion, may act as the issuing agent, prescribe the form of the bonds, advertise for and accept bids, issue and sell the bonds so authorized to be sold and do any and all other things necessary and advisable in connection with the issuance and sale of such bonds. The total amount of bonds issued under this act shall not exceed Sixteen Million Dollars ($16,000,000.00); however, not more than Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000.00) may be issued in any one (1) fiscal year. No bonds shall be issued under this act after July 1, 2009.
(2) Any investment earnings on amounts deposited into the special fund created in Section 3 of this act shall be used to pay debt service on bonds issued under this act, in accordance with the proceedings authorizing issuance of such bonds.
SECTION 5. The principal of and interest on the bonds authorized under this act shall be payable in the manner provided in this section. Such bonds shall bear such date or dates, be in such denomination or denominations, bear interest at such rate or rates (not to exceed the limits set forth in Section 75-17-101, Mississippi Code of 1972), be payable at such place or places within or without the State of Mississippi, shall mature absolutely at such time or times not to exceed twenty (20) years from date of issue, be redeemable before maturity at such time or times and upon such terms, with or without premium, shall bear such registration privileges, and shall be substantially in such form, all as shall be determined by resolution of the commission.
SECTION 6. The bonds authorized by this act shall be signed by the chairman of the commission, or by his facsimile signature, and the official seal of the commission shall be affixed thereto, attested by the secretary of the commission. The interest coupons, if any, to be attached to such bonds may be executed by the facsimile signatures of such officers. Whenever any such bonds shall have been signed by the officials designated to sign the bonds who were in office at the time of such signing but who may have ceased to be such officers before the sale and delivery of such bonds, or who may not have been in office on the date such bonds may bear, the signatures of such officers upon such bonds and coupons shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes and have the same effect as if the person so officially signing such bonds had remained in office until their delivery to the purchaser, or had been in office on the date such bonds may bear. However, notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, such bonds may be issued as provided in the Registered Bond Act of the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 7. All bonds and interest coupons issued under the provisions of this act have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, and in exercising the powers granted by this act, the commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
SECTION 8. The commission shall act as the issuing agent for the bonds authorized under this act, prescribe the form of the bonds, advertise for and accept bids, issue and sell the bonds so authorized to be sold, pay all fees and costs incurred in such issuance and sale, and do any and all other things necessary and advisable in connection with the issuance and sale of such bonds. The commission is authorized and empowered to pay the costs that are incident to the sale, issuance and delivery of the bonds authorized under this act from the proceeds derived from the sale of such bonds. The commission shall sell such bonds on sealed bids at public sale, and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interest of the State of Mississippi, but no such sale shall be made at a price less than par plus accrued interest to the date of delivery of the bonds to the purchaser. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually or annually; however, the first interest payment may be for any period of not more than one (1) year.
Notice of the sale of any such bonds shall be published at least one time, not less than ten (10) days before the date of sale, and shall be so published in one or more newspapers published or having a general circulation in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, and in one or more other newspapers or financial journals with a national circulation, to be selected by the commission.
The commission, when issuing any bonds under the authority of this act, may provide that bonds, at the option of the State of Mississippi, may be called in for payment and redemption at the call price named therein and accrued interest on such date or dates named therein.
SECTION 9. The bonds issued under the provisions of this act are general obligations of the State of Mississippi, and for the payment thereof the full faith and credit of the State of Mississippi is irrevocably pledged. If the funds appropriated by the Legislature for such purposes are insufficient to pay the principal of and the interest on such bonds as they become due, then the deficiency shall be paid by the State Treasurer from any funds in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated. All such bonds shall contain recitals on their faces substantially covering the provisions of this section.
SECTION 10. Upon the issuance and sale of bonds under the provisions of this act, the commission shall transfer the proceeds of any such sale or sales to the special fund created in Section 3 of this act. The proceeds of such bonds shall be disbursed solely upon the order of the authority under such restrictions, if any, as may be contained in the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds.
SECTION 11. The bonds authorized under this act may be issued without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things other than those proceedings, conditions and things which are specified or required by this act. Any resolution providing for the issuance of bonds under the provisions of this act shall become effective immediately upon its adoption by the commission, and any such resolution may be adopted at any regular or special meeting of the commission by a majority of its members.
SECTION 12. The bonds authorized under the authority of this act may be validated in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, in the manner and with the force and effect provided by Chapter 13, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, for the validation of county, municipal, school district and other bonds. The notice to taxpayers required by such statutes shall be published in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in the City of Jackson, Mississippi.
SECTION 13. Any holder of bonds issued under the provisions of this act or of any of the interest coupons pertaining thereto may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding, protect and enforce any and all rights granted under this act, or under such resolution, and may enforce and compel performance of all duties required by this act to be performed, in order to provide for the payment of bonds and interest thereon.
SECTION 14. All bonds issued under the provisions of this act shall be legal investments for trustees and other fiduciaries, and for savings banks, trust companies and insurance companies organized under the laws of the State of Mississippi, and such bonds shall be legal securities which may be deposited with and shall be received by all public officers and bodies of this state and all municipalities and political subdivisions for the purpose of securing the deposit of public funds.
SECTION 15. Bonds issued under the provisions of this act and income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 16. The proceeds of the bonds issued under this act shall be used solely for the purposes provided in this act, including the costs incident to the issuance and sale of such bonds.
SECTION 17. The State Treasurer is authorized, without further process of law, to certify to the Department of Finance and Administration the necessity for warrants, and the Department of Finance and Administration is authorized and directed to issue such warrants, in such amounts as may be necessary to pay when due the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on, or the accreted value of, all bonds issued under this act; and the State Treasurer shall forward the necessary amount to the designated place or places of payment of such bonds in ample time to discharge such bonds, or the interest thereon, on the due dates thereof.
SECTION 18. This act shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the exercise of the powers herein granted, but this act shall not be deemed to repeal or to be in derogation of any existing law of this state.
SECTION 19. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.