Bill Text: MS SB2325 | 2013 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Public contracts for energy efficiency services; authorize entities to enter into energy performance and shared savings contracts.

Status: (Failed) 2013-02-05 - Died In Committee [SB2325 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2013-SB2325-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2013 Regular Session

To: Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency

By: Senator(s) Blount

Senate Bill 2325

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 31-7-14, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE PUBLIC ENTITIES TO ENTER INTO ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS AND SHARED SAVINGS CONTRACTS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY EQUIPMENT, SERVICES RELATING TO THE INSTALLATION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF EQUIPMENT; TO REVISE THE MAXIMUM LENGTH OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY CONTRACTS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 31-7-73, 37-7-301, 37-29-67 AND 37-101-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 31-7-14, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     31-7-14.  (1)  (a)  For purposes of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed herein, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

              (i)  "Division" means the Energy Division of the Mississippi Development Authority.

              (ii)  "Energy services" or "energy efficient services" means energy efficiency equipment, services relating to the installation, operation and maintenance of equipment and improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities including, but not limited to, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, lighting, windows, insulation and energy management controls, life safety measures that provide long-term, operating-cost reductions, building operation programs that reduce operating costs, other energy-conservation-related improvements, including improvements or equipment related to renewable energy, water and other natural resources conservation, including accuracy and measurement of water distribution and/or consumption, and other equipment, services and improvements providing energy efficiency as determined by the division.

              (iii)  "Energy performance contract" means an agreement to provide energy services which include, but are not limited to, the design, installation, financing and maintenance or management of the energy systems or equipment in order to improve its energy efficiency.  The energy savings are guaranteed by the performance contractor and savings from energy, operations, maintenance and other cost-avoidance measures can be used to repay the cost of the project.

              (iv)  "Energy services contract" means an agreement to provide energy services which include, but are not limited to, the design, installation, financing and maintenance or management of the energy systems or equipment in order to improve its energy efficiency.  Payments for the contract are not contingent upon the actual savings realized from the equipment.

              (v)  "Entity" means the board of trustees of any public school district, junior college, institution of higher learning, publicly-owned hospital, state agency or governing authority of this chapter.

              (vi)  "Shared savings contract" means an agreement where the contractor and the entity each receive a preagreed percentage or dollar value of the energy cost savings over the life of the contract.

              (vii)  "Reduce operating costs" means elimination of future expenses or avoidance of future replacement expenditures as a result of new equipment installed or services performed.  A contract that otherwise satisfies the requirements of this section shall satisfy the requirements allowing use of an energy performance or shared savings contract even if the sole expense being eliminated is maintenance expense.

          (b)  An entity may enter into a lease, energy services contract, energy performance contract, shared services contract or lease-purchase contracts for energy efficiency equipment, services relating to the installation, operation and maintenance of equipment or improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities and shall contract in accordance with the following provisions:

              (i)  An entity shall publicly issue requests for proposals, advertised in the same manner as provided in Section 31-7-13 for seeking competitive sealed bids, concerning the provision of energy efficiency services relating to the installation, operation and maintenance of equipment, improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities or the design, installation, ownership, operation and maintenance of energy efficiency equipment.  Those requests for proposals shall contain terms and conditions relating to submission of proposals, evaluation and selection of proposals, financial terms, legal responsibilities, and any other matters as the entity determines to be appropriate for inclusion.

              (ii)  Upon receiving responses to the request for proposals, the entity may select the most qualified proposal or proposals on the basis of experience and qualifications of the proposers, the technical approach, the financial arrangements, the overall benefits to the entity and any other relevant factors determined to be appropriate.

              (iii)  An entity shall negotiate and enter into contracts with the person, persons, firm or firms submitting the proposal selected as the most qualified under this section.

              (iv)  All contracts must contain the following annual allocation dependency clause:  The continuation of this contract is contingent upon the appropriation of funds to fulfill the requirements of the contract by the Legislature or other budgeting authority.  If the Legislature or other budgeting authority fails to appropriate sufficient monies to provide for the continuation of the contract, the contract shall terminate on the last day of the fiscal year for which appropriations were made.  The termination shall be without penalty or expense to the entity of any kind whatsoever, except as to the portions of payments for which funds were appropriated.

              (v)  The annual rate of interest paid under any lease-purchase agreement authorized by this section shall not exceed the maximum interest rate to maturity on general obligation indebtedness permitted under Section 75-17-101.

              (vi)  The maximum lease-purchase term for any equipment acquired under this section shall not exceed the useful life of that equipment as determined according to the upper limit of the asset depreciation range (ADR) guidelines for the Class Life Asset Depreciation Range System established by the Internal Revenue Service under the United States Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder as in effect on December 31, 1980, or comparable depreciation guidelines with respect to any equipment not covered by ADR guidelines.

              (vii)  This subsection shall, with respect to the procurement of energy efficiency services and/or equipment, supersede any contradictory or conflicting provisions of Chapter 7, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, and other laws with respect to awarding public contracts.

     (2)  (a)  The division may contract with a party selected under this subsection to provide financing to entities and private "nonprofit" hospitals, to purchase energy efficiency equipment, services relating to the installation, operation and maintenance of equipment or improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities or an energy saving performance contract, energy services contract, or lease-purchase basis.  Any energy efficiency lease financing contract entered into by the division before May 15, 1992, shall be valid and binding when the contract was entered into under this subsection.

          (b)  The entities and private "nonprofit" hospitals that decide to contract for energy efficiency equipment, services relating to the installation, operation and maintenance of equipment or improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities on a lease, energy services contract or lease-purchase basis, may request financial assistance from the division.

          (c)  The provisions of any energy efficiency lease-purchase agreements authorized under this subsection (2) shall comply with the requirements of * * *subparagraphs subsection (1)(b)(iv) and (v) of this section.  The term of any * * *energy services performance contract, energy services contract, lease or lease-purchase agreement for energy efficiency services and/or equipment entered into under this section shall not exceed * * *fifteen (15) twenty (20) years.

          (d)  Any entity or private "nonprofit" hospital having approval of the division may borrow money in anticipation of entering into a lease-purchase agreement pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section.  Any borrowing may be upon terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the borrowing entity and the party advancing interim funds; however, the principal on any borrowing shall be repaid within a period of time not to exceed one hundred eighty (180) days.  In borrowing money under this * * *subparagraph paragraph (d), it is not necessary to publish notice of intention to do so or to secure the consent of the qualified electors, either by election or otherwise.  Any borrowing may be negotiated between the parties and is not required to be publicly bid, may be evidenced by negotiable notes or lease and shall not be considered when computing any limitation of indebtedness of the borrowing entity established by law.  The principal, interest and costs of incurring any borrowing shall not exceed the principal amount of the final contract or agreement approved by the division, and accepted by the borrowing entity, under subsection (2)(b) of this section.

          (e)  This subsection (2) shall, with respect to the procurement of energy efficiency services and/or equipment, supersede the provisions of any contradictory or conflicting provisions of Chapter 7, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, and other laws with respect to awarding public contracts.

     (3)  All lease-purchase agreements authorized by this section and the income from those agreements shall be exempt from all taxation within the State of Mississippi, except gift, transfer and inheritance taxes.

     (4)  (a)  An entity may contract for energy efficiency equipment services relating to the installation, operation or maintenance of equipment or improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities on a shared savings basis or performance basis.

          (b)  If an entity decides to enter into a contract for energy efficiency equipment, services relating to the installation, operation or maintenance of equipment or improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities on a shared savings basis or performance basis, the entity shall issue a request for proposals or a request for qualifications, as determined necessary by the division, in the same manner as prescribed under subsection (1)(b) of this section.  The entity shall notify the division in writing.  The final contract shall be approved by the division.

          (c)  The savings terms of any shared savings, energy services contract or energy performance contract * * *for efficiency services and/or equipment entered into under this section may not exceed * * *fifteen (15) twenty (20) years, commencing on the completion of equipment installation.

          (d)  The terms of any shared savings or performance contract entered into under this section must contain a guarantee of savings clause from the company providing energy efficiency equipment services relating to the installation, operation and maintenance of equipment or improvements reasonably required to existing or new equipment and existing or new improvements and facilities.

     (5)  By September 1 of each year, each entity that receives financial assistance through the energy efficiency lease program shall annually report to the division its energy usage by meter in dollars and consumption by fuel type for the previous fiscal year.

     (6)  The contract may be construed to provide flexibility to public agencies in structuring agreements entered into hereunder so that economic benefits may be maximized.

     SECTION 2.  Section 31-7-73, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     31-7-73.  Any state agency, as defined in Section 31-7-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to * * *contract on enter into an energy performance contract, energy services contract, a shared-savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as provided for in Section 31-7-14, not to exceed ten (10) years.

     SECTION 3.  Section 37-7-301, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-7-301.  The school boards of all school districts shall have the following powers, authority and duties in addition to all others imposed or granted by law, to wit:

          (a)  To organize and operate the schools of the district and to make such division between the high school grades and elementary grades as, in their judgment, will serve the best interests of the school;

          (b)  To introduce public school music, art, manual training and other special subjects into either the elementary or high school grades, as the board shall deem proper;

          (c)  To be the custodians of real and personal school property and to manage, control and care for same, both during the school term and during vacation;

          (d)  To have responsibility for the erection, repairing and equipping of school facilities and the making of necessary school improvements;

          (e)  To suspend or to expel a pupil or to change the placement of a pupil to the school district's alternative school or homebound program for misconduct in the school or on school property, as defined in Section 37-11-29, on the road to and from school, or at any school-related activity or event, or for conduct occurring on property other than school property or other than at a school-related activity or event when such conduct by a pupil, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, renders that pupil's presence in the classroom a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole, and to delegate such authority to the appropriate officials of the school district;

          (f)  To visit schools in the district, in their discretion, in a body for the purpose of determining what can be done for the improvement of the school in a general way;

          (g)  To support, within reasonable limits, the superintendent, principal and teachers where necessary for the proper discipline of the school;

          (h)  To exclude from the schools students with what appears to be infectious or contagious diseases; provided, however, such student may be allowed to return to school upon presenting a certificate from a public health officer, duly licensed physician or nurse practitioner that the student is free from such disease;

          (i)  To require those vaccinations specified by the State Health Officer as provided in Section 41-23-37;

          (j)  To see that all necessary utilities and services are provided in the schools at all times when same are needed;

          (k)  To authorize the use of the school buildings and grounds for the holding of public meetings and gatherings of the people under such regulations as may be prescribed by said board;

          (l)  To prescribe and enforce rules and regulations not inconsistent with law or with the regulations of the State Board of Education for their own government and for the government of the schools, and to transact their business at regular and special meetings called and held in the manner provided by law;

          (m)  To maintain and operate all of the schools under their control for such length of time during the year as may be required;

          (n)  To enforce in the schools the courses of study and the use of the textbooks prescribed by the proper authorities;

          (o)  To make orders directed to the superintendent of schools for the issuance of pay certificates for lawful purposes on any available funds of the district and to have full control of the receipt, distribution, allotment and disbursement of all funds provided for the support and operation of the schools of such school district whether such funds be derived from state appropriations, local ad valorem tax collections, or otherwise.  The local school board shall be authorized and empowered to promulgate rules and regulations that specify the types of claims and set limits of the dollar amount for payment of claims by the superintendent of schools to be ratified by the board at the next regularly scheduled meeting after payment has been made;

          (p)  To select all school district personnel in the manner provided by law, and to provide for such employee fringe benefit programs, including accident reimbursement plans, as may be deemed necessary and appropriate by the board;

          (q)  To provide athletic programs and other school activities and to regulate the establishment and operation of such programs and activities;

          (r)  To join, in their discretion, any association of school boards and other public school-related organizations, and to pay from local funds other than minimum foundation funds, any membership dues;

          (s)  To expend local school activity funds, or other available school district funds, other than minimum education program funds, for the purposes prescribed under this paragraph.  "Activity funds" shall mean all funds received by school officials in all school districts paid or collected to participate in any school activity, such activity being part of the school program and partially financed with public funds or supplemented by public funds.  The term "activity funds" shall not include any funds raised and/or expended by any organization unless commingled in a bank account with existing activity funds, regardless of whether the funds were raised by school employees or received by school employees during school hours or using school facilities, and regardless of whether a school employee exercises influence over the expenditure or disposition of such funds.  Organizations shall not be required to make any payment to any school for the use of any school facility if, in the discretion of the local school governing board, the organization's function shall be deemed to be beneficial to the official or extracurricular programs of the school.  For the purposes of this provision, the term "organization" shall not include any organization subject to the control of the local school governing board.  Activity funds may only be expended for any necessary expenses or travel costs, including advances, incurred by students and their chaperons in attending any in-state or out-of-state school-related programs, conventions or seminars and/or any commodities, equipment, travel expenses, purchased services or school supplies which the local school governing board, in its discretion, shall deem beneficial to the official or extracurricular programs of the district, including items which may subsequently become the personal property of individuals, including yearbooks, athletic apparel, book covers and trophies.  Activity funds may be used to pay travel expenses of school district personnel.  The local school governing board shall be authorized and empowered to promulgate rules and regulations specifically designating for what purposes school activity funds may be expended.  The local school governing board shall provide (i) that such school activity funds shall be maintained and expended by the principal of the school generating the funds in individual bank accounts, or (ii) that such school activity funds shall be maintained and expended by the superintendent of schools in a central depository approved by the board.  The local school governing board shall provide that such school activity funds be audited as part of the annual audit required in Section 37-9-18.  The State Department of Education shall prescribe a uniform system of accounting and financial reporting for all school activity fund transactions;

          (t)  To * * *contract, on enter into an energy performance contract, energy services contract, a shared savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as provided for in Section 31-7-14 * * *, not to exceed ten (10) years;

          (u)  To maintain accounts and issue pay certificates on school food service bank accounts;

          (v)  (i)  To lease a school building from an individual, partnership, nonprofit corporation or a private for-profit corporation for the use of such school district, and to expend funds therefor as may be available from any nonminimum program sources.  The school board of the school district desiring to lease a school building shall declare by resolution that a need exists for a school building and that the school district cannot provide the necessary funds to pay the cost or its proportionate share of the cost of a school building required to meet the present needs.  The resolution so adopted by the school board shall be published once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the school district involved, with the first publication thereof to be made not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date upon which the school board is to act on the question of leasing a school building.  If no petition requesting an election is filed prior to such meeting as hereinafter provided, then the school board may, by resolution spread upon its minutes, proceed to lease a school building.  If at any time prior to said meeting a petition signed by not less than twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the school district involved shall be filed with the school board requesting that an election be called on the question, then the school board shall, not later than the next regular meeting, adopt a resolution calling an election to be held within such school district upon the question of authorizing the school board to lease a school building.  Such election shall be called and held, and notice thereof shall be given, in the same manner for elections upon the questions of the issuance of the bonds of school districts, and the results thereof shall be certified to the school board.  If at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors of the school district who voted in such election shall vote in favor of the leasing of a school building, then the school board shall proceed to lease a school building.  The term of the lease contract shall not exceed twenty (20) years, and the total cost of such lease shall be either the amount of the lowest and best bid accepted by the school board after advertisement for bids or an amount not to exceed the current fair market value of the lease as determined by the averaging of at least two (2) appraisals by certified general appraisers licensed by the State of Mississippi.  The term "school building" as used in this paragraph (v)(i) shall be construed to mean any building or buildings used for classroom purposes in connection with the operation of schools and shall include the site therefor, necessary support facilities, and the equipment thereof and appurtenances thereto such as heating facilities, water supply, sewage disposal, landscaping, walks, drives and playgrounds.  The term "lease" as used in this paragraph (v)(i) may include a lease/purchase contract;

              (ii)  If two (2) or more school districts propose to enter into a lease contract jointly, then joint meetings of the school boards having control may be held but no action taken shall be binding on any such school district unless the question of leasing a school building is approved in each participating school district under the procedure hereinabove set forth in paragraph (v)(i).  All of the provisions of paragraph (v)(i) regarding the term and amount of the lease contract shall apply to the school boards of school districts acting jointly.  Any lease contract executed by two (2) or more school districts as joint lessees shall set out the amount of the aggregate lease rental to be paid by each, which may be agreed upon, but there shall be no right of occupancy by any lessee unless the aggregate rental is paid as stipulated in the lease contract.  All rights of joint lessees under the lease contract shall be in proportion to the amount of lease rental paid by each;

          (w)  To employ all noninstructional and noncertificated employees and fix the duties and compensation of such personnel deemed necessary pursuant to the recommendation of the superintendent of schools;

          (x)  To employ and fix the duties and compensation of such legal counsel as deemed necessary;

          (y)  Subject to rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, to purchase, own and operate trucks, vans and other motor vehicles, which shall bear the proper identification required by law;

          (z)  To expend funds for the payment of substitute teachers and to adopt reasonable regulations for the employment and compensation of such substitute teachers;

          (aa)  To acquire in its own name by purchase all real property which shall be necessary and desirable in connection with the construction, renovation or improvement of any public school building or structure.  Whenever the purchase price for such real property is greater than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), the school board shall not purchase the property for an amount exceeding the fair market value of such property as determined by the average of at least two (2) independent appraisals by certified general appraisers licensed by the State of Mississippi.  If the board shall be unable to agree with the owner of any such real property in connection with any such project, the board shall have the power and authority to acquire any such real property by condemnation proceedings pursuant to Section 11-27-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972, and for such purpose, the right of eminent domain is hereby conferred upon and vested in said board.  Provided further, that the local school board is authorized to grant an easement for ingress and egress over sixteenth section land or lieu land in exchange for a similar easement upon adjoining land where the exchange of easements affords substantial benefit to the sixteenth section land; provided, however, the exchange must be based upon values as determined by a competent appraiser, with any differential in value to be adjusted by cash payment.  Any easement rights granted over sixteenth section land under such authority shall terminate when the easement ceases to be used for its stated purpose.  No sixteenth section or lieu land which is subject to an existing lease shall be burdened by any such easement except by consent of the lessee or unless the school district shall acquire the unexpired leasehold interest affected by the easement;

          (bb)  To charge reasonable fees related to the educational programs of the district, in the manner prescribed in Section 37-7-335;

          (cc)  Subject to rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, to purchase relocatable classrooms for the use of such school district, in the manner prescribed in Section 37-1-13;

          (dd)  Enter into contracts or agreements with other school districts, political subdivisions or governmental entities to carry out one or more of the powers or duties of the school board, or to allow more efficient utilization of limited resources for providing services to the public;

          (ee)  To provide for in-service training for employees of the district;

          (ff)  As part of their duties to prescribe the use of textbooks, to provide that parents and legal guardians shall be responsible for the textbooks and for the compensation to the school district for any books which are not returned to the proper schools upon the withdrawal of their dependent child.  If a textbook is lost or not returned by any student who drops out of the public school district, the parent or legal guardian shall also compensate the school district for the fair market value of the textbooks;

          (gg)  To conduct fund-raising activities on behalf of the school district that the local school board, in its discretion, deems appropriate or beneficial to the official or extracurricular programs of the district; provided that:

              (i)  Any proceeds of the fund-raising activities shall be treated as "activity funds" and shall be accounted for as are other activity funds under this section; and

              (ii)  Fund-raising activities conducted or authorized by the board for the sale of school pictures, the rental of caps and gowns or the sale of graduation invitations for which the school board receives a commission, rebate or fee shall contain a disclosure statement advising that a portion of the proceeds of the sales or rentals shall be contributed to the student activity fund;

          (hh)  To allow individual lessons for music, art and other curriculum-related activities for academic credit or nonacademic credit during school hours and using school equipment and facilities, subject to uniform rules and regulations adopted by the school board;

          (ii)  To charge reasonable fees for participating in an extracurricular activity for academic or nonacademic credit for necessary and required equipment such as safety equipment, band instruments and uniforms;

          (jj)  To conduct or participate in any fund-raising activities on behalf of or in connection with a tax-exempt charitable organization;

          (kk)  To exercise such powers as may be reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this section;

          (ll)  To expend funds for the services of nonprofit arts organizations or other such nonprofit organizations who provide performances or other services for the students of the school district;

          (mm)  To expend federal No Child Left Behind Act funds, or any other available funds that are expressly designated and authorized for that use, to pay training, educational expenses, salary incentives and salary supplements to employees of local school districts; except that incentives shall not be considered part of the local supplement as defined in Section 37-151-5(o), nor shall incentives be considered part of the local supplement paid to an individual teacher for the purposes of Section 37-19-7(1).  Mississippi Adequate Education Program funds or any other state funds may not be used for salary incentives or salary supplements as provided in this paragraph (mm);

          (nn)  To use any available funds, not appropriated or designated for any other purpose, for reimbursement to the state-licensed employees from both in state and out of state, who enter into a contract for employment in a school district, for the expense of moving when the employment necessitates the relocation of the licensed employee to a different geographical area than that in which the licensed employee resides before entering into the contract.  The reimbursement shall not exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for the documented actual expenses incurred in the course of relocating, including the expense of any professional moving company or persons employed to assist with the move, rented moving vehicles or equipment, mileage in the amount authorized for county and municipal employees under Section 25-3-41 if the licensed employee used his personal vehicle or vehicles for the move, meals and such other expenses associated with the relocation.  No licensed employee may be reimbursed for moving expenses under this section on more than one (1) occasion by the same school district.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the actual residence to which the licensed employee relocates to be within the boundaries of the school district that has executed a contract for employment in order for the licensed employee to be eligible for reimbursement for the moving expenses.  However, the licensed employee must relocate within the boundaries of the State of Mississippi.  Any individual receiving relocation assistance through the Critical Teacher Shortage Act as provided in Section 37-159-5 shall not be eligible to receive additional relocation funds as authorized in this paragraph;

          (oo)  To use any available funds, not appropriated or designated for any other purpose, to reimburse persons who interview for employment as a licensed employee with the district for the mileage and other actual expenses incurred in the course of travel to and from the interview at the rate authorized for county and municipal employees under Section 25-3-41;

          (pp)  Consistent with the report of the Task Force to Conduct a Best Financial Management Practices Review, to improve school district management and use of resources and identify cost savings as established in Section 8 of Chapter 610, Laws of 2002, local school boards are encouraged to conduct independent reviews of the management and efficiency of schools and school districts.  Such management and efficiency reviews shall provide state and local officials and the public with the following:

              (i)  An assessment of a school district's governance and organizational structure;

              (ii)  An assessment of the school district's financial and personnel management;

              (iii)  An assessment of revenue levels and sources;

              (iv)  An assessment of facilities utilization, planning and maintenance;

              (v)  An assessment of food services, transportation and safety/security systems;

              (vi)  An assessment of instructional and administrative technology;

              (vii)  A review of the instructional management and the efficiency and effectiveness of existing instructional programs; and

              (viii)  Recommended methods for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in providing educational services to the public;

          (qq)  To enter into agreements with other local school boards for the establishment of an educational service agency (ESA) to provide for the cooperative needs of the region in which the school district is located, as provided in Section 37-7-345; 

          (rr)  To implement a financial literacy program for students in Grades 10 and 11.  The board may review the national programs and obtain free literature from various nationally recognized programs.  After review of the different programs, the board may certify a program that is most appropriate for the school districts' needs.  If a district implements a financial literacy program, then any student in Grade 10 or 11 may participate in the program.  The financial literacy program shall include, but is not limited to, instruction in the same areas of personal business and finance as required under Section 37-1-3(2)(b).  The school board may coordinate with volunteer teachers from local community organizations, including, but not limited to, the following:  United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Junior Achievement, bankers and other nonprofit organizations.  Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as to require school boards to implement a financial literacy program;

          (ss)  To collaborate with the State Board of Education, Community Action Agencies or the Department of Human Services to develop and implement a voluntary program to provide services for a prekindergarten program that addresses the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of four-year-old and three-year-old children.  The school board may utilize any source of available revenue to fund the voluntary program;

          (tt)  With respect to any lawful, written obligation of a school district, including, but not limited to, leases (excluding leases of sixteenth section public school trust land), bonds, notes, or other agreement, to agree in writing with the obligee that the Department of Revenue or any state agency, department or commission created under state law may:

              (i)  Withhold all or any part (as agreed by the school board) of any monies which such local school board is entitled to receive from time to time under any law and which is in the possession of the Department of Revenue, or any state agency, department or commission created under state law; and

              (ii)  Pay the same over to any financial institution, trustee or other obligee, as directed in writing by the school board, to satisfy all or part of such obligation of the school district.

     The school board may make such written agreement to withhold and transfer funds irrevocable for the term of the written obligation and may include in the written agreement any other terms and provisions acceptable to the school board.  If the school board files a copy of such written agreement with the Department of Revenue, or any state agency, department or commission created under state law then the Department of Revenue or any state agency, department or commission created under state law shall immediately make the withholdings provided in such agreement from the amounts due the local school board and shall continue to pay the same over to such financial institution, trustee or obligee for the term of the agreement.

     This paragraph (tt) shall not grant any extra authority to a school board to issue debt in any amount exceeding statutory limitations on assessed value of taxable property within such school district or the statutory limitations on debt maturities, and shall not grant any extra authority to impose, levy or collect a tax which is not otherwise expressly provided for, and shall not be construed to apply to sixteenth section public school trust land;

          (uu)  With respect to any matter or transaction that is competitively bid by a school district, to accept from any bidder as a good-faith deposit or bid bond or bid surety, the same type of good-faith deposit or bid bond or bid surety that may be accepted by the state or any other political subdivision on similar competitively bid matters or transactions.  This paragraph (uu) shall not be construed to apply to sixteenth section public school trust land.  The school board may authorize the investment of any school district funds in the same kind and manner of investments, including pooled investments, as any other political subdivision, including community hospitals;

          (vv)  To utilize the alternate method for the conveyance or exchange of unused school buildings and/or land, reserving a partial or other undivided interest in the property, as specifically authorized and provided in Section 37-7-485, Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (ww)  To delegate, privatize or otherwise enter into a contract with private entities for the operation of any and all functions of nonacademic school process, procedures and operations including, but not limited to, cafeteria workers, janitorial services, transportation, professional development, achievement and instructional consulting services materials and products, purchasing cooperatives, insurance, business manager services, auditing and accounting services, school safety/risk prevention, data processing and student records, and other staff services; however, the authority under this paragraph does not apply to the leasing, management or operation of sixteenth section lands.  Local school districts, working through their regional education service agency, are encouraged to enter into buying consortia with other member districts for the purposes of more efficient use of state resources as described in Section 37-7-345;

          (xx)  To partner with entities, organizations and corporations for the purpose of benefiting the school district;

          (yy)  To borrow funds from the Rural Economic Development Authority for the maintenance of school buildings;

          (zz)  To fund and operate voluntary early childhood education programs, defined as programs for children less than five (5) years of age on or before September 1, and to use any source of revenue for such early childhood education programs.  Such programs shall not conflict with the Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2007;

          (aaa)  To issue and provide for the use of procurement cards by school board members, superintendents and licensed school personnel consistent with the rules and regulations of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration under Section 31-7-9; and

          (bbb)  To conduct an annual comprehensive evaluation of the superintendent of schools consistent with the assessment components of paragraph (pp) of this section and the assessment benchmarks established by the Mississippi School Board Association to evaluate the success the superintendent has attained in meeting district goals and objectives, the superintendent's leadership skill and whether or not the superintendent has established appropriate standards for performance, is monitoring success and is using data for improvement.

     SECTION 4.  Section 37-29-67, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-29-67.  (1)  The duties of the board of trustees shall be the general government of the community/junior college and directive of the administration thereof.  Subject to the provisions of Sections 37-29-1 through 37-29-273, the board shall have full power to do all things necessary to the successful operation of the district and the college or colleges or attendance centers located therein to insure educational advantages and opportunities to all the enrollees within the district.

     (2)  The board of trustees shall be authorized to designate a personnel supervisor or other person employed by the district to recommend teachers and to transmit such recommendations to the board of trustees; however, this authorization shall be restricted to no more than two (2) positions for each employment period in the district.

     (3)  The delineation and enumeration of the powers and purposes set out in Sections 37-29-1 through 37-29-273 shall be deemed to be supplemental and additional, and shall not be construed to restrict the powers of the board of trustees of the district or of any college located therein so as to deny to the said district and the college or colleges therein the rights, privileges and powers previously authorized by statute.

     (4)  The board of trustees shall have the power to * * *contract, on enter into an energy performance contract, energy services contract, a shared-savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as prescribed in Section 31-7-14 * * *, not to exceed fifteen (15) years.

     (5)  The board of trustees shall be authorized, with the approval of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, to change the name of the junior college to community college.  The State Board for Community and Junior Colleges shall establish guidelines for the implementation of any junior college name change.  Any reference to junior college district in this chapter shall hereinafter refer to the junior college district or its successor in name as changed by the board of trustees.

     (6)  The boards of trustees shall purchase and maintain business property insurance and business personal property insurance on all college-owned buildings and/or contents as required by federal law and regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as is necessary for receiving public assistance or reimbursement for repair, reconstruction, replacement or other damage to such buildings and/or contents caused by the Hurricane Katrina Disaster of 2005 or subsequent disasters.  The boards of trustees are authorized to expend funds from any available source for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining that property insurance.  The boards of trustees are authorized to enter into agreements with the Department of Finance and Administration, local school districts, other community/junior college districts, state institutions of higher learning, community hospitals and/or other state agencies to pool their liabilities to participate in a group business property and/or business personal property insurance program, subject to uniform rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Department of Finance and Administration.

     SECTION 5.  Section 37-101-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-101-15.  (a)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall succeed to and continue to exercise control of all records, books, papers, equipment, and supplies, and all lands, buildings, and other real and personal property belonging to or assigned to the use and benefit of the board of trustees formerly supervising and controlling the institutions of higher learning named in Section 37-101-1.  The board shall have and exercise control of the use, distribution and disbursement of all funds, appropriations and taxes, now and hereafter in possession, levied and collected, received, or appropriated for the use, benefit, support, and maintenance or capital outlay expenditures of the institutions of higher learning, including the authorization of employees to sign vouchers for the disbursement of funds for the various institutions, except where otherwise specifically provided by law.

     (b)  The board shall have general supervision of the affairs of all the institutions of higher learning, including the departments and the schools thereof.  The board shall have the power in its discretion to determine who shall be privileged to enter, to remain in, or to graduate therefrom.  The board shall have general supervision of the conduct of libraries and laboratories, the care of dormitories, buildings, and grounds; the business methods and arrangement of accounts and records; the organization of the administrative plan of each institution; and all other matters incident to the proper functioning of the institutions.  The board shall have the authority to establish minimum standards of achievement as a prerequisite for entrance into any of the institutions under its jurisdiction, which standards need not be uniform between the various institutions and which may be based upon such criteria as the board may establish.

     (c)  The board shall exercise all the powers and prerogatives conferred upon it under the laws establishing and providing for the operation of the several institutions herein specified.  The board shall adopt such bylaws and regulations from time to time as it deems expedient for the proper supervision and control of the several institutions of higher learning, insofar as such bylaws and regulations are not repugnant to the Constitution and laws, and not inconsistent with the object for which these institutions were established.  The board shall have power and authority to prescribe rules and regulations for policing the campuses and all buildings of the respective institutions, to authorize the arrest of all persons violating on any campus any criminal law of the state, and to have such law violators turned over to the civil authorities.

     (d)  For all institutions specified herein, the board shall provide a uniform system of recording and of accounting approved by the State Department of Audit.  The board shall annually prepare, or cause to be prepared, a budget for each institution of higher learning for the succeeding year which must be prepared and in readiness for at least thirty (30) days before the convening of the regular session of the Legislature.  All relationships and negotiations between the State Legislature and its various committees and the institutions named herein shall be carried on through the board of trustees.  No official, employee or agent representing any of the separate institutions shall appear before the Legislature or any committee thereof except upon the written order of the board or upon the request of the Legislature or a committee thereof.

     (e)  For all institutions specified herein, the board shall prepare an annual report to the Legislature setting forth the disbursements of all monies appropriated to the respective institutions.  Each report to the Legislature shall show how the money appropriated to the several institutions has been expended, beginning and ending with the fiscal years of the institutions, showing the name of each teacher, officer, and employee, and the salary paid each, and an itemized statement of each and every item of receipts and expenditures.  Each report must be balanced, and must begin with the former balance.  If any property belonging to the state or the institution is used for profit, the reports shall show the expense incurred in managing the property and the amount received therefrom.  The reports shall also show a summary of the gross receipts and gross disbursements for each year and shall show the money on hand at the beginning of the fiscal period of the institution next preceding each session of the Legislature and the necessary amount of expense to be incurred from said date to January 1 following.  The board shall keep the annual expenditures of each institution herein mentioned within the income derived from legislative appropriations and other sources, but in case of emergency arising from acts of providence, epidemics, fire or storm with the written approval of the Governor and by written consent of a majority of the senators and of the representatives it may exceed the income.  The board shall require a surety bond in a surety company authorized to do business in this state, of every employee who is the custodian of funds belonging to one or more of the institutions mentioned herein, which bond shall be in a sum to be fixed by the board in an amount that will properly safeguard the said funds, the premium for which shall be paid out of the funds appropriated for said institutions.

     (f)  The board shall have the power and authority to elect the heads of the various institutions of higher learning and to contract with all deans, professors, and other members of the teaching staff, and all administrative employees of said institutions for a term of not exceeding four (4) years.  The board shall have the power and authority to terminate any such contract at any time for malfeasance, inefficiency, or contumacious conduct, but never for political reasons.  It shall be the policy of the board to permit the executive head of each institution to nominate for election by the board all subordinate employees of the institution over which he presides.  It shall be the policy of the board to elect all officials for a definite tenure of service and to reelect during the period of satisfactory service.  The board shall have the power to make any adjustments it thinks necessary between the various departments and schools of any institution or between the different institutions.

     (g)  The board shall keep complete minutes and records of all proceedings which shall be open for inspection by any citizen of the state.

     (h)  The board shall have the power to * * *contract, on enter into an energy performance contract, energy services contract, a shared-savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as prescribed in Section 31-7-14 * * *, not to exceed ten (10) years.

     (i)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, for and on behalf of Jackson State University, is hereby authorized to convey by donation or otherwise easements across portions of certain real estate located in the City of Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, for right-of-way required for the Metro Parkway Project.

     (j)  In connection with any international contract between the board or one (1) of the state's institutions of higher learning and any party outside of the United States, the board or institution that is the party to the international contract is hereby authorized and empowered to include in the contract a provision for the resolution by arbitration of any controversy between the parties to the contract relating to such contract or the failure or refusal to perform any part of the contract.  Such provision shall be valid, enforceable and irrevocable without regard to the justiciable character of the controversy.  Provided, however, that in the event either party to such contract initiates litigation against the other with respect to the contract, the arbitration provision shall be deemed waived unless asserted as a defense on or before the responding party is required to answer such litigation.

     (k)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning ("board"), on behalf of any institution under its jurisdiction, shall purchase and maintain business property insurance and business personal property insurance on all university-owned buildings and/or contents as required by federal law and regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as is necessary for receiving public assistance or reimbursement for repair, reconstruction, replacement or other damage to those buildings and/or contents caused by the Hurricane Katrina Disaster of 2005 or subsequent disasters.  The board is authorized to expend funds from any available source for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining that property insurance.  The board is authorized to enter into agreements with the Department of Finance and Administration, local school districts, community/junior college districts, community hospitals and/or other state agencies to pool their liabilities to participate in a group business property and/or business personal property insurance program, subject to uniform rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Department of Finance and Administration.

     (l)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, or its designee, may approve the payment or reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses incurred by candidates for open positions at the board's executive office or at any of the state institutions of higher learning, when the job candidate has incurred expenses in traveling to a job interview at the request of the board, the Commissioner of Higher Education or a state institution of higher learning administrator.

     SECTION 6.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2013.


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