Bill Text: MS HB1143 | 2010 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Counties and municipalities; mandate election on incurring debt for operational expenses and issuing bonds.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2010-02-02 - Died In Committee [HB1143 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2010-HB1143-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2010 Regular Session

To: County Affairs; Municipalities

By: Representative Robinson

House Bill 1143

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 19-9-11, 19-9-13 AND 21-33-307, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO MANDATE THE HOLDING OF AN ELECTION ON THE QUESTION OF ISSUING COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL BONDS; to amend sections 19-3-40 and 21-17-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO MANDATE THE HOLDING OF AN ELECTION ON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY MAY BORROW FUNDS OR OTHERWISE INCUR DEBT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FUNDS FOR OPERATING EXPENSES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  Section 19-9-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-9-11.  Before issuing any bonds for any of the purposes enumerated in Sections 19-9-1 and 19-9-3, the board of supervisors shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention so to do, stating the amount of bonds proposed to be issued and the purpose for which the bonds are to be issued, and the date upon which the board proposes to direct the issuance of such bonds. * * *  An election on the question of the issuance of such bonds shall be called and held as is provided in Sections 19-9-13 and 19-9-15. * * *

     SECTION 2.  Section 19-9-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-9-13.  Notice of the election * * * provided for in Section 19-9-11 * * * shall be signed by the clerk of the board of supervisors and shall be published once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks, in at least one (1) newspaper published in such county.  The first publication of such notice shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed for such election, and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date.  If no newspaper is published in such county, then such notice shall be given by publishing the same for the required time in some newspaper having a general circulation in such county and, in addition, by posting a copy of such notice for at least twenty-one (21) days next preceding such election at three (3) public places in such county.

     SECTION 3.  Section 21-33-307, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     21-33-307.  Before issuing any bonds for any of the purposes enumerated in Section 21-33-301, the governing authority of the issuing municipality shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention so to do, stating the amount of bonds proposed to be issued and the purpose for which the bonds are to be issued, and the date upon which the aforesaid authority proposes to direct the issuance of such bonds. * * *  An election on the question of the bonds shall be called and held as is provided in Section 21-33-309.  Notice of such election shall be signed by the clerk of the municipality and shall be published once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in at least one (1) newspaper published in such municipality.  The first publication of such notice shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed for such election, and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date.  If no newspaper is published in such municipality, then such notice shall be given by publishing the same for the required time in some newspaper having a general circulation in such municipality and published in the same or an adjoining county and, in addition, by posting a copy of such notice for at least twenty-one (21) days next preceding such election at three (3) public places in such municipality. * * *

     Under no circumstances shall any municipality exceed the bond limit as set by statute for municipalities.

     SECTION 4.  Section 19-3-40, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-3-40.  (1)  The board of supervisors of any county shall have the power to adopt any orders, resolutions or ordinances with respect to county affairs, property and finances, for which no specific provision has been made by general law and which are not inconsistent with the Mississippi Constitution, the Mississippi Code of 1972, or any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi; and any such board shall likewise have the power to alter, modify and repeal such orders, resolutions or ordinances. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the powers granted to boards of supervisors in this section are complete without the existence of or reference to any specific authority granted in any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi.

     Such orders, resolutions or ordinances shall apply countywide except when the governing authorities of any municipality situated within a county adopt any order, resolution or ordinance governing the same general subject matter.  In such case the municipal order, resolution or ordinance shall govern within the corporate limits of the municipality.

     (2)  This section shall not authorize the board of supervisors of a county to (a) levy taxes other than those authorized by statute or increase the levy of any authorized tax beyond statutorily established limits, (b) issue bonds of any kind, (c) change the requirements, practices or procedures for county elections or establish any new elective office, (d) use any public funds, equipment, supplies or materials for any private purpose, (e) regulate common carrier railroads, (f) grant any donation, or (g) without prior legislative approval, regulate, directly or indirectly, the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential property in which the county does not have a property interest; unless such actions are specifically authorized by another statute or law of the State of Mississippi.

     (3)  (a)  Before the board of supervisors of a county may borrow funds or incur any other type of debt for the purpose of providing funds for operating expenses of the county, the board of supervisors of the county shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to borrow the funds or incur other debt, stating the amount of the funds to be borrowed or other debt to be incurred and the purposes for which the funds are to be borrowed or other debt to be incurred, and calling for an election to be held on the question.  The date of the election shall be set in the resolution.  Notice of the election shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the county, with the first publication of the notice to be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date fixed in the resolution for the election and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days before the election.  If no newspaper is published in the county, then the notice shall be given by publishing for the required time in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county, and in addition, by posting a copy of the notice for at least twenty-one (21) days next preceding the election at three (3) public places in the county.   

          (b)  The election provided for in this subsection shall be held, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in counties.  At the election, all qualified electors of the county may vote.  The ballots used at the election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purpose of the proposed borrowing or other incurring of debt and the words "FOR THE BORROWING OR OTHER INCURRING OF DEBT" and "AGAINST THE BORROWING OR OTHER INCURRING OF DEBT," and the voter shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check mark () opposite his choice on the proposition.  When the results of the election on the question of the borrowing of funds or other incurring of debt have been canvassed by the election commissioners of the county and certified by them to the board of supervisors of the county, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to determine and adjudicate whether or not at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted in the election voted in favor of the borrowing of funds or other incurring of debt.  If at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted in the election voted in favor of the borrowing of funds or other incurring of debt, then the board of supervisors of the county may borrow funds or otherwise incur debt, either in whole or in part, for the purpose of providing funds for operating expenses of the county.

     SECTION 5.  Section 21-17-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     21-17-5.  (1)  The governing authorities of every municipality of this state shall have the care, management and control of the municipal affairs and its property and finances.  In addition to those powers granted by specific provisions of general law, the governing authorities of municipalities shall have the power to adopt any orders, resolutions or ordinances with respect to such municipal affairs, property and finances which are not inconsistent with the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the Mississippi Code of 1972, or any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi, and shall likewise have the power to alter, modify and repeal such orders, resolutions or ordinances.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the powers granted to governing authorities of municipalities in this section are complete without the existence of or reference to any specific authority granted in any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi.  Unless otherwise provided by law, before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, the aldermen or councilmen of every municipality of this state shall give bond, with sufficient surety, to be payable, conditioned and approved as provided by law, in a penalty equal to five percent (5%) of the sum of all the municipal taxes shown by the assessment rolls and the levies to have been collectible in the municipality for the year immediately preceding the commencement of the term of office of said alderman or councilman; however, such bond shall not exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00).  For all municipalities with a population more than two thousand (2,000) according to the latest federal decennial census, the amount of the bond shall not be less than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00).  Any taxpayer of the municipality may sue on such bond for the use of the municipality, and such taxpayer shall be liable for all costs in case his suit shall fail.  No member of the city council or board of aldermen shall be surety for any other such member.

     (2)  Unless such actions are specifically authorized by another statute or law of the State of Mississippi, this section shall not authorize the governing authorities of municipalities to (a) levy taxes of any kind or increase the levy of any authorized tax, (b) issue bonds of any kind, (c) change the requirements, practices or procedures for municipal elections or establish any new elective office, (d) change the procedure for annexation of additional territory into the municipal boundaries, (e) change the structure or form of the municipal government, (f) permit the sale, manufacture, distribution, possession or transportation of alcoholic beverages, (g) grant any donation, or (h) without prior legislative approval, regulate, directly or indirectly, the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential property in which the municipality does not have a property interest.

     (3)  Nothing in this or any other section shall be construed so as to prevent any municipal governing authority from paying any municipal employee not to exceed double his ordinary rate of pay or awarding any municipal employee not to exceed double his ordinary rate of compensatory time for work performed in his capacity as a municipal employee on legal holidays.  The governing authority of any municipality shall enact leave policies to ensure that a public safety employee is paid or granted compensatory time for the same number of holidays for which any other municipal employee is paid.

     (4)  The governing authority of any municipality, in its discretion, may expend funds to provide for training and education of newly elected or appointed municipal officials before the beginning of the term of office or employment of such officials.  Any expenses incurred for such purposes may be allowed only upon prior approval of the governing authority.  Any payments or reimbursements made under the provisions of this subsection may be paid only after presentation to and approval by the governing authority of the municipality.

     (5)  (a)  Before the governing authorities of a municipality may borrow funds or incur any other type of debt for the purpose of providing funds for operating expenses of the municipality, the governing authorities of the municipality shall adopt a resolution declaring their intention to borrow the funds or incur other debt, stating the amount of the funds to be borrowed or other debt to be incurred and the purposes for which the funds are to be borrowed or other debt to be incurred, and calling for an election to be held on the question.  The date of the election shall be set in the resolution.  Notice of the election shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the municipality, with the first publication of the notice to be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date fixed in the resolution for the election and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days before the election.  If no newspaper is published in the municipality, then the notice shall be given by publishing for the required time in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality and published in the same or adjoining county, and in addition, by posting a copy of the notice for at least twenty-one (21) days next preceding the election at three (3) public places in the municipality.   

          (b)  The election provided for in this subsection shall be held, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in municipalities.  At the election, all qualified electors of the municipality may vote.  The ballots used at the election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purpose of the proposed borrowing or other incurring of debt and the words "FOR THE BORROWING OR OTHER INCURRING OF DEBT" and "AGAINST THE BORROWING OR OTHER INCURRING OF DEBT," and the voter shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check mark () opposite his choice on the proposition.  When the results of the election on the question of the borrowing of funds or other incurring of debt have been canvassed by the election commissioners of the municipality and certified by them to the governing authorities of the municipality, it shall be the duty of the governing authorities to determine and adjudicate whether or not at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted in the election voted in favor of the borrowing of funds or other incurring of debt.  If at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted in the election voted in favor of the borrowing of funds or other incurring of debt, then the governing authorities of the municipality may borrow funds or otherwise incur debt, either in whole or in part, for the purpose of providing funds for operating expenses of the municipality.

     SECTION 6.  The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.

     SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.


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