Bill Text: MS HB1512 | 2018 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: BP settlement funds; provide for distribution to applicants for assistance for projects.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 12-5)

Status: (Failed) 2018-02-27 - Died In Committee [HB1512 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2018-HB1512-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2018 Regular Session

To: Appropriations

By: Representatives Busby, Anderson, Baria, Barton, Bennett, Crawford, DeLano, Guice, Haney, Ladner, Patterson, Read, Williams-Barnes, Willis, Zuber

House Bill 1512

AN ACT TO CREATE SEPARATE SPECIAL FUNDS IN THE STATE TREASURY FOR EACH OF THE TEN PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND A SPECIAL FUND TO BE DESIGNATED AS THE "GULF COAST RESTORATION FUND"; TO PROVIDE THAT THE MONIES IN EACH OF THE TEN SPECIAL FUNDS SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE RESPECTIVE BOARDS OF DIRECTORS OF THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS, AND THE MONIES IN THE GULF COAST RESTORATION FUND SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GULF COAST RESTORATION FUND; TO PROVIDE THAT THE MONIES IN THE SPECIAL FUNDS SHALL BE USED, UPON APPROPRIATION BY THE LEGISLATURE, TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO APPLICANTS FOR PROJECTS AUTHORIZED BY THIS ACT; TO ESTABLISH A BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GULF COAST RESTORATION FUND, WHICH WILL SERVE AS THE ADMINISTERING BODY FOR THE FUND; TO PROVIDE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND SHALL ESTABLISH CRITERIA, RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR ACCEPTING, REVIEWING AND GRANTING OR DENYING APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO SPECIFY THE APPLICANTS WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT WILL BE RECEIVED THROUGH WEB PORTALS SET UP BY THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND; TO PROVIDE THAT THE APPLICATIONS SHALL BE REVIEWED, EVALUATED AND SCORED BY THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND, AND THEN PRESENTED TO THE LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEES FOR THEIR EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS; TO ESTABLISH LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEES FOR EACH OF THE TEN PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND FOR THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND, WHICH WILL SERVE ONLY IN AN ADVISORY CAPACITY IN REVIEWING AND EVALUATING APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO AUTHORIZE THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND TO MAKE LOANS, LOAN GUARANTEES, GRANTS AND ANY OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT TO APPLICANTS WHOSE PROJECTS ARE APPROVED FOR ASSISTANCE BY THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND; TO DIRECT THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND TO ESTABLISH AN APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT AND A SCORING PROCESS FOR THE SELECTION OF PROJECTS THAT HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE INCREASED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE COUNTIES INVOLVED, AND TO SPECIFY THE TYPES OF PROJECTS FOR WHICH ASSISTANCE MAY BE MADE; TO PROVIDE FOR FINANCIAL AUDITS AND OPERATIONAL AUDITS OF RECIPIENTS OF ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO DIRECT THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND TO FILE AN ANNUAL REPORT WITH THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE THAT INCLUDES DETAILED INFORMATION REGARDING RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES OF THE FUNDS RECEIVED AND PROVIDED AS ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT FOR THE PURPOSES OF ADMINISTERING THE FUNDS RECEIVED, EXPENDED AND PROVIDED AS ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT, THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FUND SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE PUBLIC BODIES AND PUBLIC ENTITIES, AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ALL APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF STATE LAW APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC BODIES AND PUBLIC ENTITIES WITH REGARD TO THE FUNDS RECEIVED, EXPENDED AND PROVIDED AS ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  (1)  There is created in the State Treasury one (1) separate special fund for each of the ten (10) planning and development districts and a special fund to be designated as the "Gulf Coast Restoration Fund" ("the fund").  Each of these special funds shall consist of funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Legislature in any manner and funds from any other source designated for deposit into those funds.  Unexpended amounts remaining in the funds at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any investment earnings or interest earned on amounts in the funds shall be deposited to the credit of each respective fund.

     (2)  Monies in the each of the ten (10) special funds shall be administered by the respective boards of directors of the planning and development districts, and shall be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to provide assistance to applicants for projects authorized by this act.  Monies in the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund shall be administered by the Board of Trustees of the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund established in Section 2 of this act, and shall be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to provide assistance to applicants for projects authorized by this act.

     SECTION 2.  (1)  There is established a Board of Trustees of the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund, which will serve as the administering body for the fund.

     (2)  The Board of Trustees shall consist of nine (9) members as follows:

          (a)  One (1) member who is a resident of Hancock County, Mississippi.  Such member shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors of Hancock County, Mississippi.  A member appointed under this paragraph (a) shall be appointed for an initial term of one (1) year.  Upon the expiration of an initial term of office, the appointing officials shall appoint successors for terms of five (5) years from the expiration date of the previous term.  A member appointed under this paragraph (a) may be removed from the board of trustees by a unanimous vote of the appointing officials or may be removed by a majority vote of the appointing officials upon receipt of a petition for removal signed by not less than seven (7) members of the board of trustees.  A member appointed under this paragraph (a) shall be eligible for reappointment.

          (b)  One (1) member who is a resident of Hancock County, Mississippi.  Such member shall be appointed by a majority vote of the mayors of the municipalities located in Hancock County, Mississippi.  A member appointed under this paragraph (b) shall be appointed for an initial term of two (2) years.  Upon the expiration of an initial term of office, the appointing officials shall appoint successors for terms of five (5) years from the expiration date of the previous term.  A member appointed under this paragraph (b) may be removed from the board of trustees by a unanimous vote of the appointing officials or may be removed by a majority vote of the appointing officials upon receipt of a petition for removal signed by not less than seven (7) members of the board of trustees.  A member appointed under this paragraph (b) shall be eligible for reappointment.

          (c)  One (1) member who is a resident of Harrison County, Mississippi.  Such member shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors of Harrison County, Mississippi.  A member appointed under this paragraph (c) shall be appointed for an initial term of one (1) year.  Upon the expiration of an initial term of office, the appointing officials shall appoint successors for terms of five (5) years from the expiration date of the previous term.  A member appointed under this paragraph (c) may be removed from the board of trustees by a unanimous vote of the appointing officials or may be removed by a majority vote of the appointing officials upon receipt of a petition for removal signed by not less than seven (7) members of the board of trustees.  A member appointed under this paragraph (c) shall be eligible for reappointment.

          (d)  One (1) member who is a resident of Harrison County, Mississippi.  Such member shall be appointed by a majority vote of the mayors of the municipalities located in Harrison County, Mississippi.  A member appointed under this paragraph (d) shall be appointed for an initial term of two (2) years.  Upon the expiration of an initial term of office, the appointing officials shall appoint successors for terms of five (5) years from the expiration date of the previous term.  A member appointed under this paragraph (d) may be removed from the board of trustees by a unanimous vote of the appointing officials or may be removed by a majority vote of the appointing officials upon receipt of a petition for removal signed by not less than seven (7) members of the board of trustees.  A member appointed under this paragraph (d) shall be eligible for reappointment.

          (e)  One (1) member who is a resident of Jackson County, Mississippi.  Such member shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors of Jackson County, Mississippi.  A member appointed under this paragraph (e) shall be appointed for an initial term of one (1) year.  Upon the expiration of an initial term of office, the appointing officials shall appoint successors for terms of five (5) years from the expiration date of the previous term.  A member appointed under this paragraph (e) may be removed from the board of trustees by a unanimous vote of the appointing officials or may be removed by a majority vote of the appointing officials upon receipt of a petition for removal signed by not less than seven (7) members of the board of trustees.  A member appointed under this paragraph (e) shall be eligible for reappointment.

          (f)  One (1) member who is a resident of Jackson County, Mississippi.  Such member shall be appointed by a majority vote of the mayors of the municipalities located in Jackson County, Mississippi.  A member appointed under this paragraph (f) shall be appointed for an initial term of two (2) years.  Upon the expiration of an initial term of office, the appointing officials shall appoint successors for terms of five (5) years from the expiration date of the previous term.  A member appointed under this paragraph (f) may be removed from the board of trustees by a unanimous vote of the appointing officials or may be removed by a majority vote of the appointing officials upon receipt of a petition for removal signed by not less than seven (7) members of the board of trustees.  A member appointed under this paragraph (f) shall be eligible for reappointment.

     A person appointed to fill a vacancy on the board of trustees shall be appointed in the same manner as for a regular appointment.

          (g)  Three (3) members representing the following county entities:

              (i)  One (1) member who is the Executive Director of the Hancock County Post and Harbor Commission;

              (ii)  One (1) member who is the Executive Director of the Harrison County Development Commission; and

              (iii)  One (1) member who is the Executive Director of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation.

     (3)  Members of the board of trustees shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for each day's official duties of the board at the same per diem as established by Section 25-3-69, and actual travel and expenses as established by Section 25-3-41.

     (4)  The board of trustees shall annually elect one (1) member to serve as chair of the board and one (1) member to serve as vice chair of the board.  The vice chair shall act as chairman in the absence of or upon the disability of the chair or if there is a vacancy in the office of chair.

     (5)  All expenses of the board of trustees in carrying out its duties and responsibilities under this section, including the payment of per diem and expenses of the members of the board, shall be paid from funds in the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund.  These expenses are subject to the percentage cap on administrative expenses set in Section 3(1) of this act.

     SECTION 3.  (1)  The planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund shall establish criteria, rules and procedures for accepting, reviewing and granting or denying applications for assistance under this act.  The administration expenses of the planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund in carrying out their duties under this act shall not exceed one percent (1%) of the amount of the funds administered by the districts and the board of trustees.

     (2)  Applicants who are eligible for assistance under this act from the planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund include, but are not limited to, local units of government, nongovernmental organizations, and institutions of higher learning, community colleges, local ports, airports, and public private partnerships.  The planning and development districts are not eligible to apply for or receive any assistance under this act for their own projects.

     (3)  Applications for assistance under this act will be received through web portals set up by the planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund.  The application packets shall be available on the web portals for download, completion and submittal.  The applications shall be reviewed, evaluated and scored by the planning and development district or the board of trustees of the fund, and then presented to the appropriate legislative advisory committee for its evaluation and recommendations.  Each applicant must include in the application the "soft costs" and professional fees associated with the proposed project, such as planning, design, internal project management, financing, and legal, engineering and other professional fees.

     (4)  The planning and development districts are authorized to charge an application fee to applicants for assistance under this act.

     SECTION 4.  (1)  (a)  For each of the ten (10) planning and development districts, there is established a legislative advisory committee comprised of the members of the House of Representatives and the members of the Senate who represent any part of the counties that are included within the planning and development district, except as follows:  For the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District, the legislative advisory committee shall be comprised of the members of the House of Representatives and the members of the Senate who represent any part of the counties that are included within the planning and development district other than Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties.

          (b)  The legislative advisory committees established in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) shall serve only in an advisory capacity in reviewing and evaluating applications for assistance under this act from the planning and development districts and may not take any action to approve or disapprove a decision of the planning and development district regarding the providing or denying of assistance.  The legislative advisory committees shall meet regularly to review and evaluate the projects being considered for funding by the planning and development districts.  After having a reasonable time to review and evaluate an application for assistance under this act from the planning and development district, the legislative advisory committee shall return the application for assistance with its recommendations to the planning and development district, which shall have the final decision regarding the application for assistance.

     (2)  (a)  For the Board of Trustees of the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund, there is established a legislative advisory committee comprised of the members of the House of Representatives and the members of the Senate who represent any part of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties.

          (b)  The legislative advisory committee established in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) shall serve only in an advisory capacity in reviewing and evaluating applications for assistance under this act from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund and may not take any action to approve or disapprove a decision of the board of trustees of the fund regarding the providing or denying of assistance.  The legislative advisory committee shall meet regularly to review and evaluate the projects being considered for funding by the board of trustees.  After having a reasonable time to review and evaluate an application for assistance from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund, the legislative advisory committee shall return the application for assistance with its recommendations to the board of trustees of the fund, which shall have the final decision regarding the application for assistance.

     SECTION 5.  (1)  The planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund are empowered, on such terms and conditions as they may determine, to make loans, loan guarantees, grants and any other financial assistance under this act to applicants whose projects are approved for assistance by the planning and development district or the board of trustees of the fundFor providing assistance to projects under this section, the planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund shall establish criteria, rules and procedures for accepting, reviewing and granting or denying applications, and for terms and conditions of financial assistance under this act

     (2)  The Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District shall provide assistance only for projects that are primarily located in the counties that are included in the planning and development district other than Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties.  The Board of Trustees of the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund shall provide assistance only for projects that are primarily located in Hancock, Harrison or Jackson County.

     (3)  The planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund shall establish an application procedure for assistance under this act and a scoring process for the selection of projects that have the potential to generate increased economic activity in the counties involved, giving priority to: 

          (a)  Projects that will have a significant positive impact on the tax base, private sector job creation and private sector investment;

          (b)  Projects that support workforce development and training programs that result in both private and public sector job readiness;

          (c)  Projects that enhance the quality of life/place and business environment of a community or region, including tourism and recreational opportunities;

          (d)  Projects that expand high growth industries or establish new high growth industries in the region;

          (e)  Projects that leverage or further enhance key regional assets, including educational institutions, research facilities, and military bases;

          (f)  Infrastructure projects in existing industrial parks;

          (g)  Infrastructure projects for business retention and development; and

          (h)  Local match requirements for federal and state funded projects that enhance the economic competitiveness of a community.

     (4)  The planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund may provide assistance under this act as applications are received or may establish application periods for selection.  Assistance provided under this act may not be used to finance one hundred percent (100%) of any project.

     (5)  Contracts executed by the planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund with recipients of assistance under this act must include provisions requiring a performance report on the contracted activities, must account for the proper use of funds provided under the contract, and must include provisions for recovery of assistance if the assistance was based upon fraudulent information or the recipient of the assistance is not meeting the performance requirements of the assistance.  Recipients of assistance under this act must regularly report to the planning and development district or the board of trustees of the fund the status of the project on a schedule determined by the district or the board of trustees.

     SECTION 6.  (1)  The scope of a financial audit of recipients of assistance under this act shall include funds related to any year in which the recipient receives assistance under this act.  The scope of review for these funds shall include, but is not limited to, compliance with state and federal laws related to the receipt and expenditure of those funds.

     (2)  Once every two (2) years, the State Auditor shall conduct an operational audit of the recipients of assistance under this act to evaluate the performance of the recipient in administering laws, policies and procedures governing the expenditure of the assistance in an efficient and effective manner.  The scope of review shall include, but is not limited to, evaluating internal controls, internal audit functions, reporting and performance requirements required for use of the assistance, and compliance with state and federal law.  The audit shall include any funds that the recipient received from assistance under this act.

     (3)  In addition to the rules of the State Auditor, the State Auditor shall adopt rules for the form and conduct all financial audits performed by independent certified public accountants and for audits of recipients of assistance under this act.

     (4)  The State Auditor may report findings to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States in addition to the reporting requirements under state law.

     (5)  The costs of the audits performed as provided in this section may be paid from the special funds of the planning and development districts and from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund, and those expenditures are not subject to the percentage cap on administrative expenses set in Section 3(1) of this act.

     SECTION 7.  Each planning and development district and the board of trustees of the fund shall file an annual report with the Governor, the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives not later than December 1 of each year, including detailed information regarding at least the following specific areas:

          (a)  Receipts and expenditures of the funds received and provided as assistance under this act;

          (b)  Overview of applications reviewed and a detailed description of applications approved for assistance for the current year; and

          (c)  Schedule of all applications for which assistance was provided under this act detailing status of progress, start date, anticipated completion date, benchmark achievements, and any modifications to the original application after receipt of assistance.

     SECTION 8.  For the purposes of administering the funds received, expended and provided as assistance under this act, the planning and development districts and the board of trustees of the fund shall be considered to be public bodies and public entities, and shall be subject to all applicable provisions of state law applicable to public bodies and public entities with regard to the funds received, expended and provided as assistance under this act.

     SECTION 9.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2018.

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