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


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-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2018 Regular Session

To: Appropriations

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

House Bill 1512

(As Passed the House)

AN ACT TO CREATE ELEVEN SPECIAL FUNDS IN THE STATE TREASURY WITH ONE FUND FOR THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA OF EACH OF THE TEN PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS EXCLUDING HANCOCK, HARRISON AND JACKSON COUNTIES, AND ONE FUND FOR HANCOCK, HARRISON AND JACKSON COUNTIES TO BE DESIGNATED AS THE "GULF COAST RESTORATION FUND"; TO PROVIDE THAT THE MONIES IN EACH OF THE SPECIAL FUNDS SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (MDA) AND SHALL BE USED BY MDA, UPON APPROPRIATION BY THE LEGISLATURE, TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO APPLICANTS FOR PROJECTS AUTHORIZED BY THIS ACT; TO SPECIFY THE APPLICANTS WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT MDA SHALL ESTABLISH CRITERIA, RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR ACCEPTING, REVIEWING AND GRANTING OR DENYING APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE A TIMELINE FOR SUBMISSIONS OF APPLICATIONS TO MDA, FOR REVIEW, EVALUATION AND SCORING OF APPLICATIONS BY MDA, AND FOR PRESENTATION OF THE APPLICATIONS TO THE APPROPRIATE LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR ITS EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS; TO PROVIDE THAT APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT WILL BE RECEIVED THROUGH A WEB PORTAL SET UP BY MDA; TO ESTABLISH LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEES FOR THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF EACH OF THE TEN PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS AND FOR THE GULF COAST RESTORATION FUND, WHICH WILL SERVE ONLY IN AN ADVISORY CAPACITY IN REVIEWING AND EVALUATING APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEES WILL MEET ANNUALLY TO REVIEW AND EVALUATE THE PROJECTS BEING CONSIDERED FOR FUNDING BY MDA; TO PROVIDE THAT MDA WILL CALL THE MEETINGS OF THE LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEE, NOTIFY THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS OF THE MEETING AND CHAIR THE MEETING; TO PROVIDE THAT MDA WILL HAVE THE FINAL DECISION REGARDING THE APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE; TO PROHIBIT MDA FROM APPROVING ANY APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE OR FUNDING ANY PROJECT UNTIL AFTER THE LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEE HAS REVIEWED AND EVALUATED THE APPLICATION; TO AUTHORIZE MDA TO MAKE LOANS, LOAN GUARANTEES, GRANTS AND ANY OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THIS ACT TO APPLICANTS WHOSE PROJECTS ARE APPROVED FOR ASSISTANCE BY MDA; TO DIRECT MDA TO ESTABLISH 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 MDA 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; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  (1)  There are created in the State Treasury eleven (11) special funds as follows:  one (1) special fund for the geographical area of each of the ten (10) planning and development districts excluding Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties, and one (1) special fund for Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties to be designated as the "Gulf Coast Restoration Fund."  Each of the special funds shall consist of funds required to be deposited into those funds by Section 27-103-302, funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Legislature in any manner and funds from any other source designated for deposit into those funds.  One-half (1/2) of any funds under Section 27-103-302 that are not required to be deposited into the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund shall be deposited into the other ten (10) special funds in equal amounts, and the remaining one-half (1/2) of those funds shall be deposited into the other ten (10) special funds based on the proportion that the population in the geographical area of the planning and development district corresponding to the fund bears to the population of the entire state excluding the population of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties.

     (2)  Unexpended amounts remaining in any of the special 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 special funds shall be deposited to the credit of each respective fund.

     (3)  Monies in each of the special funds shall be administered by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and shall be used by MDA, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to provide assistance to applicants for projects authorized by this act.

     SECTION 2.  (1)  Applicants who are eligible for assistance from MDA under this act include local units of government, institutions of higher learning, community colleges, local ports and airports, nongovernmental organizations, public-private partnerships, and planning and development districts.

     (2)  MDA shall establish criteria, rules and procedures for accepting, reviewing and granting or denying applications for assistance under this act.  Applications must be submitted to MDA not later than October 31 of each year, and MDA shall review, evaluate and score all timely received applications not later than December 31 of the year.  MDA then shall present the applications to the appropriate legislative advisory committee not later than December 31 of the year for its evaluation and recommendations. 

     (3)  Applications for assistance under this act will be received through a web portal set up by MDA.  The application packet shall be available on the web portal for download, completion and submittal.  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 administration expenses of MDA in carrying out its duties under this act shall not exceed one percent (1%) of the amount of the funds administered by the MDA under this act.

     SECTION 3.  (1)  For the geographical area of 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 geographic area of 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 geographic area of the planning and development district other than Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties.  The legislative advisory committees established in this subsection shall serve only in an advisory capacity in reviewing and evaluating applications for assistance from MDA under this act in the geographical areas of the planning and development districts and may not take any action to approve or disapprove a decision of MDA regarding the providing or denying of assistance.

     (2)  For 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.  The legislative advisory committee established in this subsection shall serve only in an advisory capacity in reviewing and evaluating applications for assistance from MDA under this act from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund and may not take any action to approve or disapprove a decision of MDA regarding the providing or denying of assistance.

     (3)  The legislative advisory committees shall meet annually to review and evaluate the projects being considered for funding by MDA, after receiving applications from MDA as provided in Section 2(2) of this act.  MDA shall call the meetings of the legislative advisory committee, which shall be held not earlier than February 1 of the year, shall notify the committee members of the date, time and place of the meeting at least seven (7) days before the meeting, and shall chair the meeting.  After reviewing and evaluating applications for assistance from MDA under this act, the legislative advisory committee shall return the application for assistance with its recommendations to MDA not later than ten (10) days after the meeting, and MDA shall have the final decision regarding the application for assistance.  MDA shall not approve any application for assistance or fund any project under this act until after the legislative advisory committee has reviewed and evaluated the application and returned the application with its recommendations to MDA, as provided in this section.

     SECTION 4.  (1)  MDA is empowered, on such terms and conditions as it 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 MDA.  For providing assistance to projects under this section, MDA 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)  MDA shall provide assistance in the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District 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.  MDA shall provide assistance from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund only for projects that are primarily located in Hancock, Harrison or Jackson County.

     (3)  MDA shall establish 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)  Assistance provided under this act may not be used to finance one hundred percent (100%) of any project.

     (5)  Contracts executed by MDA 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 MDA the status of the project on a schedule determined by MDA.

     SECTION 5.  (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 cost of the audits performed as provided in this section may be paid from the special funds created in Section 1 of this act, and those expenditures are not subject to the percentage cap on administrative expenses set in Section 2(4) of this act.

     SECTION 6.  MDA 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 7.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2018.

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