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      RS 56:279     


§279. Louisiana Alligator Resource Dedicated Fund Account

            A. Recognizing that the Louisiana alligator industry is a vital aspect of Louisiana's economic base and that in recent years worldwide markets and prices have expanded at a tremendous rate; and recognizing the rapid expansion of Louisiana alligator farming industry statewide; and recognizing the uniqueness of the state's alligator farming industry, one state agency, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, has provided the impetus for inception and development of the total alligator conservation program; and recognizing the many beneficial influences that Louisiana's alligator program has had on crocodilian conservation worldwide; and recognizing world trends questioning the consumptive utilization of wildlife species, and recognizing that those trends, by adversely affecting economic conditions, could have a severe impact on the alligator industry; and recognizing that raw and finished alligator skins and products are largely consumed outside the United States; and recognizing the need to educate the public concerning alligator hunting as a sound wildlife management practice; and recognizing the urgent need to support the alligator industry with a comprehensive research and development program; and recognizing the need to staff and fund the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries with adequate personnel in order to service this industry's needs, the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby establish the Louisiana Alligator Resource Account within the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Fund. The Alligator Resource Account is intended to help defray the cost of alligator programs within the office of wildlife of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

            B. The specific goals of this Section are:

            (1) To provide salaries and financial support including associated indirect cost for the following positions, to provide a minimum of two full-time technical positions (biologists) and eight nontechnical positions such as computer operators, secretaries, and wildlife specialists existing within the office of wildlife of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

            (2) To assist with funding for law enforcement activities associated with the alligator farm industry when surplus funds are available and recommended by the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council.

            (3) To assist with funding marketing programs recommended by the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council when surplus funds are available.

            (4) To actively fund research on all aspects involved with alligator conservation and to develop the techniques needed to enhance the commercial alligator industry.

            (5) To assist in funding management of the alligator population through proper management, harvest, and farm facility management.

            C.(1) Except as otherwise provided by law, all revenues received by the state from the sale of licenses as provided in R.S. 56:251(A)(2), from tag fees imposed on alligator hunters, alligator farmers, alligator shipping label fees on the sale of alligators, all revenues derived from the sale of alligators, alligator skins, or alligator eggs harvested from department-administered lands, all fees derived from alligator lottery harvest programs on department-administered lands and public waters, and all revenues derived from any other alligator-related fees and from the severance tax on alligator skins provided for in R.S. 56:256 shall be credited by the state treasurer to a special account designated as the "Louisiana Alligator Resource Dedicated Fund Account" after those revenues have been deposited in the Bond Security and Redemption Fund. Out of the funds remaining in the Bond Security and Redemption Fund after a sufficient amount is allocated from that fund to pay all obligations secured by the full faith and credit of the state that become due and payable within each fiscal year, the treasurer shall pay into the Louisiana Alligator Resource Dedicated Fund Account, a special agency account to be retained for future appropriation as provided in this Subpart, an amount equal to the revenues generated from collection from those sources provided for in this Section and other sources as provided by law. Monies deposited into this account shall be categorized as fees and self-generated revenue for the sole purpose of reporting related to the executive budget, supporting documents, and general appropriations bills and shall be available for annual appropriation by the legislature.

            (2) The state treasurer shall invest the monies in this statutorily dedicated fund account in the same manner as monies in the state general fund. Any surplus monies remaining to the credit of the account, after all appropriations of the preceding fiscal year have been made, shall remain to the credit of the account. The state treasurer shall prepare and submit to the department on a quarterly basis a printed report showing the amount of money contained in the account from all sources. Any amounts earned through investment of the monies in the account shall remain to the credit of the account and shall not revert to the state general fund.

            D.(1) The monies made available by the legislature from the account as provided in this Section or from any other source shall be used solely for the programs, purposes, and specific goals enumerated in this Section.

            (2) The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shall maintain records of the sources of money received and the purposes therefor, as well as the person or persons to whom money is paid and the purpose therefor. Vouchers or receipts shall be kept for all money paid out. Money appropriated or otherwise made available to the department for authorized purposes shall be withdrawn from the treasury on warrant of the secretary of the department.

            (3) The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in utilizing monies from the account shall contract, only with the approval of the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council, for any services relating to specific goals enumerated in this Section. The secretary is hereby authorized and empowered to carry out any and all contracts entered into in order to achieve these goals.

            E. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shall make a written operating report to the legislature at the end of each fiscal year. This report shall contain a summary of revenues received, expenditures made, and the status of achievement of specific goals. This report shall be submitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources by the end of the calendar year.

            Acts 1991, No. 1041, §1, eff. July 26, 1991; Acts 1993, No. 294, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2008, No. 272, §2; Acts 2008, No. 580, §7; Acts 2012, No. 131, §1; Acts 2018, No. 612, §18, eff. July 1, 2020; Acts 2019, No. 404, §§1, 13, eff. July 1, 2020.

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