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      RS 33:9029.2     


§9029.2.  Cooperative endeavors involving the state

A.(1)  In addition to the general authority to enter into cooperative endeavor agreements under Article VII, Section 14(C) of the Constitution, the state through the commissioner of administration may enter into cooperative endeavor agreements with political subdivisions, the United States or its agencies, or with any public or private association, corporation, or individual to achieve a public purpose, including but not limited to enhancing or maintaining the economic well-being of the state, which agreement may or may not contemplate the issuance of bonds. Such cooperative endeavor agreements may provide for the investment, pledge, use, or deposit of state funds and the guarantee by the state of certain financial obligations, or may otherwise obligate the state financially to achieve the goals set forth therein, subject to appropriation of requisite funds, and only upon a showing of reasonable expectations that such obligation of the state will result in the furtherance of a public function of the state or will result in economic development, the maintenance of existing jobs or will achieve other economic goals that will equal or exceed the value of the obligations of the state required thereby.  In the event the state serves as a guarantee or credit enhancement for a private for-profit entity and does not contemplate the issuance of bonds, such cooperative endeavor agreements shall be approved by the State Bond Commission prior to execution.  This Section shall apply only to cooperative endeavor agreements wherein the parties expressly cite this Section as authority for such agreement, and this Section shall not be construed as being applicable or otherwise limiting the authority of the state to enter into cooperative endeavor agreements generally.  Furthermore, the state, through the commissioner of administration, shall have all the powers of an economic development corporation set forth in this Chapter not inconsistent with the constitution without the need for creation of a corporation.

(2)  The application to the State Bond Commission shall be submitted by the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and shall:

(a)  Include a draft of the cooperative endeavor agreement.

(b)  Explain the obligation of the state required thereby.

(c)  Provide a showing of reasonable expectations that the benefits to be received by the state will equal or exceed such obligations.

(3)  The cooperative endeavor agreement shall set forth in reasonable detail the obligations of the various parties thereto.  If possible, the cooperative endeavor agreement shall provide that a mortgage of all or a part of any project financed shall be granted in favor of the state.  Should the cooperative endeavor agreement contemplate a lease-purchase of property, title to such property shall be deemed to be in the lessor, notwithstanding the right of any lessee under such lease to acquire title to such property at the end of the lease by virtue of the exercise of an option to purchase, grant, or otherwise.  Provided, however, unless the lease specifically provides otherwise the liabilities, strict, contingent, or otherwise, arising out of the ownership, occupancy, use, or operation of such property shall be in the lessee if the right to ownership of the property at the expiration or termination of the lease is given to the lessee for less than the full market value of such property at the time of the conveyance.  The nature of the lessee, user, or other beneficiary of property financed pursuant to a cooperative endeavor agreement hereunder shall determine any liability for ad valorem taxation to be assessed relative to such project and no liability for ad valorem taxes shall attach to the state or any political subdivision or public trust by virtue of being an owner or lessor thereof.

B.  In order to provide a uniform, expeditious, and equitable procedure, with due regard for the public fisc and rights of persons in interest, for the judicial determination of the validity of any cooperative endeavor agreements authorized by this Section and the transactions contemplated thereby, the provisions of Part XVI of Chapter 32 of Title 13 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, as amended, shall be applicable, and suits to determine the validity of such cooperative endeavor agreements prior to execution thereof may be filed thereunder by the Department of Economic Development as though such agreements constituted the issuance of bonds of a governmental unit.

C.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any cooperative endeavor or other agreement providing for the expenditure, directly or indirectly, of any state funds which are used as the security, directly or indirectly, for bonds, notes, certificates, or other obligations for the repayment of borrowed money, whether taxable or tax exempt, shall be subject to State Bond Commission approval.

D.(1)  Any cooperative endeavor or any other agreement under this Chapter between the state and a nongovernmental entity providing for the expenditure, directly or indirectly, of any state funds shall include a provision for the repayment of such funds to the state under the following circumstances:

(a)  If the nongovernmental entity defaults on the agreement, breaches the terms of the agreement, ceases to do business, or ceases to do business in Louisiana, then it shall repay the state in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

(b)  The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply to entities participating in a business incubator program.

(2)  The state entity executing the agreement shall be responsible for enforcing the provisions of this Subsection.

(3)  The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to the Quality Jobs Program or Enterprise Zone Program.

Acts 1993, No. 149, §1, eff. May 26, 1993; Acts 2002, No. 78, §2, eff. June 25, 2002; Acts 2003, No. 224, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 871, §1.

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