RS 39:98.5     

§98.5.  Millennium Leverage Fund

A.  Millennium Leverage Fund.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the legislature may provide, by passage of a specific legislative instrument by a favorable vote of the elected members of each house of the legislature, for the deposit of all or a portion of monies received by the state as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement, hereinafter the "Settlement Agreement", executed November 23, 1998, and approved by Consent Decree and Final Judgment entered in the case "Richard P. Ieyoub, Attorney General, ex rel. State of Louisiana v. Philip Morris, Incorporated, et al.", bearing Number 98-6473 on the docket of the Fourteenth Judicial District for the parish of Calcasieu, state of Louisiana; after satisfying the requirements of Article VII, Section 9(B) of the Constitution of Louisiana, into the Millennium Leverage Fund which is hereby established as a special permanent trust fund in the state treasury.  The Millennium Leverage Fund shall hereinafter be referred to as the "Leverage Fund".

B.  Investment.  Monies deposited in the Leverage Fund shall be invested and administered by the treasurer.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a portion of the monies in the Leverage Fund, not to exceed fifty percent, may be invested in stock.  The legislature shall provide for the procedure for the investment of such monies by law.  The treasurer shall contract, subject to approval of the State Bond Commission, for the management of such investments.  The monies in the Leverage Fund shall be available for appropriation to pay expenses incurred in the investment and management of monies in the fund.

C.  Revenue Bonds.  The State Bond Commission, or its successor, may issue and sell bonds, notes, or other obligations, hereinafter "bonds" secured by a pledge of a portion of the monies received by the state as a result of the Settlement Agreement which are otherwise to be deposited in the Leverage Fund as provided in this Section.  Such bonds may be issued only in amounts authorized by the legislature by two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature.  If settlement revenues are pledged to secure any revenue bonds issued pursuant to this Section, any portion thereof needed to pay principal, interest, or premium, if any, and other obligations incident to the issuance, security, prepayment, defeasance, and payment in respect thereof may be expended by the treasurer without the need for an appropriation provided that the prepayment or defeasance has been approved by the legislature.  Bonds so issued may also be further secured by a collateralization of all or a portion of monies in the Leverage Fund.  If bonds are issued subject to such a collateralization, the treasurer may pay from the Leverage Fund any principal, interest, or premium, if any, and other obligations incident to the issuance, security, prepayment, defeasance, and payment in respect thereof without the need for an appropriation provided that the prepayment or defeasance has been approved by the legislature.  The net proceeds of any bonds issued pursuant to this Section shall be deposited in and credited to the Leverage Fund.  Any revenue bonds issued under authority of this Section shall not be general obligation bonds secured by the full faith and credit of the state.

D.  Appropriations.  (1)  The legislature may annually appropriate the bond proceeds credited to the Leverage Fund and all earnings, income, and realized capital gains on investment of monies in the Leverage Fund as recognized as available for appropriation in the official forecast of the Revenue Estimating Conference.  The Revenue Estimating Conference shall include in its forecast of monies available for appropriation only that amount of earnings, income, and realized capital gains which are in excess of inflation as determined by the conference.

(2)  Appropriations may be made only for the following purposes:

(a)  Twenty-five percent shall be available for appropriation for the purposes as provided in the TOPS Fund.

(b)  Twenty-five percent shall be available for appropriation for the purposes as provided in the Health Excellence Fund.

(c)  Twenty-five percent shall be available for appropriation as provided in the Education Excellence Fund.

(d)  Twenty-five percent shall be available for appropriation as provided in the Louisiana Fund.

(e)  The amounts available for appropriation for each of the purposes contained in Subparagraphs (a) through (c) of this Paragraph may be increased, and the amount available for appropriation for the purposes of Subparagraph (d) may be decreased by a specific legislative instrument which receives a favorable vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature.

E.  Termination.  The legislature may, by passage of a specific legislative instrument by a favorable vote of the elected members of each house of the legislature, provide for the termination of deposits to the Leverage Fund.  Any such termination shall be made in such a manner so as to not impair the obligation, validity, or security of any bonds issued under the authority of this Section.  Upon termination, the amount of any settlement revenues over and above the amount pledged for security of any bonds issued pursuant to the authority granted in this Section, shall be deposited in and credited as provided in Article VII, Sections 10.7 and 10.8 of the Constitution of Louisiana.

Acts 1999, No. 1295, §1, eff. July 1, 2000.