Joint Budget Committee. In 2008, the state entered into lease-purchase agreements to fund capital construction projects for state-supported institutions of higher education and allocated a formula-based amount of federal mineral lease revenues to the ongoing repayment of certificates of participation (COPs) issued in connection with the lease-purchase agreements. But in many of the years since 2008, the amount of federal mineral lease revenues has not been sufficient to entirely cover the cost of the COP payments as intended, and the general assembly has had to appropriate money from the general fund to make up for the shortfall.
In order to address current and anticipated future federal mineral lease revenues shortfalls, the bill transfers all money in the higher education maintenance and reserve fund (reserve fund) to the higher education federal mineral lease revenues fund (revenues fund). Effective July 1, 2016, the bill eliminates both the revenues fund and the reserve fund, requires federal mineral lease revenue that is currently required to be credited to the fund to instead be credited to the state public school fund, identifies the general fund as the source of repayment for COPs payments made on and after July 1, 2016, and repeals existing statutory authorization, subject to specified legislative actions, for the issuance of additional COPs.