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Bill Number: 220 Ratification Number: 4 Act Number 1 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: General Reserve Fund - constitutional amendment ratified
(A1, R4, S220)
AN ACT TO RATIFY AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 36, ARTICLE III OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO THE GENERAL FUND RESERVE, SO AS TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE GENERAL FUND RESERVE TO THE GENERAL RESERVE FUND, REDUCE FROM FOUR TO THREE PERCENT OF THE GENERAL FUND REVENUE OF THE LATEST COMPLETED FISCAL YEAR THE AMOUNT REQUIRED IN THE FUND, DELETE PROVISIONS REQUIRING A SPECIAL VOTE TO ADJUST THE PERCENTAGE REQUIRED IN THE FUND, DELETE PROVISIONS REQUIRING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO REVIEW THE LAW ON THIS SUBJECT EVERY FIVE YEARS, PROVIDE A MECHANISM FOR RESTORING THE FUND SHOULD MONIES FROM THE FUND BE EXPENDED, REQUIRE A CAPITAL RESERVE FUND EQUAL TO TWO PERCENT OF THE GENERAL FUND REVENUE OF THE LATEST COMPLETED FISCAL YEAR, AND PROVIDE THAT BEFORE MARCH FIRST THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND MUST BE USED TO OFFSET MID-YEAR BUDGET REDUCTIONS BEFORE MANDATING CUTS IN OPERATING APPROPRIATIONS AND AFTER MARCH FIRST MONIES FROM THE FUND MAY BE APPROPRIATED BY A SPECIAL VOTE IN SEPARATE LEGISLATION BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO FINANCE IN CASH PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BOND PROJECTS, RETIRE BOND PRINCIPAL OR INTEREST ON BONDS PREVIOUSLY ISSUED, AND FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS OR OTHER NONRECURRING PURPOSES WHICH MUST BE RANKED IN ORDER OF PRIORITY OF EXPENDITURE AND NOT BE FUNDED UNTIL THIRTY DAYS AFTER COMPLETION OF THE FISCAL YEAR AND PROVIDE THAT ANY APPROPRIATIONS OF MONIES FROM THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND AFTER MARCH FIRST MUST BE REDUCED BASED ON THE RANK OF PRIORITY BEGINNING WITH THE LOWEST PRIORITY TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY AND APPLIED TO THE YEAR-END DEFICITS BEFORE WITHDRAWING MONIES FROM THE GENERAL RESERVE FUND AND TO PROVIDE THAT MONIES IN THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND NOT APPROPRIATED OR ANY APPROPRIATION FOR A PARTICULAR PROJECT OR ITEM WHICH HAS BEEN REDUCED DUE TO APPLICATION OF THE MONIES TO YEAR-END DEFICIT MUST LAPSE AND BE CREDITED TO THE GENERAL FUND.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
General Reserve Fund - Constitutional amendment ratified
SECTION 1. The amendment to Section 36, Article III of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, prepared under the terms of Joint Resolution 687 of 1988, having been submitted to the qualified electors at the general election of 1988 as prescribed in Section 1, Article XVI of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, and a favorable vote having been received on the amendment, is ratified and declared to be a part of the Constitution so that Section 36 of Article III is amended to read:
"Section 36. (A) The General Assembly shall provide for a General Reserve Fund of three percent of the general fund revenue of the latest completed fiscal year. Funds may be withdrawn from the reserve only for the purpose of covering operating deficits of state government. The General Assembly must provide for the orderly restoration of funds withdrawn from the reserve from future revenues and out of funds accumulating in excess of annual operating expenditures.
(1) The General Assembly shall provide by law for a procedure to survey the progress of the collection of revenue and the expenditure of funds and to authorize and direct reduction of appropriations as may be necessary to prevent a deficit.
(2) In the event of a year-end operating deficit, so much of the reserve fund as may be necessary must be used to cover the deficit; and the amount must be restored to the reserve fund within three fiscal years out of future revenues until the three percent General Reserve Fund is again reached and maintained. Provided that a minimum of one percent of the general fund revenue of the latest completed fiscal year, if so much is necessary, must be restored to the reserve fund each year following the deficit until the three percent General Reserve Fund is restored.
(B) The General Assembly, in the annual general appropriations act, shall appropriate, out of the estimated revenue of the general fund for the fiscal year for which the appropriations are made, into a Capital Reserve Fund, which is separate and distinct from the General Reserve Fund, an amount equal to two percent of the general fund revenue of the latest completed fiscal year.
(1) The General Assembly must provide by law that if before March first the revenue forecast for the current fiscal year projects that revenues at the end of the fiscal year will be less than expenditures authorized by appropriation for that year, then the current year's appropriation to the Capital Reserve Fund first must be reduced to the extent necessary before mandating any reductions in operating appropriations.
(2) After March first of a fiscal year, monies from the Capital Reserve Fund may be appropriated by the General Assembly in separate legislation upon an affirmative vote in each branch of the General Assembly by two-thirds of the members present and voting, but not less than three-fifths of the total membership in each branch for the following purposes:
(a) to finance in cash previously authorized capital improvement bond projects;
(b) to retire interest or principal on bonds previously issued;
(c) for capital improvements or other nonrecurring purposes.
(3)(a) Any appropriation of monies from the Capital Reserve Fund as provided in this subsection must be ranked in priority of expenditure and is effective thirty days after completion of the fiscal year. If it is determined that the fiscal year has ended with an operating deficit, then the monies appropriated from the Capital Reserve Fund must be reduced based on the rank of priority, beginning with the lowest priority, to the extent necessary and applied to the year-end operating deficit before withdrawing monies from the General Reserve Fund.
(b) At the end of the fiscal year, any monies in the Capital Reserve Fund that are not appropriated as provided in this subsection or any appropriation for a particular project or item which has been reduced due to application of the monies to a year-end deficit must lapse and be credited to the General Fund."