Mississippi higher education officials say the Legislature’s stated “intent” to issue three years of bonds for construction projects will allow them to better plan for their building needs.
During the recently completed 2013 session, the Legislature approved a bond package totaling $196 million to finance building projects at the universities, community colleges, for state office buildings and for various tourism-related and economic development projects throughout the state.
Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to sign the bond bill this week.
The package includes $96.5 million for the state’s eight public universities.
While the Legislature did not issue bonds during the 2012 session because the House and Senate leaders could not agree on the size of the package, bond proposals are passed most years and signed into law by the governor.
What is different about what the Legislature did during the 2013 session is the language in the bond bill stating it is “the intent of the Legislature to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds during the 2014 and 2015 regular sessions for the capital needs of state institutions of higher learning as recommended by the Department of Finance and Administration.”
The state College Board works with DFA on developing bond projects for the universities. The three-year plan includes $96.5 million for the 2013 session, $92.4 million for 2014 and $68.6 million for 2015.