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HOUSE BILL NO. 92
INTRODUCED BY R. SOMERVILLE
BY REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE GOVERNOR
AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY FROM THE COAL SEVERANCE TAX PERMANENT FUND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR TECHNICAL, LEGAL, AND ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES FOR THE STATE OF MONTANA NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, LITIGATION, AND SETTLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION IN THE CLARK FORK RIVER BASIN; REQUIRING REPAYMENT OF THE EXPENDED AMOUNTS FROM ANY RECOVERY IN THE LITIGATION; CLARIFYING THAT RECOVERED FUNDS ARE NOT DEPOSITED IN THE HAZARDOUS WASTE/CERCLA SPECIAL REVENUE ACCOUNT OR THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY PROTECTION FUND; AMENDING SECTIONS 5 AND 6, CHAPTER 154, LAWS OF 1997; REQUIRING A THREE-FOURTHS VOTE; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES AND A RETROACTIVE APPLICABILITY DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Natural resource damage program appropriation -- rate of interest. (1) There is appropriated to the department of justice from the coal severance tax permanent fund a loan in the amount of $1,650,000 for the biennium ending June 30, 2001, for the purpose of conducting the natural resource damage assessment and litigation, implementing the settlement, and pursuing the state of Montana's remaining natural resource damage claims, and any appeals, against the atlantic richfield company through the natural resource damage litigation program. Any recovery in the litigation for assessment, litigation, and enforcement costs, up to the amount expended pursuant to this section, must be deposited in the coal severance tax permanent fund.
(2) The interest to be paid on the loan authorized under subsection (1) must be the highest rate allowable for interest recoverable under 42 U.S.C. 9607(a) based on rates specified for interest on investments of the hazardous substance superfund established under 26 U.S.C. 9507. The interest is payable as of the date of the transfer of the loan proceeds from the coal severance tax permanent fund.
Section 2. Section 5, Chapter 154, Laws of 1997, is amended to read:
"Section 5. Fund balance transfer -- reconciliation. There is transferred from the social services block grant account $680,000 and from the public welfare account $1,820,000 to the state special revenue fund to the credit of the department of justice. The department of public health and human services may use any of its general fund appropriation to pay federal claims attributable to the funds transferred from these accounts that are related to activity prior to fiscal year 1996. The balance of the transferred funds remaining in the state special revenue fund on June 30, 1999, must be transferred to the general fund."
Section 3. Section 6, Chapter 154, Laws of 1997, is amended to read:
"Section 6. Use of recovered funds. (1) Any funds recovered by the state on the natural resource damage claims
against the atlantic richfield company and any interest that accumulates on the funds
after their receipt by the state must be
used, to the extent consistent with state and federal law, for the following purposes:
recoup reimburse the expenses of the natural resource damage assessment and the costs of litigating the state's
(b) to restore, replace, rehabilitate, or acquire the equivalent of the damaged natural resources that are the subject of the litigation and to reimburse the related administrative expenses; and
(c) to perform remedial actions required by the terms of any settlement or judgment in the case.
(2) The provisions of 75-10-621 and 75-10-704 do not apply to funds recovered on the claims described in subsection (1)."
Section 4. Loan agreement. In order to make the loan authorized in [section 1], the board of investments shall enter into a contract with the department of justice pledging the amount recovered in the litigation to the repayment of the loan to the full extent allowable under the law. The contract must provide that the loan repayment must be deposited in the coal severance tax permanent fund. To the extent possible, the board shall make the loan from the portion of the coal severance tax permanent fund invested in the short-term pool. The loan authorized in [section 1] may not be made until the contract required by this section has become effective.
Section 5. Three-fourths vote. Because [section 1] appropriates money from the coal severance tax permanent fund, Article IX, section 5, of the Montana constitution requires a vote of three-fourths of the members of each house of the legislature for passage.
Section 6. Effective dates. (1) [Sections 2 through 5 and 7 and this section] are effective on passage and approval.
(2) [Section 1] is effective July 1, 1999.
Section 7. Retroactive applicability. [This act] applies retroactively, within the meaning of 1-2-109, to all occurrences after July 1, 1997.
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Latest Version of HB 92 (HB0092.ENR)
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