"Government of the People"
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March 25,2013 Hon. Phil Bryant, Governor State of Mississippi Office of the Governor Jackson, MS 3920 1 Re: House Bill 1584

Dear Governor Bryant: We write as a unified Board of Supervisors for Rankin County, Mississippi, to express our opposition to a portion of House Bill 1584 that has been delivered to you for signature. We ask respectfully that you veto House Bill 1584. House Bill 1584 was introduced by elected representatives of Rankin County in part to provide additional powers to the Board of Directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District to provide additional services to residents of the District. In addition, there was introduced the following language at Section 2, Paragraph 4 of HB 1584 (lines 342 through 347 of the proposed legislation): The funds generated from fines paid for traffic tickets, citations, or affidavits issued by reservoir police officers shall be remitted to the district by the county that collects the fines. The collecting agency may retain two percent (2%) of the amount of the fines to cover the cost of collection and remission to the district. This portion of HB 1584 forces Rankin County to remit to PRVWSD 98% of "funds from fines" generated as a result of Reservoir Patrol activity on PRVWSD property. The remaining 2% retained by the county must then be used to defray the cost to Rankin County for handling the underlying prosecution of the offense that necessitated the citation and remitting the funds fiom fines to PRVWSD. This portion of HB 1584 creates a significant hardship for Rankin County (and the other counties composing the district) because it fails to recognize the actual cost of services provided by Rankin County in prosecuting the PRVWSD citations through the Justice Court system.

Hon. Phil Bryant, Governor March 25,20 13 Page Two

Presently, citations issued by the reservoir patrol are prosecuted by the Rankin County Justice Court system. PRVWSD has no justice court system of its own. It has no courthouse, no prosecutor, and no jail. These necessary and expensive services are provided by Rankin County to residents of PRVWSD as any other county residents. The funds from fines associated with reservoir patrol traffic citations are currently used by Rankin County to defray the cost of providing these essential functions to PRVWSD residents. The application of Section 2, Paragraph 4 of HB 1584 will result in an unequal distribution of the cost of these services to other residents of Rankin County. Further, unlike municipalities in Rankin County, PRVWSD is not charged a fee for housing its offenders in the Rankin County Jail. PRVWSD is not charged when one of its prisoners requires medical attention while in the custody ofthe Rankin County Sheriff. HB 1584 will allow PRVWSD to be treated as if it is a municipality (at least in part), but the legislation does not require PRVWSD to account for the expenses normally attributable to a municipality in the manner of prosecuting traffic and other citations within the county court system. Lastly, we believe HB 1584 creates for Rankin County (and the other counties in which PRVWSD owns or controls property) an unfunded mandate by the legislature. In an effort to provide funding mechanisms for PRVWSD, the legislature is burdening Rankin County tax payers by requiring Rankin County to continue providing a court system for handling PRVWSD traffic and other offenses, but diverting the resources to fund that court system to PRVWSD. It must also be noted that PRVWSD is an agency of the State of Mississippi. It seems to us that as an agency of the State of Mississippi the appropriate manner to deal with inadequate funding for the PRVWSD is through an appropriation of funds from the legislature of the State of Mississippi. We can think of no other agency of the State of Mississippi that legitimately expects its funding to be generated from unfunded mandates burdening a county within which the state agency operates. For these reasons, we believe HB 1584 creates an unfair situation for Rankin County and we are asking you to prevent the legislation from taking effect until Section 2, Paragraph 4 of HB 1584 may be amended or removed. We very much appreciate your consideration of this request and we would request an opportunity to meet with you personally before you choose to sign the Bill into law. Sincerely, RANKIN COUNTY BQARD OF SUPERVISORS


WOOD BROWIV, DISTRICT 2 cc: Rankin County Administrator

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