The State of Alabama is authorized to become indebted for the purpose of providing, equipping and improving facilities for the provision of animal and livestock diagnostic services and for use as educational, research and promotional facilities in the fields of agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, and in evidence of the indebtedness so incurred to sell and issue bonds, in addition to all other bonds of the State, not exceeding $52,000,000 in aggregate principal amount. Said bonds shall be direct general obligations of the State and the full faith and credit and taxing power of the State are hereby pledged to the prompt and faithful payment of the principal thereof and the interest thereon. The proceeds from the sale of said bonds are hereby appropriated and shall be used exclusively for the purpose of paying the expenses incurred in the sale and issuance thereof and for payment of the costs of the construction, alteration, improvement, remodeling, renovation, modernization, enlargement and equipment of buildings and related facilities, including parking areas and ramps, roadways, sewers, curbs, and gutters, but not including the purchase of sites therefor, for use (1) as animal diagnostic laboratories in order to provide improved animal health testing for livestock and poultry producers, veterinarians, animal owners and animal-related businesses generally, (2) in carrying out agricultural and forestry research and for agriculture and forestry, plant science and nursery crop education at post-secondary levels, (3) in the provision of instruction and research in the field of veterinary medicine and (4) in providing agricultural extension services at regional research extension centers. Said bonds shall be issued by the State pursuant to appropriate resolutions adopted by the board of directors of Alabama Agricultural Development Authority, and the proceeds thereof shall be allocated by said Authority for payment of the aforesaid costs in such amounts and manner as shall be authorized by act of the legislature. Such buildings and facilities and improvements thereto shall be constructed at the direction of said Authority and shall thereafter be operated by or in cooperation with the State's Morill Act land grant universities and those institutions eligible to receive federal appropriations in support of agriculture and forestry extension and research and for the acquisition and improvement or agricultural and food sciences facilities and equipment and such other agencies and institutions as the said Authority shall determine to be appropriate and convenient therefor.
The State of Alabama is further authorized to become indebted and in evidence thereof to sell and issue one or more series of bonds to refund all or any of the bonds hereinabove authorized by this amendment in such principal amount or amounts (which may exceed the principal amount of the bonds being refunded) and in such manner as may be provided by law duly enacted by the legislature.
The aforesaid Authority is hereby vested with the power and authority to provide for the sale and terms of the bonds hereby authorized and the issuance thereof, subject to the approval of the Governor. The bonds may be sold, executed and delivered at any time and from time to time, may be in such forms, denominations, series and numbers, may be of such tenor and maturities, may bear such date or dates, may be payable in such installments and at such place or places, may bear interest at such rate or rates payable and evidenced in such manner, and may contain provisions for redemption at the option of the State to be exercised by said Authority at such date or dates prior to their maturity and upon payment of such redemption price or prices, all as shall be provided by the said Authority in the resolution or resolutions whereunder the bonds hereby authorized are issued. The principal of each series of bonds shall mature on such date in such amounts as shall be specified in the resolution or resolutions of the board of directors of the said Authority under which they are issued, the last of which installments shall mature not later than twenty-one years after the date of the bonds of the same series. All of the bonds (including refunding bonds) shall be sold only at public sale or sales, either on sealed bids or at public auction, after such advertisement as may be prescribed by the said Authority, to the bidder whose bid reflects the lowest true interest cost to the State computed to the respective maturities of the bonds sold; provided, that if no bid deemed acceptable by the said Authority is received all bids may be rejected.
The bonds shall be signed in the name of the State by the Governor and countersigned by the chairman of the said Authority and the Great Seal of the State of Alabama or a facsimile thereof shall be impressed, printed or otherwise reproduced thereon and shall be attested by the signature of the Secretary of State; provided that facsimile signatures of any or all of said officers may be reproduced on such bonds in lieu of their manually signing the same.
All bonds issued under the provisions of this amendment, together with the interest income thereon, shall forever be exempt from all taxation in the State, except inheritance, estate and gift taxes.
The proceeds from the sale of those bonds hereby authorized (other than refunding bonds), after the payment of all expenses of the sale thereof, shall be set apart in a special fund in the state Treasury to be designated "The Alabama Agricultural, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Facilities Improvement Fund," and such proceeds shall be temporarily invested until needed and disbursed, together with income derived from the investment and reinvestment thereof, on order of the aforesaid Authority solely for the purposes, hereinabove described, for which said bonds are authorized to be issued. Proceeds and said income so disbursed may be combined with monies derived from other sources or otherwise provided by State institutions in accomplishing said purposes in such manner as said Authority shall direct, but the provision or existence of matching funds from the federal government or other entities or persons shall not be a prerequisite to the issuance of any bonds hereunder or to the disbursement of any proceeds thereof or any income earned on such proceeds.
No further authorizations from the legislature shall be a prerequisite to the validity of any bonds issued hereunder. However, the legislature shall enact appropriate legislation implementing the provisions hereof, including provisions for the issuance of refunding bonds as hereinabove authorized.