The state of Alabama is authorized to become indebted for improvements at the Alabama state docks and the refunding of state docks revenue bonds, and in evidence of the indebtedness so incurred to issue and sell, in addition to all other bonds of the state, interest bearing general obligation bonds of the state not exceeding ten million dollars ($10,000,000) in principal amount. The full faith and credit and taxing power of the state are hereby pledged to the prompt and faithful payment of the principal of the bonds and the interest thereon. The Alabama state docks department (which term as used herein shall be construed to include any other agency of the state that may succeed to said department's functions) shall pledge and use so much of the revenues derived from its seaport facilities as may be necessary to pay at their maturities the principal of and interest on said bonds, and may pledge, agree to use, and use so much of said revenues as the said department with the approval of the governor may determine shall be necessary or desirable to build up and maintain a reserve for the payment of said principal and interest and for the maintenance, replacement and improvement of its seaport facilities.
The proceeds from the sale of any such bonds shall, after payment of the reasonable and necessary expenses of their issuance, be set aside in a special fund in the state treasury and shall be paid out of the Alabama state docks department upon authorization by the governor and shall be held by the said department in a special trust fund designated "state docks bond fund" and therefrom be disbursed as follows:
(a) Not exceeding $3,000,000 may be used to pay the reasonable and necessary costs of constructing and equipping works of internal improvement for use and operation as a part of the state docks facilities; provided that, if said department shall have issued subsequent to July 1, 1963, any notes in anticipation of the sale of bonds for any of said purposes, then so much as may be necessary, not exceeding $1,000,000, of said $3,000,000 shall be used to retire or fund said notes; and
(b) Not exceeding $7,000,000 may be used to refund and provide for the retirement of all or such part of the outstanding revenue bonds heretofore issued by said department as the director thereof, with the approval of the governor, shall deem advantageous, including payment of any redemption premiums required under the terms of said outstanding bonds to be paid in order to effect redemption thereof prior to their maturities; provided, that pending any redemption date or dates on which the outstanding bonds so refunded can be redeemed under their terms, any part of said $7,000,000 and any other funds of the said department may be invested in securities that are direct obligations of the United States of America, and such securities may be deposited by said department under irrevocable trust agreements, which said department is hereby authorized to enter into with any corporate trustee, and used to pay principal, interest and redemption premiums on said outstanding bonds.
Alabama state docks department is hereby vested with full authority, except as limited herein, to prescribe the terms of the bonds and to provide for the issuance and sale thereof. 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 in registered or bearer form either as to principal or interest or both, with rights of conversion into another form, 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 the state docks department 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 department in the order or orders under which the bonds are issued. The principal of each series of bonds shall mature in annual installments in such amounts as shall be specified in the authorizing order or orders, the first of which installments shall mature not later than one year after the date of the bonds of such series and the last of which installments shall mature not later than twenty years after the date of the bonds of the same series. The largest installment of principal and interest maturing on each series of the bonds in any one year shall not exceed twice the preceding smallest installment of principal and interest maturing thereon in any prior year. None of the bonds shall be sold for less than face value plus accrued interest thereon to the date of delivery. The bonds shall be sold only at public sale or sales, either on sealed bids or at auction, after such advertisement as may be prescribed by the said department to the bidder whose bid reflects the lowest net interest cost to the state computed to the respective maturities of the bonds sold; provided, that if no bid deemed acceptable by the said department 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 state docks director, 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 one or any two (but not all) of said officers may be reproduced on any of such bonds in lieu of being manually signed thereon. Coupons attached to the bonds and representing installments of interest thereon shall be signed with the facsimile signature of the state treasurer, which facsimile signature shall constitute due and sufficient authentication of said coupons.
All bonds issued under the provisions of this amendment, together with the interest income thereon, shall forever be exempt from taxation in this state.
The authorization to incur debt and issue bonds contained in this amendment shall supersede and take the place of any authorization for Alabama state docks department to issue revenue bonds granted by act of the legislature on the effective date of this amendment.
The provisions of this amendment shall be self-executing and authorization from or other action by the legislature shall not be a prerequisite to the issuance of bonds hereunder.