Bond Issue to Acquire, Develop, etc., State Parks and Park Facilities.

The state of Alabama is authorized to become indebted for acquiring, providing, constructing, developing, and equipping state parks and park facilities, 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 forty-three million dollars ($43,000,000) in principal amount. 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 the state treasury in a special trust fund designated "state parks bond proceeds fund" and shall be disbursed therefrom on order of the director of conservation, approved by the governor, for payment of costs of acquiring, providing, constructing, developing and equipping state parks and park facilities; provided, that any proceeds held in the state parks bond proceeds fund for more than thirty days shall be invested in securities which are direct and general obligations of the United States of America. The said bonds shall be direct general obligations of the state, and for the prompt and faithful payment of the principal thereof and interest thereon the full faith and credit of the state are hereby irrevocably pledged. In addition thereto, there is hereby specially and irrevocably pledged for payment of the principal of and interest on said bonds, pro rata and without priority of one bond over another by reason of prior issuance or otherwise, so much as may be necessary for said purpose of that portion of an additional privilege and license tax on the sale, storage, use, consumption, or delivery of cigarettes, levied by an act introduced at the 1967 regular session of the legislature of Alabama as Senate Bill 280, that was appropriated in the said act to the development of state parks and state park facilities. The said special pledge shall create a charge on the tax proceeds herein specially pledged prior to all other charges or expenses for state park purposes or any other purposes whatever.

The governor, the director of finance, and the director of conservation are hereby constituted a bond commission with full authority, except as herein specified or limited, to provide the terms of the bonds and to provide for the sale and issuance thereof. The governor shall be the chairman of the commission, which shall meet at his call; its proceedings shall be signed by its members and filed with the secretary of state. 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 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 commission 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; provided, that the first such installment shall mature not later than one year after the date of the bonds of such series, and the last such installment shall mature not later than twenty years after the date of the bonds of the same series; and provided further, that at the time of the issuance of each series of bonds, the maturities of the bonds of that series shall, to such extent as may be practicable, be so arranged that during each then succeeding fiscal year of the state the aggregate installments of principal and interest that will mature on all bonds that will be outstanding hereunder, immediately following the issuance of the bonds of that series, will be substantially equal. The determination by the commission that the requirements of the last proviso of the preceding sentence have been complied with shall be conclusive of such compliance.

The bonds shall be signed in the name of the state by the governor and countersigned by the director of finance 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 the 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 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.