The state of Alabama is authorized to become indebted for the purpose of financing the work required of the Alabama state docks as the local sponsoring agency for the improvement in Mobile harbor, Alabama, known as the Theodore ship channel project or for additional improvements for the Alabama state docks 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 four million dollars ($4,000,000) 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, subject to the provisions of the bond order relating to the sale of the $10,000,000 principal amount of general obligation seaport facilities bonds of the state of Alabama dated March 1, 1964, 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 reserves for the payment of said principal and interest 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 expense of their issuance, be set aside in a special fund in the state treasury and shall be paid out to the Alabama state docks department upon authorization by the governor and shall be held by the said department in a special trust fund and therefrom disbursed to pay the reasonable and necessary costs required of the Alabama state docks as the local sponsoring agency for the improvement in Mobile harbor, Alabama, known as the Theodore ship channel project or to pay the reasonable and necessary costs of constructing, dredging of approaches thereto and equipment of works of internal improvement for use and operation as a part of additional state docks facilities; provided that, if said department shall have issued any notes in anticipation of the sale of bonds for any of said purposes, then so much as may be necessary, not exceeding $2,000,000, shall be used to retire or fund said notes.
The Alabama state docks department is hereby vested with full authority, subject to the provisions of the bond order relating to the sale of $10,000,000 principal amount of general obligation seaport facilities bonds of the state of Alabama dated March 1, 1964, and 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 amount 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 in effect 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.