(a) The Legislature finds and declares:
(1) That the supreme court of appeals has determined and ordered that the constitution of this state imposes a duty on behalf of the state to make significant improvements in the jail and correctional facility system, including the duty to make capital improvements to facilities and to pay for the cost of those improvements;
(2) That construction of capital improvements requires that the cost of the facilities be financed over time; that capital improvements cannot be funded out of the current year appropriations of the Legislature; and that section fifty-one, article six of the constitution prohibits the Legislature amending the budget bill so as to create a deficit;
(3) That while the supreme court of appeals is empowered to interpret the laws, including the constitution of the state, section one, article ten of the constitution grants to the Legislature the power of taxation; section fifty-one, article six of the constitution grants to the Legislature the power of appropriation; and section one, article five of the constitution prohibits any branch of government from exercising powers properly belonging to another;
(4) That the enacting of new taxes, or the diversion of revenues from other essential departments and functions of government, in order to support capital improvements in jails and correctional facilities, is not in the interests of the people of the state represented in the Legislature, and is specifically rejected by the Legislature in its exercise of its legitimate constitutional powers;
(5) That the decision of the supreme court of appeals, imposing a duty on the state to construct and pay for capital improvements to jails and correctional facilities arising out of the Bill of Rights of the United States constitution declared ratified in the year 1791, and the state constitution of the year 1863, constitutes a prior liability of the state within the meaning of section four, article ten of the constitution and an exception to the constitutional limitation on contracting state debt;
(6) That the construction of capital improvements of jail and correctional facilities may be funded through funds available for investment through the West Virginia investment management board, invested in such a manner as to be assured as high a rate of return as would be earned if these funds were otherwise invested, and repaid by the state as provided in this article.
(b) The investment management board shall upon request of the regional jail and correctional facility authority transfer moneys as an investment, from funds available for investment from the public employees retirement system, to the regional jail and correctional facility authority. The amount transferred may not exceed $150,000,000 in the aggregate and shall be used for the purposes of financing construction of regional jails, correctional facilities, juvenile detention facilities, juvenile correctional facilities, or extensions, renovations, improvements or additions thereto, or for the replacement or renovation of existing facilities. If the board has loaned money to the state building commission under subsection (b), section nineteen of this article, the total amount loaned shall be repaid to the board from funds made available under the investment made pursuant to this section. Prior to the expenditure of any of the funds, the regional jail and correctional facility authority shall certify to the joint committee on government and finance a list of projects that are to be funded from the invested funds. This certified list may not thereafter be altered or amended other than by legislative enactment. Funds shall be invested with the regional jail and correctional facility authority as requested by the regional jail and correctional facility authority. The money invested shall earn a return at a rate equal to the annualized rate of return earned by the core fixed-income portfolio of the public employees retirement system over the previous five years, plus one tenth of one percent: Provided, That in all events this rate of return may not be less than five percent per annum. The monthly rate of return shall be calculated every quarter. The manner and timing of the investment shall be determined by the board. The total of the amounts invested may not exceed a total of $150,000,000 during fiscal year 1998, and fiscal year 1999, cumulatively. The authority to make the investment authorized by this section expires on June 30, 1999.
(c) There is created in the state treasury a regional jail and correctional facility investment fund dedicated to the payment of investment earnings and the return of capital invested under this section. The treasurer shall administer the fund. The fund is an interest-bearing account with interest earned credited to and deposited back into the fund. The fund consists of amounts required to be deposited by section fourteen, article three, chapter thirty-three of this code.
(d) The treasurer shall, monthly, transfer amounts from the regional jail and correctional facility investment fund to the board that are sufficient to allow investment earnings to be paid and the capital invested returned in substantially equal amounts by August 31, 2023: Provided, That the amount of investment earnings paid and the capital invested returned during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, may not exceed $10,000,000. Payment representing investment earnings and the return of capital invested shall begin six months from the date the initial funds are invested, or by January 10, 1999, whichever is later.
(e) The board shall calculate the amount of the projected annual investment earnings to be paid and the capital invested to be returned and certify the amount to the treasurer on the first day of December of each year, until all investment earnings are paid and the total capital invested is returned.(f) As a condition precedent to the transfer and investment of moneys by the investment management board pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, either the investment management board or the regional jail and correctional authority shall have first caused a judicial determination to be made by an appropriate action initiated in the West Virginia supreme court of appeals regarding the transfer of moneys by the investment management board to the regional jail and correctional facility authority as an investment from funds available for investment from the public employees retirement system, and to otherwise determine the constitutionality of the provisions of Enrolled House Bill 4702, as enacted by the Legislature in the year 1998. This judicial determination shall be brought as soon as practicable, but not later than thirty days following the effective date of the amendments to this section made by the Legislature in the year 1998.
(g) The Legislature recognizes the fiduciary liability and responsibility imposed on the board by this article and by article six, chapter forty-four of this code. The board, its trustees and employees, have no liability, either personally or corporately with respect to the investment provided for in this section and the loans made under section nineteen of this article, if the investment and loans are made in accordance with the respective provisions of this section and section nineteen of this article.
(h) The regional jail and correctional facility authority shall expend the funds invested under the provisions of this section to proceed with the projects identified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(i) The regional jail and correctional facility authority may return the total remaining capital invested upon thirty days written notice to the board and at the time of such return shall pay the investment earnings accrued to the return date.