(a) There is hereby created an insurance fund which shall be a continuing, nonlapsing, revolving fund that consists of:
(1) Moneys appropriated by the state to the insurance fund;
(2) Premiums, fees and any other amounts received by the authority with respect to financial assistance provided by the authority from the insurance fund;
(3) Upon the satisfaction of any indebtedness or other obligation owed on any property held or acquired by the authority, such proceeds as designated by the authority from the sale, lease or other disposition of such property;
(4) Income from investments made from moneys in the insurance fund; and
(5) Any other moneys transferred to the insurance fund or made available to it for the purposes described under this section, under this article or pursuant to any other provisions of this code.
Subject to the provisions of any outstanding insurance agreements entered into by the authority under this section, the authority may enter into covenants or agreements with respect to the insurance fund, and establish accounts within the insurance fund which may be used to implement the purposes of this article. If the authority elects to establish separate accounts within the insurance fund, the authority may allocate its revenues and receipts among the respective accounts in any manner the authority considers appropriate.
If the authority at any time finds that more money is needed to keep the reserves of the insurance fund at an adequate level, the authority, with the consent of the chairman, shall send a written request to the Legislature for additional funds.
(b) The insurance fund shall be used for the following purposes by the authority to financially assist projects so long as such financial assistance will, as determined by the authority, fulfill the public purposes of this article:
(1) To insure the payment or repayment of all or any part of the principal of, redemption or prepayment premiums or penalties on, and interest on bonds or notes whether issued under this article or under the Industrial Development and Commercial Development Bond Act, the West Virginia Hospital Finance Authority Act or, with respect to health care facilities only, article thirty-three, chapter eight of this code;
(2) To insure the payment or repayment of all or any part of the principal of, redemption or prepayment premiums or penalties on, and interest on any instrument executed, obtained or delivered in connection with the issuance and sale of bonds or notes whether under this article or under the Industrial Development and Commercial Development Bond Act, the West Virginia Hospital Finance Authority Act or, with respect to health care facilities only, article thirty-three, chapter eight of this code;
(3) To insure the payment or repayment of all or any part of the principal of, prepayment premiums or penalties on, and interest on any form of debt instrument entered into by an enterprise, public body or authority of the state with a financial institution, including, but not limited to, banks, insurance companies and other institutions in the business of lending money, which debt instruments shall include, but not be limited to, instruments relating to loans for working capital and to the refinancing of existing debt: Provided, That nothing contained in this subsection or any other provision of this article shall be construed as permitting the authority to insure the refinancing of existing debt except when such insurance will result in the expansion of the enterprise whose debt is to be refinanced or in the creation of new jobs;
(4) To pay or insure the payment of any fees or premiums necessary to obtain insurance, guarantees, letters of credit or other credit support from any person or financial institution in connection with financial assistance provided by the authority under this section;
(5) To pay any and all expenses of the authority, including, but not limited to:
(i) Any and all expenses for administrative, legal, actuarial, and other services related to the operation of the insurance fund; and
(ii) All costs, charges, fees and expenses of the authority related to the authorizing, preparing, printing, selling, issuing and insuring of bonds or notes (including, by way of example, bonds or notes, the proceeds of which are used to refund outstanding bonds or notes) and the funding of reserves; and
(6) To insure, for up to twenty years, the payment or repayment of all or any part of the principal of and interest on any form of debt instrument entered into by an enterprise, public body or authority of the state with a financial institution, including, but not limited to, banks, insurance companies and other institutions in the business of lending money, which debt instruments are to be solely for capital costs relating to:
(i) Providing broadband service, as defined in section one, article one, chapter thirty-one-g of this code, to a household or business located in an unserved area, as defined in section two of said article, or in an area with access to Internet service, by wireline or fixed wireless technology, but that fifteen percent or more of households and businesses in the area are served by Internet service with an actual downstream data rate less than ten megabits per second and an upstream data rate less than one megabit per second, and no part of the area has three or more wireline or fixed wireless broadband service providers; or
(ii) Building a segment of a telecommunications network that links a network operator’s core network to a local network plant that serves either an unserved area, as defined in section two, article one, chapter thirty-one-g of this code, or an area in which no more than two wireline providers are operating.
The authority may not insure the payment or repayment of any part of the principal of and interest on any form of debt instrument under this subdivision, unless the participating financial institution provides written certification to the authority that, but for the authority’s insuring the debt instrument, the financial institution would not otherwise make the loan based solely on the creditworthiness of the loan applicant: Provided, That nothing contained in this subsection or any other provision of this article may be construed as permitting the authority to insure the refinancing of existing debt.
Upon the filing of an application for loan insurance under this subsection, the broadband provider shall cause to be published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, notice of the filing of the application and that the authority may approve the same unless within ten business days after completion of publication a written objection is received by the authority from a person or persons challenging that the proposed broadband project does not satisfy the provisions of this subsection. The publication area for such notice is to be the county or counties in which any portion of the proposed broadband project is to be constructed. The notice shall be in such form as the authority shall direct, and shall include a map of the area or areas to be served by the proposed broadband project. The applicant shall also cause to be mailed by first class, on or before the first day of publication of the notice, a copy of the notice to all known current providers of broadband service within the area proposed to be served. If a challenge under this paragraph is timely received by the authority, the authority shall advise the Broadband Enhancement Council, established in article one of chapter thirty-one-g of this code, in writing within five business days. The council shall set the matter for hearing on a date within thirty days of receipt of notice from the authority. The Broadband Enhancement Council shall issue a decision on whether the proposed project satisfies the requirements of this subsection or not within thirty days of completion of such hearing. Any party participating in said hearing may appeal the council’s decision within thirty days of the issuance of said decision to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County. This provision shall apply to all applicants except to those broadband providers that plan on providing a downstream data rate of at least one gigabyte per second to the end user.
(c) Except as relating to insured portions of debt instruments under subdivision (6), subsection (b) of this section, the total aggregate amount of insurance from the insurance fund with respect to the insured portions of principal of bonds or notes or other instruments may not exceed at any time an amount equal to five times the balance in the insurance fund.
(d) The authority may, in its sole and absolute discretion, set the premiums and fees to be paid to it for providing financial assistance under this section. The premiums and fees set by the authority shall be payable in the amounts, at the time, and in the manner that the authority, in its sole and absolute discretion, requires. The premiums and fees need not be uniform among transactions, and may vary in amount: (1) Among transactions; and (2) at different stages during the terms of transactions.
(e) The authority may, in its sole and absolute discretion, require the security it believes sufficient in connection with its insuring of the payment or repayment of any bonds, notes, debt or other instruments described in subdivisions (1), (2), (3) and (4), subsection (b) of this section.
(f) The authority may itself approve the form of any insurance agreement entered into under this section or may authorize the chairman or his or her designee to approve the form of any such agreement. Any payment by the authority under an agreement entered into by the authority under this section shall be made at the time and in the manner that the authority, in its sole and absolute discretion, determines.
(g) The obligations of the authority under any insurance agreement entered into pursuant to this article shall not constitute a debt or a pledge of the faith and credit or taxing powers of this state or of any county, municipality or any political subdivision of this state for the payment of any amount due thereunder or pursuant thereto, but the obligations evidenced by such insurance agreement shall be payable solely from the funds pledged for their payment. All such insurance agreements shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that such agreements and the obligations evidenced thereby are not debts of the state or any county, municipality or political subdivision thereof but are payable solely from funds pledged for their payment.