GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2019-133
HOUSE BILL 156
AN ACT to improve access to certain assets of the swain county settlement trust fund by the board of commissioners of swain county.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 147‑69.6 reads as rewritten:
"§ 147‑69.6. Swain County Settlement Trust Fund.
(a) The Swain County Settlement Trust Fund is established as a special fund in the Office of the State Treasurer under the management of the Treasurer. The Fund shall consist of the proceeds of any payments made by the United States in settlement of the 1943 agreement between Swain County and the United States Department of Interior, such other contributions as Swain County or other entities may choose to make to the Fund, and the interest and other investment income earned by the Fund. For the purposes of this section, the initial balance of the Fund shall be defined as fifty‑two million dollars ($52,000,000).
(a1) Contributions to the Fund are irrevocable. Assets in the Fund may be disbursed only to Swain County.
On such schedule as
the State Treasurer may determine, in consultation with the Board of
Commissioners of Swain County, the The State Treasurer shall
disburse to Swain County amounts requested by the Swain County Board of
Commissioners pursuant to a majority vote of that body, provided that
disbursements to Swain County under this subsection in any fiscal year shall
not exceed the total interest and investment income earned by the Fund in that
fiscal year. At the start of each fiscal year, the State Treasurer shall issue
a nonbinding opinion and recommendation to the Swain County Board of
Commissioners suggesting an appropriate amount of interest and investment
income to be reinvested in the Fund to ensure that the principal investment
grows to keep pace with inflation.shall not be made from the initial
balance of the Fund. Disbursements made pursuant to this subsection shall occur
no more frequently than once per quarter.
(c) No portion of the
initial balance of the Fund may be disbursed to Swain County absent
a request by the Swain County Board of Commissioners accompanied by a
certification by the Swain County Board of Elections that two‑thirds of
the registered voters of Swain County voted in favor of the disbursement and
subsequent expenditure of the amount requested in a referendum conducted under
subsection (f) of this section.
(d) Funds disbursed to Swain
County under subsections (b) or (c) of this section shall be managed by the
county in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Budget and Fiscal
Act as amended from time to time.Act, as amended.
(e) No part of the
initial balance of the Swain County Settlement Trust Fund or of any
interest or other income earned on that principal initial balance may
be paid to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered
in connection with negotiating the settlement agreement between Swain County
and the United States Department of Interior or obtaining the monetary
settlement from the United States.
(f) The Board of Commissioners
of Swain County may direct the Swain County Board of Elections to conduct an
advisory referendum on the question of whether any portion of the
balance of the Fund should be disbursed to and expended by the county for a
particular purpose. The election shall be held in accordance with the
procedures of G.S. 163A‑1592. The question to be presented on the
ballot shall disclose the specific purpose proposed for expenditure of the principal
investment initial balance of the Trust Fund and the amount proposed
(g) The Swain County Settlement Trust Fund is subject to the oversight of the State Auditor pursuant to Article 5A of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes.
(h) The Swain County Settlement Trust Fund and the income therefrom shall not take the place of or be counted against any other State appropriations or program providing funds or disbursements to Swain County."
SECTION 2. This act becomes effective October 1, 2019.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 9th day of July, 2019.
s/ Ralph E. Hise
Presiding Officer of the Senate
s/ Tim Moore
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Roy Cooper
Approved 1:37 p.m. this 19th day of July, 2019