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Article VIII, Section 2l | Parks, recreation, and natural resources project capital improvements


(A) In addition to the authorizations otherwise contained in Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution, the General Assembly shall provide by law, in accordance with and subject to the limitations of this section, for the issuance of bonds and other obligations of the state for the purpose of financing or assisting in the financing of the costs of capital improvements for state and local parks and land and water recreation facilities; soil and water restoration and protection; land management including preservation of natural areas and reforestation; water management including dam safety, stream and lake management, and flood control and flood damage reduction; fish and wildlife resource management; and other projects that enhance the use and enjoyment of natural resources by individuals. Capital improvements include without limitation the cost of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, expansion, improvement, planning, and equipping.

It is hereby determined that these capital improvements and provisions for them are necessary and appropriate to improve the quality of life of the people of this state, to better ensure the public health, safety, and welfare, and to create and preserve jobs and enhance employment opportunities.

(B)(1) Not more than fifty million dollars principal amount of obligations may be issued under this section in any fiscal year, and not more than two hundred million dollars principal amount may be outstanding at any one time. The limitations of this paragraph do not apply to any obligations authorized to be issued under this section to retire or refund obligations previously issued under this section, to the extent that their principal amount does not exceed the principal amount of the obligations to be retired or refunded.

(2) Each issue of obligations shall mature in not more than twenty-five years from the date of issuance, or, if issued to retire or refund other obligations issued under this section, within twenty-five years from the date the debt was originally contracted. If obligations are issued as bond anticipation notes, provision shall be made, by law or in the proceedings for the issuance of those notes, for the establishment and maintenance while the notes are outstanding of a special fund or funds into which there shall be paid, from the sources authorized for the payment of the bonds, the amount that would have been sufficient, if bonds maturing serially in each year over a period of twenty-five years had been issued without the prior issuance of the notes, to pay the principal that would have been payable on those bonds during that period; such fund or funds shall be used solely for the payment of principal of those notes or of the bonds anticipated.

(C) The state may participate by grants or contributions in financing capital improvements under this section made by local government entities. Of the proceeds of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this section for capital improvements, at least twenty per cent shall be allocated to grants or contributions to local government entities for such capital improvements.

(D) The obligations issued under this section are general obligations of the state. The full faith and credit, revenue, and taxing power of the state shall be pledged to the payment of the principal of and interest and other accreted amounts on those obligations as they become due, and bond retirement fund provisions shall be made for payment of that debt service. Provision shall be made by law for the sufficiency and appropriation, for purposes of paying that debt service, of excises, taxes, and revenues so pledged to that debt service, and for covenants to continue the levy, collection, and application of sufficient excises, taxes, and revenues to the extent needed for that purpose. Notwithstanding Section 22 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, no further act of appropriation shall be necessary for that purpose. The moneys referred to in section 5a of Article XII, Ohio Constitution, may not be pledged to the payment of that debt service. The obligations and the provisions for the payment of debt service on them are not subject to Sections 5, 6, and 11 of Article XII, Ohio Constitution, and, with respect to the purposes to which their proceeds are to be applied, are not subject to sections 4 and 6 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution.

(E) Obligations issued under authority of this section, the transfer thereof, and the interest and other income and accreted amounts therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation within the state.

(F) This section shall be implemented in the manner and to the extent provided by law by the general assembly.