§8-32-4. Legislative findings; authority of municipalities and county commissions to make appropriations; limitations and restrictions.

(a) The Legislature hereby finds that the support of public or nonprofit health institutions dedicated to making available to the general public health and mental health services is for the general welfare of the public and is a public purpose for which funds of a municipality or county commission may be lawfully expended. This section is enacted in view of this finding and shall be liberally construed in the light thereof. As used in this section, the term "health institution" means a hospital, health or mental health clinic, regional or community health or mental health center, mental retardation facility, extended care facility, nursing home, or other health or mental health institution, which is open to the general public.

(b) Notwithstanding any statutory or charter provision to the contrary, municipalities and county commissions are hereby empowered and authorized to appropriate funds, subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in this section, for the establishment, cost, operation, maintenance and projects of any health institution, whether such health institution be situate within or without the confines of any such municipality or county. Funds may not be appropriated by a municipality or county commission for the benefit and use of any health institution unless such health institution is either owned and operated by a unit of government, or is owned and operated by a nonstock, nonprofit corporation chartered under the laws of or licensed to do business in this state which provides in its charter that no member trustee or member of the board of directors (by whatever name the same may be called) shall receive any compensation, gain or profit from such corporation and which is operated in compliance with such charter provisions. Any such appropriation shall be made from the General Funds of such municipality or county commission not otherwise appropriated or from federal revenue sharing funds received by such municipality or county commission.

(c) The recipient of any funds appropriated under the provisions of this section shall upon demand at any time make a full and complete accounting of all such funds to the governing body of the municipality or county commission which made such appropriation and shall in every event without demand make to such governing body an annual accounting thereof.

(d) Under no circumstances whatever shall any action taken by any municipality or county commission under the authority of this section give rise to or create any indebtedness on the part of the municipality, the county, the governing body of such municipality, the county commission, any member of such governing body or county commission or any municipal or county official or employee.

(e) No provision within this article prohibits the ability of a county or municipal hospital to borrow money and to perform such actions and do those things which are reasonably necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to, obtaining credit to further the mission of such hospital and acceptance of a loan for working capital requirements, as that term is generally defined: Provided, That the hospital complies with the provisions of subsection (d) of this section so that any indebtedness created is at no time an obligation of any municipality, the county commission, any member of such governing body or county commission or any municipal or county official or employee.

Bill History For §8-32-4

1989 Regular Session
House Bill 2689
1977 Regular Session
Senate Bill 275