147-54.5. Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund; administration; limitations on use of the Fund.

(a) The Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund created in the Department of the Secretary of State as an expendable trust account to be used by the Secretary of State only for the purposes set forth in this section.

(b) The proceeds of the Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund shall be used by the Secretary of State to provide investor protection and education to the general public and to potential securities investors in the State through:

(1) The use of the media, including television and radio public service announcements and printed materials; and

(2) The sponsorship of educational seminars, whether live, recorded, or through other electronic means.

(c) The proceeds of the Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund shall not be used for:

(1) Travel expenses of the Secretary of State or staff of the Department of the Secretary of State, unless those expenses are directly related to specific investor protection and education activities performed in accordance with this section.

(2) General operating expenses of the Department of the Secretary of State, or to supplement General Fund appropriations to the Department of the Secretary of State for other than investor education and protection activities.

(3) Promoting the Secretary of State or the Department of the Secretary of State.

(d) Expenditures from the Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund shall be made in compliance with State purchasing and contracting requirements for competitive bidding in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

(e) Revenues derived from consent orders resulting from negotiated settlements of securities investigations by the Secretary of State shall be credited to the Fund. The State Treasurer shall invest the assets of the Fund according to law. Any interest or other investment income earned by the Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund shall remain in the Fund. The balance of the Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund.

(f) Beginning January 1, 1997, the Department of the Secretary of State shall report annually to the General Assembly's Fiscal Research Division and to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations on the expenditures from the Investor Protection and Education Trust Fund and on the effectiveness of investor awareness education efforts of the Department of the Secretary of State. (1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 13.)