1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B; Rules
By: Representative Reeves
House Bill 120
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 25-41-3, 25-41-5 AND 25-41-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT MEETINGS OF CONFERENCE COMMITTEES AND SUBCOMMITTEES OF THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE SHALL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND SUBJECT TO THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT SHALL SUPERSEDE ANY CONFLICTING RULE OR JOINT RULE OF THE LEGISLATURE; TO PROVIDE THAT NOTICE OF CONFERENCE COMMITTEE MEETINGS SHALL BE GIVEN IN BOTH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-41-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-41-3. For purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meaning ascribed herein, to wit:
(a) "Public body" shall mean: (i) any executive or administrative board, commission, authority, council, department, agency, bureau or any other policymaking entity, or committee thereof, of the State of Mississippi, or any political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state, whether such entity be created by statute or executive order, which is supported wholly or in part by public funds or expends public funds, and (ii) any standing, interim, special or conference committee or any subcommittee of the Mississippi Legislature. There shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter the judiciary, including all jury deliberations, public and private hospital staffs, public and private hospital boards and committees thereof, law enforcement officials, the military, the State Parole Board, the Workers' Compensation Commission, * * * and license revocation, suspension and disciplinary proceedings held by the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners.
(b) "Meeting" shall mean an assemblage of members of a public body at which official acts may be taken upon a matter over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power.
SECTION 2. Section 25-41-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-41-5. All official meetings of any public body, unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the Constitution of the United States of America or the State of Mississippi, are declared to be public meetings and shall be open to the public at all times unless declared an executive session as provided in Section 25-41-7. If any joint rule or rule of either house of the Mississippi Legislature, whether adopted before or after July 1, 1997, conflicts with the provisions of this chapter that are applicable to committees and subcommittees of the Legislature, the provisions of this chapter shall supersede the rule to the extent of the conflict.
SECTION 3. Section 25-41-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-41-13. (1) Any public body which holds its meetings at such times and places and by such procedures as are specifically prescribed by statute shall continue to do so and no additional notice of such meetings shall be required except that a notice of the place, date, hour and subject matter of any recess meeting, adjourned meeting, interim meeting or any called special meeting shall be posted within one (1) hour after such meeting is called in a prominent place available to examination and inspection by the general public in the building in which the public body normally meets. A copy of the notice shall be made a part of the minutes or other permanent official records of the public body.
(2) Any public body, other than a legislative committee, which does not have statutory provisions prescribing the times and places and the procedures by which its meetings are to be held shall, at its first regular or special meeting after July 1, 1990, spread upon its minutes the times and places and the procedures by which all of its meetings are to be held.
(3) During a regular or special session of the Mississippi Legislature, notice of meetings of all committees and subcommittees shall be given by announcement on the loudspeaker during sessions of the House of Representatives or Senate or by posting on a bulletin board provided for that purpose by each body. Notice of meetings of conference committees and any other joint committees or subcommittees composed of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall be given in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the manner provided by this subsection.
(4) When not in session, the meeting times and places of all committees and subcommittees shall be kept by the Clerk of the House of Representatives as to House committees and subcommittees, by the Secretary of the Senate as to Senate committees and subcommittees and by both the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate as to any joint committees or subcommittees composed of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and shall be available at all times during regular working hours to the public and news media.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.