1997 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representatives Horne, Ford, Bowles
House Bill 404
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 57-1-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TO NOTIFY MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE IN WHOSE DISTRICTS PROJECTS OR PROGRAMS ARE BEING STUDIED OR PLANNED BY THE DEPARTMENT BEFORE THE STUDY OR PLANNING TAKES PLACE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 57-1-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
57-1-55. (1) The Department of Economic and Community Development shall have the following general powers and duties: To develop and manage programs which enhance the climate for economic growth through assistance to private sector businesses, local communities and individuals, and through an extensive national and international marketing effort.
(2) The Department of Economic and Community Development shall have the following general powers and duties with respect to economic development:
(a) To plan, supervise and direct an active program of solicitation of industries to locate within the state;
(b) To prepare, maintain and disseminate information which is needed by companies in evaluating site locations;
(c) To consult with, advise and assist prospective industries wishing to locate within the state;
(d) To encourage new or expanding industries, which will add to the economy, to locate within the state;
(e) To maintain a coordinated liaison function with other development groups, including state and federal agencies, and planning and development districts, utility companies, chambers of commerce and railroads;
(f) To assist communities and counties within the state in preparation for economic growth;
(g) To assist new and existing business and industry and encourage their development and expansion;
(h) To plan and conduct a nationwide advertising program promoting the state to prospective industry;
(i) To work with economic development agencies of the federal government in areas of industrial development and provide information to industrial prospects regarding the availability of federal funds and assistance;
(j) To work with the Department of Corrections, pursuant to the provisions of Section 47-5-501 et seq., in identifying and evaluating acceptable industries and businesses and in acting as an agent of the Department of Corrections by communicating with such concerns and aggressively soliciting their participation in the Correctional Industries Work Program;
(k) To perform related work as required;
(l) To disseminate information about financial and other programs of the Department of Economic and Community Development that will assist in the creation or expansion of industries processing wood products in this state;
(m) To market processed and raw agricultural products domestically and abroad; * * *
(n) To aid in the establishment of business incubation centers by private business interests, not for profit corporations, and/or governmental entities. The department may provide funds by contract for the establishment of business incubation centers and may contract for space in which business incubation centers will be located. Business incubation centers are defined as facilities and support services that encourage the establishment of successful small businesses by providing a short-term sheltered environment. The department may solicit and accept grants and other financial aid or support from private or public sources to aid in the development of business incubation centers. In addition, advice and assistance to established business incubation centers may be provided by the department; and
(o) The department shall notify, in writing, each member of the Legislature in whose district or in a part of whose district any project or program is being studied or planned by the department before the study or planning takes place. However, notice shall not be given under this paragraph if such notice would disclose confidential client information concerning a project, which information is exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 as provided under Section 57-1-14.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.