1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Harvey
Senate Bill 2544
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-19-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERS OF THE STATE FORESTRY COMMISSION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-19-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-19-1. (1) There shall be a State Forestry Commission composed of nine (9) members, who shall be qualified electors of the state. The Dean of the School of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University shall be an ex officio member of the commission, with full voting authority. The Governor shall appoint eight (8) * * * members * * *, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of six (6) years. The Governor shall appoint one (1) member * * * from each congressional district as constituted at the time the appointments are made and shall appoint the remainder of the members from the state at large. A member from a congressional district must be a certified tree farmer who owns eighty (80) or more acres of forest land or a person who derives a major portion of his personal income from forest-related business, industry or other related activities. * * * Members of the commission * * * from the state at large * * * may or may not possess the same qualifications as members appointed from the congressional districts.
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(2) The members of the commission shall receive no annual salary but each member of the commission shall receive a per diem plus expenses and mileage as authorized by law for each day devoted to the discharge of * * * official duties. * * * No member of the commission shall receive total per diem in excess of twenty-four (24) days' compensation per annum.
(3) If a vacancy occurs in the office of an appointed member of the commission, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment for the balance of * * * the unexpired term * * *.
(4) The commission shall elect from its membership a chairman, who shall preside over meetings, and a vice-chairman, who shall preside in the absence of the chairman or when the chairman is excused.
(5) The commission shall adopt rules and regulations governing times and places for meetings, and governing the manner of conducting its business. Each member of the commission shall take the oath prescribed by Section 268 of the Constitution and shall enter into bond in the amount of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) to be approved by the Secretary of State, conditioned according to law and payable to the State of Mississippi before assuming the duties of office.
(6) Any appointment made to the commission contrary to * * * this section shall be * * * void, and it is unlawful for the State Fiscal Officer to pay any per diem or authorize the expenses of the appointee.
SECTION 2. (1) There is hereby created a Joint Study Committee on Forestry in Mississippi. The committee shall study and make recommendations, including recommended legislation regarding the Forestry Commission, coordination of forestry policy, the coordination of overlapping conservation practices by state agencies, the seedling shortage and other matters related to the forestry industry.
(2) The committee shall be composed of the following members:
(a) The Chairman of the Senate Forestry Committee, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and two (2) members of the forestry committee appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
(b) The Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and three (3) members of the agriculture committee appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(c) The Chairman of the Senate Forestry Committee and the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee shall serve as co-chairs of the committee.
(3) The members of the joint committee shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same manner as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session and shall obtain the approval of their respective management committees for per diem and travel expense expenditures of the committee.
(4) The committee shall utilize clerical and legal staff employed by the Legislature and may utilize any assistance made available to it by any state agency.
(5) Upon presentation of its final report the committee shall be dissolved.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.