1998 Regular Session
By: Representative Weathersby
House Bill 456
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-27-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE WEIGHTS AND MEASURES LAW TO ELIMINATE FEES FOR CALIBRATION AND TESTING SERVICES AND TO ELIMINATE THE REQUIREMENT OF PERMITS AND FEES FOR PERSONS INSTALLING CERTAIN SCALES; TO AMEND SECTION 75-27-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT NO EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE SHALL RECOMMEND A PARTICULAR SCALE COMPANY, SCALE MANUFACTURER OR BRAND OF SCALES; TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 75-27-67, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REDUCE THE ANNUAL COST OF THE LICENSE FOR SCALE SERVICE REPAIRMEN; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 75-27-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-27-19. The director shall have power to prescribe, after public hearing following due public notice, and issue reasonable regulations for the enforcement of this article, which regulations shall have the force and effect of law. These regulations may include (1) standards of net weight, measure, or count, and reasonable standards of fill, for any commodity in package form, (2) rules governing the technical and reporting procedures to be followed and the report and record forms and marks of approval and rejection to be used by inspectors of weights and measures in the discharge of their official duties, and (3) exemptions from the sealing or marking requirements of Section 75-27-31 with respect to weights and measures of such character or size that such sealing or marking would be inappropriate, impracticable, or damaging to the apparatus in question. These regulations shall include specifications, tolerances, and regulations for weights and measures of the character of those specified in Section 75-27-23, designed to eliminate from use, without prejudice to apparatus that conforms as closely as practicable to the official standards, those (1) that are not accurate, (2) that are of such construction that they are faulty--that is, that are not reasonably permanent in their adjustment or will not repeat their indications correctly, or (3) that facilitate the perpetration of fraud. The specifications, tolerances, and regulations for commercial weighing and measuring devices, together with amendments thereto, as recommended by the National Bureau of Standards and published in National Bureau of Standards Handbook 44 and supplements thereto, or in any publication revising or superseding Handbook 44, shall be the specifications, tolerances, and regulations for commercial weighing and measuring devices of the State of Mississippi, except insofar as specifically modified, amended, or rejected by a regulation issued by the director. For the purposes of this article, apparatus shall be deemed to be "correct" when it conforms to all applicable requirements promulgated as specified in this section; other apparatus shall be deemed to be "incorrect." The division shall levy no charges or fees for the * * * tests or inspections made under this article * * *. The director shall establish and adopt scale pit and approach specifications for scales with a capacity of ten thousand (10,000) pounds or more. However, weighing devices with a capacity of ten thousand (10,000) pounds or more used to weigh road construction materials shall be exempt from the requirements of this article. Such weighing devices for road construction materials shall have a tolerance of one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) in lieu of the requirements of Handbook 44 and shall be regulated by the Mississippi Department of Transportation instead of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. For purposes of this section, the term "road construction materials" shall include, but not be limited to, sand, gravel, asphalt, fill dirt, topsoil and concrete. The term "road construction materials" shall not include timber or timber products.
SECTION 2. Section 75-27-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-27-23. When not otherwise provided by law, the director shall have the power to inspect and test, to ascertain if they are correct, all weights and measures kept, offered, or exposed for sale or purchase. It shall be the duty of the director within a twelve-month period, or less frequently if in accordance with a schedule issued by him, and as much oftener as he may deem necessary to inspect and test, to ascertain if they are correct, all weights and measures commercially used (1) in determining the weight, measurement or count of commodities or things sold or purchased, or offered or exposed for sale or purchase, on the basis of weight, measure, or of count, or (2) in computing the basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight, measure, or of count. Provided, that with respect to single-service devices--that is, devices designed to be used commercially only once and to be then discarded--and with respect to devices uniformly mass-produced, as by means of a mold or die, and not susceptible of individual adjustment, tests may be made on representative samples of such devices; and the lots of which such samples are representative shall be held to be correct or incorrect upon the basis of the results of the inspections and tests on such samples.
The manufacturer or distributor of any weighing device(s) offered for sale, sold, installed for commercial use or used commercially in this state shall subject such device to type evaluation testing by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Any weighing device not covered by a certificate of conformance from such agency shall not be used commercially in this state.
No employee of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce shall recommend to any person a particular scale company, scale manufacturer or brand of scales for purchase. Any person who knowingly and willfully violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be liable to the State of Mississippi for a civil penalty of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for each such violation.
SECTION 3. Section 75-27-67, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-27-67. Any person engaging in the business of scale repairing or testing shall obtain a license annually from the State Director of Weights and Measures upon showing that he is qualified to repair or test scales and that he meets all requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 44 and supplements thereto or in any publication revising or superseding Handbook 44. The annual cost of such license shall be One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for scale service-repair companies and Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for scale service repairmen, which shall be collected by the director and paid into the State Treasury, and shall expire on the thirtieth day of June next after its issuance. The director is hereby authorized to revoke any such license for a violation of any of the provisions of this article or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder. Any person so licensed shall, within three (3) days after he adjusts, repairs, services, restores to service or places in service any scale, make a report thereof to the Director of Weights and Measures on a form provided by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
All such fees collected shall be paid into the General Fund in the State Treasury.
It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor: (1) for any person other than the owner, or his regular employees, to repair any weighing or measuring device unless he holds the above-prescribed license; or (2) for any person to retain any remuneration for repairing any weighing or measuring device unless the repairing involved causes such device to meet the requirements of the article for at least ninety (90) days after such repairing; or (3) for any person to violate any of the provisions of this section.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.