1998 Regular Session
By: Representative Blackmon
House Bill 1394
AN ACT TO CREATE THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON THE CENSUS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF THE COMMITTEE'S MEMBERSHIP; TO PROVIDE FOR THE DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE; TO PROVIDE FOR PER DIEM COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES; TO REQUIRE POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS AND STATE AGENCIES TO ASSIST THE COMMITTEE; TO AUTHORIZE THE EMPLOYMENT OF EXPERTS AND OTHER STAFF; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, the pending 2000 census will have serious implications on congressional representation for the State of Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, because of population shifts throughout the United States, the possibility exists that Mississippi could lose a congressional seat; and
WHEREAS, by thorough planning and precise population counting the loss of a congressional seat could be avoided; and
WHEREAS, the creation of a Joint Legislative Committee on the Consensus can help achieve these goals; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is hereby created the Joint Legislative Committee on the Census, to be composed of
ten (10) members of the House of Representatives, two (2) from each congressional district, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and ten (10) members of the Senate, two (2) from each congressional district to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. In the event the congressional districts of the state shall change numerically, then the number appointed from the Senate and appointed from the House by congressional districts shall be adjusted accordingly. The members shall serve until the end of the term of office for which such member has been elected.
The Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House of Representatives shall call an organizational meeting of the committee and the committee shall elect a chairman and such other officers as they deem necessary. A majority vote of the members of each house shall be required on all votes by the committee.
SECTION 2. The members of the committee shall develop procedures to insure an accurate count for the census in 2000 and shall make every effort to insure that the state will lose no representation in congress. The committee shall study census actions in other states to determine the best course of action for Mississippi. The committee shall present its findings to the U.S. Census Bureau before the federal decennial census is taken in 2000.
SECTION 3. The members of the committee shall be entitled to receive per diem compensation for each day engaged in the discharge of official duties at the same rate as compensated during a special session of the Legislature. The members shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for all actual, necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of official duties, including mileage as authorized by law. Per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses shall not be paid for more than thirty (30) days in any calendar year.
SECTION 4. All political subdivisions, state agencies, and all other creatures of the State of Mississippi are hereby authorized and directed to assist the committee and to provide it with such professional, technical, and other expertise as each may possess when requested so to do. After an affirmative finding that professional, technical, or other expertise is needed that cannot be provided by the aforesaid political subdivisions, state agencies, and other creatures of the state, then the committee may employ or contract for such professional, technical, or other expertise necessary to accomplish the apportionment. The committee may employ staff personnel as it deems necessary.
SECTION 5. The committee may present any recommendations for legislation to the Legislature in order to carry out its duties under this act.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.