2004 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services; Appropriations
By: Representative Holland
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-1-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE THE HUMAN SERVICES PROFESSIONAL MONITORING BOARD TO MONITOR THE POLICIES AND ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES; TO PROVIDE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD; TO PROVIDE THAT ONCE EVERY THREE MONTHS, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PRESENT THE BOARD WITH THE STATE OF AFFAIRS OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND THE BOARD SHALL REPORT BACK TO THE DEPARTMENT AND TO THE LEGISLATURE WITH AN EVALUATION OF HOW WELL THE LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT ARE BEING MET; TO EXTEND THE REPEALER ON THAT SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-1-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-1-2. (1) There is created the Mississippi Department of Human Services, whose offices shall be located in Jackson, Mississippi, and which shall be under the policy direction of the Governor.
(2) The chief administrative officer of the department shall be the Executive Director of Human Services. The Governor shall appoint the Executive Director of Human Services with the advice and consent of the Senate, and he or she shall serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor, and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. The Executive Director of Human Services shall possess the following qualifications:
(a) A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and ten (10) years' experience in management, public administration, finance or accounting; or
(b) A master's or doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and five (5) years' experience in management, public administration, finance or accounting.
Those qualifications shall be certified by the State Personnel Board.
(3) There shall be a Joint Oversight Committee of the Department of Human Services composed of the respective chairmen of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, the House Public Health and Human Services Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, two (2) members of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor to serve at the will and pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor, and two (2) members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve at the will and pleasure of the Speaker. The chairmanship of the committee shall alternate for twelve-month periods between the Senate members and the House members, with the Chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee serving as the first chairman. The committee shall meet once each month, or upon the call of the chairman at such times as he deems necessary or advisable, and may make recommendations to the Legislature pertaining to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The appointing authorities may designate an alternate member from their respective houses to serve when the regular designee is unable to attend the meetings of the oversight committee. For attending meetings of the oversight committee, those legislators shall receive per diem and expenses, which shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem and expenses for attending meetings of the committee will be paid while the Legislature is in session. No per diem and expenses will be paid except for attending meetings of the oversight committee without prior approval of the proper committee in their respective houses.
(4) The State Department of Human Services shall provide the services authorized by law to every individual determined to be eligible therefor, and in carrying out the purposes of the department, the executive director is authorized:
(a) To formulate the policy of the department regarding human services within the jurisdiction of the department;
(b) To adopt, modify, repeal and promulgate, after due notice and hearing, and where not otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, to make exceptions to and grant exemptions and variances from, and to enforce rules and regulations implementing or effectuating the powers and duties of the department under any and all statutes within the department's jurisdiction, all of which shall be binding upon the county departments of human services;
(c) To apply for, receive and expend any federal or state funds or contributions, gifts, devises, bequests or funds from any other source;
(d) Except as limited by Section 43-1-3, to enter into and execute contracts, grants and cooperative agreements with any federal or state agency or subdivision thereof, or any public or private institution located inside or outside the State of Mississippi, or any person, corporation or association in connection with carrying out the programs of the department; and
(e) To discharge such other duties, responsibilities and powers as are necessary to implement the programs of the department.
(5) (a) There is created the Human Services Professional Monitoring Board, which shall be composed of nine (9) members as follows:
(i) The Chair of the Infant Mortality Task Force, ex officio;
(ii) One (1) licensed social worker, to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;
(iii) One (1) licensed attorney who is experienced in children's issues, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
(iv) One (1) representative of an organization that advocates for children's health issues, to be appointed by the Governor;
(v) One (1) representative of an organization that advocates for foster children, to be appointed by the Governor;
(vi) One (1) representative of a senior citizens' advocacy group, to be appointed by the Governor;
(vii) One (1) consumer of services of the department, to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;
(viii) One (1) consumer of services of the department, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
(ix) One (1) consumer of services of the department, to be appointed by the Governor.
(b) The initial appointed members of the board shall be appointed for staggered terms as follows: The members described in subparagraphs (ii), (iii) and (iv) of paragraph (a) shall be appointed for terms that end on June 30, 2006; the members described in subparagraphs (v) and (vi) of paragraph (a) shall be appointed for terms that end on June 30, 2008; and the members described in subparagraphs (vii), (viii) and (ix) of paragraph (a) shall be appointed for terms that end on June 30, 2010. All appointments to the board after the expiration of the original terms shall be made by the original appointing authorities for terms of six (6) years from the expiration date of the previous term. Any vacancy on the board before the expiration of a term shall be filled by appointment of the original appointing authority. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(c) The Human Services Professional Monitoring Board shall meet monthly to monitor the policies and activities of the department. Once every three months, the department shall present the board with the state of affairs of the department, and the board shall report back to the department and to the Legislature with an evaluation of how well the long-term objectives of the department are being met.
(6) The executive director shall establish the organizational structure of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, which shall include the creation of any units necessary to implement the duties assigned to the department and consistent with specific requirements of law, including, but not limited to:
(a) Office of Family and Children's Services;
(b) Office of Youth Services;
(c) Office of Economic Assistance;
(d) Office of Child Support Enforcement.
(7) The Executive Director of Human Services shall appoint heads of offices, bureaus and divisions, as defined in Section 7-17-11, who shall serve at the pleasure of the executive director. The salary and compensation of those office, bureau and division heads shall be subject to the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the State Personnel Board as created under Section 25-9-101 et seq. The executive director shall have the authority to organize offices as deemed appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the department. The organization charts of the department shall be presented annually with the budget request of the Governor for review by the Legislature.
(8) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2006.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.