2004 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Scott, Bailey, Banks, Blackmon, Broomfield, Buck, Burnett, Clarke, Flaggs, Hines, Middleton, Myers, Straughter, Thomas, West, Young
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 57-1-52 AND 57-1-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE AN OFFICE OF WORKFORCE SAFETY, EDUCATION AND TRAINING WITHIN THE MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, TO BE HEADED BY AN OFFICER KNOWN AS THE MISSISSIPPI WORK COMMISSIONER; TO PROVIDE FOR POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 57-1-52, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
57-1-52. (1) There is hereby created the Mississippi Development Authority, whose principal offices shall be located in Jackson, Mississippi.
(2) The Mississippi Development Authority shall be organized into the following offices:
(a) Office of Economic Development;
(b) Office of Community Development;
(c) Office of Support Services; and
(d) Office of Workforce Safety, Education and Training.
(3) The department shall be headed by an executive director, who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The appointment of the executive director shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. The executive director may assign to the appropriate offices such powers and duties as deemed appropriate to carry out the department's lawful functions.
(4) The executive director of the department shall appoint heads of offices, who shall serve at the pleasure of the executive director. The executive director shall have the authority to organize the offices established by subsection (2) of this section 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.
SECTION 2. Section 57-1-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
57-1-55. (1) The Mississippi Development Authority 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 Mississippi Development Authority 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. Any contract entered into for such purposes shall be advertised, bid and accepted in accordance with the same procedure as prescribed for the advertisement and acceptance of bids for the purchase of commodities and contracts for public purchases under Chapter 7, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972;
(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 Mississippi Development Authority 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) To employ licensed real estate brokers and appraisers necessary for the industrial development of any real estate under the ownership or control of the Mississippi Development Authority. Any contract entered into for such purposes shall be advertised, bid and accepted in accordance with the same procedure as prescribed for the advertisement and acceptance of bids for the purchase of commodities and contracts for public purchases under Chapter 7, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(3) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority shall appoint the head of the Office of Workforce Safety, Education and Training, and that person shall be known as the Mississippi WORK Commissioner. The primary mission of the commissioner is to improve workplace safety, worker education and training, and to reduce the unemployment rate in the state. The commissioner shall have the following general powers and duties.
(a) To review and analyze methods of making workplaces in the State of Mississippi safer for employees;
(b) To review and analyze methods of providing occupational training and education for Mississippi workers;
(c) To consult with, advise and assist Mississippi businesses and industries in accomplishing their responsibilities to employees; and
(d) To aid the appropriate employment agencies of the state in lowering the unemployment rate in the state.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.