2005 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Senator(s) Chaney

Senate Bill 2468

(As Sent to Governor)



     SECTION 1.  Section 37-135-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-135-1.  The following compact of the southern states for the purpose of operating regional educational institutions in the southern states be, and the same is, hereby ratified and approved:

     Whereas, the states who are parties hereto have during the past several years conducted careful investigation looking toward the establishment and maintenance of jointly owned and operated regional educational institutions in the southern states in the professional, technological, scientific, literary and other fields, so as to provide greater educational advantages and facilities for the citizens of the several states who reside within such region, and

     Whereas, Meharry Medical College of Nashville, Tennessee, has proposed that its lands, buildings, equipment, and the net income from its endowment be turned over to the southern states, or to an agency acting in their behalf, to be operated as a regional institution for medical, dental and nursing education upon terms and conditions to be hereafter agreed upon between the southern states and Meharry Medical College, which proposal, because of the present financial condition of the institution, has been approved by the said states who are parties, hereto, and

     Whereas, the said states desire to enter into a compact with each other providing for the planning and establishment of regional educational facilities;

     Now therefore, in consideration of the mutual agreements, covenants and obligations assumed by the respective states who are parties hereto (hereinafter referred to as "states"), the said several states do hereby form a geographical district or region consisting of the areas lying within the boundaries of the contracting states which, for the purposes of this compact, shall constitute an area for regional education supported by public funds derived from taxation by the constituent states for the establishment, acquisition, operation and maintenance of regional educational schools and institutions for the benefit of citizens of the respective states residing within the region so established as may be determined from time to time in accordance with the terms and provisions of this compact.

          (a)  The states do further hereby establish and create a joint agency which shall be known as the board of control for southern regional education (hereinafter referred to as the "Board"), the members of which board shall consist of the governor of each state, ex-officio, and, at a minimum, two (2) additional citizens of each state to be appointed by the governor thereof, at least one of whom shall be selected from the field of education.  The governor shall continue as a member of the board during his tenure of office as governor of the state but the members of the board appointed by the governor shall hold office for a period of five (5) years, except that in the original appointment one (1) board member so appointed by the governor shall be designated at the time of his appointment to serve an initial term of three (3) years, but thereafter his successor shall serve the full term of five (5) years.  Vacancies on the board caused by death, resignation, refusal or inability to serve, shall be filled by appointment by the governor for the unexpired portion of the term.  The officers of the board shall be a chairman, a vice chairman, a secretary, a treasurer, and such additional officers as may be created by the board from time to time.  The board shall meet annually and officers shall be elected to hold office until the next annual meeting.  The board shall have the right to formulate and establish bylaws not inconsistent with the provisions of this compact to govern its own actions in the performance of the duties delegated to it including the right to create and appoint an executive committee and a finance committee with such powers and authority as the board may delegate to them from time to time.  Any changes to the composition and membership of the original board herein created shall be in compliance with the bylaws formulated and established by the current existing board.

          (b)  It shall be the duty of the board to submit plans and recommendations to the states from time to time for their approval and adoption by appropriate legislative action for the development, establishment, acquisition, operation and maintenance of educational schools and institutions within the geographical limits of the regional area of the states, of such character and type and for such educational purposes, professional, technological, scientific, literary or otherwise, as they may deem and determine to be proper, necessary or advisable.  Title to all such educational institutions when so established by appropriate legislative actions of the states and to all properties and facilities used in connection therewith shall be vested in said board as the agency of and for the use and benefit of the said states and the citizens thereof, and all such educational institutions shall be operated, maintained and financed in the manner herein set out, subject to any provisions or limitations which may be contained in the legislative acts of the states authorizing the creation, establishment and operation of such educational institutions.

          (c)  In addition to the power and authority heretofore granted, the board shall have the power to enter into such agreements or arrangements with any of the states and with educational institutions or agencies, as may be required in the judgment of the board, to provide adequate services and facilities for the graduate, professional, and technical education for the benefit of the citizens of the respective states residing within the region.

          (d)  The board shall have such additional and general power and authority as may be vested in it by the states from time to time by legislative enactments of the said states.

          (e)  Any two (2) or more states who are parties of this compact shall have the right to enter into supplemental agreements providing for the establishment, financing and operation of regional educational institutions for the benefit of citizens residing within an area which constitutes a portion of the general region herein created, such institutions to be financed exclusively by such states and to be controlled exclusively by the members of the board representing such states, provided such agreement is submitted to and approved by the board prior to the establishment of such institutions.

          Each state agrees that, when authorized by the legislature, it will from time to time make available and pay over to said board such funds as may be required for the establishment, acquisition, operation and maintenance of such regional educational institutions as may be authorized by the states under the terms of this compact, the contribution of each state at all times to be in the proportion that its population bears to the total combined population of the states who are parties hereto as shown from time to time by the most recent official published report of the bureau of census of the United States of America or upon such other basis as may be agreed upon.

          (f)  This compact shall not take effect or be binding upon any state unless and until it shall be approved by proper legislative action of as many as six (6) or more of the states whose governors have subscribed hereto within a period of eighteen (18) months from the date hereof.  When and if six (6) or more states shall have given legislative approval to this compact within said eighteen (18) months period, it shall be and become binding upon such six (6) or more states sixty (60) days after the date of legislative approval by the sixth state and the governors of such six (6) or more states shall forthwith name the members of the board from their states as hereinabove set out, and the board shall then meet on call of the governor of any state approving this compact, at which time the board shall elect officers, adopt bylaws, appoint committees and otherwise fully organize.  Other states whose names are subscribed hereto shall thereafter become parties hereto upon approval of this compact by legislative action within two (2) years from the date hereof, upon such conditions as may be agreed upon at the time.

          (g)  After becoming effective this compact shall thereafter continue without limitation of time, provided, however, that it may be terminated at any time by unanimous action of the states and provided, further, that any state may withdraw from this compact if such withdrawal is approved by its legislature, such withdrawal to become effective two (2) years after written notice thereof to the board accompanied by a certified copy of the requisite legislative action, but such withdrawal shall not relieve the withdrawing state from its obligations hereunder accruing up to the effective date of such withdrawal.  Any state so withdrawing shall ipso facto cease to have any claim to or ownership of any of the property held or vested in the board or to any of the funds of the board held under the terms of this compact.

          If any state shall at any time become in default in the performance of any of its obligations assumed herein or with respect to any obligation imposed upon said state as authorized by and in compliance with the terms and provisions of this compact, all rights, privileges and benefits of such defaulting state, its members on the board and its citizens shall ipso facto be and become suspended from and after the date of such default.  Unless such default shall be remedied and made good within a period of one (1) year immediately following the date of such default this compact may be terminated with respect to such defaulting state by an affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the members of the board (exclusive of the members representing the state in default), from and after which time such state shall cease to be a party to this compact and shall have no further claim to or ownership of any of the property held by or vested in the board or to any of the funds of the board held under the terms of this compact, but such termination shall in no manner release such defaulting state from any accrued obligation or otherwise affect this compact or the rights, duties, privileges or obligations of the remaining states thereunder.

          (h)  In witness whereof this compact has been approved and signed by the governors of the several states, subject to the approval of their respective legislatures in the manner hereinabove set out, as of the _______ day of __________, 1948.

     State of Florida,            State of Tennessee,

     By _______________           By _______________

          Governor                     Governor

     State of Maryland,           Commonwealth of Virginia,

     By _______________           By _______________

          Governor                     Governor

     State of Georgia,            State of Arkansas,

     By _______________           By _______________

          Governor                     Governor

     State of Louisiana,          State of North Carolina,

     By _______________           By _______________

          Governor                     Governor

     State of Alabama,            State of South Carolina

     By _______________           By _______________

          Governor                     Governor

     State of Mississippi,        State of Texas,

     By _______________           By _______________

          Governor                     Governor

     Commonwealth of Kentucky,    State of Oklahoma,

     By _______________           By _______________

          Governor                     Governor

                   State of West Virginia,

                   By ____________________


     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.