2006 Regular Session
To: Veterans and Military Affairs; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Carmichael, King
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 33-15-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT TO A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION FOR EMPLOYEES' OVERTIME WHILE DEPLOYED AS MEMBERS OF AN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SUPPORT FORCE; TO AMEND SECTION 33-15-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STATEWIDE MUTUAL AID COMPACT ESTABLISHED BY THE MISSISSIPPI EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY; TO AMEND SECTION 33-15-307, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THE DISASTER ASSISTANCE TRUST FUND FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR OVERTIME AND BACKFILL OF DEPLOYED PERSONNEL; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 33-15-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
33-15-15. (a) The agency is authorized to provide, within or without the state, such support from available personnel, equipment and other resources of state agencies and the political subdivisions of the state as may be necessary to reinforce emergency management agencies in areas stricken by emergency. Such support shall be rendered with due consideration of the plans of the federal government, this state, the other states and of the criticalness of the existing situation. Emergency management support forces shall be called to duty upon orders of the agency and shall perform their functions in any part of the state, or, upon the conditions specified in this section, in other states.
(b) Personnel of emergency management support forces while on duty, whether within or without the state, shall:
(1) If they are employees of the state, have the powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities and receive the compensation incidental to their employment;
(2) If they are employees of a political subdivision of the state, and whether serving within or without such political subdivision, have the powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities and receive the compensation incidental to their employment; and
(3) If they are not employees of the state or a political subdivision thereof, be entitled to compensation by the state at a rate commensurate with their duties and responsibilities and to the same rights and immunities as are provided by law for the employees of this state.
All personnel of emergency management support forces shall, while on duty, be subject to the operational control of the authority in charge of emergency management activities in the area in which they are serving, and shall be reimbursed for all actual and necessary travel and subsistence expenses, and for death, disability or injury to such personnel while on such emergency duty as a member of an emergency management support force, the state shall pay compensation to the heirs in event of death or the individual in event of injury or disability in accordance with payment schedules contained in the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Law.
(c) The state shall reimburse a political subdivision for the actual and necessary travel, subsistence and maintenance expenses of employees of such political subdivision while serving as members of an emergency management support force, and for all payments for death, disability or injury of such employees incurred in the course of such duty, and for all losses of or damage to supplies and equipment of such political subdivision resulting from the operation of such emergency management support force. The state may also reimburse a political subdivision for employees' overtime while deployed as members of an emergency management support force and backfill of deployed forces when determined by the director to be necessary to avoid serious financial consequences for the political subdivision providing support and when requested by the chief elected official of the political subdivision stating the circumstances for the request.
(d) Whenever an emergency management support force of another state shall render aid in this state pursuant to the orders of the governor of its home state and upon the request of the Governor of this state, the personnel thereof shall have the powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities of emergency management personnel serving in similar capacities in this state, except compensation, and this state shall reimburse such other state for the compensation paid and actual and necessary travel, subsistence and maintenance expenses of the personnel of such emergency management support force while rendering such aid, and for all payments for death, disability or injury of such personnel incurred in the course of rendering such aid, and for all losses of or damage to supplies and equipment of such other state or a political subdivision thereof resulting from the rendering of such aid; provided, that the laws of such other state contain provisions substantially similar to this section.
(e) No personnel of emergency management support forces of this state shall be ordered by the Governor to operate in any other state unless the laws of such other state contain provisions substantially similar to this section.
SECTION 2. Section 33-15-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
33-15-19. (a) The governing body of a municipality or county of the state is authorized to participate in the Statewide Mutual Aid Compact (SMAC) established by the agency as a mechanism to standardize mutual aid arrangements between jurisdictions within the state. SMAC provides guidelines for requesting and receiving mutual aid, liability protection and reimbursement procedures for providing such aid. The governing body of each political subdivision of the state is strongly encouraged to sign and ratify the SMAC for mutual aid between their jurisdiction and other cities or counties within the state. A copy of this agreement must be signed by the senior elected official of the jurisdiction and the director and will be maintained on file by the agency.
(b) Political subdivisions of the state are also authorized to develop and enter into mutual aid agreements with other jurisdictions outside the state for reciprocal emergency aid and assistance in case of emergencies too extensive to be dealt with unassisted. Copies of the agreements shall be sent to the agency and shall be consistent with the state comprehensive emergency management plan and program, and in time of emergency it shall be the duty of each local emergency management organization to render assistance in accordance with the provisions of such mutual aid agreements.
(c) The Governor may enter into compacts with any state or group of states if he finds that joint action with that state or group of states is desirable in meeting common intergovernmental problems of emergency management planning or emergency prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.
SECTION 3. Section 33-15-307, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
33-15-307. (1) The provisions of this article shall be invoked only pursuant to a state of emergency declared by the Governor or an emergency or major disaster declared by the President, or pursuant to an executive order of the Governor, or administrative order of the director, in order to provide state or local government resources and personnel in compliance with the provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, Section 45-18-1 et seq., or in nondeclared times for administrative and training costs associated with state disaster response and recovery programs. Each declaration shall cite the cause for the declaration and define the area eligible for assistance and the type of assistance to be provided.
(2) The Disaster Assistance Trust Fund is created as a special fund in the State Treasury into which shall be paid any funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Legislature for disaster assistance, any funds transferred from the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund as provided under subsection (5) of this section, any income from investment of the funds in the trust fund, and federal reimbursement for administrative costs for management of the Individuals and Households Program (IHP), the Public Assistance Program, the Hazard Mitigation Program and Disaster Reservist Program.
(3) Income from investment of the funds in the trust fund, and all other funds deposited therein pursuant to law, shall be available for expenditure, transfer and allocation pursuant to this article.
(4) The Disaster Assistance Trust Fund shall be used only for the following purposes:
(a) The state's portion of the cost share for public assistance under a major disaster declaration.
(b) The state's cost share of the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) pursuant to Section 33-15-209(1) under a major disaster declared by the President.
(c) Administrative costs for managing the IHP Program.
(d) Administrative costs for managing the Public Assistance Program.
(e) The State Temporary Housing Program pursuant to Section 33-15-217 under a state of emergency declared by the Governor.
(f) Out-of-pocket expenses, including travel, per diem, overtime and other similar expenses, of state or local agencies when so tasked by the Governor or the director for emergency response under the provisions of Section 33-15-11(b)(7) and current executive orders. This includes actual emergency response and recovery activities, and applies to mobilization and deployment of personnel from state or local agencies to another state under the provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. At the discretion of the director, this may include reimbursement of costs to local governments for overtime and backfill of deployed personnel within the state under the provisions of Section 33-15-15(a) and to jurisdictions who are signatories of the Statewide Mutual Aid Compact (SMAC).
(g) Costs incurred as a result of state active duty for the Mississippi National Guard when so tasked by the Governor to provide support to other agencies and local governments in a major disaster or emergency situation, or when tasked by the Governor to provide support to another state under the provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
(h) The state's portion of the cost share for hazard mitigation under a major disaster declaration.
(i) Administrative costs of the Hazard Mitigation Program.
(j) Costs incurred as a result of the implementation of the Disaster Reservist Program under a major disaster declaration.
(k) Administrative costs of the Disaster Reservist Program.
(l) Costs incurred as a result of the implementation of public assistance, and/or individual assistance, and/or Disaster Reservist Program, and/or hazard mitigation, and/or temporary housing under a Governor's state of emergency.
(m) The state's portion of the cost share for public assistance under a major disaster declaration for tornado or other storm damage to public facilities and infrastructure occurring on November 10, 2002, as provided in Sections 1 through 16 of Chapter 3, Third Extraordinary Session 2002.
(n) Actual costs, including personnel call-back wages, base and overtime wages, travel, per diem and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred by regional response teams as a result of being mobilized or deployed when so tasked by the Governor pursuant to Section 33-15-11(b)(7), or by the director for emergency response pursuant to Section 33-15-15(a).
(5) Whenever the director determines that funds are immediately needed in the Disaster Assistance Trust Fund to provide for disaster assistance under this article, he shall notify the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration of his determination and shall requisition the amount of funds from the Working Cash-Stabilization Fund that are needed in the trust fund, which shall be subject to the limitations set forth below in this subsection. At the same time he makes the requisition, the director shall notify the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the respective Chairmen of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the House Appropriations Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee of his determination of the need for the funds and the amount that he has requisitioned. Upon receipt of such a requisition from the director, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall ascertain if the amount requisitioned is available in the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund and is within the limitations set forth below in this subsection and, if it is, he shall transfer that amount from the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund to the trust fund. If the amount requisitioned is more than the amount available in the Working Cash-Stabilization Fund or above the limitations set forth below in this subsection, the executive director shall transfer the amount that is available within the limitations. The maximum amount that may be transferred from the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund to the trust fund for any one (1) disaster occurrence shall be Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) and the maximum amount that may be transferred during any fiscal year shall be One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00).
(6) Unexpended state funds in the Disaster Assistance Trust Fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund but shall remain in the trust fund for use under this article for as long as the funds are needed for the particular purpose for which they were appropriated, deposited or transferred into the trust fund. After any state funds in the trust fund are no longer needed for the particular purpose for which they were appropriated, deposited or transferred into the trust fund, the director may use those funds for any other purpose under this article for which they currently are needed and for which other funds are not available. If there is no current need for such funds for any purpose under this article, the funds and the income earned from the investment of the funds shall be transferred back to the particular fund or funds in the State Treasury from which they were appropriated or transferred into the trust fund, upon certification of the director to the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration that the funds are not currently needed.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.