2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Cummings
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 31-5-17, 31-5-19 AND 31-5-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE CONTRACTORS WITH PUBLIC CONTRACTS TO VERIFY THE LEGAL STATUS OF EMPLOYEES; TO REVISE PENALTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 31-5-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-5-17. Every public officer, contractor, superintendent, or agent engaged in or in charge of the construction of any state or public building or public work of any kind for the State of Mississippi or for any board, city commission, governmental agency, or municipality of the State of Mississippi shall employ only workmen and laborers who have actually resided in Mississippi for two (2) years next preceding such employment and who are in the country legally under the immigration laws.
SECTION 2. Section 31-5-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-5-19. In the event workmen or laborers qualified under the provisions of Section 31-5-17 are not available, then the contractor, officer, superintendent, agent, or person in charge of such work shall notify in writing the mayor of the city in which said work is being done, the president of the board of supervisors of the county in which said work is being done, the governor where said work is being done for the State of Mississippi, and the president, chairman, or executive officer of such board, city commission, or governmental agency for which said work is being done, of such fact. Unless the mayor, governor, president, executive officer, or chairman aforesaid, as the case may be, shall forthwith supply such contractor, officer, superintendent, agent, or person in charge of said works with the satisfactory workmen or laborers needed, said contractor, officer, superintendent, agent, or person shall be authorized to employ workmen or laborers who are not qualified under the provisions of Section 31-5-17 to make up the deficiency. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the State of Mississippi, any county, municipality, board, or commission from placing or letting any contract for the erection or construction of any public building or public work in the open market, or soliciting bids from persons, firms, or corporations without the State of Mississippi. Any person, persons, firm, or corporation from without the State of Mississippi that may obtain such contracts for public buildings or public works shall comply with the provisions of Section 31-5-17 upon undertaking the said contract or work.
Any person, persons, firm or corporation obtaining such contracts shall verify the legal status of all employees within three (3) days of hiring with the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program (SAVE). The person, persons, firm or corporation shall retain verification forms regarding such hirings on file.
SECTION 3. Section 31-5-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-5-21. Any contractor, officer, superintendent, agent, or person in charge of said work who shall violate any of the provisions of Section 31-5-17, shall be liable upon conviction before a court of competent jurisdiction to a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1000.00) or to imprisonment of not more than sixty (60) days, or both at the discretion of the court; and every day's employment of each workman or laborer in such violation shall constitute a separate offense.
However, where any workman or laborer furnishes such employer with a certificate by the sheriff, chancery clerk, or county registrar of the county of his domicile to the effect that such workman or laborer has actually resided in this state two (2) years next preceding such employment, such employer, acting in good faith, shall be relieved of any liability by reason of employing such person.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.