2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Flaggs
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE GOVERNOR MAY REPRESENT THE STATE IN NEGOTIATING GAMING COMPACTS BETWEEN THE STATE AND INDIAN TRIBES, SUBJECT TO LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL OF ANY GAMING COMPACT; TO REQUIRE THAT SUCH GAMING COMPACTS CONTAIN CERTAIN PROVISIONS; TO CREATE THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON STATE-TRIBAL GAMING COMPACTS; TO SET FORTH THE COMPOSITION AND DUTIES OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE; TO AMEND SECTION 7-1-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The negotiation process for compacts with federally recognized Indian tribes for conducting Class III gaming, as defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 USCS Section 2701 et seq., on federal Indian lands is governed by this section.
(2) The Governor, or his designee, may represent the State of Mississippi in any gaming negotiations the state is requested to participate in under 25 USCS Section 2701 et seq., subject to legislative approval as described in this subsection.
(a) When a tentative agreement with an Indian tribe on a proposed compact is reached, the Governor shall transmit a copy of the proposed compact to the Joint Legislative Committee on State-Tribal Gaming Compacts created in Section 2 of this act. The committee shall review the proposed compact and, within thirty (30) days, make recommendations as to approval, rejection or modification of the proposed compact.
(b) If the committee recommends modification of a proposed compact submitted by the Governor, the Governor or his designee may resume negotiations in accordance with the committee's recommended modifications, and the modified proposed compact shall be submitted to the committee in the same manner as the original proposed compact.
(3) A gaming compact negotiated on behalf of the state under this section shall contain:
(a) A provision recognizing the right of each party to the compact to request that the compact be renegotiated or replaced by a new compact, including the right of the Mississippi State Legislature by concurrent resolution to request renegotiation or replacement of the compact, and a provision setting forth the terms under which the renegotiation of an existing compact, or the negotiation of a new compact, may be requested.
(b) A provision that the duration of the compact shall be limited to a period of seven (7) years, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection.
(c) A provision that, in the event of a request for the renegotiation of an existing compact or the negotiation of a new compact, the existing compact will remain in effect until renegotiated or replaced.
SECTION 2. (1) There is created the Joint Legislative Committee on State-Tribal Gaming Compacts. The committee shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To oversee and approve gaming compacts and agreements between the state of Mississippi and any federally recognized Indian tribe that seeks to conduct Class III gaming, as defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 USCS Section 2701 et seq., on federal Indian lands within the state.
(b) To meet regularly with the State Gaming Commission to compare and analyze the benefits to the state of gaming activities conducted pursuant to a state-tribal gaming compact and the state benefits of other state-regulated gaming activities within the state.
(c) To recommend such legislation as it considers necessary in performing its functions.
(d) To take such other action as may be necessary or convenient in relation to gaming compacts as described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(2) The committee shall be composed of the Chairman of the Gaming Committee of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Mississippi State Senate, four (4) members of the House of Representatives to be named by the Speaker of the House, and four (4) members of the Senate to be named by the Lieutenant Governor.
(3) The chairmanship of the committee shall alternate for twenty-four-month periods, beginning on May 1, 2007, between the Chairman of the Gaming Committee of the House of Representatives and the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Mississippi State Senate, with the Chairman of the House Gaming Committee serving as the first chairman and the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee serving as the first vice chairman.
(4) There shall be no business transacted, including adoption of rules of procedure, without the presence of a quorum of the committee. A quorum shall be six (6) members, to consist of three (3) members of the House of Representatives and three (3) members of the Senate. No action shall be valid unless approved by the majority of those members present and voting, entered upon the minutes of the committee and signed by the chairman and vice chairman. The committee may meet at any time and at any place on the call of the chairman.
(5) In addition to their legislative salaries as provided by law, the members of the committee shall receive per diem compensation as authorized by law for their services in carrying out the duties of the committee, and in addition thereto, shall receive a daily expense allowance equal to the maximum daily expense rate allowable to employees of the federal government for travel in the high rate geographical area of Jackson, Mississippi, as may be established by federal regulations, including mileage as authorized by Section 25-3-41. However, in no case shall the members of the committee receive per diem compensation for attending meetings conducted while the Legislature is in regular or extraordinary session.
(6) The Directors of the House and Senate Legislative Services Offices shall assist the committee with regard to staffing the committee, and shall appoint one (1) attorney from each of their respective offices to serve as cocounsel for the committee.
(7) Upon the request of the committee, the Attorney General shall provide legal assistance or representation to the committee regarding any matter within the jurisdiction of the committee, including bringing suits on behalf of the committee and representing the committee in any suits brought against the committee.
SECTION 3. Section 7-1-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
7-1-13. The Governor shall transact all the business of the state, civil and military, with the United States government or with any other state or territory, except in cases otherwise specially provided by law, including as otherwise provided in Section 1 of this act with regard to gaming compacts between the state and a federally recognized Indian tribe.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.