2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Holland, Flaggs
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE MISSISSIPPI GAMING COMMISSION, ACTING THROUGH THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COMMISSION, SHALL REPRESENT THE STATE IN ANY GAMING NEGOTIATIONS 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; TO AMEND SECTION 75-76-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO, AND TO DELETE CERTAIN OBSOLETE LANGUAGE THAT WAS REPEALED ON OCTOBER 1, 1993, REFERRING TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF TIME-LIMITED EMPLOYEES BY THE STATE TAX COMMISSION WHEN THE GAMING CONTROL ACT WAS INITIALLY ENACTED; AND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 Mississippi Gaming Commission, acting through the executive director of the commission, or his designee, shall 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 executive director shall transmit a copy of the proposed compact to the members of the commission and to the joint legislative committee on State-Tribal Gaming Compacts created in Section 2 of this act.
(i) The commission may hold public hearings on the proposed compact any time after receiving a copy of the proposed compact. Within forty-five (45) days after receiving the proposed compact, the commission shall vote on whether to return the proposed compact to the executive director with instructions for further negotiation or to recommend execution of the proposed compact.
(ii) The joint legislative committee shall review the proposed compact and, within forty-five (45) days, make recommendations to the executive director and the commission as to approval, rejection or modification of the proposed compact. If the joint legislative committee recommends modification of a proposed compact submitted, the executive director or his designee may resume negotiations in accordance with the joint legislative committee's recommended modifications, and the modified proposed compact shall be submitted to the joint legislative 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 benefits to the state 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. Section 75-76-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-76-21. (1) The executive director, in pursuit of the attainment of the objectives and the purposes of this chapter, has the following powers and duties:
(a) To sue and be sued on behalf of the commission;
(b) To acquire real property in accordance with statutory procedure and make improvements thereon on behalf of the commission;
(c) To make, execute and effectuate any and all agreements or contracts, including contracts for the purchase of goods and services as are necessary;
(d) To employ the services of such persons as he considers necessary for the purposes of consultation or investigation and fix the salaries of or contract for the services of such legal, professional, technical and operational personnel and consultants, subject to applicable provisions of the State Personnel Board. For the purpose of implementing the provisions of this chapter, additional legal assistance may be retained only with the approval of the Attorney General;
(e) To acquire such furnishings, equipment, supplies, stationery, books, and all other things as he may deem necessary or desirable in carrying out his functions; * * *
(f) To act on behalf of the commission, in representing 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 Section 1 of this act; and
(g) To perform such other duties which he may deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all costs of administration incurred by the executive director and his employees shall be paid out on claims from the State Treasury in the same manner as other claims against the state are paid.
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SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.