MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Appropriations

By: Representative McCoy, Burnett, Hines, Mayo, Perkins

House Bill 1435

AN ACT TO CREATE THE DELTA REGIONAL MARKETING BOARD (DRMB); TO PROVIDE THAT THE BOARD SHALL SERVE TO MARKET THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA REGION IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE A CULTURAL CHANGE IN THE MINDSET OF DELTA CITIZENS, PARTICULARLY IN REGARD TO THE VALUE OF EDUCATION; TO PROVIDE THAT THE BOARD SHALL BE COMPOSED OF REPRESENTATIVES OF CERTAIN COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES IN THE DELTA; TO PRESCRIBE THE BOARD'S DUTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

†††† BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

†††† SECTION 1.† (1)† The Legislature finds that many citizens of the Mississippi Delta region tend to have low self images of the Delta region's attributes, low expectations for the future and persistently low education and skill levels.† Due to long-standing cultural ideas and attitudes, some citizens of the region place a low value on educational attainment.† The Legislature further finds that changing the cultural attitudes of Delta region citizens about education is critical to efforts for solving long-term social problems, economic success and increased prosperity for all Delta region citizens.

†††† (2)† It is the intent of the Legislature that this act establish a means to begin to effectuate a cultural change in the way citizens of the Delta region think and act about the value of education by marketing and selling new ideas and higher values to the region in order to improve regional economic performance.

†††† SECTION 2.† For purposes of this act, the terms "Mississippi Delta region," "Delta region" and "region" are defined as the western section of the State of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, encompassing in part or whole the counties of Bolivar, Carroll, Claiborne, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo.

†††† SECTION 3.† (1)† There is created the Delta Regional Marketing Board (DRMB).† The DRMB shall be governed by a board of directors composed of a representative of each county in the region and each municipality in the region which has a population greater than ten thousand (10,000) according to the latest federal decennial census.† The representatives of the counties and those municipalities entitled to representation on the board of directors will be appointed by the governing authorities of the respective counties and municipalities.† Appointments must be made within sixty (60) days after the effective date of this act.† Members will be appointed to the DRMB for a term of four (4) years.† A chairman must be elected from among the membership of the DRMB.

†††† (2)† A majority of the members of the DRMB shall constitute a quorum for the transacting of business and the carrying out of the duties of the board.† Members of the DRMB may not receive a salary but, subject to the availability of funding, may be reimbursed for expenses in the manner provided in Section 25-3-41.† The DRMB will meet on the call of the chairman or at the request of a majority of its members.

†††† (3)† The Delta Regional Marketing Board shall have the following duties:

††††††††† (a)† Promoting, in collaboration with all Delta tourism efforts, the attributes and opportunities within the Delta region;

††††††††† (b)† Engaging in a long-term, multifaceted effort to change the perceptions about the Delta region and the importance of education to the regionís improvements;

††††††††† (c)† Promoting the personal, social and economic benefits of education to individuals, communities and bodies of influence throughout the Delta region;

††††††††† (d)† Making public education the most frequently discussed public issue in the region;

††††††††† (e)† Seeking out and engaging those citizens and leaders who are not satisfied with the results of the current educational system;

††††††††† (f)† Reducing the high school dropout rate in every school district in the Delta region;

††††††††† (g)† Serving as an incubator for ideas and strategies that will advance the educational system in the Delta;

††††††††† (h)† Supporting and encouraging those students who are not candidates for formal postsecondary education by providing them with information, tools and the appropriate education in support of attainable career choices; and

††††††††† (i)† Providing support and sharing experiences and information with young people in order to enable them to make informed education and career choices.

†††† SECTION 4.† This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.