2007 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-1-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES SHALL BE THE SOLE ADMINISTRATOR OF ALL FEDERAL FUNDS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO MISSISSIPPI FOR PROGRAMS THAT SERVICE THE MENTORING NEEDS OF "AT-RISK" YOUTH AND TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO EXPEND SUCH FUNDS WITHOUT CONTRACTING THE PROGRAMS TO ANOTHER STATE AGENCY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-1-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-1-2. (1) There is created the Mississippi Department of Human Services, whose offices shall be located in Jackson, Mississippi, and which shall be under the policy direction of the Governor.
(2) The chief administrative officer of the department shall be the Executive Director of Human Services. The Governor shall appoint the Executive Director of Human Services with the advice and consent of the Senate, and he shall serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor, and until his successor is appointed and qualified. The Executive Director of Human Services shall possess the following qualifications:
(a) A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and ten (10) years' experience in management, public administration, finance or accounting; or
(b) A master's or doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and five (5) years' experience in management, public administration, finance or accounting.
Those qualifications shall be certified by the State Personnel Board.
(3) There shall be a Joint Oversight Committee of the Department of Human Services composed of the respective chairmen of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, the House Public Health and Human Services Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, three (3) members of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor to serve at the will and pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor, and three (3) members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve at the will and pleasure of the Speaker. The chairmanship of the committee shall alternate for twelve-month periods between the Senate members and the House members, on May 1 of each year, with the Chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee serving as chairman beginning in even-numbered years, and the Chairman of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee serving as chairman beginning in odd-numbered years. The committee shall meet once each quarter, or upon the call of the chairman at such times as he deems necessary or advisable, and may make recommendations to the Legislature pertaining to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The appointing authorities may designate an alternate member from their respective houses to serve when the regular designee is unable to attend such meetings of the oversight committee. For attending meetings of the oversight committee, such legislators shall receive per diem and expenses which shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem and expenses for attending meetings of the committee will be paid while the Legislature is in session. No per diem and expenses will be paid except for attending meetings of the oversight committee without prior approval of the proper committee in their respective houses.
(4) The Department of Human Services shall provide the services authorized by law to every individual determined to be eligible therefor, and in carrying out the purposes of the department, the executive director is authorized:
(a) To formulate the policy of the department regarding human services within the jurisdiction of the department;
(b) To adopt, modify, repeal and promulgate, after due notice and hearing, and where not otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, to make exceptions to and grant exemptions and variances from, and to enforce rules and regulations implementing or effectuating the powers and duties of the department under any and all statutes within the department's jurisdiction, all of which shall be binding upon the county departments of human services;
(c) To apply for, receive and expend any federal or state funds or contributions, gifts, devises, bequests or funds from any other source;
(d) Except as limited by Section 43-1-3, to enter into and execute contracts, grants and cooperative agreements with any federal or state agency or subdivision thereof, or any public or private institution located inside or outside the State of Mississippi, or any person, corporation or association in connection with carrying out the programs of the department; and
(e) To discharge such other duties, responsibilities and powers as are necessary to implement the programs of the department.
(5) The executive director shall establish the organizational structure of the Mississippi Department of Human Services which shall include the creation of any units necessary to implement the duties assigned to the department and consistent with specific requirements of law, including, but not limited to:
(a) Office of Family and Children's Services;
(b) Office of Youth Services;
(c) Office of Economic Assistance;
(d) Office of Child Support Enforcement.
(6) The Executive Director of Human Services shall appoint heads of offices, bureaus and divisions, as defined in Section 7-17-11, who shall serve at the pleasure of the executive director. The salary and compensation of such office, bureau and division heads shall be subject to the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the State Personnel Board as created under Section 25-9-101 et seq. The executive director shall have the authority to organize offices as deemed appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the department. The organization charts of the department shall be presented annually with the budget request of the Governor for review by the Legislature.
(7) The Mississippi Department of Human Services shall be the sole administrator of TANF and any other federal or other special source funds that become available to the State of Mississippi to serve the mentoring needs of "at-risk" youth in the state, including, but not limited to, Boys and Girls Clubs of Mississippi, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Communities in Schools, Families First Resource Centers and the State Coalition of Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), and to accept, budget and expend such funds in a manner consistent with the rules and regulations of the federal government and the Department of Finance and Administration. The department shall not be required to contract the administration of such at-risk youth services to another state agency. Allocation and escalation authority for such special source funds for at-risk service programs shall be specified in the Department of Human Services' annual appropriation bill.
(8) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2009.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.