MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations

By: Senator(s) Nunnelee, King, Chassaniol, White, Williamson, Browning, Dawkins, Morgan, Pickering, Jackson (11th), Flowers, Lee (35th), Moffatt, Hyde-Smith, Burton, Jordan, Fillingane, Frazier, Clarke, Harden, Gordon, Horhn, Thomas, Little, Chaney

Senate Bill 2764

(COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-3-20, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXTEND THE AUTOMATIC REPEALER ON THOSE STATUTES WHICH CREATE AND EMPOWER THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO REENACT SECTIONS 41-3-1 THROUGH 41-3-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH CREATE AND EMPOWER THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO AMEND SECTION 41-3-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO RECONSTITUTE THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH, PROVIDE FOR THE NUMBER, QUALIFICATIONS, APPOINTMENT AND TERMS OF NEW MEMBERS, TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN CONFLICTS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD AND TO PROVIDE FOR NONVOTING LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS TO ATTEND BOARD MEETINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 41-3-4, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THAT THE TERM OF OFFICE OF ANY MEMBER OF THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH WHO MISSES THREE CONSECUTIVE MEETINGS SHALL BE TERMINATED AND TO PROVIDE FOR A STANDING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO MAKE FINAL DECISIONS ON CERTIFICATE OF NEED MATTERS; TO AMEND SECTION 41-3-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE GENERAL AUTHORITY OF THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH AND THE STATE HEALTH OFFICER, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO PROVIDE FOR AND IMPLEMENT A COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE TOBACCO EDUCATION, PREVENTION AND CESSATION PROGRAM THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH FEDERAL GUIDELINES, AND TO EXTEND THE AUTOMATIC REPEALER ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY ASSESSED ON RESTAURANTS BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO AMEND SECTION 41-59-61, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE AUTHORIZED ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS WHICH MAY BE PAID FROM THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES OPERATING FUND; TO AMEND SECTION 41-79-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THE COMPONENTS OF THE TOBACCO EDUCATION, PREVENTION AND CESSATION PROGRAM IMPLEMENTED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO AMEND SECTIONS 41-7-197, 41-7-201 AND 41-7-205, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH ACTING THROUGH A STANDING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE SHALL HAVE THE POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY TO RENDER FINAL DECISIONS ON APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATES OF NEED AND TO PROVIDE FOR INDEPENDENT HEARING OFFICERS AND TO CLARIFY THE STATUS OF CERTIFICATE OF NEED DECISIONS PENDING JUDICIAL APPEAL; TO CODIFY SECTION 41-57-8, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE AND DIRECT THE BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO OFFER AND ISSUE CERTIFICATES OF BIRTH RESULTING IN STILLBIRTH TO A MOTHER AFTER THE OCCURRENCE OF ANY STILLBIRTH; TO DEFINE "STILLBIRTH" FOR PURPOSES OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH CERTIFICATES; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH CERTIFICATES MAY BE ISSUED RETROACTIVELY; TO AMEND SECTION 41-57-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO CHARGE FEES FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH CERTIFICATES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

SECTION 1. Section 41-3-20, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-3-20. Sections 41-3-1 through 41-3-19, which create the State Board of Health and the State Department of Health and prescribe their powers and duties, shall stand repealed on June 30, 2010.

SECTION 2. Section 41-3-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-3-1. (1) The term of office of the members of the State Board of Health serving on January 1, 2007, shall be terminated upon passage of this act. The * * * State Board of Health * * * is hereby continued and reconstituted as follows:

There is hereby created the State Board of Health which from and after passage of this act shall consist of two (2) officials and seven (7) members appointed * * * with the advice and consent of the Senate, as hereinafter set forth:

(a) The Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, who shall serve in an ex officio capacity with full voting authority;

(b) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, who shall serve in an ex officio capacity with full voting authority;

(c) Two (2) members of the board shall be licensed physicians of good professional standing who shall have had at least seven (7) years' experience in the practice of their profession in this state, appointed by the Governor, one (1) to be appointed from the First Mississippi Supreme Court District for an initial term to expire on July 1, 2010, and one (1) to be appointed from the Third Mississippi Supreme Court District for an initial term to expire on July 1, 2012.

(d) One (1) member of the board shall be a licensed physician of good professional standing who shall have had at least seven (7) years' experience in the practice of his profession in this state, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the Second Mississippi Supreme Court District, for an initial term to expire on July 1, 2012.

(e) One (1) member shall be engaged professionally in rendering health services who shall have had at least seven (7) years' experience in the practice of his profession in this state, appointed by the Governor from the Second Mississippi Supreme Court District, for an initial term to expire on July 1, 2011.

(f) Two (2) members shall be engaged professionally in rendering health services who shall have had at least seven (7) years' experience in the practice of his profession in this state, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, one (1) to be appointed from the First Mississippi Supreme Court District for an initial term to expire on July 1, 2011, and one (1) to be appointed from the Third Mississippi Supreme Court District for an initial term to expire on July 1, 2012.

(g) One (1) member shall be a consumer representative with an interest in public health who is not a direct provider of health care goods or services, appointed by the Governor from the state at large for an initial term to expire on July 1, 2010.

A member of the board serving prior to January 1, 2007, shall be eligible for reappointment to the reconstituted board unless such person is disqualified due to a conflict of interest. No person shall be eligible for appointment or reappointment to the reconstituted board if related by blood or marriage within the first degree computed by the rule of civil law to another person who is an employee of the State Department of Health.

It is the intent of the Legislature that the membership of the board reflect the population of the State of Mississippi.

(2) At the expiration of a term of an appointed member, succeeding members of the board shall be appointed in the manner prescribed in subsection (1) of this section for terms of five (5) years from the expiration of the previous term and thereafter until his or her successor is duly appointed. Vacancies in office shall be filled by appointment of the Governor or the Lieutenant Governor, as the case may be, in the same manner as the appointment to the position which becomes vacant, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate at the next regular session of the Legislature. An appointment to fill a vacancy other than by expiration of a term of office shall be for the balance of the unexpired term and thereafter until his or her successor is duly appointed.

(3) All members of the State Board of Health shall annually review and sign a statement acknowledging the statutes and policies concerning conflicts of interest. For purposes of this subsection, the term "direct interest" means a material financial interest in a legal entity or employment by a legal entity that is under the jurisdiction or regulatory authority of the State Board of Health, or a material financial interest in a business or employment by a business which is a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the State Board of Health. The term "indirect interest" means an interest which is less than a direct interest. Any member, upon determining that a matter scheduled for consideration by the State Board of Health results in a conflict with a direct interest, shall immediately notify the Executive Officer of the State Board of Health and shall be recused from any deliberation of the matter, from making any recommendation, from testifying concerning the matter, or from voting on the matter. The member shall join the public during the proceedings. Any member of the State Board of Health with an indirect interest in a matter shall publicly acknowledge such interest. All members shall make every reasonable effort to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest in conducting board business. If a member is uncertain whether the relationship justifies recusal, the member shall follow the determination of the Mississippi Ethics Commission.

A determination by the State Board of Health or any court that (a) a member of the board with a direct interest failed to provide notice and be recused from deliberation of the matter, from making any recommendation, from testifying concerning the matter, or from voting on the matter, or (b) a member of the board is related by blood or marriage within the first degree computed by the rule of civil law to another person who is an employee of the State Department of Health, such determination shall result in a member's automatic termination from the board and the position shall be considered vacant. The member shall not be eligible for appointment to any agency, board or commission of the state for a period of two (2) years.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor may designate one (1) Senator and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may designate one (1) Representative to attend any meeting of the State Board of Health. The appointing authorities may designate alternate members from their respective houses to serve when the regular designees are unable to attend such meetings of the board. Such legislative designees shall have no jurisdiction or vote on any matter within the jurisdiction of the board. For attending meetings of the board, 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 board will be paid while the Legislature is in session. No per diem and expenses will be paid except for attending meetings of the board without prior approval of the proper committee in their respective houses.

(5) It shall be unlawful for any employee of the State Department of Health, to knowingly accept any gift, money or other pecuniary benefit whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, from any person interested as owner, agent or representative of any public or private entity that shall come under the jurisdiction or supervision of the State Department of Health. Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this subsection shall immediately forfeit his or her office or position and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or imprisoned in the State Penitentiary for not less than one (1) year, or both.

SECTION 3. Section 41-3-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:

41-3-3. Each person appointed as a member of the State Board of Health shall immediately take the oath prescribed by Section 268 of the Constitution and file a certificate thereof in the Office of the Secretary of State. Thereupon a commission shall be issued to him under the terms as specified in Section 41-3-1.

SECTION 4. Section 41-3-4, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-3-4. (1) There shall be a chairman and vice chairman of the State Board of Health elected by and from its membership at the first meeting of the board; and the chairman shall be the presiding officer of the board. The board shall adopt rules and regulations governing times and places for meetings, and governing the manner of conducting its business. The term of office of any member who shall not attend three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the board shall be automatically terminated, and the position shall be considered as vacant. All meetings of the board shall be called by the chairman or by a majority of the members of the board, except the first meeting of the original appointees which shall be called by the Governor. All meetings of the Executive Committee established in subsection (3) shall be called by the chairman in accordance with the open meetings law.

(2) The members of the board shall receive no annual salary but shall receive per diem compensation as is authorized by law for each day devoted to the discharge of official board duties and shall be entitled to reimbursement for all actual and necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties, including mileage as authorized by Section 25-3-41.

(3) There shall be a standing Executive Committee of the State Board of Health, consisting of the chairman and four (4) members of the board appointed by the chairman on an annual rotating basis, one (1) to be appointed from each of the four (4) Mississippi congressional districts. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for rendering final decisions on the issuance of health care facility certificate of need applications as provided in Section 41-7-197 and shall also meet in any month in which there is not a regular meeting of the full State Board of Health in order to monitor the operation of the department.

SECTION 5. Section 41-3-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:

41-3-5. The board shall proceed to elect an executive officer who shall be a physician having earned a graduate degree in public health or health care administration or, in the alternative, be a physician who in the opinion of the board is fitted and equipped to execute the duties incumbent upon him by law. The executive officer shall not engage in the private practice of medicine. His term of office shall be six (6) years. The executive officer shall be vested with all the authority of the board when it is not in session, and he shall be subject to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the State Board of Health. The executive officer shall be the State Health Officer with such authority and responsibility as is prescribed by law. The executive officer may be removed for cause by majority vote of the members of the board.

SECTION 6. Section 41-3-6, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:

41-3-6. It shall be the duty of the State Board of Health to review the statutes of the State of Mississippi affecting public health and submit at least thirty (30) days prior to each regular session of the Legislature any proposed legislation as may be necessary to enhance the effective and efficient delivery of public health services and to bring existing statutes into compliance with modern technology and terminology. The board shall formulate a plan for consolidating and reorganizing existing state agencies having responsibilities in the field of public health to eliminate any needless duplication in services which may be found to exist. In carrying out the provisions of this section, the State Board of Health shall cooperate with and may utilize the services, facilities and personnel of any department or agency of the state, any private citizen task force and the committees on public health of both houses of the Legislature. The State Board of Health is authorized to apply for and expend funds made available to it by grant from any source in order to perform its responsibilities under this section.

SECTION 7. Section 41-3-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-3-15. (1) (a) There shall be a State Department of Health * * *.

(b) The State Board of Health shall have the following powers and duties:

(i) To formulate the policy of the State Department of Health regarding public health matters within the jurisdiction of the department;

(ii) 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, and as the board may deem necessary;

(iii) To apply for, receive and expend any federal or state funds or contributions, gifts, devises, bequests or funds from any other source;

(iv) To enter into, and to authorize the executive officer to execute, with the approval of the board, 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 provisions of this chapter; and

(v) To discharge such other duties, responsibilities and powers as are necessary to implement the provisions of this chapter.

(c) The Executive Officer of the State Board of Health shall have the following powers and duties:

(i) To administer the policies of the State Board of Health within the authority granted by the board;

(ii) To supervise and direct all administrative and technical activities of the department;

(iii) To organize the administrative units of the department in accordance with the plan adopted by the board and, with board approval, alter such organizational plan and reassign responsibilities as he may deem necessary to carry out the policies of the board;

(iv) To coordinate the activities of the various offices of the department;

(v) To employ qualified professional personnel in the subject matter or fields of each office, and such other technical and clerical staff as may be required for the operation of the department;

(vi) To recommend to the board such studies and investigations as he may deem appropriate, and to carry out the approved recommendations in conjunction with the various offices;

(vii) To prepare and deliver to the Legislature and the Governor on or before January 1 of each year, and at such other times as may be required by the Legislature or Governor, a full report of the work of the department and the offices thereof, including a detailed statement of expenditures of the department and any recommendations the board may have;

(viii) To prepare and deliver to the Chairmen of the Public Health and Welfare/Human Services Committees of the Senate and House on or before January 1 of each year, a plan for monitoring infant mortality in Mississippi and a full report of the work of the department on reducing Mississippi's infant mortality and morbidity rates and improving the status of maternal and infant health; and

(ix) With the approval of the board, to enter into 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 provisions of this chapter, provided the agreements do not have a financial cost in excess of the amounts appropriated for such purposes by the Legislature.

(2) The State Board of Health shall have the authority to establish an Office of Rural Health within the department. The duties and responsibilities of this office shall include the following:

(a) To collect and evaluate data on rural health conditions and needs;

(b) To engage in policy analysis, policy development and economic impact studies with regard to rural health issues;

(c) To develop and implement plans and provide technical assistance to enable community health systems to respond to various changes in their circumstances;

(d) To plan and assist in professional recruitment and retention of medical professionals and assistants; and

(e) To establish information clearinghouses to improve access to and sharing of rural health care information.

(3) The State Board of Health shall have general supervision of the health interests of the people of the state and to exercise the rights, powers and duties of those acts which it is authorized by law to enforce.

(4) The State Board of Health shall have authority:

(a) To make investigations and inquiries with respect to the causes of disease and death, and to investigate the effect of environment, including conditions of employment and other conditions which may affect health, and to make such other investigations as it may deem necessary for the preservation and improvement of health.

(b) To make such sanitary investigations as it may, from time to time, deem necessary for the protection and improvement of health and to investigate nuisance questions which affect the security of life and health within the state.

(c) To direct and control sanitary and quarantine measures for dealing with all diseases within the state possible to suppress same and prevent their spread.

(d) To obtain, collect and preserve such information relative to mortality, morbidity, disease and health as may be useful in the discharge of its duties or may contribute to the prevention of disease or the promotion of health in this state.

(e) To enter into contracts or agreements with any other state or federal agency, or with any private person, organization or group capable of contracting, if it finds such action to be in the public interest.

(f) To charge and collect reasonable fees for health services, including immunizations, inspections and related activities, and the board shall charge fees for such services; provided, however, if it is determined that a person receiving services is unable to pay the total fee, the board shall collect any amount such person is able to pay.

(g) To accept gifts, trusts, bequests, grants, endowments or transfers of property of any kind.

(h) To receive monies coming to it by way of fees for services or by appropriations.

(i) (i) To establish standards for, issue permits and exercise control over, any cafes, restaurants, food or drink stands, sandwich manufacturing establishments, and all other establishments, other than churches, church-related and private schools, and other nonprofit or charitable organizations, where food or drink is regularly prepared, handled and served for pay; and

(ii) To require that a permit be obtained from the Department of Health before such persons begin operation. If any such person fails to obtain the permit required herein, the State Board of Health, after due notice and opportunity for a hearing, may impose a monetary penalty not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each violation. However, the department is not authorized to impose a monetary penalty against any person whose gross annual prepared food sales are less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). Money collected by the board under this item shall be deposited to the credit of the State General Fund of the State Treasury. This subparagraph (ii) shall stand repealed on July 1, 2010.

(j) To promulgate rules and regulations and exercise control over the production and sale of milk pursuant to the provisions of Sections 75-31-41 through 75-31-49.

(k) On presentation of proper authority, to enter into and inspect any public place or building where the State Health Officer or his representative deems it necessary and proper to enter for the discovery and suppression of disease and for the enforcement of any health or sanitary laws and regulations in the state.

(l) To conduct investigations, inquiries and hearings, and to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and records at any hearing when authorized and required by statute to be conducted by the State Health Officer or the State Board of Health.

(m) To employ, subject to the regulations of the State Personnel Board, qualified professional personnel in the subject matter or fields of each bureau, and such other technical and clerical staff as may be required for the operation of the department. The executive officer shall be the appointing authority for the department, and shall have the power to delegate the authority to appoint or dismiss employees to appropriate subordinates, subject to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board.

(n) To promulgate rules and regulations, and to collect data and information, on (i) the delivery of services through the practice of telemedicine; and (ii) the use of electronic records for the delivery of telemedicine services.

(o) To enforce and regulate domestic and imported fish as authorized under Section 69-7-601 et seq.

(5) (a) The State Board of Health shall have the authority, in its discretion, to establish programs to promote the public health, to be administered by the State Department of Health. Specifically, such programs may include, but shall not be limited to, programs in the following areas:

(i) Maternal and child health;

(ii) Family planning;

(iii) Pediatric services;

(iv) Services to crippled and disabled children;

(v) Control of communicable and noncommunicable disease;

(vi) Child care licensure;

(vii) Radiological health;

(viii) Dental health;

(ix) Milk sanitation;

(x) Occupational safety and health;

(xi) Food, vector control and general sanitation;

(xii) Protection of drinking water;

(xiii) Sanitation in food handling establishments open to the public;

(xiv) Registration of births and deaths and other vital events;

(xv) Such public health programs and services as may be assigned to the State Board of Health by the Legislature or by executive order; and

(xvi) Regulation of domestic and imported fish for human consumption.

(b) The State Board of Health and State Department of Health shall not be authorized to sell, transfer, alienate or otherwise dispose of any of the home health agencies owned and operated by the department on January 1, 1995, and shall not be authorized to sell, transfer, assign, alienate or otherwise dispose of the license of any of those home health agencies, except upon the specific authorization of the Legislature by an amendment to this section. However, this paragraph (b) shall not prevent the board or the department from closing or terminating the operation of any home health agency owned and operated by the department, or closing or terminating any office, branch office or clinic of any such home health agency, or otherwise discontinuing the providing of home health services through any such home health agency, office, branch office or clinic, if the board first demonstrates that there are other providers of home health services in the area being served by the department's home health agency, office, branch office or clinic that will be able to provide adequate home health services to the residents of the area if the department's home health agency, office, branch office or clinic is closed or otherwise discontinues the providing of home health services. This demonstration by the board that there are other providers of adequate home health services in the area shall be spread at length upon the minutes of the board at a regular or special meeting of the board at least thirty (30) days before a home health agency, office, branch office or clinic is proposed to be closed or otherwise discontinue the providing of home health services.

(c) The State Department of Health may undertake such technical programs and activities as may be required for the support and operation of such programs, including maintaining physical, chemical, bacteriological and radiological laboratories, and may make such diagnostic tests for diseases and tests for the evaluation of health hazards as may be deemed necessary for the protection of the people of the state.

(6) (a) The State Board of Health shall administer the local governments and rural water systems improvements loan program in accordance with the provisions of Section 41-3-16.

(b) The State Board of Health shall have authority:

(i) To enter into capitalization grant agreements with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or any successor agency thereto;

(ii) To accept capitalization grant awards made under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended;

(iii) To provide annual reports and audits to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as may be required by federal capitalization grant agreements; and

(iv) To establish and collect fees to defray the reasonable costs of administering the revolving fund or emergency fund if the State Board of Health determines that such costs will exceed the limitations established in the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended. The administration fees may be included in loan amounts to loan recipients for the purpose of facilitating payment to the board; however, such fees may not exceed five percent (5%) of the loan amount.

(7) The department shall perform the following duties relating to tobacco education, prevention and cessation:

(a) Develop and implement appropriate policies and procedures for the operation of the tobacco education, prevention and cessation program;

(b) Develop and implement a five-year strategic plan for the tobacco education, prevention and cessation program;

(c) Develop and maintain an annual operating budget and oversee fiscal management of the tobacco education, prevention and cessation program;

(d) Execute any contracts, agreements or other documents with any public school district, governmental agency or any person, corporation, association, partnership or other nonprofit organization or entity that are necessary to accomplish the purposes of this subsection;

(e) Receive appropriations, grants, bequeaths, gifts, donations or any other contributions made to the department to be used for specific purposes related to the goals of this subsection;

(f) Receive grant applications and provide funds to public school districts or nonprofit entities to be used for specific purposes relative to the goals of this subsection;

(g) Receive grant applications and provide funds to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics for the purpose of hiring agents and supporting efforts to reduce drug crime;

(h) Submit an annual report to the Legislature regarding the operation of the department;

(i) Submit to the State Auditor any financial records that are necessary for the Auditor to perform an annual audit of the department as required by law;

(j) Adopt any rules or regulations that are necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection; and

(k) Take any other actions that are necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection.

SECTION 8. Section 41-3-16, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:

41-3-16. (1) (a) There is established a local governments and rural water systems improvements revolving loan and grant program to be administered by the State Department of Health, referred to in this section as "department," for the purpose of assisting counties, incorporated municipalities, districts or other water organizations that have been granted tax exempt status under either federal or state law, in making improvements to their water systems, including construction of new water systems or expansion or repair of existing water systems. Loan and grant proceeds may be used by the recipient for planning, professional services, acquisition of interests in land, acquisition of personal property, construction, construction-related services, maintenance, and any other reasonable use which the board, in its discretion, may allow. For purposes of this section, "water systems" has the same meaning as the term "public water system" under Section 41-26-3.

(b) (i) There is created a board to be known as the "Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvements Board," referred to in this section as "board," to be composed of the following nine (9) members: the State Health Officer, or his designee, who shall serve as chairman of the board; the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, or his designee; the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his designee; the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, or his designee; the Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, or his designee; the Executive Director of the Mississippi Municipal League, or his designee; the Executive Director of the Consulting Engineers Council, or his designee; the State Director of the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, or his designee; and a manager of a rural water system.

The Governor shall appoint a manager of a rural water system from a list of candidates provided by the Executive Director of the Mississippi Rural Water Association. The Executive Director of the Mississippi Rural Water Association shall provide the Governor a list of candidates which shall contain a minimum of three (3) candidates for each appointment.

(ii) Nonappointed members of the board may designate another representative of their agency or association to serve as an alternate.

(iii) The gubernatorial appointee shall serve a term concurrent with the term of the Governor and until a successor is appointed and qualified. No member, officer or employee of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Rural Water Associationshall be eligible for appointment.

(c) The department, if requested by the board, shall furnish the board with facilities and staff as needed to administerthis section. The department may contract, upon approval by the board, for those facilities and staff needed to administer this section, including routine management, as it deems necessary. The board may advertise for or solicit proposals from public or private sources, or both, for administration of this section or any services required for administration of this section or any portion thereof. It is the intent of the Legislature that the board endeavor to ensure that the costs of administration of this section are as low as possible in order to provide the water consumers of Mississippi safe drinking water at affordable prices.

(d) Members of the board may not receive any salary, compensation or per diem for the performance of their duties under this section.

(2) (a) There is created a special fund in the State Treasury to be designated as the "Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvements Revolving Loan Fund," referred to in this section as "revolving fund," which fund shall consist of those monies as provided in Sections 6 and 13 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995. The revolving fund may receive appropriations, bond proceeds, grants, gifts, donations or funds from any source, public or private. The revolving fund shall be credited with all repayments of principal and interest derived from loans made from the revolving fund. The monies in the revolving fund may be expended only in amounts appropriated by the Legislature, and the different amounts specifically provided for the loan program and the grant program shall be so designated. Monies in the fund may only be expended for the grant program from the amount designated for such program. The revolving fund shall be maintained in perpetuity for the purposes established in this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995. Unexpended amounts remaining in the revolving fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the revolving fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund. Monies in the revolving fund may not be used or expended for any purpose except as authorized under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995. Any monies in the fund may be used to match any federal funds that are available for the same or related purposes for which funds are used and expended under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995. Any federal funds shall be used and expended only in accordance with federal laws, rules and regulations governing the expenditure of those funds. No person shall use any monies from the revolving fund for the acquisition of real property or any interest in real property unless that property is integral to the project funded under this section and the purchase is made from a willing seller. No county, incorporated municipality or district shall acquire any real property or any interest in any real property for a project funded through the revolving fund by condemnation. The board's application of Sections 43-37-1 through 43-37-13 shall be no more stringent or extensive in scope, coverage and effect than federal property acquisition laws and regulations.

(b) There is created a special fund in the State Treasury to be designated as the "Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Emergency Loan Fund," hereinafter referred to as "emergency fund," which fund shall consist of those monies as provided in Sections 6 and 13 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995. The emergency fund may receive appropriations, bond proceeds, grants, gifts, donations or funds from any source, public or private. The emergency fund shall be credited with all repayments of principal and interest derived from loans made from the emergency fund. The monies in the emergency fund may be expended only in amounts appropriated by the Legislature. The emergency fund shall be maintained in perpetuity for the purposes established in this section and Section 6 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995. Unexpended amounts remaining in the emergency fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund. Any interest earned on amounts in the emergency fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund. Monies in the emergency fund may not be used or expended for any purpose except as authorized under this section and Section 6 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995.

(c) The board created in subsection (1) shall establish loan and grant programs by which loans and grants may be made available to counties, incorporated municipalities, districts or other water organizations that have been granted tax exempt status under either federal or state law, to assist those counties, incorporated municipalities, districts or water organizations in making water systems improvements, including the construction of new water systems or expansion or repair of existing water systems. Any entity eligible under this section may receive either a loan or a grant, or both. No grant awarded under the program established in this section may be made using funds from the loan program. Grants may be awarded only when the Legislature specifically appropriates funds for that particular purpose. The interest rate on those loans may vary from time to time and from loan to loan, and will be at or below market interest rates as determined by the board. The board shall act as quickly as is practicable and prudent in deciding on any loan request that it receives. Loans from the revolving fund or emergency fund may be made to counties, incorporated municipalities, districts or other water organizations that have been granted tax exempt status under either federal or state law, as set forth in a loan agreement in amounts not to exceed one hundred percent (100%) of eligible project costs as established by the board. The board may require county, municipal, district or other water organization participation or funding from other sources, or otherwise limit the percentage of costs covered by loans from the revolving fund or the emergency fund. The maximum amount for any loan from the emergency fund shall be Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00), and the maximum amount for any loan from the revolving fund shall be One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00).

(d) A county that receives a loan from the revolving fund or the emergency fund shall pledge for repayment of the loan any part of the homestead exemption annual tax loss reimbursement to which it may be entitled under Section 27-33-77, as may be required to meet the repayment schedule contained in the loan agreement. An incorporated municipality that receives a loan from the revolving fund or the emergency fund shall pledge for repayment of the loan any part of the sales tax revenue distribution to which it may be entitled under Section 27-65-75, as may be required to meet the repayment schedule contained in the loan agreement. All recipients of such loans shall establish a dedicated source of revenue for repayment of the loan. Before any county or incorporated municipality shall receive any loan, it shall have executed with the State Tax Commission and the board a loan agreement evidencing that loan. The loan agreement shall not be construed to prohibit any recipient from prepaying any part or all of the funds received. The repayment schedule in each loan agreement shall provide for (i) monthly payments, (ii) semiannual payments or (iii) other periodic payments, the annual total of which shall not exceed the annual total for any other year of the loan by more than fifteen percent (15%). Except as otherwise provided in subsection (4) of this section, the loan agreement shall provide for the repayment of all funds received from the revolving fund within not more than fifteen (15) years or a term as otherwise allowed by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and all funds received from the emergency fund within not more than five (5) years from the date of project completion, and any repayment shall commence not later than one (1) year after project completion. The State Tax Commission shall withhold semiannually from counties and monthly from incorporated municipalities from the amount to be remitted to the county or municipality, a sum equal to the next repayment as provided in the loan agreement.

(e) Any county, incorporated municipality, district or other water organization desiring to construct a project approved by the board which receives a loan from the state for that purpose but which is not eligible to pledge for repayment under the provisions of paragraph (d) of this subsection, shall repay that loan by making payments each month to the State Treasurer through the Department of Finance and Administration for and on behalf of the board according to Section 7-7-15, to be credited to either the revolving fund or the emergency fund, whichever is appropriate, in lieu of pledging homestead exemption annual tax loss reimbursement or sales tax revenue distribution.

Loan repayments shall be according to a repayment schedule contained in each loan agreement as provided in paragraph (d) of this subsection.

(f) Any district created pursuant to Sections 19-5-151 through 19-5-207 that receives a loan from the revolving fund or the emergency fund shall pledge for repayment of the loan any part of the revenues received by that district pursuant to Sections 19-5-151 through 19-5-207, as may be required to meet the repayment schedule contained in the loan agreement.

(g) The State Auditor, upon request of the board, shall audit the receipts and expenditures of acounty, an incorporated municipality, district or other water organization whose loan repayments appear to be in arrears, and if the Auditor finds that the county, incorporated municipality, district or other water organization is in arrears in those repayments, the Auditor shall immediately notify the chairman of the board who may take any action as may be necessary to enforce the terms of the loan agreement, including liquidation and enforcement of the security given for repayment of the loan, and the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration who shall withhold all future payments to the county of homestead exemption annual tax loss reimbursements under Section 27-33-77 and all sums allocated to the county or the incorporated municipality under Section 27-65-75 until such time as the county or the incorporated municipality is again current in its loan repayments as certified by the board.

(h) All monies deposited in the revolving fund or the emergency fund, including loan repayments and interest earned on those repayments, shall be used only for providing loans or other financial assistance to water systems as the board deems appropriate. In addition, any amounts in the revolving fund or the emergency fund may be used to defray the reasonable costs of administering the revolving fund or the emergency fund and conducting activities under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995, subject to any limitations established in the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended and subject to annual appropriation by the Legislature. The department is authorized, upon approval by the board, to use amounts available to it from the revolving fund or the emergency fund to contract for those facilities and staff needed to administer and provide routine management for the funds and loan program.

(3) In administering this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995, the board created in subsection (1) of this section shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To supervise the use of all funds made available under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995, for local governments and rural water systems improvements;

(b) To promulgate rules and regulations, to make variances and exceptions thereto, and to establish procedures in accordance with this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995, for the implementation of the local governments and rural water systems improvements revolving loan program;

(c) To require, at the board's discretion, any loan or grant recipient to impose a per connection fee or surcharge or amended water rate schedule or tariff on each customer or any class of customers, benefiting from an improvement financed by a loan or grant made under this section, for repayment of any loan funds provided under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995. The board may require any loan or grant recipient to undergo a water system viability analysis and may require a loan or grant recipient to implement any result of the viability analysis. If the loan recipient fails to implement any result of a viability analysis as required by the board, the board may impose a monetary penalty or increase the interest rate on the loan, or both. If the grant recipient fails to implement any result of a viability analysis as required by the board, the board may impose a monetary penalty on the grant;

(d) To review and certify all projects for which funds are authorized to be made available under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995, for local governments and rural water systems improvements;

(e) To requisition monies in the Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvements Revolving Loan Fund and the Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Emergency Loan Fund and distribute those monies on a project-by-project basis in accordance with this section;

(f) To ensure that the funds made available under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995, to a county, an incorporated municipality, a district or a water organization that has been granted tax exempt status under either federal or state law provide for a distribution of projects and funds among the entities under a priority system established by the board;

(g) To maintain in accordance with generally accepted government accounting standards an accurate record of all monies in the revolving fund and the emergency fund made available to counties, incorporated municipalities, districts or other water organizations under this section and Sections 6 through 20 of Chapter 521, Laws of 1995, and the costs for each project;

(h) To establish policies, procedures and requirements concerning viability and financial capability to repay loans that may be used in approving loans available under this section, including a requirement that all loan recipients have a rate structure which will be sufficient to cover the costs of operation, maintenance, major equipment replacement and repayment of any loans made under this section; and

(i) To file annually with the Legislature a report detailing how monies in the Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvements Revolving Loan Fund and the Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Emergency Loan Fund were spent during the preceding fiscal year in each county, incorporated municipality, district or other water organization, the number of projects approved and constructed, and the cost of each project.

For efficient and effective administration of the loan program, revolving fund and emergency fund, the board may authorize the department or the State Health Officer to carry out any or all of the powers and duties enumerated above.

(4) The board may, on a case-by-case basis and to the extent allowed by federal law, renegotiate the payment of principal and interest on loans made under this section to the six (6) most southern counties of the state covered by the Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster for the State of Mississippi (FEMA-1604-DR) dated August 29, 2005, and to incorporated municipalities, districts or other water organizations located in such counties; however, the interest on the loans shall not be forgiven for a period of more than twenty-four (24) months and the maturity of the loans shall not be extended for a period of more than forty-eight (48) months.

SECTION 9. Section 41-3-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:

41-3-17. The State Board of Health is authorized to make and publish all reasonable rules and regulations necessary to enable it to discharge its duties and powers and to carry out the purposes and objectives of its creation. It is further authorized to make reasonable sanitary rules and regulations, to be enforced in the several counties by the county health officer under the supervision and control of the State Board of Health. The State Board of Health shall not make or enforce any rule or regulation that prohibits consumers from providing their own containers for the purpose of purchasing or accepting water from any vending machine or device which filters or treats water that has already been tested and determined to meet or exceed the minimum health protection standards prescribed for drinking water under the Mississippi Safe Drinking Water Law, if that vending machine or device meets or exceeds United States Environmental Protection Agency or national automatic merchandising standards.

SECTION 10. Section 41-3-18, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:

41-3-18. The board shall assess fees in the following amounts and for the following purposes:

(a) Food establishment annual permit fee, based on the assessment factors of the establishment as follows:

Assessment Category 1......................... $ 15.00

Assessment Category 2........................... 30.00

Assessment Category 3........................... 70.00

Assessment Category 4 ......................... 100.00

Assessment Category 5 ......................... 150.00

(b) Private water supply approval fee........ $ 10.00

The board may develop such reasonable standards, rules and regulations to clearly define each assessment category. Assessment categories shall be based upon the factors to the public health implications of the category and type of food preparation being utilized by the food establishment, utilizing the model Food Code of 1995, or as may be amended by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

The fee authorized under paragraph (a) of this section shall not be assessed for food establishments operated by public schools, public junior and community colleges, or state agencies or institutions, including without limitation, the state institutions of higher learning and the State Penitentiary.

The fee authorized under paragraph (b) of this section shall not be assessed for private water supplies used by foster homes licensed by the Department of Human Services.

SECTION 11. Section 41-3-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:

41-3-19. It is the duty of the State Board of Health to make a report, in writing, to the Governor, on or before the first day of December next preceding each session, not an extraordinary session of the Legislature, upon the sanitary condition, prospect, and needs of the state, setting forth the action of said board, of its officers and agents, the names thereof, and all its expenditures since the last preceding report, and such other matters as it may deem proper for the promotion of health or the prevention of disease. The report shall be laid before the Legislature by the Governor at its ensuing term.

SECTION 12. Section 41-59-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-59-61. (1) Such assessments as are collected under subsections (1) and (2) of Section 99-19-73 shall be deposited in a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury to be designated the "Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund." The Legislature may make appropriations from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund to the State Board of Health for the purpose of defraying costs of administration of the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund (EMSOF) and for redistribution of such funds to the counties, municipalities and organized medical service districts (hereinafter referred to as "governmental units") for the support of the Emergency Medical Services programs. The State Board of Health * * * shall administer the disbursement to such governmental units of any funds appropriated to the board from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund and the utilization of such funds by the governmental units.

(2) Funds appropriated from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund to the State Board of Health shall be made available to all such governmental units to support the Emergency Medical Services programs therein, and such funds shall be distributed to each governmental unit based upon its general population relative to the total population of the state. Disbursement of such funds shall be made on an annual basis at the end of the fiscal year upon the request of each governmental unit. Funds distributed to such governmental units shall be used in addition to existing annual Emergency Medical Services budgets of the governmental units, and no such funds shall be used for the payment of any attorney's fees. The Director of the Emergency Medical Services program or his appointed designee is hereby authorized to require financial reports from the governmental units utilizing these funds in order to provide satisfactory proof of the maintenance of the funding effort by the governmental units.

SECTION 13. Section 41-79-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-79-5. (1) There is hereby established within the State Department of Health a school nurse intervention program, available to all public school districts in the state.

(2) By the school year 1998-1999, each public school district shall have employed a school nurse, to be known as a Health Service Coordinator, pursuant to the school nurse intervention program prescribed under this section. The school nurse intervention program shall offer any of the following specific preventive services, and other additional services appropriate to each grade level and the age and maturity of the pupils:

(a) Reproductive health education and referral to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, which education shall include abstinence;

(b) Child abuse and neglect identification;

(c) Statutory rape counseling;

(d) Hearing and vision screening to detect problems which can lead to serious sensory losses and behavioral and academic problems;

(e) Alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse education to reduce abuse of these substances;

(f) Scoliosis screening to detect this condition so that costly and painful surgery and lifelong disability can be prevented;

(g) Coordination of services for handicapped children to ensure that these children receive appropriate medical assistance and are able to remain in public school;

(h) Nutrition education and counseling to prevent obesity and/or other eating disorders which may lead to life-threatening conditions, for example, hypertension;

(i) Early detection and treatment of head lice to prevent the spread of the parasite and to reduce absenteeism;

(j) Emergency treatment of injury and illness to include controlling bleeding, managing fractures, bruises or contusions and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);

(k) Applying appropriate theory as the basis for decision making in nursing practice;

(l) Establishing and maintaining a comprehensive school health program;

(m) Developing individualized health plans;

(n) Assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating programs and other school health activities, in collaboration with other professionals;

(o) Providing health education to assist students, families and groups to achieve optimal levels of wellness;

(p) Participating in peer review and other means of evaluation to assure quality of nursing care provided for students and assuming responsibility for continuing education and professional development for self while contributing to the professional growth of others;

(q) Participating with other key members of the community responsible for assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating school health services and community services that include the broad continuum or promotion of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention; and

(r) Contributing to nursing and school health through innovations in theory and practice and participation in research.

(3) Public school nurses shall be specifically prohibited from providing abortion counseling to any student or referring any student to abortion counseling or abortion clinics. Any violation of this subsection shall disqualify the school district employing such public school nurse from receiving any state administered funds under this section.

(4) The State Department of Health shall develop and implement a comprehensive and statewide tobacco education, prevention and cessation program that is consistent with the recommendations for effective program components and funding recommendations in the 1999 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as those Best Practices may be periodically amended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At a minimum, the program shall include the following components, and may include additional components that are contained within the Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as periodically amended, and that based on scientific data and research have been shown to be effective at accomplishing the purposes of this subsection:

(a) The employment of school nurses by public school districts;

(b) The use of mass media, including paid advertising and other communication tools to discourage the use of tobacco products and to educate people, especially youth, about the health hazards from the use of tobacco products, which shall be designed to be effective at achieving these goals and shall include, but need not be limited to, television, radio, and print advertising, as well as sponsorship, exhibits and other opportunities to raise awareness statewide;

(c) Evidence-based curricula and programs implemented in schools to educate youth about tobacco and to discourage their use of tobacco products, including, but not limited to, programs that involve youth, educate youth about the health hazards from the use of tobacco products, help youth develop skills to refuse tobacco products, and demonstrate to youth how to stop using tobacco products;

(d) Local community programs, including, but not limited to, youth-based partnerships that discourage the use of tobacco products and involve community-based organizations in tobacco education, prevention and cessation programs in their communities;

(e) Enforcement of laws, regulations and policies against the sale or other provision of tobacco products to minors, and the possession of tobacco products by minors;

(f) Programs to assist and help people to stop using tobacco products;

(g) Programs to support the misdemeanor of narcotics in hiring agents to reduce drug crime; and

(h) A surveillance and evaluation system that monitors program accountability and results, produces publicly available reports that review how monies expended for the program are spent, and includes an evaluation of the program's effectiveness in reducing and preventing the use of tobacco products, and annual recommendations for improvements to enhance the program's effectiveness.

Funding for the different components of the program shall be pursuant to specific appropriation by the Legislature and apportioned between the components based on the recommendations in the Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as periodically amended, to provide adequate program development, implementation and evaluation for effective control of the use of tobacco products. Funds appropriated for tobacco education and cessation program shall not be commingled with other program funds of the department. While the department shall develop annual budgets based on strategic planning, components of the program shall be funded using the following areas as guidelines for priority:

(a) School nurses;

(b) School programs;

(c) Narcotics agents;

(d) Law enforcement;

(e) Mass media (counter-marketing);

(f) Cessation programs (including media promotions);

(g) Community programs;

(h) Surveillance and evaluation; and

(i) Administration and management; however, not more than five percent (5%) of the total budget may be expended for administration and management purposes.

(5) Beginning with the 1997-1998 school year, to the extent that federal or state funds are available therefor and pursuant to appropriation therefor by the Legislature, in addition to the school nurse intervention program funds administered under subsection (4), the State Department of Health shall establish and implement a Prevention of Teen Pregnancy Pilot Program to be located in the public school districts with the highest numbers of teen pregnancies. The Teen Pregnancy Pilot Program shall provide the following education services directly through public school nurses in the pilot school districts: health education sessions in local schools, where contracted for or invited to provide, which target issues including reproductive health, teen pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, HIV and AIDS. When these services are provided by a school nurse, training and counseling on abstinence shall be included.

(6) In addition to the school nurse intervention program funds administered under subsection (4) and the Teen Pregnancy Pilot Program funds administered under subsection (5), to the extent that federal or state funds are available therefor and pursuant to appropriation therefor by the Legislature, the State Department of Health shall establish and implement an Abstinence Education Pilot Program to provide abstinence education, mentoring, counseling and adult supervision to promote abstinence from sexual activity, with a focus on those groups which are most likely to bear children out of wedlock. Such abstinence education services shall be provided by the State Department of Health through its clinics, public health nurses, school nurses and through contracts with rural and community health centers in order to reach a larger number of targeted clients. For purposes of this subsection, the term "abstinence education" means an educational or motivational program which:

(a) Has as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;

(b) Teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children;

(c) Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and other associated health problems;

(d) Teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity;

(e) Teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects;

(f) Teaches that bearing children out of wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child's parents and society;

(g) Teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increase vulnerability to sexual advances; and

(h) Teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.

(7) Beginning with the 1998-1999 school year and pursuant to appropriation therefor by the Legislature, in addition to other funds allotted under the minimum education program, each school district shall be allotted an additional teacher unit per every one hundred (100) teacher units, for the purpose of employing qualified public school nurses in such school district, which in no event shall be less than one (1) teacher unit per school district, for such purpose. In the event the Legislature provides less funds than the total state funds needed for the public school nurse allotment, those school districts with fewer teacher units shall be the first funded for such purpose, to the extent of funds available.

(8) Prior to the 1998-1999 school year, nursing staff assigned to the program shall be employed through the local county health department and shall be subject to the supervision of the State Department of Health with input from local school officials. Local county health departments may contract with any comprehensive private primary health care facilities within their county to employ and utilize additional nursing staff. Beginning with the 1998-1999 school year, nursing staff assigned to the program shall be employed by the local school district and shall be designated as "health service coordinators," and shall be required to possess a bachelor's degree in nursing as a minimum qualification.

(9) Upon each student's enrollment, the parent or guardian shall be provided with information regarding the scope of the school nurse intervention program. The parent or guardian may provide the school administration with a written statement refusing all or any part of the nursing service. No child shall be required to undergo hearing and vision or scoliosis screening or any other physical examination or tests whose parent objects thereto on the grounds such screening, physical examination or tests are contrary to his sincerely held religious beliefs.

(10) A consent form for reproductive health education shall be sent to the parent or guardian of each student upon his enrollment. If a response from the parent or guardian is not received within seven (7) days after the consent form is sent, the school shall send a letter to the student's home notifying the parent or guardian of the consent form. If the parent or guardian fails to respond to the letter within ten (10) days after it is sent, then the school principal shall be authorized to allow the student to receive reproductive health education. Reproductive health education shall include the teaching of total abstinence from premarital sex and, wherever practicable, reproductive health education should be taught in classes divided according to gender. All materials used in the reproductive health education program shall be placed in a convenient and easily accessible location for parental inspection. School nurses shall not dispense birth control pills or contraceptive devices in the school. Dispensing of such shall be the responsibility of the State Department of Health on a referral basis only.

(11) No provision of this section shall be construed as prohibiting local school districts from accepting financial assistance of any type from the State of Mississippi or any other governmental entity, or any contribution, donation, gift, decree or bequest from any source which may be utilized for the maintenance or implementation of a school nurse intervention program in a public school system of this state.

SECTION 14. Section 41-7-197, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-7-197. (1) The State Board of Health shall adopt and utilize procedures for conducting certificate of need reviews. Such procedures shall include, inter alia, the following: (a) written notification to the applicant; (b) written notification to health care facilities in the same health service area as the proposed service; (c) written notification to other persons who prior to the receipt of the application have filed a formal notice of intent to provide the proposed services in the same service area; * * * (d) notification to members of the public who reside in the service area where the service is proposed, which may be provided through newspapers or public information channels; and (e) the establishment of a five-member Committee of the State Board of Health to render final decisions on the record for applications for health care facility certificate of need applications. The committee shall be the Executive Committee of the State Board of Health appointed by the chairman in the manner provided in Section 41-3-4(3), Mississippi Code of 1972.

(2) All notices provided shall include, inter alia, the following: (a) the proposed schedule for the review; (b) written notification of the period within which a public hearing during the course of the review may be requested in writing by one or more affected persons, such request to be made within twenty (20) days of said notification; and (c) the manner in which notification will be provided of the time and place of any hearing so requested. Any such hearing shall be conducted by an independent hearing officer, who is not an employee of the department, designated by the State Board of Health. At such hearing, the hearing officer and any person affected by the proposal being reviewed may conduct reasonable questioning of persons who make relevant factual allegations concerning the proposal. The hearing officer shall require that all persons be sworn before they may offer any testimony at the hearing, and the hearing officer is authorized to administer oaths. Any person so choosing may be represented by counsel at the hearing. A record of the hearing shall be made, which shall consist of a transcript of all testimony received, all documents and other material introduced by any interested person, the staff report and recommendation and such other material as the hearing officer considers relevant, including his own recommendation, which he shall make within a reasonable period of time after the hearing is closed and after he has had an opportunity to review, study and analyze the evidence presented during the hearing. The completed record shall be certified to the State Board of Health * * *, which shall consider only the record in making its decision, and shall not consider any evidence or material which is not included therein. All final decisions regarding the issuance of a certificate of need shall be made by the standing Executive Committee of the State Board of Health * * * at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The State Board of Health, acting through its standing Executive Committee, * * * shall make its written findings and issue its order after reviewing said record. The findings and decision of the standing Executive Committee of the State Board of Health * * * shall not be deferred to any later date, and any deferral shall result in an automatic order of approval.

(3) If review by the State Board of Health concerning the issuance of a certificate of need is not complete within the time specified by rule or regulation, which shall not, to the extent practicable, exceed ninety (90) days, the certificate of need shall not be granted. The proponent of the proposal may, within thirty (30) days, after the expiration of the specified time for review, commence such legal action as is necessary, in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County or in the chancery court of the county in which the new institutional health service is proposed to be provided, to compel the State Board of Health * * * to issue written findings and written order approving or disapproving the proposal in question.

SECTION 15. Section 41-7-201, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-7-201. (1) The provisions of this subsection (1) shall apply to any party appealing any final order of the State Board of Health pertaining to a certificate of need for a home health agency, as defined in Section 41-7-173(h)(ix):

(a) In addition to other remedies now available at law or in equity, any party aggrieved by any such final order of the State Board of Health shall have the right of appeal to the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, which appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days after the date of the final order. Provided, however, that any appeal of an order disapproving an application for such a certificate of need may be made to the chancery court of the county where the proposed construction, expansion or alteration was to be located or the new service or purpose of the capital expenditure was to be located. Such appeal must be filed in accordance with the thirty (30) days for filing as heretofore provided. Any appeal shall state briefly the nature of the proceedings before the State Board of Health and shall specify the order complained of. Any person whose rights may be materially affected by the action of the State Board of Health may appear and become a party or the court may, upon motion, order that any such person, organization or entity be joined as a necessary party.

(b) Upon the filing of such an appeal, the clerk of the chancery court shall serve notice thereof upon the State Board of Health, whereupon the State Department of Health shall, within fifty (50) days or within such additional time as the court may by order for cause allow from the service of such notice, certify to the chancery court the record in the case, which records shall include a transcript of all testimony, together with all exhibits or copies thereof, all pleadings, proceedings, orders, findings and opinions entered in the case; provided, however, that the parties and the State Department of Health may stipulate that a specified portion only of the record shall be certified to the court as the record on appeal.

(c) No new or additional evidence shall be introduced in the chancery court but the case shall be determined upon the record certified to the court.

(d) The court may dispose of the appeal in termtime or vacation and may sustain or dismiss the appeal, modify or vacate the order complained of in whole or in part as the case may be; but in case the order is wholly or partly vacated, the court may also, in its discretion, remand the matter to the State Department of Health for such further proceedings, not inconsistent with the court's order, as, in the opinion of the court, justice may require. The order shall not be vacated or set aside, either in whole or in part, except for errors of law, unless the court finds that the order of the State Board of Health is not supported by substantial evidence, is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence, is in excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the State Board of Health, or violates any vested constitutional rights of any party involved in the appeal. Provided, however, an order of the chancery court reversing the denial of a certificate of need by the State Board of Health shall not entitle the applicant to effectuate the certificate of need until either:

(i) Such order of the chancery court has become final and has not been appealed to the Supreme Court; or

(ii) The Supreme Court has entered a final order affirming the chancery court.

(e) Appeals in accordance with law may be had to the Supreme Court of the State of Mississippi from any final judgment of the chancery court.

(2) The provisions of this subsection (2) shall apply to any party appealing any final order of the State Board of Health pertaining to a certificate of need for any health care facility as defined in Section 41-7-173(h), with the exception of any home health agency as defined in Section 41-7-173(h)(ix):

(a) There shall be a "stay of proceedings" of any final order issued by the State Board of Health pertaining to the issuance of a certificate of need for the establishment, construction, expansion or replacement of a health care facility for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of the order, if an existing provider located in the same service area where the health care facility is or will be located has requested a hearing during the course of review in opposition to the issuance of the certificate of need. The stay of proceedings shall expire at the termination of thirty (30) days; however, no construction, renovation or other capital expenditure that is the subject of the order shall be undertaken, no license to operate any facility that is the subject of the order shall be issued by the licensing agency, and no certification to participate in the Title XVIII or Title XIX programs of the Social Security Act shall be granted, until all statutory appeals have been exhausted or the time for such appeals has expired. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the filing of an appeal from a final order of the State Board of Health or the chancery court for the issuance of a certificate of need shall not prevent the purchase of medical equipment or development or offering of institutional health services granted in a certificate of need issued by the State Board of Health.

(b) In addition to other remedies now available at law or in equity, any party aggrieved by any such final order of the State Board of Health shall have the right of appeal to the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, which appeal must be filed within twenty (20) days after the date of the final order. Provided, however, that any appeal of an order disapproving an application for such a certificate of need may be made to the chancery court of the county where the proposed construction, expansion or alteration was to be located or the new service or purpose of the capital expenditure was to be located. Such appeal must be filed in accordance with the twenty (20) days for filing as heretofore provided. Any appeal shall state briefly the nature of the proceedings before the State Board of Health and shall specify the order complained of.

(c) Upon the filing of such an appeal, the clerk of the chancery court shall serve notice thereof upon the State Board of Health, whereupon the State Department of Health shall, within thirty (30) days of the date of the filing of the appeal, certify to the chancery court the record in the case, which records shall include a transcript of all testimony, together with all exhibits or copies thereof, all pleadings, proceedings, orders, findings and opinions entered in the case; provided, however, that the parties and the State Department of Health may stipulate that a specified portion only of the record shall be certified to the court as the record on appeal. The chancery court shall give preference to any such appeal from a final order by the State Board of Health in a certificate of need proceeding, and shall render a final order regarding such appeal no later than one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of the final order by the State Board of Health. If the chancery court has not rendered a final order within this 120-day period, then the final order of the State Board of Health shall be deemed to have been affirmed by the chancery court, and any party to the appeal shall have the right to appeal from the chancery court to the Supreme Court on the record certified by the State Department of Health as otherwise provided in paragraph (g) of this subsection. In the event the chancery court has not rendered a final order within the 120-day period and an appeal is made to the Supreme Court as provided herein, the Supreme Court shall remand the case to the chancery court to make an award of costs, fees, reasonable expenses and attorney's fees incurred in favor of appellee payable by the appellant(s) should the Supreme Court affirm the order of the State Board of Health.

(d) Any appeal of a final order by the State Board of Health in a certificate of need proceeding shall require the giving of a bond by the appellant(s) sufficient to secure the appellee against the loss of costs, fees, expenses and attorney's fees incurred in defense of the appeal, approved by the chancery court within five (5) days of the date of filing the appeal.

(e) No new or additional evidence shall be introduced in the chancery court but the case shall be determined upon the record certified to the court.

(f) The court may dispose of the appeal in termtime or vacation and may sustain or dismiss the appeal, modify or vacate the order complained of in whole or in part and may make an award of costs, fees, expenses and attorney's fees, as the case may be; but in case the order is wholly or partly vacated, the court may also, in its discretion, remand the matter to the State Board of Health for such further proceedings, not inconsistent with the court's order, as, in the opinion of the court, justice may require. The court, as part of the final order, shall make an award of costs, fees, reasonable expenses and attorney's fees incurred in favor of appellee payable by the appellant(s) should the court affirm the order of the State Board of Health. The order shall not be vacated or set aside, either in whole or in part, except for errors of law, unless the court finds that the order of the State Board of Health is not supported by substantial evidence, is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence, is in excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the State Board of Health, or violates any vested constitutional rights of any party involved in the appeal. Provided, however, an order of the chancery court reversing the denial of a certificate of need by the State Board of Health shall not entitle the applicant to effectuate the certificate of need until either:

(i) Such order of the chancery court has become final and has not been appealed to the Supreme Court; or

(ii) The Supreme Court has entered a final order affirming the chancery court.

(g) Appeals in accordance with law may be had to the Supreme Court of the State of Mississippi from any final judgment of the chancery court.

(h) Within thirty (30) days from the date of a final order by the Supreme Court or a final order of the chancery court not appealed to the Supreme Court that modifies or wholly or partly vacates the final order of the State Board of Health granting a certificate of need, the State Board of Health shall issue another order in conformity with the final order of the Supreme Court, or the final order of the chancery court not appealed to the Supreme Court.

SECTION 16. Section 41-7-205, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-7-205. The State Department of Health shall provide an expedited review for those projects which it determines to warrant such action. All requests for such an expedited review by the applicant must be made in writing to the State Department of Health. The State Board of Health shall make a determination as to whether expedited review is appropriate within fifteen (15) days after receipt of a written request. The State Board of Health shall render its decision concerning the issuance of a certificate of need within ninety (90) days after the receipt of a completed application. A project is subject to expedited review only if it meets one (1) of the following criteria:

(a) A transfer or change of ownership of a health care facility wherein the facility continues to operate under the same category of license or permit as it possessed prior to the date of the proposed change of ownership and none of the other activities described in Section 41-7-191(1) take place in conjunction with such transfer;

(b) Replacement of equipment with used equipment of similar capabilityif the equipment is included in the facility's annual capital expenditure budget or plan;

(c) A request for project cost overruns that exceed the rate of inflation as determined by the State Department of Health;

(d) A request for relocation of services or facilities if the relocation of such services or facilities (i) involves a capital expenditure by or on behalf of a health care facility, or (ii) is more than one thousand three hundred twenty (1,320) feet from the main entrance of the health care facility or the facility where the service is located;

(e) A request for a certificate of need to comply with duly recognized fire, building, or life safety codes, or to comply with state licensure standards or accreditation standards required for reimbursements.

SECTION 17. The following provision shall be codified as Section 41-57-8, Mississippi Code of 1972:

41-57-8. (1) For purposes of this section, the term "stillborn child" shall be defined as "an intrauterine death that occurs after the twentieth week of gestation through the moment of birth."

(2) The Bureau of Vital Statistics of the State Department of Health shall develop a form for the registration of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth for any stillborn child in Mississippi. The Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth shall be offered to a mother after the occurrence of any stillbirth. If such mother decides not to place a name on the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, the person preparing the certificate shall leave this option on the certificate blank. The option of registering a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth shall be available to any parent of a stillborn child wherein the stillbirth occurred in Mississippi on or after July 1, 2005, provided that the burden of applying and supplying medical verification of such stillbirth occurring prior to the effective date of this act shall be with the parent(s) requesting the issuance and registration of such certificate.

(3) The State Board of Health shall formulate and promulgate rules and regulations for the proper reporting and registration of Certificates of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

SECTION 18. Section 41-57-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-57-11. (1) Each local registrar shall be paid the sum of One Dollar ($1.00) for each birth and each death certificate and each Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth properly made out, and in the manner and on the form required by the State Board of Health. Such sum shall be paid by the board of supervisors of the county in which the births and deaths occurred, upon certification made monthly to the board of supervisors by the state registrar.

However, any local registrar shall receive only Fifty Cents (50) for each birth, each death certificate and each certificate of stillbirth sent in to the Bureau of Vital Statistics improperly completed or sent in at a later time than that fixed by the regulations of the State Board of Health.

(2) In addition to any fees established and collected by the State Board of Health for the issuance of original and copies of birth certificates and Certificates of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, there shall be charged a fee of One Dollar ($1.00) for each original and each copy of a birth certificate. This additional fee shall be deposited into the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund created by Section 93-21-305 and shall be used only as set forth in Sections 93-21-301 through 93-21-311. This additional fee shall not be added to birth certificates furnished free as provided in Sections 35-3-9 and 41-57-25.

SECTION 19. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.