2010 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representatives Scott, Coleman (65th)
AN ACT TO CREATE THE CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY COMMISSION; TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMISSION IS CHARGED WITH COORDINATING AND STREAMLINING THE STATE'S EFFORTS TO PROVIDE NEEDED SERVICES TO MISSISSIPPI'S CHILDREN; TO PROVIDE THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS ON THE COMMISSION; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSION TO REPORT BY DECEMBER 1 ANNUALLY TO THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSION TO ADOPT INTERNAL ORGANIZATIONAL PROCEDURES NECESSARY FOR THE EFFICIENT OPERATION OF THE COMMISSION; TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION TO ESTABLISH SUBCOMMITTEES FOR CONDUCTING SPECIFIC PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSION TO CREATE RESOURCE MAPS OF ALL FUNDS RECEIVED FOR PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THAT SUPPORT CHILDREN IN THIS STATE, TO ASSESS THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SUCH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES AND TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF MERGING, CONTINUING OR DISCONTINUING SUCH PROGRAMS OR SERVICES; TO REQUIRE ALL PROGRAMS, AGENCIES, DEPARTMENTS, INSTITUTIONS, AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OF THE STATE THAT PROVIDE PROGRAMS OR SERVICES TO CHILDREN IN THIS STATE TO CREATE AN ITEMIZED LIST OF SUCH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES, AND TO COOPERATE WITH THE CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY COMMISSION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is created the Children's Advocacy Commission which is charged with coordinating and streamlining the state's efforts to provide needed services to Mississippi's children. The commission shall focus on a broad range of issues and challenges, including fighting abuse and neglect, promoting foster care and adoption, and raising public awareness of children's issues.
(2) The commission shall have sixteen (16) members, consisting of the following:
(a) One (1) citizen appointed by the Governor, who has demonstrated a strong commitment to and understanding of the challenges and issues affecting Mississippi's children;
(b) The Executive Director of the Department of Human Services, or his designee;
(c) A representative from a Mississippi public school program, appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(d) A representative from a Mississippi private school program, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;
(e) The Executive Director of the Department of Health, or his designee;
(f) The Executive Director of the State Department of Mental Health, or his designee;
(g) The Commissioner of Higher Education, or his designee;
(h) The Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, or his designee;
(i) The State Superintendent of Education, or his designee;
(j) A member of the Mississippi Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors;
(k) A member of the Mississippi School Counselors Association;
(l) A member of the Mississippi Community and Junior College Counselors Association;
(m) A member of the Mississippi Association of Social Workers;
(n) A member of the Mississippi Association of Marriage and Family Therapists;
(o) A member of the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association; and
(p) A member of the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board.
(3) The commission shall conduct its first meeting by August 1, 2010. During its first meeting, the commission shall choose a chairperson, a vice chairperson and a secretary by majority vote, who shall serve in these positions for twelve (12) months. The commission shall vote on these positions annually. After the commission holds its first meeting, it shall meet at such times and places as determined by its chairperson or a majority of the members of the commission. The commission shall meet and conduct business at least quarterly.
The commission shall adopt internal organizational procedures necessary for the efficient operation of the commission and may establish subcommittees for conducting specific programs and activities. The procedures must include duties of officers, a process for selecting officers, duties of subcommittees, quorum requirements for conducting business and policies for any staff. Members of the commission who are agency or department employees shall designate necessary staff of their departments to assist the commission in performing its duties and responsibilities. Meetings of the commission shall be open to the public, and opportunity for public comment must be made available at each meeting. The staff of the commission shall notify all persons who request such notice as to the date, time and place of each meeting.
(4) The commission shall have the following duties:
(a) Design and oversee an itemized resource mapping of all federal and state funding sources that support the health, safety, permanence, growth, development and education of children in this state from conception through the age of majority;
(b) Assess the effectiveness of programs, agencies, departments, institutions, or political subdivisions of the state that receive federal and state funds for the health, safety, permanence, growth, development and education of children in this state from conception through the age of majority;
(c) Determine the feasibility of merging, continuing or discontinuing the existence of such programs, agencies, departments, institutions or political subdivisions of the state;
(d) File a report with the with the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate and the Governor by December 1 of each year; and
(e) Conduct a meeting to explain the statewide impact of the report to the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Appropriations, Education and Public Health and Human Services Committees of the Mississippi House of Representatives, and the Appropriations, Education and Public Health and Welfare Committees of the Mississippi Senate by December 15 of each year.
(2) The resource mapping required by subsection (1) of this section shall provide:
(a) An inventory of all federal and state funding sources that support children in this state;
(b) An inventory of all state, federal or government subsidized services and programs offered to children in this state, set out by program, target population, geographical region, agency or any other grouping that would assist the commission in determining whether there are overlapping programs that lead to duplication within the state, gaps in service delivery and any administrative inefficiencies generally;
(c) A description of the manner in which the funds are being used within the agencies or organizations, the performance measures in place to assess the use of such funding, the intended outcomes of the programs and services and the actual outcomes of the programs and services;
(d) Government mandates for the use of the funds, if any; and
(e) An inventory of the funds for which the state may be eligible, but is currently not receiving or using, and the reasons why the funds are not being used.
(3) Members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their service on the panel but may receive reimbursement for travel expenses incurred while engaged in the official business of the commission.
SECTION 2. (1) All programs, agencies, departments, institutions, and political subdivisions of the state that provide programs or services to children in this state shall create an itemized list of such programs and services, an itemized resource map of all federal and state funding sources received for such programs and services, any costs associated with operating such programs and services and the number of children served by such programs and services by September 1 of each year.
(2) All programs, agencies, departments, institutions and political subdivisions of the state shall cooperate with the Children's Advocacy Commission in fulfilling its duties. The information required by this section shall be updated and provided to the Children's Advocacy Commission by September 1 of each year.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2010.