2021 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities; Appropriations
By: Representative Read
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-53-171, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY'S CONTROL OVER THE WIRELESS COMMUNICATION COMMISSION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-53-171, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-53-171. (1) There is hereby created the Wireless Communication Commission, which shall be responsible for promoting the efficient use of public resources to ensure that law enforcement personnel and essential public health and safety personnel have effective communications services available in emergency situations, and to ensure the rapid restoration of such communications services in the event of disruption caused by natural disaster, terrorist attack or other public emergency.
(2) The Wireless Communication Commission, hereafter referred to as the "commission," shall consist of the following:
(a) The Executive Director of the Department of Transportation or his designee;
(b) The Commissioner of Public Safety or his designee;
(c) The Executive Director of the Department of Public Health or his designee;
(d) The Executive Director of the Department of Information Technology Services or his designee;
(e) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency or his designee;
(f) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security or his designee;
(g) The President of the Mississippi Sheriffs' Association or his designee;
(h) The President of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors or his designee;
(i) The President of the Mississippi Municipal Association or his designee;
(j) The President of the Mississippi Association of Fire Chiefs or his designee;
(k) The President of the Mississippi Association of Police Chiefs or his designee;
(l) The Chief of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol or his designee;
(m) The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections or his designee;
(n) The Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard or his designee;
(o) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality or his designee; and
(p) The Executive Director of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks or his designee.
All members of the commission shall serve a term of not less than four (4) years.
(3) * * *
commission shall adopt rules which govern the time and place for meetings and
governing the manner of conducting its business. The commission shall meet at
least monthly, unless otherwise specified in the commission's rules, and
maintain minutes of such meetings. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the
membership of the commission.
(4) The commission * * *
shall have the sole authority to promulgate
rules and regulations governing the operations of the wireless communications
system described in paragraph (a) and shall be vested with all legal authority
necessary and proper to perform this function including, but not limited to:
leasing, acquiring and otherwise implementing a statewide wireless
communications system to serve wireless users in state and local governments
and those private entities that enter into a partnership with the commission.
All purchases shall be made in accordance with public purchasing laws * * *
. This system shall enable
interoperability between various wireless communications technologies.
(b) Ensuring that federal/state communications requirements are followed with respect to such wireless communications systems.
(c) Providing system planning with all public safety communications systems.
(d) Assisting with establishment of state and local wireless communications.
(e) * * *
Having the authority to permit state and local
agencies use of the communications system under the terms and conditions
established by the commission.
(f) Providing technical support to users and bearing the overall responsibility for the design, engineering, acquisition and implementation of the statewide communications system and for ensuring the proper operation and maintenance of all equipment common to the system.
(g) Seeking proposals for services through competitive processes where required by law and selecting service providers under procedures provided for by law.
(h) Establishing * * *
policies, procedures and standards which shall
be incorporated into a comprehensive management plan for the operation of the
statewide communications system.
(i) Having sign-off approval on all wireless communications systems within the state which are owned or operated by any state or local governmental entity, agency or department.
(j) Creating a standard user agreement.
(5) The commission * * *
shall exercise its powers and duties pursuant
to this section to plan, manage and administer the wireless communications
system. The commission may:
(a) In consultation
with the advisory board * * *
and the Department of Information Technology Services,
establish policies, procedures and standards to incorporate into a
comprehensive management plan for use and operation of the communications
(b) Enter into mutual aid agreements among federal, state and local agencies for the use of the communications system.
(c) Establish the cost of maintenance and operation of the system and charge subscribers for access and use of the system.
(d) Assess charges for use of the system.
(e) Obtain space through rent or lease of space on any tower under state control. The commission may also rent, lease or sublease ground space as necessary to locate equipment to support antennae on the towers. The costs for use of such space shall be established by the owner/agent for each site when it is determined to be practicable and feasible to make space available.
(f) Provide space through rent or lease of space on any tower under the commission's control. The commission may also rent, lease or sublease ground space as necessary to locate equipment to support antennae on the towers. The costs for use of such space shall be established by the commission when it is determined to be practicable and feasible to make space available.
(g) Refuse to lease
space on any tower at any site. All monies collected by the commission for
such rents, leases or subleases shall be deposited directly into a special fund
hereby created and known as the "Integrated Public Safety Communications
Fund." This fund shall be administered by the * * *
and may be used by the commission to construct, maintain and operate the
(h) Rent, lease or sublease ground space on lands acquired by the commission for the construction of privately owned or publicly owned towers. The commission, as part of such rental, lease or sublease agreement, may require space on such towers for antennae as may be necessary for the construction and operation of the wireless communications system.
(i) Enter into and perform use and occupancy agreements concerning the system.
(j) Exercise any power necessary to carry out the intent of this law.
(6) The Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and other commission members may provide to the commission, on a full-time or part-time basis, personnel and technical support necessary and sufficient to effectively and efficiently carry out the requirements of this section.
(7) (a) Expenditures from
the Integrated Public Safety Communications Fund shall be administered by the * * *
commission * * * .
(b) The Integrated Public Safety Communications Fund may consist of the following:
(i) Appropriations from the Legislature;
(iii) Federal grants;
(iv) Fees and contributions from user agencies that the commission considers necessary to maintain and operate the system; and
(v) Monies from any other source permitted by law.
(c) Any monies remaining in the Integrated Public Safety Communications Fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not revert to the State General Fund, but shall remain in the Integrated Public Safety Communications Fund.
(8) Members of the commission shall not receive any compensation or per diem, but may receive travel reimbursement provided for under Section 25-3-41.
(9) There is hereby created the Wireless Communication Advisory Board for the purpose of advising the Mississippi Wireless Communication Commission in performance of its duties. The advisory board shall be composed of the following:
(a) The Chairman and
Vice Chairman of the Senate * * *
Energy Committee or their
(b) The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives Public Utilities Committee or their designees;
(c) The Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee or his designee;
(d) The Chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee or his designee;
(e) The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee or his designee; and
(f) The Chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee or his designee.
Members of the advisory board 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 advisory board shall be paid to legislative members while the Legislature is in session.
(10) It is the intent of the Legislature that all state and local government entities make available for purposes of this section all publicly owned wireless communications infrastructure, including, but not limited to, communications towers, transmission equipment, transmission frequencies and other related properties and facilities.
(11) Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted to provide for the regulation or oversight of commercial mobile radio services.
* * *
( * * *
12) From and after July 1, 2016, the
expenses of this agency shall be defrayed by appropriation from the State
General Fund and all user charges and fees authorized under this section shall
be deposited into the State General Fund as authorized by law.
( * * *
13) From and after July 1, 2016, no
state agency shall charge another state agency a fee, assessment, rent or other
charge for services or resources received by authority of this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.