2021 Regular Session
To: Education; Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency
By: Senator(s) DeBar
AN ACT TO CREATE NEW SECTION 37-7-316, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO ADOPT RULES AND REGULATIONS REQUIRING NEWLY CONSTRUCTED PUBLIC SCHOOLS OR CERTAIN EXISTING SCHOOLS UNDERGOING RENOVATIONS TO HAVE A MINIMUM NUMBER OF WATER BOTTLE FILLING STATIONS; TO PRESCRIBE REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL WATER BOTTLE FILLING STATIONS AND DRINKING WATER FOUNTAINS; TO SPECIFY THAT THE NEW REQUIREMENTS ARE APPLICABLE TO NEW SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AND CERTAIN RENOVATION PROJECTS COMMENCED AFTER JANUARY 1, 2022; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 37-7-316, Mississippi Code of 1972:
37-7-316. (1) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations that require those schools described under subsection (6) of this section to have water bottle filling stations consistent with the requirements of this section. Bottle filling stations may be integrated into existing drinking fountains.
(2) The State Board of Education shall allow students and staff to carry refillable water bottles at school facilities in order to encourage water consumption and mitigate the spread of germs and diseases.
(3) The State Board of Education shall not approve the plans and specifications for a new public school building contemplated by a local school board or for any addition to or renovation of an existing school building as set forth in subsection (6) of this section unless the plans and specifications provide for the following:
(a) A minimum of one (1) water bottle filling station on each floor and wing of each school building;
(b) A minimum of one (1) water bottle refilling station located in or near gymnasiums, cafeterias, and other high-traffic areas; and
(c) A minimum of one (1) drinking water fountain or water bottle filling station for every one hundred (100) students projected to attend the school upon completion of the proposed construction.
(4) A water bottle filling station installed in a public school building shall:
(a) Dispense filtered, chilled, clean drinking water; and
(b) Be regularly cleaned and maintained.
(5) A drinking water fountain installed in a public school building must:
(a) Be equipped with a protective cowl;
(b) Be equipped with a waterspout at least one (1) inch above the overflow rim of the drinking fountain;
(c) Dispense filtered, clean drinking water; and
(d) Be regularly cleaned and maintained.
(6) This section applies to:
(a) New school buildings, the construction of which commences on or after January 1, 2022;
(b) Existing school facilities that undergo capital improvements projects to renovate, repair, remodel, or enlarge a school building commencing on or after January 1, 2022, if either:
(i) The total cost of the capital improvements project is One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) or more; or
(ii) The total cost of the capital improvements project is less than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), but the project plans include the installation of additional drinking water fountains or the replacement of existing drinking water fountains; and
(c) Schools in which one or more existing drinking water fountain is replaced or new drinking water fountains are installed on or after January 1, 2022.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.