MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2023 Regular Session

To: Judiciary B; Ways and Means

By: Representatives Creekmore IV, Lancaster, Miles, Felsher, McCarty

House Bill 1222

(COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE)

AN ACT TO CREATE "THE MISSISSIPPI COLLABORATIVE RESPONSE TO MENTAL HEALTH ACT"; TO REQUIRE EACH MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY TO PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING THAT IS EVIDENCE-BASED AND APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH; TO REQUIRE EACH MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY TO HAVE AT LEAST ONE CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINED OFFICER BY A CERTAIN DATE; TO CREATE NEW SECTION 41-21-77.1, TO REQUIRE COURT LIAISONS FOR CERTAIN COUNTIES; TO AMEND SECTION 41-4-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE TERMS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD OF MENTAL HEALTH; TO AMEND SECTION 41-19-31, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISION WHICH REGULATED REGIONAL COMMISSIONS TO THIS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 41-19-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE EACH REGIONAL COMMISSION TO EMPLOY OR CONTRACT WITH AN ACCOUNTANT TO MANAGE ITS FINANCES; TO REQUIRE THE ACCOUNTANT TO PROVIDE AN ANNUAL AUDIT IN ADDITION TO OTHER DUTIES; TO PROVIDE QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD; TO AMEND SECTION 41-19-35, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS OF THE REGIONAL COMMISSION SHALL SERVE AT THE WILL AND PLEASURE OF THE APPOINTING BOARD OF SUPERVISORS; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSIONERS TO ATTEND CERTAIN TRAININGS AS A CONDITION TO REMAINING A COMMISSIONER; TO REQUIRE REMOVAL OF ANY COMMISSIONER WHO FAILS TO ATTEND CERTAIN TRAININGS PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH; TO AMEND SECTION 41-21-63, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE THE RESTRICTION FOR UNRESOLVED FELONIES FOR PURPOSES OF MENTAL HEALTH COMMITMENT FOR NONVIOLENT CRIMES; TO AMEND SECTION 41-21-67, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT PERSONS WHO PERFORM PRE-SCREENING EVALUATIONS SHALL BE CERTIFIED BY THE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTERS; TO REVISE WHO MAY PERFORM A PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EXAMINATION WHEN A LICENSED PHYSICIAN IS NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN 48 HOURS OF ISSUANCE OF A WRIT; TO AMEND SECTION 41-21-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE CHANCERY CLERK TO MAINTAIN A RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF PERSONS ORDERED FOR ADMISSION TO A TREATMENT FACILITY, THE NUMBER OF HEARINGS TO DETERMINE WHETHER A PERSON SHOULD BE ADMITTED AND THE NUMBER OF AFFIDAVITS FILED FOR PURPOSES OF ADMITTING A PERSON TO A TREATMENT FACILITY; TO AMEND SECTION 41-4-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE STATE BOARD OF MENTAL HEALTH; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 41-21-69, 41-21-71 AND 41-21-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH REGULATE PROCEDURES AFTER AN ORDER FOR ADMISSION TO A TREATMENT FACILITY HAS BEEN RENDERED; TO CREATE THE "MISSISSIPPI COLLABORATIVE RESPONSE TO MENTAL HEALTH FUND" AS A SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY; TO PROVIDE THAT MONIES IN THE FUND SHALL BE USED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH, UPON APPROPRIATION BY THE LEGISLATURE, FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES PROVIDED IN THIS ACT INCLUDING MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING AND CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINING; TO AMEND SECTION 27-69-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "TOBACCO" UNDER THE TOBACCO TAX LAW; TO DEFINE THE TERM "VAPOR PRODUCT" UNDER THE TOBACCO TAX LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 27-69-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO LEVY AN EXCISE TAX ON VAPOR PRODUCTS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-69-15, 27-69-27, 27-69-33 AND 27-69-35, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; TO AMEND SECTION 27-69-75, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE REVENUE DERIVED FROM THE EXCISE TAX ON VAPOR PRODUCTS SHALL BE DEPOSITED INTO THE "MISSISSIPPI COLLABORATIVE RESPONSE TO MENTAL HEALTH FUND" CREATED IN THIS ACT; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 27-69-69, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH IS A SECTION OF THE TOBACCO TAX LAW, FOR THE PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as "The Mississippi Collaborative Response to Mental Health Act".

     SECTION 2.  (1)  Each county and municipal law enforcement agency shall provide Mental Health First Aid training that is evidence-based and approved by the Department of Mental Health to all law enforcement officers who are employed or contracted by the agency by July 1, 2031.

     (2)  Each county and municipal law enforcement agency shall have at least one (1) law enforcement officer that is a trained Crisis Intervention Team Officer as defined by Section 41-21-131 at all times by July 1, 2027.

     SECTION 3.  The following shall be codified as Section 41-21-77.1, Mississippi Code of 1972:

     41-21-77.1.  Subject to appropriation by the Legislature, the Department of Mental Health shall provide funding to community mental health centers to allow the centers to designate a court liaison for each county in which the chancery court admits more than twenty (20) persons per year to a behavioral treatment facility under the authority of Section 41-21-77.

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

     41-4-3.  (1)  There is created a State Board of Mental Health, referred to in this chapter as "board," consisting of nine (9) members, to be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, each of whom shall be a qualified elector.  One (1) member shall be appointed from each congressional district as presently constituted; and four (4) members shall be appointed from the state at large, one (1) of whom shall be a licensed medical doctor who is a psychiatrist, one (1) of whom shall hold a Ph.D. degree and be a licensed clinical psychologist, one (1) of whom shall be a licensed medical doctor, and one (1) of whom shall be a social worker with experience in the mental health field.

     No more than two (2) members of the board shall be appointed from any one (1) congressional district as presently constituted.

     Each member of the initial board shall serve for a term of years represented by the number of his congressional district; two (2) state at large members shall serve for a term of six (6) years; two (2) state at large members shall serve for a term of seven (7) years; subsequent appointments shall be for seven-year terms and the Governor shall fill any vacancy for the unexpired term.

     The board shall elect a chairman whose term of office shall be one (1) year and until his successor shall be elected.

     (2)  Each board member shall be entitled to a per diem as is authorized by law and all actual and necessary expenses, including mileage as provided by law, incurred in the discharge of official duties.

     (3)  The board shall hold regular meetings quarterly and such special meetings deemed necessary, except that no action shall be taken unless there is present a quorum of at least five (5) members.

     (4)  No board member may be appointed for more than two (2) terms.  For purposes of counting terms of any board member, when the term ends for any board member who is a member of the board as of the effective date of this act, the end of such term shall be considered the person's first term.  If any person who is a member of the board as of the effective date of this act is re-appointed after the expiration of his or her term, such succeeding term shall be considered the second term and such person shall not be re-appointed to the board.

     SECTION 5.  Section 41-19-31, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-19-31.  For the purpose of authorizing the establishment of mental illness and intellectual disability facilities and services in the State of Mississippi, the boards of supervisors of one or more counties are authorized to act singularly or as a group in the selection of a regional district by spreading upon their minutes by resolution such designation in conformity with this act.

     SECTION 6.  Section 41-19-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-19-33.  (1)  Each region so designated or established under Section 41-19-31 shall establish a regional commission to be composed of members appointed by the boards of supervisors of the various counties in the region.  Each regional commission shall employ or contract with a certified public accountant for the purpose of managing the finances of the commission.  The accountant shall provide an annual audit to the commission in addition to his or her other duties.  It shall be the duty of such regional commission to administer mental health/intellectual disability programs certified and required by the State Board of Mental Health and as specified in Section 41-4-1(2).  In addition, once designated and established as provided hereinabove, a regional commission shall have the following authority and shall pursue and promote the following general purposes:

          (a)  To establish, own, lease, acquire, construct, build, operate and maintain mental illness, mental health, intellectual disability, alcoholism and general rehabilitative facilities and services designed to serve the needs of the people of the region so designated, provided that the services supplied by the regional commissions shall include those services determined by the Department of Mental Health to be necessary and may include, in addition to the above, services for persons with developmental and learning disabilities; for persons suffering from narcotic addiction and problems of drug abuse and drug dependence; and for the aging as designated and certified by the Department of Mental Health.  Such regional mental health and intellectual disability commissions and other community service providers shall, on or before July 1 of each year, submit an annual operational plan to the Department of Mental Health for approval or disapproval based on the minimum standards and minimum required services established by the department for certification and itemize the services as specified in Section 41-4-1(2), including financial statements.  As part of the annual operation plan required by Section 41-4-7(h) submitted by any regional community mental health center or by any other reasonable certification deemed acceptable by the department, the community mental health center shall state those services specified in Section 41-4-1(2) that it will provide and also those services that it will not provide.  If the department finds deficiencies in the plan of any regional commission or community service provider based on the minimum standards and minimum required services established for certification, the department shall give the regional commission or community service provider a six-month probationary period to bring its standards and services up to the established minimum standards and minimum required services.  The regional commission or community service provider shall develop a sustainability business plan within thirty (30) days of being placed on probation, which shall be signed by all commissioners and shall include policies to address one or more of the following:  the deficiencies in programmatic services, clinical service staff expectations, timely and appropriate billing, processes to obtain credentialing for staff, monthly reporting processes, third-party financial reporting and any other required documentation as determined by the department.  After the six-month probationary period, if the department determines that the regional commission or community service provider still does not meet the minimum standards and minimum required services established for certification, the department may remove the certification of the commission or provider, and from and after July 1, 2011, the commission or provider shall be ineligible for state funds from Medicaid reimbursement or other funding sources for those services.  After the six-month probationary period, the Department of Mental Health may identify an appropriate community service provider to provide any core services in that county that are not provided by a community mental health center.  However, the department shall not offer reimbursement or other accommodations to a community service provider of core services that were not offered to the decertified community mental health center for the same or similar services.

          (b)  To provide facilities and services for the prevention of mental illness, mental disorders, developmental and learning disabilities, alcoholism, narcotic addiction, drug abuse, drug dependence and other related handicaps or problems (including the problems of the aging) among the people of the region so designated, and for the rehabilitation of persons suffering from such illnesses, disorders, handicaps or problems as designated and certified by the Department of Mental Health.

          (c)  To promote increased understanding of the problems of mental illness, intellectual disabilities, alcoholism, developmental and learning disabilities, narcotic addiction, drug abuse and drug dependence and other related problems (including the problems of the aging) by the people of the region, and also to promote increased understanding of the purposes and methods of the rehabilitation of persons suffering from such illnesses, disorders, handicaps or problems as designated and certified by the Department of Mental Health.

          (d)  To enter into contracts and to make such other arrangements as may be necessary, from time to time, with the United States government, the government of the State of Mississippi and such other agencies or governmental bodies as may be approved by and acceptable to the regional commission for the purpose of establishing, funding, constructing, operating and maintaining facilities and services for the care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons suffering from mental illness, an intellectual disability, alcoholism, developmental and learning disabilities, narcotic addiction, drug abuse, drug dependence and other illnesses, disorders, handicaps and problems (including the problems of the aging) as designated and certified by the Department of Mental Health.

          (e)  To enter into contracts and make such other arrangements as may be necessary with any and all private businesses, corporations, partnerships, proprietorships or other private agencies, whether organized for profit or otherwise, as may be approved by and acceptable to the regional commission for the purpose of establishing, funding, constructing, operating and maintaining facilities and services for the care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons suffering from mental illness, an intellectual disability, alcoholism, developmental and learning disabilities, narcotic addiction, drug abuse, drug dependence and other illnesses, disorders, handicaps and problems (including the problems of the aging) relating to minimum services established by the Department of Mental Health.

          (f)  To promote the general mental health of the people of the region.

          (g)  To pay the administrative costs of the operation of the regional commissions, including per diem for the members of the commission and its employees, attorney's fees, if and when such are required in the opinion of the commission, and such other expenses of the commission as may be necessary.  The Department of Mental Health standards and audit rules shall determine what administrative cost figures shall consist of for the purposes of this paragraph.  Each regional commission shall submit a cost report annually to the Department of Mental Health in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the department.

          (h)  To employ and compensate any personnel that may be necessary to effectively carry out the programs and services established under the provisions of the aforesaid act, provided such person meets the standards established by the Department of Mental Health.

          (i)  To acquire whatever hazard, casualty or workers' compensation insurance that may be necessary for any property, real or personal, owned, leased or rented by the commissions, or any employees or personnel hired by the commissions.

          (j)  To acquire professional liability insurance on all employees as may be deemed necessary and proper by the commission, and to pay, out of the funds of the commission, all premiums due and payable on account thereof.

          (k)  To provide and finance within their own facilities, or through agreements or contracts with other local, state or federal agencies or institutions, nonprofit corporations, or political subdivisions or representatives thereof, programs and services for persons with mental illness, including treatment for alcoholics, and promulgating and administering of programs to combat drug abuse and programs for services for persons with an intellectual disability.

          (l)  To borrow money from private lending institutions in order to promote any of the foregoing purposes.  A commission may pledge collateral, including real estate, to secure the repayment of money borrowed under the authority of this paragraph.  Any such borrowing undertaken by a commission shall be on terms and conditions that are prudent in the sound judgment of the members of the commission, and the interest on any such loan shall not exceed the amount specified in Section 75-17-105.  Any money borrowed, debts incurred or other obligations undertaken by a commission, regardless of whether borrowed, incurred or undertaken before or after March 15, 1995, shall be valid, binding and enforceable if it or they are borrowed, incurred or undertaken for any purpose specified in this section and otherwise conform to the requirements of this paragraph.

          (m)  To acquire, own and dispose of real and personal property.  Any real and personal property paid for with state and/or county appropriated funds must have the written approval of the Department of Mental Health and/or the county board of supervisors, depending on the original source of funding, before being disposed of under this paragraph.

          (n)  To enter into managed care contracts and make such other arrangements as may be deemed necessary or appropriate by the regional commission in order to participate in any managed care program.  Any such contract or arrangement affecting more than one (1) region must have prior written approval of the Department of Mental Health before being initiated and annually thereafter.

          (o)  To provide facilities and services on a discounted or capitated basis.  Any such action when affecting more than one (1) region must have prior written approval of the Department of Mental Health before being initiated and annually thereafter.

          (p)  To enter into contracts, agreements or other arrangements with any person, payor, provider or other entity, under which the regional commission assumes financial risk for the provision or delivery of any services, when deemed to be necessary or appropriate by the regional commission.  Any action under this paragraph affecting more than one (1) region must have prior written approval of the Department of Mental Health before being initiated and annually thereafter.

          (q)  To provide direct or indirect funding, grants, financial support and assistance for any health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization or other managed care entity or contractor, where such organization, entity or contractor is operated on a nonprofit basis.  Any action under this paragraph affecting more than one (1) region must have prior written approval of the Department of Mental Health before being initiated and annually thereafter.

          (r)  To form, establish, operate, and/or be a member of or participant in, either individually or with one or more other regional commissions, any managed care entity as defined in Section 83-41-403(c).  Any action under this paragraph affecting more than one (1) region must have prior written approval of the Department of Mental Health before being initiated and annually thereafter.

          (s)  To meet at least annually with the board of supervisors of each county in its region for the purpose of presenting its total annual budget and total mental health/intellectual disability services system.  The commission shall submit an annual report on the adult mental health services, children mental health services and intellectual disability services required by the State Board of Mental Health.

          (t)  To provide alternative living arrangements for persons with serious mental illness, including, but not limited to, group homes for persons with chronic mental illness.

          (u)  To make purchases and enter into contracts for purchasing in compliance with the public purchasing law, Sections 31-7-12 and 31-7-13, with compliance with the public purchasing law subject to audit by the State Department of Audit.

          (v)  To ensure that all available funds are used for the benefit of persons with mental illness, persons with an intellectual disability, substance abusers and persons with developmental disabilities with maximum efficiency and minimum administrative cost.  At any time a regional commission, and/or other related organization whatever it may be, accumulates surplus funds in excess of one-half (1/2) of its annual operating budget, the entity must submit a plan to the Department of Mental Health stating the capital improvements or other projects that require such surplus accumulation.  If the required plan is not submitted within forty-five (45) days of the end of the applicable fiscal year, the Department of Mental Health shall withhold all state appropriated funds from such regional commission until such time as the capital improvement plan is submitted.  If the submitted capital improvement plan is not accepted by the department, the surplus funds shall be expended by the regional commission in the local mental health region on group homes for persons with mental illness, persons with an intellectual disability, substance abusers, children or other mental health/intellectual disability services approved by the Department of Mental Health.

          (w)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, to fingerprint and perform a criminal history record check on every employee or volunteer.  Every employee or volunteer shall provide a valid current social security number and/or driver's license number that will be furnished to conduct the criminal history record check.  If no disqualifying record is identified at the state level, fingerprints shall be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check.

          (x)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, each regional commission shall have the authority to create and operate a primary care health clinic to treat (i) its patients; and (ii) its patients' family members related within the third degree; and (iii) its patients' household members or caregivers, subject to the following requirements:

              (i)  The regional commission may employ and compensate any personnel necessary and must satisfy applicable state and federal laws and regulations regarding the administration and operation of a primary care health clinic.

              (ii)  A Mississippi licensed physician must be employed or under agreement with the regional commission to provide medical direction and/or to carry out the physician responsibilities as described under applicable state and/or federal law and regulations.

              (iii)  The physician providing medical direction for the primary care clinic shall not be certified solely in psychiatry.

              (iv)  A sliding fee scale may be used by the regional commission when no other payer source is identified.

              (v)  The regional commission must ensure services will be available and accessible promptly and in a manner that preserves human dignity and assures continuity of care.

               (vi)  The regional commission must provide a semiannual report to the Chairmen of the Public Health Committees in both the House of Representatives and Senate.  At a minimum, for each reporting period, these reports shall describe the number of patients provided primary care services, the types of services provided, and the payer source for the patients.  Except for patient information and any other information that may be exempt from disclosure under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Mississippi Public Records Act, the reports shall be considered public records.

              (vii)  The regional commission must employ or contract with a core clinical staff that is multidisciplinary and culturally and linguistically competent.

              (viii)  The regional commission must ensure that its physician as described in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (x) has admitting privileges at one or more local hospitals or has an agreement with a physician who has admitting privileges at one or more local hospitals to ensure continuity of care.

               (ix)  The regional commission must provide an independent financial audit report to the State Department of Mental Health and, except for patient information and any other information that may be exempt from disclosure under HIPAA and the Mississippi Public Records Act, the audit report shall be considered a public record.

     For the purposes of this paragraph (x), the term "caregiver" means an individual who has the principal and primary responsibility for caring for a child or dependent adult, especially in the home setting.

          (y)  In general to take any action which will promote, either directly or indirectly, any and all of the foregoing purposes.

          (z)  All regional commissioners shall receive new orientation training and annual training with continuing education regarding the Mississippi mental health system and services as developed by the State Department of Mental Health.  Training shall be provided at the expense of the department except for travel expenses which shall be paid by the regional commission.

     (2)  The types of services established by the State Department of Mental Health that must be provided by the regional mental health/intellectual disability centers for certification by the department, and the minimum levels and standards for those services established by the department, shall be provided by the regional mental health/intellectual disability centers to children when such services are appropriate for children, in the determination of the department.

     (3)  Each regional commission shall compile quarterly financial statements and status reports from each individual community health center.  The compiled reports shall be submitted to the coordinator quarterly.  The reports shall contain a:

          (a)  Balance sheet;

          (b)  Statement of operations;

          (c)  Statement of cash flows; and

          (d)  Description of the status of individual community health center's actions taken to increase access to and availability of community mental health services.

     SECTION 7.  Section 41-19-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-19-35.  (1)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the board of supervisors of each participating county in the program shall appoint one (1) member to represent its county on the regional commission in its respective region for a term of four (4) years who shall serve at the will and pleasure of the appointing board of supervisors.  At least one (1) county board of supervisors shall appoint its county chancery clerk; and at least one (1) county board of supervisors shall appoint its sheriff.  Any compensation of such members shall be paid by the regional commission, in its discretion, from any funds available.  Each member of the commission shall attend the orientation training for new commissioners and the annual training for all commissioners held by the Department of Mental Health.  The Department of Mental Health shall notify the board of supervisors when a commissioner does not attend either the orientation training or annual training.  Upon notice from the Department of Mental Health that a commissioner has failed to attend the required meetings, the appointing board of supervisors shall remove the commissioner.  

     (2)  Beginning on July 1, 2023, each regional commission consisting of only two (2) counties that border the State of Alabama shall be comprised of five (5) members.  The board of supervisors of each participating county described under this subsection (2) shall appoint two (2) members to represent its respective county on the commission, and one (1) additional member shall be appointed by the board of supervisors of the county having the largest population according to the latest federal decennial census.  Appointees to the regional commission under this subsection shall serve for a term of four (4) years at the will and pleasure of the appointing board of supervisors.  All provisions of subsection (1) regarding training, notification by the Department of Mental Health and the removal of appointees shall apply to the regional commissioners appointed under the provisions of this subsection (2).  Any compensation of such members shall be paid by the regional commission, in its discretion, from any available funds under the same conditions as all others commissioners under this chapter.

     SECTION 8.  Section 41-21-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-21-63.  (1)  No person, other than persons charged with a crime of violence as defined by Section 97-3-2, shall be committed to a public treatment facility except under the provisions of Sections 41-21-61 through 41-21-107 or 43-21-611 or 43-21-315.  However, nothing herein shall be construed to repeal, alter or otherwise affect the provisions of Section 35-5-31 or to affect or prevent the commitment of persons to the Veterans Administration or other agency of the United States under the provisions of and in the manner specified in those sections.

     (2)  (a)  The chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, shall have jurisdiction under Sections 41-21-61 through 41-21-107 except over persons with unresolved felony charges that are listed as crimes of violence under Section 97-3-2, unless paragraph (b) of this subsection applies.

          (b)  If a circuit court with jurisdiction over unresolved felony charges enters an order concluding that the person is incompetent to stand trial and is not restorable to competency in the foreseeable future, the matter should be referred to the chancery court to be subject to civil commitment procedures under Sections 41-21-61 through 41-21-107.  The order of the circuit court shall be in lieu of the affidavit for commitment provided in Section 41-21-65.  The chancery court shall have jurisdiction and shall proceed with civil commitment procedures under Section 41-21-61 through 41-21-107.

     (3)  The circuit court shall have jurisdiction under Sections 99-13-7, 99-13-9 and 99-13-11.

     (4)  Before the release of a person referred for civil commitment under this section and committed under Sections 41-21-61 through 41-21-107, the Department of Mental Health must notify the district attorney of the county where the offense was committed.  The district attorney must notify the crime victim or a family member who has requested notification under Section 99-43-35 and the sheriffs of both the county where the offense was committed and the county of the committed person's destination.

     SECTION 9.  Section 41-21-67, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-21-67.  (1)  Whenever the affidavit provided for in Section 41-21-65 is filed with the chancery clerk, the clerk, upon direction of the chancellor of the court, shall issue a writ directed to the sheriff of the proper county to take into custody the person alleged to be in need of treatment and to take the person for pre-evaluation screening and treatment by the appropriate community mental health center established under Section 41-19-31.  The community mental health center will be designated as the first point of entry for pre-evaluation screening and treatment.  If the community mental health center is unavailable, * * *any a reputable licensed physician, psychologist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant * * *, as allowed in the discretion of the court, that has been certified by the Department of Mental Health to perform pre-evaluation screening may conduct the pre-evaluation screening and examination as set forth in Section 41-21-69.  The * * * order writ may provide where the person shall be held * * *before being taken for pre-evaluation * * * screening and treatment and examination.  However, when the affidavit fails to set forth factual allegations and witnesses sufficient to support the need for treatment, the chancellor shall refuse to direct issuance of the writ.  Reapplication may be made to the chancellor.  If a pauper's affidavit is filed by an affiant who is a guardian or conservator of a person in need of treatment, the court shall determine if either the affiant or the person in need of treatment is a pauper and if * * *, the affiant or the person in need of treatment is determined to be a pauper, the county of the residence of the respondent shall bear the costs of the commitment proceedings in court, unless funds for those purposes are made available by the state.

     In any county in which a Crisis Intervention Team has been established under the provisions of Sections 41-21-131 through 41-21-143, the clerk, upon the direction of the chancellor, may require that the person be referred to the Crisis Intervention Team for appropriate psychiatric or other medical services before the issuance of the writ.

     (2)  Upon issuance of the writ, the chancellor shall immediately appoint and summon two (2) reputable, licensed physicians or one (1) reputable, licensed physician and either one (1) psychologist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant to conduct a physical and mental examination of the person at a place to be designated by the clerk or chancellor and to report their findings to the clerk or chancellor.  However, any nurse practitioner or physician assistant conducting the examination shall be independent from, and not under the supervision of, the other physician conducting the examination.  A nurse practitioner or psychiatric nurse practitioner conducting an examination under this chapter must be functioning within a collaborative or consultative relationship with a physician as required under Section 73-15-20(3).  In all counties in which there is a county health officer, the county health officer, if available, may be one (1) of the physicians so appointed.  If a licensed physician is not available to conduct the physical and mental examination within forty-eight (48) hours of the issuance of the writ, the court, in its discretion and upon good cause shown, may permit the examination to be conducted by the following:  (a) * * *two (2) nurse practitioners, one (1) * * *of whom must be a psychiatric nurse practitioner * * *; or (b) one (1) psychiatric nurse practitioner and; one (1) psychologist or one (1) physician assistant.  Neither of the physicians nor the psychologist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant selected shall be related to that person in any way, nor have any direct or indirect interest in the estate of that person nor shall any full-time staff of residential treatment facilities operated directly by the State Department of Mental Health serve as examiner.

     (3)  The clerk shall ascertain whether the respondent is represented by an attorney, and if it is determined that the respondent does not have an attorney, the clerk shall immediately notify the chancellor of that fact.  If the chancellor determines that the respondent for any reason does not have the services of an attorney, the chancellor shall immediately appoint an attorney for the respondent at the time the examiners are appointed.

     (4)  (a)  If the chancellor determines that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent is mentally ill and that there is no reasonable alternative to detention, the chancellor may order that the respondent be retained as an emergency patient at any licensed medical facility for evaluation by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant and that a peace officer transport the respondent to the specified facility.  If the community mental health center serving the county has partnered with Crisis Intervention Teams under the provisions of Sections 41-21-131 through 41-21-143, the order may specify that the licensed medical facility be a designated single point of entry within the county or within an adjacent county served by the community mental health center.  If the person evaluating the respondent finds that the respondent is mentally ill and in need of treatment, the chancellor may order that the respondent be retained at the licensed medical facility or any other available suitable location as the court may so designate pending an admission hearing.  If necessary, the chancellor may order a peace officer or other person to transport the respondent to that facility or suitable location.  Any respondent so retained may be given such treatment as is indicated by standard medical practice.  However, the respondent shall not be held in a hospital operated directly by the State Department of Mental Health, and shall not be held in jail unless the court finds that there is no reasonable alternative.

     The respondent's status as an indigent or pauper shall not constitute sufficient grounds for the court to find that there is no reasonable alternative for the respondent to be held in jail.

          (b)  (i)  For indigent patients with no payor source or without payor coverage before a chancellor's determination concerning psychiatric treatment, the respondent's county of residence may bear the costs of prehearing placement or detention provided by a licensed medical facility pursuant to an agreed upon fee schedule with the licensed medical facility.  In the absence of an agreed upon fee schedule, the respondent's county of residence may pay for the cost of placement or detention in an amount no greater than the applicable reimbursement rate based on the Mississippi Medicaid reimbursement rate or schedule, and the county shall not be liable for any costs that exceed the Mississippi Medicaid reimbursement rate or schedule.

              (ii)  For indigent respondents with no payor source or without payor coverage where the chancellor has determined that the respondent is in need of psychiatric treatment and no State Department of Mental Health beds or community mental health center crisis stabilization beds are available, the respondent's county of residence shall bear the costs of treatment at an amount negotiated with the treatment facilities, but the county shall not be liable for any costs that exceed the Mississippi Medicaid reimbursement rate or schedule.

     (5)  (a)  Whenever a licensed psychologist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant who is certified to complete examinations for the purpose of commitment or a licensed physician has reason to believe that a person poses an immediate substantial likelihood of physical harm to himself or others or is gravely disabled and unable to care for himself by virtue of mental illness, as defined in Section 41-21-61(e), then the physician, psychologist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant may hold the person or may admit the person to and treat the person in a licensed medical facility, without a civil order or warrant for a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours.  However, if the seventy-two-hour period begins or ends when the chancery clerk's office is closed, or within three (3) hours of closing, and the chancery clerk's office will be continuously closed for a time that exceeds seventy-two (72) hours, then the seventy-two-hour period is extended until the end of the next business day that the chancery clerk's office is open.  The person may be held and treated as an emergency patient at any licensed medical facility, available regional mental health facility, or crisis intervention center.  The physician or psychologist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant who holds the person shall certify in writing the reasons for the need for holding.

     If a person is being held and treated in a licensed medical facility, and that person decides to continue treatment by voluntarily signing consent for admission and treatment, the seventy-two-hour hold may be discontinued without filing an affidavit for commitment.  Any respondent so held may be given such treatment as indicated by standard medical practice.  Persons acting in good faith in connection with the detention and reporting of a person believed to be mentally ill shall incur no liability, civil or criminal, for those acts.

          (b)  Whenever an individual is held for purposes of receiving treatment as prescribed under paragraph (a) of this subsection, and it is communicated to the mental health professional holding the individual that the individual resides or has visitation rights with a minor child, and if the individual is considered to be a danger to the minor child, the mental health professional shall notify the Department of Child Protection Services prior to discharge if the threat of harm continues to exist, as is required under Section 43-21-353.

     This paragraph (b) shall be known and may be cited as the "Andrew Lloyd Law."

     SECTION 10.  Section 41-21-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-21-77.  (1)  If admission is ordered at a treatment facility, the sheriff, his or her deputy or any other person appointed or authorized by the court shall immediately deliver the respondent to the director of the appropriate facility.  Neither the Board of Mental Health or its members, nor the Department of Mental Health or its related facilities, nor any employee of the Department of Mental Health or its related facilities, shall be appointed, authorized or ordered to deliver the respondent for treatment, and no person shall be so delivered or admitted until the director of the admitting institution determines that facilities and services are available.  Persons who have been ordered committed and are awaiting admission may be given any such treatment in the facility by a licensed physician as is indicated by standard medical practice.  Any county facility used for providing housing, maintenance and medical treatment for involuntarily committed persons pending their transportation and admission to a state treatment facility shall be certified by the State Department of Mental Health under the provisions of Section 41-4-7(kk).  No person shall be delivered or admitted to any non-Department of Mental Health treatment facility unless the treatment facility is licensed and/or certified to provide the appropriate level of psychiatric care for persons with mental illness.  It is the intent of this Legislature that county-owned hospitals work with regional community mental health/intellectual disability centers in providing care to local patients.  The clerk shall provide the director of the admitting institution with a certified copy of the court order, a certified copy of the appointed examiners' certificates, a certified copy of the affidavit, and any other information available concerning the physical and mental condition of the respondent.  Upon notification from the United States Veterans Administration or other agency of the United States government, that facilities are available and the respondent is eligible for care and treatment in those facilities, the court may enter an order for delivery of the respondent to or retention by the Veterans Administration or other agency of the United States government, and, in those cases the chief officer to whom the respondent is so delivered or by whom he is retained shall, with respect to the respondent, be vested with the same powers as the director of the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, or the East Mississippi State Hospital at Meridian, with respect to retention and discharge of the respondent.

     (2)  (a)  When admission to a treatment facility is ordered by the court, the chancery clerk shall make record of the admission.  Each chancery clerk shall maintain a record of the number of persons ordered by the court to be admitted to a treatment facility, the number of hearings held by the court to determine whether a person should be admitted to a treatment facility and the number of affidavits filed to admit a person to a treatment facility under Section 41-21-61 etc.

          (b)  The chancery clerk shall maintain a record each time such clerk receives a denial for admission to a community mental health center crisis stabilization bed, the reason provided to the clerk for such denial, and the subsequent action taken by the clerk upon receiving the denial. 

          (c)  Each chancery clerk shall provide the records required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (2) to the Department of Mental Health by January 1 of each year.  Within sixty (60) days of receipt of the chancery clerk records, the Department of Mental Health shall provide a summary to the Chairpersons of the Appropriations, Public Health and Judiciary A and B Committees for the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Mississippi Senate.

     SECTION 11.  Section 41-4-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-4-7.  The State Board of Mental Health shall have the following powers and duties:

          (a)  To appoint a full-time Executive Director of the Department of Mental Health, who shall be employed by the board and shall serve as executive secretary to the board.  The first director shall be a duly licensed physician with special interest and competence in psychiatry, and shall possess a minimum of three (3) years' experience in clinical and administrative psychiatry.  Subsequent directors shall possess at least a master's degree or its equivalent, and shall possess at least ten (10) years' administrative experience in the field of mental health.  The salary of the executive director shall be determined by the board;

          (b)  To appoint a Medical Director for the Department of Mental Health.  The medical director shall provide clinical oversight in the implementation of evidence-based and best practices; provide clinical leadership in the integration of mental health, intellectual disability and addiction services with community partners in the public and private sectors; and provide oversight regarding standards of care.  The medical director shall serve at the will and pleasure of the board, and will undergo an annual review of job performance and future service to the department;

          (c)  To * * *cooperate with the Strategic Planning and Best Practices Committee created in Section 41‑4‑10, Mississippi Code of 1972, in establishing and implementing establish and implement its state strategic plan;

          (d)  To develop a strategic plan for the development of services for persons with mental illness, persons with developmental disabilities and other clients of the public mental health system.  Such strategic planning program shall require that the board, acting through the Strategic Planning and Best Practices Committee, perform the following functions respecting the delivery of services:

              (i)  Establish measures for determining the efficiency and effectiveness of the services specified in Section 41-4-1(2);

              (ii)  Conducting studies of community-based care in other jurisdictions to determine which services offered in these jurisdictions have the potential to provide the citizens of Mississippi with more effective and efficient community-based care;

              (iii)  Evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of the services specified in Section 41-4-1(2);

              (iv)  Recommending to the Legislature by January 1, 2014, any necessary additions, deletions or other changes necessary to the services specified in Section 41-4-1(2);

              (v)  Implementing by July 1, 2012, a system of performance measures for the services specified in Section 41-4-1(2);

              (vi)  Recommending to the Legislature any changes that the department believes are necessary to the current laws addressing civil commitment;

               (vii)  Conducting any other activities necessary to the evaluation and study of the services specified in Section 41-4-1(2);

              (viii)  Assisting in conducting all necessary strategic planning for the delivery of all other services of the department.  Such planning shall be conducted so as to produce a single strategic plan for the services delivered by the public mental health system and shall establish appropriate mission statements, goals, objectives and performance indicators for all programs and services of the public mental health system.  For services other than those specified in Section 41-4-1(2), the committee shall recommend to the State Board of Mental Health a strategic plan that the board may adopt or modify;

          (e)  To set up state plans for the purpose of controlling and treating any and all forms of mental and emotional illness, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities;

          (f)  [Repealed]

          (g)  To enter into contracts 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;

          (h)  To collect reasonable fees for its services; however, if it is determined that a person receiving services is unable to pay the total fee, the department shall collect any amount such person is able to pay;

          (i)  To certify, coordinate and establish minimum standards and establish minimum required services, as specified in Section 41-4-1(2), for regional mental health and intellectual disability commissions and other community service providers for community or regional programs and services in adult mental health, children and youth mental health, intellectual disabilities, alcoholism, drug misuse, developmental disabilities, compulsive gambling, addictive disorders and related programs throughout the state.  Such regional mental health and intellectual disability commissions and other community service providers shall, on or before July 1 of each year, submit an annual operational plan to the State Department of Mental Health for approval or disapproval based on the minimum standards and minimum required services established by the department for certification and itemize the services specified in Section 41-4-1(2), including financial statements.  As part of the annual operation plan required by this paragraph (i) submitted by any regional community mental health center or by any other reasonable certification deemed acceptable by the department, the community mental health center shall state those services specified in Section 41-4-1(2) that it will provide and also those services that it will not provide.  If the department finds deficiencies in the plan of any regional commission or community service provider based on the minimum standards and minimum required services established for certification, the department shall give the regional commission or community service provider a six-month probationary period to bring its standards and services up to the established minimum standards and minimum required services.  The regional commission or community service provider shall develop a sustainability business plan within thirty (30) days of being placed on probation, which shall be signed by all commissioners and shall include policies to address one or more of the following:  the deficiencies in programmatic services, clinical service staff expectations, timely and appropriate billing, processes to obtain credentialing for staff, monthly reporting processes, third-party financial reporting and any other required documentation as determined by the department.  After the six-month probationary period, if the department determines that the regional commission or community service provider still does not meet the minimum standards and minimum required services established for certification, the department may remove the certification of the commission or provider and from and after July 1, 2011, the commission or provider shall be ineligible for state funds from Medicaid reimbursement or other funding sources for those services.  However, the department shall not mandate a standard or service, or decertify a regional commission or community service provider for not meeting a standard or service, if the standard or service does not have funding appropriated by the Legislature or have a state, federal or local funding source identified by the department.  No county shall be required to levy millage to provide a mandated standard or service above the minimum rate required by Section 41-19-39.  After the six-month probationary period, the department may identify an appropriate community service provider to provide any core services in that county that are not provided by a community mental health center.  However, the department shall not offer reimbursement or other accommodations to a community service provider of core services that were not offered to the decertified community mental health center for the same or similar services.  The State Board of Mental Health shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this paragraph (i), in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Law (Section 25-43-1.101 et seq.);

          (j)  To establish and promulgate reasonable minimum standards for the construction and operation of state and all Department of Mental Health certified facilities, including reasonable minimum standards for the admission, diagnosis, care, treatment, transfer of patients and their records, and also including reasonable minimum standards for providing day care, outpatient care, emergency care, inpatient care and follow-up care, when such care is provided for persons with mental or emotional illness, an intellectual disability, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities;

          (k)  To implement best practices for all services specified in Section 41-4-1(2), and to establish and implement all other services delivered by the Department of Mental Health.  To carry out this responsibility, the board shall require the department to establish a division responsible for developing best practices based on a comprehensive analysis of the mental health environment to determine what the best practices for each service are.  In developing best practices, the board shall consider the cost and benefits associated with each practice with a goal of implementing only those practices that are cost-effective practices for service delivery.  Such best practices shall be utilized by the board in establishing performance standards and evaluations of the community mental health centers' services required by paragraph (d) of this section;

          (l)  To assist community or regional programs consistent with the purposes of this chapter by making grants and contracts from available funds;

          (m)  To establish and collect reasonable fees for necessary inspection services incidental to certification or compliance;

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

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

          (p)  To serve as the single state agency in receiving and administering any and all funds available from any source for the purpose of service delivery, training, research and education in regard to all forms of mental illness, intellectual disabilities, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities, unless such funds are specifically designated to a particular agency or institution by the federal government, the Mississippi Legislature or any other grantor;

          (q)  To establish mental health holding centers for the purpose of providing short-term emergency mental health treatment,  places for holding persons awaiting commitment proceedings or awaiting placement in a state mental health facility following commitment, and for diverting placement in a state mental health facility.  These mental health holding facilities shall be readily accessible, available statewide, and be in compliance with emergency services' minimum standards.  They shall be comprehensive and available to triage and make appropriate clinical disposition, including the capability to access inpatient services or less restrictive alternatives, as needed, as determined by medical staff.  Such facility shall have medical, nursing and behavioral services available on a twenty-four-hour-a-day basis.  The board may provide for all or part of the costs of establishing and operating the holding centers in each district from such funds as may be appropriated to the board for such use, and may participate in any plan or agreement with any public or private entity under which the entity will provide all or part of the costs of establishing and operating a holding center in any district;

          (r)  To certify/license case managers, mental health therapists, intellectual disability therapists, mental health/intellectual disability program administrators, addiction counselors and others as deemed appropriate by the board.  Persons already professionally licensed by another state board or agency are not required to be certified/licensed under this section by the Department of Mental Health.  The department shall not use professional titles in its certification/licensure process for which there is an independent licensing procedure.  Such certification/licensure shall be valid only in the state mental health system, in programs funded and/or certified by the Department of Mental Health, and/or in programs certified/licensed by the State Department of Health that are operated by the state mental health system serving persons with mental illness, an intellectual disability, a developmental disability or addictions, and shall not be transferable;

          (s)  To develop formal mental health worker qualifications for regional mental health and intellectual disability commissions and other community service providers.  The State Personnel Board shall develop and promulgate a recommended salary scale and career ladder for all regional mental health/intellectual disability center therapists and case managers who work directly with clients.  The State Personnel Board shall also develop and promulgate a career ladder for all direct care workers employed by the State Department of Mental Health;

          (t)  The employees of the department shall be governed by personnel merit system rules and regulations, the same as other employees in state services;

          (u)  To establish such rules and regulations as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, including the establishment of a formal grievance procedure to investigate and attempt to resolve consumer complaints;

          (v)  To grant easements for roads, utilities and any other purpose it finds to be in the public interest;

          (w)  To survey statutory designations, building markers and the names given to mental health/intellectual disability facilities and proceedings in order to recommend deletion of obsolete and offensive terminology relative to the mental health/intellectual disability system.  Based upon a recommendation of the executive director, the board shall have the authority to name/rename any facility operated under the auspices of the Department of Mental Health for the sole purpose of deleting such terminology;

          (x)  To ensure an effective case management system directed at persons who have been discharged from state and private psychiatric hospitals to ensure their continued well-being in the community;

          (y)  To develop formal service delivery standards designed to measure the quality of services delivered to community clients, as well as the timeliness of services to community clients provided by regional mental health/intellectual disability commissions and other community services providers;

          (z)  To establish regional state offices to provide mental health crisis intervention centers and services available throughout the state to be utilized on a case-by-case emergency basis.  The regional services director, other staff and delivery systems shall meet the minimum standards of the Department of Mental Health;

          (aa)  To require performance contracts with community mental health/intellectual disability service providers to contain performance indicators to measure successful outcomes, including diversion of persons from inpatient psychiatric hospitals, rapid/timely response to emergency cases, client satisfaction with services and other relevant performance measures;

          (bb)  To enter into interagency agreements with other state agencies, school districts and other local entities as determined necessary by the department to ensure that local mental health service entities are fulfilling their responsibilities to the overall state plan for behavioral services;

          (cc)  To establish and maintain a toll-free grievance reporting telephone system for the receipt and referral for investigation of all complaints by clients of state and community mental health/intellectual disability facilities;

          (dd)  To establish a peer review/quality assurance evaluation system that assures that appropriate assessment, diagnosis and treatment is provided according to established professional criteria and guidelines;

          (ee)  To develop and implement state plans for the purpose of assisting with the care and treatment of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.  This plan shall include education and training of service providers, caregivers in the home setting and others who deal with persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, and development of adult day care, family respite care and counseling programs to assist families who maintain persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia in the home setting.  No agency shall be required to provide any services under this section until such time as sufficient funds have been appropriated or otherwise made available by the Legislature specifically for the purposes of the treatment of persons with Alzheimer's and other dementia;

          (ff)  Working with the advice and consent of the administration of Ellisville State School, to enter into negotiations with the Economic Development Authority of Jones County for the purpose of negotiating the possible exchange, lease or sale of lands owned by Ellisville State School to the Economic Development Authority of Jones County.  It is the intent of the Mississippi Legislature that such negotiations shall ensure that the financial interest of the persons with an intellectual disability served by Ellisville State School will be held paramount in the course of these negotiations.  The Legislature also recognizes the importance of economic development to the citizens of the State of Mississippi and Jones County, and encourages fairness to the Economic Development Authority of Jones County.  Any negotiations proposed which would result in the recommendation for exchange, lease or sale of lands owned by Ellisville State School must have the approval of the State Board of Mental Health.  The State Board of Mental Health may and has the final authority as to whether or not these negotiations result in the exchange, lease or sale of the properties it currently holds in trust for persons with an intellectual disability served at Ellisville State School.

     If the State Board of Mental Health authorizes the sale of lands owned by Ellisville State School, as provided for under this paragraph (ff), the monies derived from the sale shall be placed into a special fund that is created in the State Treasury to be known as the "Ellisville State School Client's Trust Fund."  The principal of the trust fund shall remain inviolate and shall never be expended.  Any interest earned on the principal may be expended solely for the benefits of clients served at Ellisville State School.  The State Treasurer shall invest the monies of the trust fund in any of the investments authorized for the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program under Section 37-155-9, and those investments shall be subject to the limitations prescribed by Section 37-155-9.  Unexpended amounts remaining in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the trust fund shall be deposited to the credit of the trust fund.  The administration of Ellisville State School may use any interest earned on the principal of the trust fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, as needed for services or facilities by the clients of Ellisville State School.  Ellisville State School shall make known to the Legislature, through the Legislative Budget Committee and the respective Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate, its proposed use of interest earned on the principal of the trust fund for any fiscal year in which it proposes to make expenditures thereof.  The State Treasurer shall provide Ellisville State School with an annual report on the Ellisville State School Client's Trust Fund to indicate the total monies in the trust fund, interest earned during the year, expenses paid from the trust fund and such other related information.

     Nothing in this section shall be construed as applying to or affecting mental health/intellectual disability services provided by hospitals as defined in Section 41-9-3(a), and/or their subsidiaries and divisions, which hospitals, subsidiaries and divisions are licensed and regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Health unless such hospitals, subsidiaries or divisions voluntarily request certification by the Mississippi State Department of Mental Health.

     All new programs authorized under this section shall be subject to the availability of funds appropriated therefor by the Legislature;

          (gg)  Working with the advice and consent of the administration of Boswell Regional Center, to enter into negotiations with the Economic Development Authority of Simpson County for the purpose of negotiating the possible exchange, lease or sale of lands owned by Boswell Regional Center to the Economic Development Authority of Simpson County.  It is the intent of the Mississippi Legislature that such negotiations shall ensure that the financial interest of the persons with an intellectual disability served by Boswell Regional Center will be held paramount in the course of these negotiations.  The Legislature also recognizes the importance of economic development to the citizens of the State of Mississippi and Simpson County, and encourages fairness to the Economic Development Authority of Simpson County.  Any negotiations proposed which would result in the recommendation for exchange, lease or sale of lands owned by Boswell Regional Center must have the approval of the State Board of Mental Health.  The State Board of Mental Health may and has the final authority as to whether or not these negotiations result in the exchange, lease or sale of the properties it currently holds in trust for persons with an intellectual disability served at Boswell Regional Center.  In any such exchange, lease or sale of such lands owned by Boswell Regional Center, title to all minerals, oil and gas on such lands shall be reserved, together with the right of ingress and egress to remove same, whether such provisions be included in the terms of any such exchange, lease or sale or not.

     If the State Board of Mental Health authorizes the sale of lands owned by Boswell Regional Center, as provided for under this paragraph (gg), the monies derived from the sale shall be placed into a special fund that is created in the State Treasury to be known as the "Boswell Regional Center Client's Trust Fund."  The principal of the trust fund shall remain inviolate and shall never be expended.  Any earnings on the principal may be expended solely for the benefits of clients served at Boswell Regional Center.  The State Treasurer shall invest the monies of the trust fund in any of the investments authorized for the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program under Section 37-155-9, and those investments shall be subject to the limitations prescribed by Section 37-155-9.  Unexpended amounts remaining in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any earnings on amounts in the trust fund shall be deposited to the credit of the trust fund.  The administration of Boswell Regional Center may use any earnings on the principal of the trust fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, as needed for services or facilities by the clients of Boswell Regional Center.  Boswell Regional Center shall make known to the Legislature, through the Legislative Budget Committee and the respective Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate, its proposed use of the earnings on the principal of the trust fund for any fiscal year in which it proposes to make expenditures thereof.  The State Treasurer shall provide Boswell Regional Center with an annual report on the Boswell Regional Center Client's Trust Fund to indicate the total monies in the trust fund, interest and other income earned during the year, expenses paid from the trust fund and such other related information.

     Nothing in this section shall be construed as applying to or affecting mental health/intellectual disability services provided by hospitals as defined in Section 41-9-3(a), and/or their subsidiaries and divisions, which hospitals, subsidiaries and divisions are licensed and regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Health unless such hospitals, subsidiaries or divisions voluntarily request certification by the Mississippi State Department of Mental Health.

     All new programs authorized under this section shall be subject to the availability of funds appropriated therefor by the Legislature;

          (hh)  Notwithstanding any other section of the code, the Board of Mental Health shall be authorized to fingerprint and perform a criminal history record check on every employee or volunteer.  Every employee and volunteer shall provide a valid current social security number and/or driver's license number which shall be furnished to conduct the criminal history record check.  If no disqualifying record is identified at the state level, fingerprints shall be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check;

          (ii)  The Department of Mental Health shall have the authority for the development of a consumer friendly single point of intake and referral system within its service areas for persons with mental illness, an intellectual disability, developmental disabilities or alcohol or substance abuse who need assistance identifying or accessing appropriate services.  The department will develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation procedure ensuring that, where appropriate, the affected person or their parent or legal guardian will be involved in the assessment and planning process.  The department, as the point of intake and as service provider, shall have the authority to determine the appropriate institutional, hospital or community care setting for persons who have been diagnosed with mental illness, an intellectual disability, developmental disabilities and/or alcohol or substance abuse, and may provide for the least restrictive placement if the treating professional believes such a setting is appropriate, if the person affected or their parent or legal guardian wants such services, and if the department can do so with a reasonable modification of the program without creating a fundamental alteration of the program.  The least restrictive setting could be an institution, hospital or community setting, based upon the needs of the affected person or their parent or legal guardian;

          (jj)  To have the sole power and discretion to enter into, sign, execute and deliver long-term or multiyear leases of real and personal property owned by the Department of Mental Health to and from other state and federal agencies and private entities deemed to be in the public's best interest.  Any monies derived from such leases shall be deposited into the funds of the Department of Mental Health for its exclusive use.  Leases to private entities shall be approved by the Department of Finance and Administration and all leases shall be filed with the Secretary of State;

          (kk)  To certify and establish minimum standards and minimum required services for county facilities used for housing, feeding and providing medical treatment for any person who has been involuntarily ordered admitted to a treatment center by a court of competent jurisdiction.  The minimum standard for the initial assessment of those persons being housed in county facilities is for the assessment to be performed by a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, or by a nurse practitioner, preferably a psychiatric nurse practitioner.  If the department finds deficiencies in any such county facility or its provider based on the minimum standards and minimum required services established for certification, the department shall give the county or its provider a six-month probationary period to bring its standards and services up to the established minimum standards and minimum required services.  After the six-month probationary period, if the department determines that the county or its provider still does not meet the minimum standards and minimum required services, the department may remove the certification of the county or provider and require the county to contract with another county having a certified facility to hold those persons for that period of time pending transportation and admission to a state treatment facility.  Any cost incurred by a county receiving an involuntarily committed person from a county with a decertified holding facility shall be reimbursed by the home county to the receiving county; and

          (ll)  To provide orientation training to all new commissioners of regional commissions and annual training for all commissioners with continuing education regarding the Mississippi mental health system and services as developed by the State Department of Mental Health.  Training shall be provided at the expense of the department except for travel expenses which shall be paid by the regional commission.

     SECTION 12.  Section 41-21-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     41-21-69.  (1)  (a)  The appointed examiners shall immediately make a full inquiry into the condition of the person alleged to be in need of treatment and shall make a mental examination and physical evaluation of the person, and each examiner must make a report and certificate of the findings of all mental and acute physical problems to the clerk of the court.  Each report and certificate must set forth the facts as found by the appointed examiner and must state whether the examiner is of the opinion that the proposed patient is suffering a disability defined in Sections 41-21-61 through 41-21-107 and should be committed to a treatment facility.  The statement shall include the reasons for that opinion.  The examination may be based upon a history provided by the patient and the report and certificate of findings shall include an identification of all mental and physical problems identified by the examination.

          (b)  If the appointed examiner finds:  (i) the respondent has mental illness; (ii) the respondent is capable of surviving safely in the community with available supervision from family, friends or others; (iii) based on the respondent's treatment history and other applicable medical or psychiatric indicia, the respondent is in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would result in significant deterioration in the ability to carry out activities of daily living; and (iv) his or her current mental status or the nature of his or her illness limits or negates his or her ability to make an informed decision to seek voluntarily or comply with recommended treatment; the appointed examiners shall so show on the examination report and certification and shall recommend outpatient commitment.  The appointed examiners shall also show the name, address and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or facility.

     (2)  The examinations shall be conducted and concluded within forty-eight (48) hours after the order for examination and appointment of attorney, and the certificates of the appointed examiners shall be filed with the clerk of the court within that time, unless the running of that period extends into nonbusiness hours, in which event the certificates must be filed at the beginning of the next business day.  However, if the appointed examiners are of the opinion that additional time to complete the examination is necessary, and this fact is communicated to the chancery clerk or chancellor, the clerk or chancellor shall have authority to extend the time for completion of the examination and the filing of the certificate, the extension to be not more than eight (8) hours.

     (3)  At the beginning of the examination, the respondent shall be told in plain language of the purpose of the examination, the possible consequences of the examination, of his or her right to refuse to answer any questions, and his or her right to have his or her attorney present.

     SECTION 13.  Section 41-21-71, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     41-21-71.  If, as a result of the examination, the appointed examiners certify that the person is not in need of treatment, the chancellor or clerk shall dismiss the affidavit without the need for a further hearing.  If the chancellor or chancery clerk finds, based upon the appointed examiners' certificates and any other relevant evidence, that the respondent is in need of treatment and the certificates are filed with the chancery clerk within forty-eight (48) hours after the order for examination, or extension of that time as provided in Section 41-21-69, the clerk shall immediately set the matter for a hearing.  The hearing shall be set within seven (7) days of the filing of the certificates unless an extension is requested by the respondent's attorney.  In no event shall the hearing be more than ten (10) days after the filing of the certificates.

     SECTION 14.  Section 41-21-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     41-21-77.  If admission is ordered at a treatment facility, the sheriff, his or her deputy or any other person appointed or authorized by the court shall immediately deliver the respondent to the director of the appropriate facility.  Neither the Board of Mental Health or its members, nor the Department of Mental Health or its related facilities, nor any employee of the Department of Mental Health or its related facilities, shall be appointed, authorized or ordered to deliver the respondent for treatment, and no person shall be so delivered or admitted until the director of the admitting institution determines that facilities and services are available.  Persons who have been ordered committed and are awaiting admission may be given any such treatment in the facility by a licensed physician as is indicated by standard medical practice.  Any county facility used for providing housing, maintenance and medical treatment for involuntarily committed persons pending their transportation and admission to a state treatment facility shall be certified by the State Department of Mental Health under the provisions of Section 41-4-7(kk).  No person shall be delivered or admitted to any non-Department of Mental Health treatment facility unless the treatment facility is licensed and/or certified to provide the appropriate level of psychiatric care for persons with mental illness.  It is the intent of this Legislature that county-owned hospitals work with regional community mental health/intellectual disability centers in providing care to local patients.  The clerk shall provide the director of the admitting institution with a certified copy of the court order, a certified copy of the appointed examiners' certificates, a certified copy of the affidavit, and any other information available concerning the physical and mental condition of the respondent.  Upon notification from the United States Veterans Administration or other agency of the United States government, that facilities are available and the respondent is eligible for care and treatment in those facilities, the court may enter an order for delivery of the respondent to or retention by the Veterans Administration or other agency of the United States government, and, in those cases the chief officer to whom the respondent is so delivered or by whom he is retained shall, with respect to the respondent, be vested with the same powers as the director of the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, or the East Mississippi State Hospital at Meridian, with respect to retention and discharge of the respondent.

     SECTION 15.  (1)  There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Mississippi Collaborative Response to Mental Health Fund," which shall consist of funds deposited therein under Section 27-69-75, Mississippi Code of 1972, and funds from any other source designated for deposit into such fund.  The fund shall be maintained by the State Treasurer as a separate and special fund, separate and apart from the General Fund of the state.  Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any investment earnings or interest earned on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund.  Monies in the fund shall be used by the Department of Mental Health, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purposes provided in Sections 2 and 3 of this act and for the purposes described in subsection (2) of this section.  

     (2)  (a)  The Department of Mental Health shall establish a program to provide Mental Health First Aid training and Crisis Intervention Training to county and municipal law enforcement agency officers as provided in Section 2 of this act and to provide funding to community mental health centers for court liaisons as authorized by Section 3 of this act.

     After making expenditures of at least Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,500,000.00) each year to provide funding for county and municipal law enforcement training and court liaisons as authorized by this section, the Department of Mental Health is authorized to expend monies to provide grants to community mental health centers for the purpose of renovating its facilities to increase housing for patients.  A community mental health center may apply to the Department of Mental Health for a grant to pay for the cost of expanding its patient housing facilities.  A community mental health center desiring assistance under this section must submit an application to the Department of Mental Health.  The application must include a description of the projected facility expansion, the total costs of the expansion to the community mental health center, the amount requested by the community mental health center and any other information required by the Department of Mental Health.

          (b)  The Department of Mental Health shall have all powers necessary to implement and administer the program established under this section, and the department shall promulgate rules and regulations, in accordance with the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law, necessary for the implementation of this section.

     SECTION 16.  Section 27-69-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-69-3.  When used in this chapter:

          (a)  "State" means the State of Mississippi as geographically defined, and any and all waters under the jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi.

          (b)  "State Auditor" means the Auditor of Public Accounts of the State of Mississippi, or his legally appointed deputy, clerk or agent.

          (c)  "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Revenue of the Department of Revenue, and his authorized agents and employees.

          (d)  "Person" means any individual, company, corporation, partnership, association, joint venture, estate, trust, or any other group, or combination acting as a unit, and the plural as well as the singular, unless the intention to give a more limited meaning is disclosed by the context.

          (e)  "Consumer" means a person who comes into possession of tobacco for the purpose of consuming it, giving it away, or disposing of it in any way by sale, barter or exchange.

          (f)  "Tobacco" means any cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, stogies, smoking tobacco (including granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other kinds and forms of tobacco, or substitutes therefor, prepared in such manner as to be suitable for smoking in a pipe or cigarette) and including plug and twist chewing tobacco and snuff, when such "tobacco" is manufactured and prepared for sale or personal consumption.  The term "tobacco" also includes vapor products.  All words used herein, except vapor products, shall be given the meaning as defined in the regulations of the Treasury Department of the United States of America.

          (g)  "First sale" means and includes the first sale, or distribution of such tobacco in intrastate commerce, or the first use or consumption of such tobacco within this state.

          (h) "Drop shipment" means and includes any delivery of tobacco received by any person within this state, when payment for such tobacco is made to the shipper, or seller by or through a person other than a consignee.

          (i)  "Distributor" includes every person, except retailers as defined herein, in the state who manufactures or produces tobacco or who ships, transports, or imports into this state, or in any manner acquires or possesses tobacco, and makes a first sale of the same in the state.

          (j)  "Wholesaler" includes dealers, whose principal business is that of a wholesale dealer or jobber, who is known to the retail trade as such, and whose place of business is located in Mississippi or in a state which affords reciprocity to wholesalers domiciled in Mississippi, who shall sell any taxable tobacco to retail dealers only for the purpose of resale.

          (k)  "Retailer" includes every person, other than a wholesale dealer, as defined above, whose principal business is that of selling merchandise at retail, who shall sell, or offer for sale tobacco to the consumer.  The sale of tobacco in quantity lots by retailers to other retailers, transient vendors, or other persons, shall not be construed as wholesale and shall not qualify such retailer for a permit as a wholesaler.

          (l)  "Dealer" includes every person, firm, corporation or association of persons, except retailers as defined herein, who manufacture tobacco for distribution, for sale, for use or for consumption in the State of Mississippi.

     The word "dealer" is further defined to mean any person, firm, corporation or association of persons, except retailers as defined herein, who imports tobacco from any state or foreign country for distribution, sale, use, or consumption in the State of Mississippi.

          (m)  "Distributing agent" includes every person in the state who acts as an agent of any person outside the State of Mississippi, by receiving tobacco in interstate commerce, and storing such tobacco in this state subject to distribution, or delivery upon order from the person outside the state to distributors, wholesalers, retailers and dealers.

          (n)  "Transient vendor" means and includes every person commonly and generally termed "peddlers" and every person acting for himself, or as an agent, employee, salesman, or in any capacity for another, whether as owner, bailee, or other custodian of tobacco, and going from person to person, dealer to dealer, house to house, or place to place, and selling or offering for sale at retail or wholesale tobacco, and every person who does not keep a regular place of business open at all times in regular hours, and every person who goes from person to person, dealer to dealer, house to house, or place to place, and sells or offers for sale tobacco which he carries with him, and who delivers the same at the time of, or immediately after the sale, or without returning to the place of business operations (a permanent place of business within the state) between the taking of the order and the delivery of the tobacco, or

     All persons who go from person to person, house to house, place to place, or dealer to dealer, soliciting orders by exhibiting samples, or taking orders, and thereafter making delivery of tobacco, or filling the order without carrying or sending the order to the permanent place of business, and thereafter making delivery of the tobacco pursuant to the terms of the order, or

     All persons who go from person to person, place to place, house to house, or dealer to dealer, carrying samples and selling tobacco from samples, and afterwards making delivery without taking and sending an order therefor to a permanent place of business for the filling of the order, and delivery of the tobacco, or the exchange of tobacco having become damaged or unsalable, or the purchase by tobacco of advertising space, or

     All persons who have in their possession, or under their control, any tobacco offered, or to be offered for sale or to be delivered, unless the sale or delivery thereof is to be made in pursuance of a bona fide order for the tobacco, to be sold or delivered, the order to be evidenced by an invoice or memorandum.

          (o)  "Contraband tobacco" means all tobacco found in the possession of any person whose permit to engage in dealing in tobacco has been revoked by the commissioner; and any cigarettes found in the possession of any person to which the proper tax stamps have not been affixed; and any cigarettes improperly stamped when found in the possession of any person; and all other tobacco upon which the excise tax has not been paid.

          (p)  "Sale" means an exchange for money or goods, giving away, or distributing any tobacco as defined in this chapter.

          (q)  "Forty-eight (48) hours" and "seventy-two (72) hours" means two (2) calendar days and three (3) calendar days, respectively, excluding Sundays and legal holidays.

          (r)  "Stamp" or "stamping," or the import of such word, when used in this chapter, means any manner of stamp or impression permitted by the commissioner that carries out the purposes of the chapter in clearly indicating upon the packages of cigarettes taxed the due payment of the tax and clearly identifying, by serial number or otherwise, the permittee who affixed the stamp to the particular package.

          (s)  "Manufacturer's list price" means the full sales price at which tobacco is sold or offered for sale by a manufacturer to the wholesaler or distributor in this state without any deduction for freight, trade discount, cash discounts, special discounts or deals, cash rebates, or any other reduction from the regular selling price.  In the event freight charges on shipments to wholesalers or distributors are not paid by the manufacturer, then such freight charges required to be paid by the wholesalers and distributors shall be added to the amount paid to the manufacturer in order to determine "manufacturer's list price."  In the case of a wholesaler or distributor whose place of business is located outside this state, the "manufacturer's list price" for tobacco sold in this state by such wholesaler or distributor shall in all cases be considered to be the same as that of a wholesaler or distributor located within this state.

          (t)  "Vapor product" means an electronic product or device that may be used to deliver any aerosolized or vaporized substance to the person inhaling from the product or device, including, but not limited to, an e-cigar, e-cigarillo, e-pipe, vape pen or e-hookah; and includes any cartridge, component, part or accessory of the electronic product or device, whether or not sold separately, and also includes any liquid, capsule, powder or substance intended to be aerosolized, vaporized or otherwise ingested during the use of the electronic product or device, whether or not the substance contains nicotine.  The term "vapor product" does not include (i) a product that is a drug under 21 USCS 321(g)(1); (ii) a product that is a device under 21 USCS 321(h); or (iii) a combination product described in 21 USCS 353(g).

     SECTION 17.  Section 27-69-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-69-13.  There is hereby imposed, levied and assessed, to be collected and paid as hereinafter provided in this chapter, an excise tax on each person or dealer in cigarettes, cigars, stogies, snuff, chewing tobacco, * * *and smoking tobacco, vapor products, or substitutes therefor, upon the sale, use, consumption, handling or distribution in the State of Mississippi, as follows:

          (a)  On cigarettes, the rate of tax shall be Three and Four-tenths Cents (3.4˘) on each cigarette sold with a maximum length of one hundred twenty (120) millimeters; any cigarette in excess of this length shall be taxed as if it were two (2) or more cigarettes.  Provided, however, if the federal tax rate on cigarettes in effect on June 1, 1985, is reduced, then the rate as provided herein shall be increased by the amount of the federal tax reduction.  Such tax increase shall take effect on the first day of the month following the effective date of such reduction in the federal tax rate.

          (b)  On cigars, cheroots, stogies, snuff, chewing and smoking tobacco and all other tobacco products except cigarettes and vapor products, the rate of tax shall be fifteen percent (15%) of the manufacturer's list price.

          (c)  On vapor products, the rate of tax shall be twenty-five percent (25%) of the manufacturer's list price.

     No stamp evidencing the tax herein levied on cigarettes shall be of a denomination of less than One Cent (1˘), and whenever the tax computed at the rates herein prescribed on cigarettes shall be a specified amount, plus a fractional part of One Cent (1˘), the package shall be stamped for the next full cent; however, the additional face value of stamps purchased to comply with taxes imposed by this section after June 1, 1985, shall be subject to a four percent (4%) discount or compensation to dealers for their services rather than the eight percent (8%) discount or compensation allowed by Section 27-69-31.

     Every wholesaler shall purchase stamps as provided in this chapter, and affix the same to all packages of cigarettes handled by him as herein provided.

     The above tax is levied upon the sale, use, gift, possession or consumption of tobacco within the State of Mississippi, and the impact of the tax levied by this chapter is hereby declared to be on the vendee, user, consumer or possessor of tobacco in this state; and when said tax is paid by any other person, such payment shall be considered as an advance payment and shall thereafter be added to the price of the tobacco and recovered from the ultimate consumer or user.

     SECTION 18.  Section 27-69-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-69-15.  Any retailer, transient vendor, distributing agent, salesman, or other dealer who shall receive any cigarettes other than from a wholesaler having a permit as herein provided, and not having the necessary stamps already affixed, shall, after the receipt of such cigarettes, within the time limit herein provided, present the same to some wholesaler having such permit, for the affixing of the stamps required, and it shall be the duty of such wholesaler, thereupon and upon the payment to him by such retailer of the face value of the stamps required, to affix the stamps to said cigarettes in the same manner as if the cigarettes were handled and sold by such wholesaler, provided, that such wholesaler, before affixing the stamps, shall require of the retailer, transient vendor, distributing agent, salesman, or other dealer, the original invoice for the cigarettes to be stamped, and such wholesaler shall in each instance note upon the invoice, the denominations and number of stamps affixed to the cigarettes covered by said invoice, the notation to be made in ink, or other manner not easy to erase, at the time the stamps are affixed.

     It is further provided that, in addition hereto, the wholesaler shall keep a separate record of all stamps affixed to taxable cigarettes presented by retailers, transient vendors, distributing agents, salesmen, or other dealers, showing the name of the retailer, transient vendor, distributing agent, salesman, or other dealer, name of the shipper, date of shipper's invoice, the date stamps were affixed, denomination of stamps affixed, and total value of stamps affixed.

     When the request is made to any wholesaler in this state by a retailer, transient vendor, distributing agent, salesman, or other dealer in this state, said request being duly and seasonably made for the affixing of stamps, and the request is accompanied by proper remittance and invoice, and such wholesaler refuses to affix the stamps to cigarettes as requested, said wholesaler shall forfeit to the state a penalty of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for each offense, the same to be collected by the commissioner and, in addition thereto, in the discretion of the commissioner, forfeit his permit to handle stamps.  In the event of such refusal on the part of any wholesaler to affix stamps said retailer, transient vendor, distributing agent, salesman, or other dealer may make application to the commissioner for stamps to be placed on the cigarettes upon which the wholesaler refused to affix the stamps, said application to be accompanied by an affidavit from the retailer, transient vendor, distributing agent, salesman, or other dealer, or some other credible person, setting forth the facts, whereupon the commissioner may issue and sell to such retailer, transient vendor, distributing agent, salesman, or other dealer, a sufficient number of stamps to be affixed to the cigarettes.

     Stamps shall not be affixed to any cigarettes except by a wholesale dealer having a permit, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

     Stamps shall not be required to be affixed to any cigarettes while the same is in interstate commerce.

     Any person who receives cigars, smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, vapor products or any other tobacco products except cigarettes from anyone other than a wholesaler having a tobacco permit issued by this state and the excise tax on the tobacco received has not been paid, shall compute the excise tax due the State of Mississippi at the rate prescribed herein on forms furnished by the commissioner for that purpose.  Such report shall be accompanied by the remittance for the tax due and shall be filed with the commissioner within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the tobacco by such person.

     In no case shall the provisions of this chapter be construed to require the payment of a tax upon any tobacco upon which the tax herein levied has once been paid to the state.

     SECTION 19.  Section 27-69-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-69-27.  The payment of the tax imposed by this chapter shall be evidenced by affixing stamps to each individual package of cigarettes usually sold to consumers, as distinguished from cartons or larger units which are composed of a number of individual packages.

     Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the stamp shall be affixed within seventy-two (72) hours after the receipt of the cigarettes by the wholesaler, and within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the cigarettes by the retailer; provided, that in the case a dealer conducts a wholesale and retail business at one (1) place of business, stamps shall be affixed within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the cigarettes.  However, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to tobacco at the point it is purchased at a sale under Section 27-69-56.  The stamp must be so securely affixed as to require the continued application of water or of steam to remove it, or so that it cannot be otherwise removed without destruction or mutilation.

     The excise tax imposed on cigars, smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, vapor products and all other tobacco products except cigarettes shall be computed by the application of the excise tax rate to the manufacturer's list price on all purchases of such tobacco.  The excise tax shall be due and payable on or before the fifteenth day of the month next succeeding the month in which the tax accrues.  The tax shall be filed with the commissioner on forms prescribed by the commissioner.

     Provided, however, manufacturers or other wholesale distributors of tobacco, which are subject to the excise taxes imposed by Section 27-69-13 of this chapter for the privilege of selling or using such tobaccos within this state, who maintain "terminals" or warehouses in which such tobaccos are stored, and who sell only to licensed wholesale dealers within the state who are qualified to purchase and affix the stamps required, may maintain such "spot stocks," intended only for such sales, without affixing the stamps or filing returns and paying the tax.

     Any person desiring to maintain such "terminal" or warehouse, shall make application to the commissioner and obtain a permit to maintain such stocks without affixing stamps thereto, for sale exclusively to out-of-state purchasers, or licensed wholesale dealers within this state, and the commissioner is hereby authorized to grant such permit upon the execution and filing with the commissioner, by the applicant, a bond with surety companies, authorized to do business in Mississippi, as surety thereon, and conditioned for the strict compliance by the applicant, with the following conditions under which said privilege may be granted.

     The person maintaining such stock of untaxed tobacco shall supply to the commissioner monthly, or at such times as the commissioner may require, complete invoices of all tobaccos received, and shall also supply correct invoices of all tobaccos removed from such "terminal" or warehouse, said invoices to contain the correct name and address of all persons to whom such tobacco shall be delivered or consigned, whether within or without the State of Mississippi.

     The penalty of such bond shall be determined by the commissioner, in an amount sufficient to protect the State of Mississippi from any loss of revenue which might occur by reason of the failure of principal to strictly adhere to the requirement that no tobacco would be sold from such stock within the State of Mississippi, except to licensed wholesale dealers.

     SECTION 20.  Section 27-69-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-69-33.  Manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers of cigars, cigarettes * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products subject to the tax under this chapter, doing both intrastate and interstate business in such tobacco, must qualify as interstate dealers in such tobacco by applying to the commissioner for permission to engage in such business, and, upon receipt of such permission, he shall be permitted to set aside such part of his stock as may be absolutely necessary for the conduct of such interstate business, without affixing the stamps to cigarettes required by this chapter.  Said interstate stock shall be kept in an entirely separate part of the building, separate and apart from intrastate stock, and the said interstate business shall be conducted by the said wholesale dealer in accordance with rules and regulations to be promulgated by the commissioner.

     It is further provided that shipment of such merchandise be made only by a railroad, express company, boat line, or motor freight line certified by the Mississippi Public Service Commission as a common carrier, or by registered or insured parcel post.

     It is further provided that any manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler of cigars, cigarettes * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products, engaged in interstate commerce in such tobaccos, shall report to the commissioner on or before the fifteenth day of each month, on forms prescribed by the commissioner, all sales of cigarettes made in interstate commerce during the preceding month to which Mississippi stamps were not affixed.  These reports must be made supplementary to the reports required to be filed by Section 27-69-35 of this chapter.

     Each shipment must be covered by a complete copy of invoice of the consignor, and supported by properly receipted bill of lading of the transportation company, or post office department as specified in the foregoing, and the receipted bills of lading and invoices shall be subject to inspection by the commissioner for a period of three (3) years.

     The commissioner is further authorized to verify the actual delivery to the consignee of such unstamped taxable cigarettes before allowing credit, and for the purpose of such verification, the commissioner may exchange information with the proper authorities of other states as to movement of taxable tobacco to and from other states into and from the State of Mississippi.

     SECTION 21.  Section 27-69-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-69-35.  It shall be the duty of every person subject to the provisions of this chapter, to keep an accurate set of records, showing all transactions had with reference to the purchase, sale or gift of cigars, cigarettes, * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products, and such person shall keep separately all invoices of cigars, cigarettes * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products, and shall keep a record of all stamps purchased, and such records, and all stocks of cigars, cigarettes * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products on hand, shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times to the commissioner; provided, however, that all retail dealers, transient vendors, distributing agents, or other dealers purchasing, or receiving cigars, cigarettes, * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products from without the state, whether the same shall have been ordered through a wholesaler, or jobber in this state, or by drop shipment, or otherwise, shall within five (5) days after receipt of the same, mail a duplicate invoice of all such purchases, or receipts, to the commissioner, and failure to furnish such duplicate invoices shall be deemed a misdemeanor.

     It is further provided that all manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers of cigars, cigarettes * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products, who have a permit required by this chapter shall furnish the commissioner with a statement monthly, showing the amount of taxable tobacco received, and must also furnish the commissioner with duplicate invoices covering stamps affixed to drop shipments purchased by retailers.

     In the examination of such books, records, etc., the commissioner shall have the power to administer oaths to any person, and any person answering falsely, under oath, any of such questions, shall be guilty of perjury.

     If any person being so examined, fails to answer questions propounded to him by the commissioner, or if any person, being summoned to appear and answer such questions, shall fail or refuse to do so, or if any person shall fail or refuse to permit the inspection of his stock of merchandise, or invoices, or books, or papers pertaining to any dealers in cigars, cigarettes * * *or, smoking tobacco or vapor products, the commissioner may make such fact known to the circuit court of the county in which such failure or refusal occurs, or judge thereof in termtime or in vacation, by petition, and such circuit court, or judge thereof, shall issue a summons for such person so refusing, returnable on a date to be fixed by said court, or said judge, and on said date, the said circuit court, or the circuit judge, shall proceed to examine into the truth of the matter set out in said petition, and if the same be found to be true, the said circuit court, or circuit judge, shall issue a writ of subpoena duces tecum ordering and directing the person so summoned to bring into court, and exhibit for the inspection of the commissioner, all such books, records, invoices, etc., as the court may deem proper from all the facts and circumstances in the case.  Any person failing or refusing to present such books, records, invoices, etc., or failing or refusing to testify, shall be punished for contempt as provided by Section 9-1-17 of the Mississippi Code of 1972.

     SECTION 22.  Section 27-69-75, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-69-75.  All taxes levied by this chapter shall be payable to the commissioner in cash, or by personal check, cashier's check, bank exchange, post office money order or express money order, and shall be deposited by the commissioner in the State Treasury on the same day collected.  No remittance other than cash shall be a final discharge of liability for the tax herein assessed and levied, unless and until it has been paid in cash to the commissioner.

     Except as otherwise provided in this section, all tobacco taxes collected, including tobacco license taxes, shall be deposited into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund.  All tobacco taxes collected on vapor products under Section 27-69-13 shall be deposited into the Mississippi Collaborative Response to Mental Health Fund created in Section 15 of this act.  

     Wholesalers who are entitled to purchase stamps at a discount, as provided by Section 27-69-31, may have consigned to them, without advance payment, such stamps, if and when such wholesaler shall give to the commissioner a good and sufficient bond executed by some surety company authorized to do business in this state, conditioned to secure the payment for the stamps so consigned.  The commissioner shall require payment for such stamps not later than thirty (30) days from the date the stamps were consigned.

     SECTION 23.  Section 27-69-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     27-69-69.  Any municipality within this state, in which any business licensed under the provisions of this chapter, may be carried on, shall have the right to impose upon persons engaged in such business, an annual privilege tax of not more than fifty percent (50%) of the permit fee imposed by Section 27-69-7 of this chapter; provided, however, that no person engaged in the wholesale sale, or distribution of cigars, cigarettes or smoking tobacco taxed by this chapter shall be taxed by any municipality other than that in which the warehouse or wholesale business is located.

     SECTION 24.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023.