2006 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges
By: Senator(s) Harden
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-101-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL SHALL HAVE A RESERVED SEAT AT MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND SHALL ADVISE THE BOARD ON AN ANNUAL BASIS; TO AMEND SECTION 25-41-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE A QUORUM OF THE MEMBERS OF A PUBLIC BODY TO ASSEMBLE AT DIFFERENT PHYSICAL LOCATIONS AND MEET THROUGH TELECONFERENCE OR VIDEO MEANS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-101-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-101-3. (1) The Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint the members of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, one (1) member from each congressional district of the state as existing as of March 31, 1944, one (1) member from each Supreme Court district and two (2) members from the state at large, with the terms of each to begin on May 8, 1944. One-third (1/3) of the membership of said board so appointed shall be appointed for a period of four (4) years, one-third (1/3) for a period of eight (8) years and one-third (1/3) for a period of twelve (12) years. On the expiration of any of said terms of office the Governor shall appoint successors, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for terms of twelve (12) years in each case.
The current president, or his/her designee, of the Student Body President's Council of Mississippi (SBPCM) shall have a reserved seat at each meeting of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. No less than once a year, the board shall seek the advise and counsel of the student body president's organization.
(2) In case of a vacancy on said board by death or resignation of a member or from any other cause than the expiration of such member's term of office, the board shall elect his successor who shall hold office until the end of the next session of the Legislature. During such term of the session of the Legislature the Governor shall appoint the successor member of the board from the district from which his predecessor was appointed to hold office until the end of the period or term for which said original trustee was appointed, to the end that one-third (1/3) of such trustees' terms shall expire each four (4) years.
(3) The Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, or his designee, and one (1) member of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges to be designated by the chairman of said board, shall attend all regular meetings of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Said community/junior college representatives shall have no jurisdiction or vote on any matter within the jurisdiction of the board. The Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges and any designee who is a state employee shall receive no per diem for attending meetings of the board, but shall be entitled to actual and necessary expense reimbursement and mileage for attending meetings at locations other than Jackson, Mississippi. The designee of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges shall receive per diem compensation as authorized by Section 25-3-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, for attending said meetings, and shall be entitled to reimbursement for actual expense reimbursement and mileage, which shall be paid from funds appropriated to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
SECTION 2. Section 25-41-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-41-5. (1) All official meetings of any public body, unless otherwise provided in this chapter or in the Constitutions of the United States of America or the State of Mississippi, are declared to be public meetings and shall be open to the public at all times unless declared an executive session as provided in Section 25-41-7.
(2) A public body may conduct any meeting, other than an executive session called pursuant to Section 25-41-7, wherein public business is discussed or transacted, through teleconference or video means. * * * A quorum of the public body may be physically assembled at different locations for the purpose of conducting a meeting * * * through teleconference or video means provided their participation is available to the general public.
(3) (a) Notice of any meetings held pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall be provided at least thirty (30) days in advance of the date scheduled for the meeting. The notice shall include the date, time, place and purpose for the meeting and shall identify the locations for the meeting. All locations for the meeting shall be made accessible to the public. All persons attending the meeting at any of the meeting locations shall be afforded the same opportunity to address the public body as persons attending the primary or central location. Any interruption in the teleconference or video broadcast of the meeting shall result in the suspension of action at the meeting until repairs are made and public access restored.
(b) Thirty-day notice shall not be required for teleconference or video meetings continued to address an emergency as provided in subsection (5) of this section or to conclude the agenda of a teleconference or video meeting of the public body for which the proper notice has been given, when the date, time, place and purpose of the continued meeting are set during the meeting prior to adjournment.
(4) An agenda and materials that will be distributed to members of the public body and that have been made available to the staff of the public body in sufficient time for duplication and forwarding to all locations where public access will be provided shall be made available to the public at the time of the meeting. Minutes of all meetings held by teleconference or video means shall be recorded as required by Section 25-41-11. Votes taken during any meeting conducted through teleconference or video means shall be recorded by name in roll-call fashion and included in the minutes. In addition, the public body shall make an audio recording of the meeting, if a teleconference medium is used, or an audio/visual recording, if the meeting is held by video means. The recording shall be preserved by the public body for a period of three (3) years following the date of the meeting and shall be available to the public.
(5) A public body may meet by teleconference or video means as often as needed if an emergency exists and the public body is unable to meet in regular session. Public bodies conducting emergency meetings through teleconference or video means shall comply with the provisions of subsection (4) of this section requiring minutes, recordation and preservation of the audio or audio/visual recording of the meeting. The nature of the emergency shall be stated in the minutes.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.