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S.F. No. 1419 - Latino Affairs, African Heritage and Asian-Pacific Minnesotans Councils - the First Engrossment
Author: Senator Sandra L. Pappas
Prepared By: Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
Date: March 26, 2015


This bill repeals three current ethnic councils (the Council on Affairs of Chicano/Latino People, the Council on Black Minnesotans, the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans) and establishes the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, the Minnesota African Heritage Council, and the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans.

Section 1 [Ethnic Councils]

Subdivision 1 [Three ethnic councils; creation] establishes three councils in the executive branch: the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, the Minnesota African Heritage Council, and the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans.

Subd. 2 [Membership] sets the membership for each of the councils. Each council has 15 members; 11 public members are appointed by the governor and four members are legislators appointed equally by the house of representatives and senate and by the majority and minority parties. This section specifies certain representation by the public members.  The legislative members are voting members of each council.  This section permits the governor to appoint a commissioner to serve as a nonvoting member.

Subd. 3 [Appointments; terms; removal] specifies qualifications for public members to be appointed and permits the executive director of a council and legislative members to offer advice to the governor on applicants seeking appointment.  Sets terms at four years, provides for members to be compensated and reimbursed for expenses and sets grounds for removal of members and a process for filling vacancies.  Establishes a term limit of eight years total for public members and eight consecutive or 12 total years for legislators on any one council.   

Subd. 4 [Training; executive committee; meetings; support] requires public members to attend training arranged by the Commissioner of Administration on specified topics. Requires each council to elect a chair annually and establishes an executive committee for each council consisting of three officers and one legislative member selected by the council.  Sets 40 percent of voting members as a quorum and requires a quorum to conduct business. Precludes a member from voting if the member has a conflict of interest.  Requires the Commissioner of Administration to provide the councils with administrative support.

Subd. 5 [Executive director; staff] requires the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) to appoint an executive director with specified qualifications for each council, serving in the unclassified service at the pleasure of the LCC. Requires the LCC to establish a process for recruiting and selecting applicants for executive director, including consulting with the applicable council.  Sets duties for the executive director, authorizes the executive director to hire staff, and makes the executive director and staff employees of the executive branch.

Subd. 6 [Duties of council] sets duties of the council.

Subd. 7 [Duties of council members] sets duties of the members of each council.

Subd. 8 [Powers] permits the councils to enter into contracts and accept gifts and grants.

Subd. 9 [Reports] requires each council to report to the legislature on measurable outcomes achieved to meet its statutory duties, with specific objectives and outcome measures proposed for the following year.  Requires the chairs of relevant legislative committees to schedule hearings annually at which the councils must present annual reports.  Requires the funding request of each council to be approved by the LCC and presented by February 1 in odd-numbered years.

Subd. 10. [Transition] provides for current council members to serve during a transition period.  If a current member has served on the council eight years or more, then that member’s term will end December 31, 2015.  Otherwise, the council member serves to the end of their current term.  If the current council has more members than permitted for the new council, then the council will be reduced as members complete their terms by not filling their vacancies.  Requires the LCC to appoint an executive director for each council by November 15, 2015.  Incumbent executive directors may apply.  If not selected, an incumbent executive director’s employment ends upon appointment of the new director or another date set by the LCC.  Other staff of the current councils are transferred to employment with the new councils.

Sections 2 and 3 [Revisor Instruction] authorize the Revisor of Statutes to make conforming changes.

Section 4 [Repealer] repeals the statutes that establish the current councils.

Section 5 [Effective Date] makes all sections effective July 1, 2015, but permits the LCC to appoint an executive director the day after final enactment.


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