Committee Substitute House Bill 4665 History

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H. B. 4665

(By Delegates Moore, Long, Perdue, Marshall,
Hutchins, Morgan, Wysong, Schoen, Webster,
Hatfield and Carmichael)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization.]

(February 24, 2008)

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §5-26-1, §5-26-2, §5-26-3, §5-26-4, §5-26-5 and §5-26-6, all relating to the creation of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs as a cabinet in the Governor's office; providing legislative findings and purpose; establishing the cabinet; creating a citizen's advisory council; providing for powers and duties of cabinet; and creating a Minority Affairs Fund.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §5-26-1, §5-26-2, §5-26-3, §5-26-4, §5-26-5 and §5-26-6, all to read as follows:
§5-26-1. Legislative findings; statement of purpose.
(a) The Legislature finds that in order to avoid the human and financial costs to the state of individual and family instability, and to benefit the state and society as a whole, it is in the best interests of the state to provide programs and services to support minority groups. The Legislature further finds that minority groups are best supported by programs and services in or as close to the local community as possible.
The Legislature intends to accomplish its goals relating to minority affairs through a family-centered, comprehensive, community-based system for the provision of social services, programs and facilities for minority groups overseen by the highest levels of state government although this may require fundamental changes in the way state government responds to the needs of minority groups.
(b) The Legislature hereby declares that one purpose of this article and the policy of the state is to achieve the coordination of programs and services to minority groups through a cabinet in the Governor's office which is independent from any state agency and which shall act as an interagency cabinet created to nurture a flexible system for the comprehensive, unified, effective and efficient administration of programs and services to minorities which avoids fragmentation and duplication of programs and services. For maximum effectiveness, the Legislature intends to provide services in a long-term manner with such intensity as the needs of the particular situation require.
(c) The service delivery system shall be driven by the needs and preferences of minorities, shall reflect local community characteristics and resources, shall allow for local input, and shall focus on prevention, education and early intervention.
The Legislature intends, by this article, to allow diversity and regional, cultural and ethnic sensitivity in the development of programs and services for minorities. To the greatest extent possible, families and communities are to be involved in all aspects of planning, delivery and evaluation of services. This is intended to foster strong minority and community program ownership while maintaining clear parameters for program goals and purposes through the Governor's cabinet on minority groups.
§5-26-2. Cabinet established.
(a) There is hereby created and established a cabinet in the Governor's Office the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, hereinafter referred to as the "Cabinet". The cabinet shall include the Secretary of Health and Human Resources or a designee; the Secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety or a designee; the secretary of administration or a designee; the superintendent of schools or a designee; the Attorney General or a designee; the presidents of West Virginia State University and Bluefield State College or their designees; one member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Governor, and one member of the House of Delegates, to be appointed by the Governor, both of whom shall serve in an advisory capacity only; and three members selected by the Governor from the citizen's advisory council as set forth in section three of this article. The Governor may appoint other administrative heads of government who shall serve in an advisory capacity only.
(b) In order to promote consistency and continuity in the work of the cabinet, each cabinet member appointed by virtue of the member's governmental office is encouraged to select a primary designee and an alternate designee to serve in that member's place when necessary.
(c) The cabinet shall be chaired by the Governor and shall convene at least monthly during the first year and thereafter shall meet at least six times annually. The cabinet shall establish bylaws which govern its decision making.
(d) The Governor shall appoint an executive director to carry out its work and to oversee staff adequate to fulfill its functions.
§5-26-3. Citizen's advisory council.
(a) The Governor shall appoint a citizens' advisory council to assist the cabinet with the implementation of its mission and policy objectives.
(b) The council shall be comprised of not fewer than twelve nor more than thirty citizens who will serve terms of one, two or three years as assigned at the time of appointment. The council members will have knowledge and experience in minority affairs in such areas as housing: Health promotion and disease prevention; education; transportation; reading and literacy; food and nutrition; clothing; utilities; job training and employment; child care; child protection; early intervention and crisis intervention; assessment and diagnosis; home-based family development; preservation and reunification; financial planning; mental health and counseling; substance abuse prevention counseling and treatment; addiction awareness training; pregnancy prevention; and information, referral and placement; economic and community development, crime, corrections and rehabilitation and business development.
(c) The purpose of the council is to:
(1) Provide a forum for discussion of issues that affect the state's minorities;
(2) Identify and promote best practices in the provision of services to minorities;
(3) Review information and research that can inform state policy;
(4) Make recommendations to the cabinet in areas of policy and allocation of resources;
(5) Focus attention on accountability and results;
(6) Assist the cabinet in developing a cross-agency multiyear state plan for improving the well being of minorities;
(7) Connect government officials who make decisions with the minority groups affected by their decisions;
(8) Engage local communities through resource networks to work on local issues and statewide priorities concerning minorities;
(9) Assure that community and minority voices are heard by the cabinet; and
(10) Promote minority support practices by all publicly funded agencies.
(d) The Governor shall select three members of the council to serve on the cabinet, two of whom are minority representatives who have received or are receiving services funded, in whole or in part, by federal, state or local governments, and one of whom is a community representative who is not employed in a managerial or decision-making position of a provider of services funded, in whole or in part, by federal, state or local governments.
(e) The community representative initially appointed shall serve for a term of one year and the minority representatives initially appointed shall serve for terms of two years and three years respectively. If a member's term on the cabinet exceeds his or her term on the council, his or her term on the council will be extended automatically to coincide with his or her term on the cabinet. Members appointed subsequent to the initial appointments shall serve for terms of three years, and may serve up to three consecutive full terms
: Provided, That members appointed under this section shall continue to serve until their successors are appointed. An appointment to fill a vacancy will be for the unexpired term.
(f) Citizen members may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties in a manner consistent with guidelines of the travel management office of the Department of Administration.
(g) The Governor may remove any citizen member from the council or the cabinet for neglect of duty, incompetency or official misconduct.
§5-26-4. Duties of cabinet generally.
In addition to all other duties and responsibilities assigned to the cabinet in this article and elsewhere by law, the cabinet shall:
(1) Establish, fund, oversee, evaluate and provide technical assistance to minority affairs resource networks and other community based initiatives;
(2) Develop a cross-agency multiyear state plan consistent with priorities established by local plans developed by minority affairs resource networks, which includes provisions for regular updates of the plan and which requires the cabinet to:
(A) Articulate core results desired by the state for its minority groups;
(B) Choose indicators to measure progress in reaching core results;
(C) Establish baseline data for measuring progress by examining current conditions and trends;
(D) Set targets and explore strategies for improving the lives of minority groups;
(E) Put selected strategies into action to achieve core results;
(F) Monitor progress and make course corrections as necessary; and
(G) Identify tools to achieve articulated goals, including:
(i) Shifting focus from process to core results;
(ii) Increasing flexibility to remove barriers, encourage innovation and provide incentives for achieving results;
(iii) Providing flexible financing to reinvest savings and decategorize, pool, redeploy or reinstate funding;
(iv) Employing results-based budgeting; and
(v) Improving accountability through results-based decision making.
(3) Prepare a proposed budget for the operation of the cabinet and recommend it to the Governor for inclusion in the executive budget to be submitted to the Legislature;
(4) Promote the work of the Governor's cabinet on minority affairs in order to engender strong support from the community, the Legislature and business leaders;
(5) Report on its progress in implementing the comprehensive multiyear state plan required under subdivision (3) of this subsection, at least annually during the interim period to the joint standing committee on government organization; and
(6) Submit to the Legislature, on or before the first day of each January, a report of its financial transactions for the preceding year, minutes of its meetings, and narrative descriptions of any training sessions, conferences or other events, together with a progress report on its implementation of the comprehensive multiyear plan required under subdivision (3) of this section, and shall file a copy of the report with the legislative librarian.
§5-26-5. Powers of cabinet generally.
In addition to all other powers granted to the cabinet in this article and elsewhere by law, the cabinet may:
(1) Negotiate written agreements and procedures between and among departments of state government which assure that minority children and families are provided with health care, social services, appropriate education and vocational training, and any other services to which they may be entitled under state and federal law;
(2) Provide or contract with any agencies or persons in this state and other states for any facilities, equipment or service necessary to achieve the purposes of this article, and hire staff sufficient to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the cabinet;
(3) In addition to the citizens' advisory council established pursuant to section three of this article, form subcommittees, convene task teams or consult experts to advise the cabinet generally or on selected topics as necessary to accomplish its goals or to otherwise carry out its duties under this article;
(4) Develop and implement rules, standards and policies governing the internal operation and administration of the cabinet;
(5) Delegate any of the cabinet's powers, duties or functions as the cabinet may deem appropriate, expedient and effective;
(6) Solicit and accept proposals in furtherance of any program or service required by this article, especially for the establishment of minority affairs resource networks at the regional or local level and for the implementation of pilot programs;
(7) Waive rules that impede coordinated service delivery; and
(8) Exercise any and all other powers, including the adoption of an official seal and the chartering of public or quasi-public corporations, necessary for the discharge of the cabinet's duties and the implementation of the purposes of this article.
§5-26-6. Minority Affairs Fund created; purpose.
(a) The cabinet shall establish a Minority Affairs Fund for the sole purpose of awarding grants, loans and loan guaranties for minority affairs programs and activities. Gifts, bequests or donations for this purpose, in addition to appropriations to the fund, shall be deposited in the State Treasury in a special revenue account that is independent from any executive or other department of government, other than the office of the Governor.
(b) All interest accruing from investment of moneys in the Minority Affairs Fund shall be credited to the fund. The legislative Auditor shall conduct an audit of the fund before the first day of July, two thousand nine and at least every three fiscal years thereafter.
(c) Grants, loans and loan guaranties may be awarded from the minority affairs fund by the cabinet for minority affairs programs and activities.

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