The state Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans consists of 23 members. Nineteen members are appointed by the governor and must be broadly representative of the Asian-Pacific community of the state. Each Asian-Pacific ethnic community from the area described in subdivision 2 may be represented by no more than one council member. In making appointments, the governor shall consider an appointee's proven dedication and commitment to the Asian-Pacific community and any special skills possessed by the appointee that might be beneficial to the council, including at a minimum experience in public policy, legal affairs, social work, business, management, or economics. Terms, compensation, and filling of vacancies for appointed members are as provided in section 15.0575. Because the council performs functions that are not purely advisory, the council is not subject to the expiration date in section 15.059. Two members of the house of representatives appointed under the rules of the house of representatives and two members of the senate appointed under the rules of the senate shall serve as nonvoting members of the council. In making legislative appointments, the speaker of the house and the Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the senate shall consult with the council in an effort to select appointees knowledgeable and interested in the affairs of the Asian-Pacific community. The council shall annually elect from its membership a chair and other officers it deems necessary. The council shall encourage Asian-Pacific ethnic communities and organizations to designate persons to serve as liaisons with the council. Liaisons may participate in council meetings, but may not vote, and may serve on council committees.
The council shall adopt rules to implement designation of Asian-Pacific ethnic communities to be represented with seats on the council.
For the purpose of this section, the term Asian-Pacific means a person whose ethnic heritage is from any of the countries in Asia east of, and including, Afghanistan, or the Pacific Islands.
The council shall:
(1) advise the governor and the legislature on issues confronting Asian-Pacific people in this state, including the unique problems of non-English-speaking immigrants and refugees;
(2) advise the governor and the legislature of administrative and legislative changes necessary to ensure that Asian-Pacific people have access to benefits and services provided to people in this state;
(3) recommend to the governor and the legislature any revisions in the state's affirmative action program and other steps that are necessary to eliminate underutilization of Asian-Pacific people in the state's work force;
(4) recommend to the governor and the legislature legislation to improve the economic and social condition of Asian-Pacific people in this state;
(5) serve as a conduit to state government for organizations of Asian-Pacific people in the state;
(6) serve as a referral agency to assist Asian-Pacific people to secure access to state agencies and programs;
(7) serve as a liaison with the federal government, local government units, and private organizations on matters relating to the Asian-Pacific people of this state;
(8) perform or contract for the performance of studies designed to suggest solutions to the problems of Asian-Pacific people in the areas of education, employment, human rights, health, housing, social welfare, and other related areas;
(9) implement programs designed to solve the problems of Asian-Pacific people when authorized by other law;
(10) publicize the accomplishments of Asian-Pacific people and their contributions to this state;
(11) work with other state and federal agencies and organizations to develop small business opportunities and promote economic development for Asian-Pacific Minnesotans;
(12) supervise development of an Asian-Pacific trade primer, outlining Asian and Pacific customs, cultural traditions, and business practices, including language usage, for use by Minnesota's export community;
(13) cooperate with other state and federal agencies and organizations to develop improved state trade relations with Asian and Pacific countries; and
(14) assist recent immigrants in adaptation into the culture and promote the study of English as a second language.
State departments and agencies shall consult with the council concerning any application for federal money that will have its primary effect on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans before development of the application. The council shall advise the governor and the commissioner of management and budget concerning any state agency request that will have its primary effect on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans.
(a) The council may contract in its own name but may not accept or receive a loan or incur indebtedness except as otherwise provided by law. Contracts must be approved by a majority of the members of the council and executed by the chair and the executive director. The council may apply for, receive, and expend in its own name grants and gifts of money consistent with the powers and duties specified in this section.
(b) The council shall appoint an executive director who is experienced in administrative activities and familiar with the problems and needs of Asian-Pacific people. The council may delegate to the executive director powers and duties under this section that do not require council approval. The executive director serves in the unclassified service and may be removed at any time by the council. The executive director shall appoint the appropriate staff necessary to carry out the duties of the council. All staff members serve in the unclassified service. The commissioner of administration shall provide the council with necessary administrative services.
At its request, state agencies shall supply the council with advisory staff services on matters relating to its jurisdiction. The council shall cooperate and coordinate its activities with other state agencies to the highest possible degree.
The council shall prepare and distribute a report to the governor and legislature by November 15 of each even-numbered year. The report shall summarize the activities of the council since its last report, list receipts and expenditures, identify the major problems and issues confronting Asian-Pacific people, and list the specific objectives that the council seeks to attain during the next biennium.