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Subdivision 1.Creation.

A state Council on Black Minnesotans consists of 13 members appointed by the governor. The members of the council must be broadly representative of the Black community of the state and include at least five males and at least five females. One member of the council must be a person whose ethnic heritage is from West Africa, and one member of the council must be a person whose ethnic heritage is from East Africa. Membership terms, compensation, removal of members, and filling of vacancies for nonlegislative 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 by the speaker and two members of the senate appointed by the Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration shall serve as nonvoting members of the council. The council shall annually elect from its membership a chair and other officers it deems necessary.

Subd. 2.Definitions.

For the purpose of this section:

(1) "Black" describes persons who consider themselves as having origin in any of the Black racial groups of Africa;

(2) "East Africa" means the eastern region of the continent of Africa, comprising areas occupied by the countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Somalia; and

(3) "West Africa" means the western region of the continent of Africa comprising areas occupied by the countries of Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and those parts of Mali and Niger south of the Sahara.

Subd. 3.Duties.

The council shall:

(a) advise the governor and the legislature on the nature of the issues confronting Black people in this state;

(b) advise the governor and the legislature on statutes or rules necessary to ensure that Black people have access to benefits and services provided to people in this state;

(c) 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 Blacks in the state's work force;

(d) recommend to the governor and the legislature legislation to improve the economic and social condition of Black people in this state;

(e) serve as a conduit to state government for organizations of Black people in the state;

(f) serve as a referral agency to assist Black people to secure access to state agencies and programs;

(g) serve as a liaison with the federal government, local government units, and private organizations on matters relating to the Black people of this state;

(h) perform or contract for the performance of studies designed to suggest solutions to problems of Black people in the areas of education, employment, human rights, health, housing, social welfare, and other related areas;

(i) implement programs designed to solve problems of Black people when authorized by other statute, rule, or order;

(j) review data provided by the commissioner of human services under section 260C.215, subdivision 5, and present recommendations on the out-of-home placement of Black children. Recommendations must be presented to the commissioner and the legislature by February 1, 1990; November 1, 1990; and November 1 of each year thereafter; and

(k) publicize the accomplishments of Black people and their contributions to this state.

Subd. 4.Review of grant applications.

All applications by a state department or agency for the receipt of federal funds which will have their primary effect on Black Minnesotans shall be submitted to the council for review and recommendation at least 30 days before submission to a federal agency.

Subd. 5.Powers.

(a) The council may contract in its own name, but no money shall be accepted or received as a loan nor indebtedness incurred except as otherwise provided by law. Contracts shall 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 power and duties specified in subdivisions 1 to 7.

(b) The council may solicit and accept payments for advertising, use of exhibition space, or commemorative videos or other items in connection with publications, events, media productions, and informational programs that are sponsored by the council. These revenues must be deposited in an account in the special revenue fund and are appropriated to the council to defray costs of publications, events, media productions, or informational programs consistent with the powers and duties specified in subdivisions 1 to 7. The council may not publish advertising or provide exhibition space for any elected official or candidate for elective office. The council must report by January 15 each year to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and senate funding divisions with jurisdiction over the council on the amount and source of each payment received under this paragraph in the prior fiscal year.

(c) The council shall appoint an executive director who is experienced in administrative activities and familiar with the problems and needs of Black people. The council may delegate to the executive director powers and duties under subdivisions 1 to 7 which 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 recommend to the council, and the council may appoint the appropriate staff necessary to carry out its duties. Staff members serve in the unclassified service. The commissioner of administration shall provide the council with necessary administrative services.

Subd. 6.State agency assistance.

Other state agencies shall supply the council upon request with advisory staff services on matters relating to the jurisdiction of the council. The council shall cooperate and coordinate its activities with other state agencies to the highest possible degree.

Subd. 7.Report.

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 Black people, and list the specific objectives which the council seeks to attain during the next biennium.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes