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2017 Minnesota Statutes

15.0145 ETHNIC COUNCILS.

Subdivision 1.Three ethnic councils; creation.

(a) The Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs includes public members with an ethnic heritage from Mexico, any of the countries in Central or South America, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, or Puerto Rico.

(b) The Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage includes public members of black African ancestry.

(c) The Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans includes public members with an ethnic heritage from any of the countries east of, and including, Afghanistan or the Pacific Islands.

Subd. 2.Membership.

(a) Each council has 15 voting members. Eleven members of each council are public members appointed by the governor. Four members of each council are legislators.

(b) The governor shall appoint 11 members of each council as follows:

(1) the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs must include one member representing each of the state's congressional districts and three members appointed at large. The council must include at least five women. The governor must attempt to ensure that the demographic composition of council members accurately reflects the demographic composition of Minnesota's Latino community, including recent immigrants, as determined by the state demographer;

(2) the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage must include members who are broadly representative of the African heritage community of the state. The council must include at least five women. At least three members must be first or second generation African immigrants, who generally reflect the demographic composition of these African immigrants, as determined by the state demographer; and

(3) the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans must include one member from each of the five ancestries with the state's highest percentages of Asian-Pacific populations, as determined by the state demographer. The other six members must be broadly representative of the rest of the Asian-Pacific population, with no more than one council member from any one ancestry. The council must include at least five women. For purposes of this clause, ancestry refers to heritage that is commonly accepted in Minnesota as a unique population.

(c) Four legislators are voting members of each council. The speaker of the house and the house minority leader shall each appoint one member to each council. The Subcommittee on Committees of the senate Committee on Rules and Administration shall appoint one member of the majority caucus and one member of the minority caucus to each council.

(d) The governor may appoint a commissioner of a state agency or a designee of that commissioner to serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of a council.

Subd. 3.Appointments; terms; removal.

(a) In making appointments to a council, the governor shall consider an appointee's proven dedication and commitment to the council's community and any expertise possessed by the appointee that might be beneficial to the council, such as experience in public policy, legal affairs, social work, business, or management. The executive director of a council and legislative members may offer advice to the governor on applicants seeking appointment.

(b) Terms, compensation, and filling of vacancies for members appointed by the governor are as provided in section 15.059. Removal of members appointed by the governor is governed by section 15.059, except that: (1) a member who missed more than half of the council meetings convened during a 12-month period automatically is removed from the council; and (2) a member appointed by the governor may be removed by a vote of three of the four legislative members of the council. The chair of a council shall inform the governor of the need for the governor to fill a vacancy on the council. Legislative members serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority.

(c) A member appointed by the governor may serve no more than a total of eight years on a council. A legislator may serve no more than eight consecutive years or 12 nonconsecutive years on any one council.

Subd. 4.Training; executive committee; meetings; support.

(a) A member appointed by the governor must attend orientation training within the first six months of service for the member's initial term. The commissioner of administration must arrange for the training to include but not be limited to the legislative process, government data practices, open meeting law, Robert's Rules of Order, fiscal management, and human resources. The governor must remove a member who does not complete the training.

(b) Each council shall annually elect from among the members appointed by the governor a chair and other officers it deems necessary. These officers and one legislative member selected by the council shall serve as the executive committee of the council.

(c) Forty percent of voting members of a council constitutes a quorum. A quorum is required to conduct council business. A council member may not vote on any action if the member has a conflict of interest under section 10A.07.

(d) Each council shall receive administrative support from the commissioner of administration under section 16B.371. 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.

(e) The attorney general shall provide legal services to the councils on behalf of the state on all matters relating to the councils, including matters relating to the state as the employer of the executive directors of the council, and other council staff.

Subd. 5.Executive director; staff.

(a) The Legislative Coordinating Commission must appoint an executive director for each council. The executive director must be experienced in administrative activities and familiar with the challenges and needs of the ethnic council's larger community. The executive director serves in the unclassified service at the pleasure of the Legislative Coordinating Commission.

(b) The Legislative Coordinating Commission must establish a process for recruiting and selecting applicants for the executive director positions. This process must include consultation and collaboration with the applicable council.

(c) The executive director and applicable council members must work together in fulfilling council duties. The executive director must consult with the commissioner of administration to ensure appropriate financial, purchasing, human resources, and other services for operation of the council.

(d) Once appointed, each council is responsible for supervising the work of its director. The council chair must report to the chair of the Legislative Coordinating Commission regarding the performance of the executive director, including any recommendations regarding disciplinary actions. The executive director must appoint and supervise the work of other staff necessary to carry out the duties of the council. The executive director must consult with the council chair prior to taking the following disciplinary actions with council staff: written reprimand, suspension, demotion, or discharge. The executive director and other council staff are executive branch employees.

(e) The executive director must submit the council's biennial budget request to the commissioner of management and budget as provided under chapter 16A.

(f) The Legislative Coordinating Commission may delegate its responsibilities under this section to a subcommittee or subgroup of the commission or the chair of the council.

Subd. 6.Duties of council.

(a) A council must work for the implementation of economic, social, legal, and political equality for its constituency. The council shall work with the legislature and governor to carry out this work by performing the duties in this section.

(b) A council shall advise the governor and the legislature on issues confronting the constituency of the council. This may include, but is not limited to, presenting the results of surveys, studies, and community forums to the appropriate executive departments and legislative committees.

(c) A council shall advise the governor and the legislature of administrative and legislative changes needed to improve the economic and social condition of the constituency of the council. This may include but is not limited to working with legislators to develop legislation to address these issues and to work for passage of the legislation. This may also include making recommendations regarding the state's affirmative action program and the state's targeted group small business program, or working with state agencies and organizations to develop business opportunities and promote economic development for the constituency of the council.

(d) A council shall advise the governor and the legislature of the implications and effect of proposed administrative and legislative changes on the constituency of the council. This may include but is not limited to tracking legislation, testifying as appropriate, and meeting with executive departments and legislators.

(e) A council shall serve as a liaison between state government and organizations that serve the constituency of the council. This may include but is not limited to working with these organizations to carry out the duties in paragraphs (a) to (d), and working with these organizations to develop informational programs or publications to involve and empower the constituency in seeking improvement in their economic and social conditions.

(f) A council shall perform or contract for the performance of studies designed to suggest solutions to the problems of the constituency of the council in the areas of education, employment, human rights, health, housing, social welfare, and other related areas.

(g) In carrying out duties under this subdivision, councils may act to advise on issues that affect the shared constituencies of more than one council.

Subd. 7.Duties of council members.

A council member shall:

(1) attend and participate in scheduled meetings and be prepared by reviewing meeting notes;

(2) maintain and build communication with the community represented;

(3) collaborate with the council and executive director in carrying out the council's duties; and

(4) participate in activities the council or executive director deem appropriate and necessary to facilitate the goals and duties of the council.

Subd. 8.Reports.

A council must report on the measurable outcomes achieved in the council's current strategic plan to meet its statutory duties, along with the specific objectives and outcome measures proposed for the following year. The council must submit the report by January 15 each year to the chairs of the committees in the house of representatives and the senate with primary jurisdiction over state government operations. Each report must cover the calendar year of the year before the report is submitted. The specific objectives and outcome measures for the following current year must focus on three or four achievable objectives, action steps, and measurable outcomes for which the council will be held accountable. The strategic plan may include other items that support the statutory purposes of the council but should not distract from the primary statutory proposals presented. The biennial budget of each council must be submitted to the Legislative Coordinating Commission by February 1 in each odd-numbered year.

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