Bill Text: MS HB219 | 2021 | Regular Session | Engrossed


Bill Title: Local governments; prohibit from imposing penalties or fines on security companies when false security alarm occurs.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-02-16 - Referred To County Affairs [HB219 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2021-HB219-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2021 Regular Session

To: Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency

By: Representative Powell

House Bill 219

(As Passed the House)

AN ACT TO PROHIBIT ANY MUNICIPALITY, COUNTY OR ANY OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION FROM ADOPTING AN ORDINANCE, RESOLUTION, RULE OR REGULATION THAT IMPOSES A CIVIL PENALTY OR FINE ON A BUSINESS ENGAGED IN THE SECURITY BUSINESS IF SUCH BUSINESS RECEIVES A FALSE SECURITY ALARM UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 19-3-40 AND 21-17-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  The governing authorities of a municipality, the board of supervisors of a county, or any other political subdivision within this state shall not adopt an ordinance or resolution or promulgate a rule or regulation authorizing the imposition of civil penalties or fines on a partnership, corporation, alarm contracting company, as defined under Section 73-69-5, or other business entity engaged in the security business for a false alarm that is not caused by improper installation of an alarm, the provision of defective equipment or an operational error attributable to the business entity.

     As used under this section the term "false alarm" means a security alarm signal eliciting a response by law enforcement when a situation requiring such a response does not exist, including, but not limited to, the activation or transmission of any alarm signal caused by human error, mechanical or electronic malfunction, negligence of the alarm system user or user's agent or employee, whether or not the exact cause of the alarm activation is determined, or any other activation or transmission of any alarm signal where no actual police emergency exists.

     SECTION 2.  Section 19-3-40, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-3-40.  (1)  The board of supervisors of any county shall have the power to adopt any orders, resolutions or ordinances with respect to county affairs, property and finances, for which no specific provision has been made by general law and which are not inconsistent with the Mississippi Constitution, the Mississippi Code of 1972, or any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi; and any such board shall likewise have the power to alter, modify and repeal such orders, resolutions or ordinances. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the powers granted to boards of supervisors in this section are complete without the existence of or reference to any specific authority granted in any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi.

     Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, such orders, resolutions or ordinances shall apply countywide unless the governing authorities of any municipality situated within a county adopt any order, resolution or ordinance governing the same general subject matter.  In such case the municipal order, resolution or ordinance shall govern within the corporate limits of the municipality.

     (2)  In any county where U.S. Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 49 intersect, having a population of greater than one hundred forty-one thousand (141,000) but less than one hundred fifty-one thousand (151,000) according to the 2010 federal decennial census, the board of supervisors may adopt orders, resolutions and ordinances under subsection (1) of this section for a clearly defined geographic area.  The order, resolution or ordinance shall describe the affected geographic area by zoning district, section lines or other discernable boundaries.  The order, resolution or ordinance also shall state specific findings to support its purpose and need within the geographic area.

     (3)  This section shall not authorize the board of supervisors of a county to (a) levy taxes other than those authorized by statute or increase the levy of any authorized tax beyond statutorily established limits, (b) issue bonds of any kind, (c) change the requirements, practices or procedures for county elections or establish any new elective office, (d) use any public funds, equipment, supplies or materials for any private purpose, (e) regulate common carrier railroads, (f) grant any donation, * * *or (g) without prior legislative approval, regulate, directly or indirectly, the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential property in which the county does not have a property interest, or (h) authorize the imposition of civil penalties or fines on a partnership, corporation, alarm contracting company, as defined under Section 73-69-5, or other business entity engaged in the security business for a false alarm that is not caused by improper installation of an alarm, the provision of defective equipment or an operational error attributable to the business entity; unless such actions are specifically authorized by another statute or law of the State of Mississippi.

     SECTION 3.  Section 21-17-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     21-17-5.  (1)  The governing authorities of every municipality of this state shall have the care, management and control of the municipal affairs and its property and finances.  In addition to those powers granted by specific provisions of general law, the governing authorities of municipalities shall have the power to adopt any orders, resolutions or ordinances with respect to such municipal affairs, property and finances which are not inconsistent with the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the Mississippi Code of 1972, or any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi, and shall likewise have the power to alter, modify and repeal such orders, resolutions or ordinances.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the powers granted to governing authorities of municipalities in this section are complete without the existence of or reference to any specific authority granted in any other statute or law of the State of Mississippi.  Unless otherwise provided by law, before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, the aldermen or councilmen of every municipality of this state shall give bond, with sufficient surety, to be payable, conditioned and approved as provided by law, in a penalty equal to five percent (5%) of the sum of all the municipal taxes shown by the assessment rolls and the levies to have been collectible in the municipality for the year immediately preceding the commencement of the term of office of said alderman or councilman; however, such bond shall not exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00).  For all municipalities with a population more than two thousand (2,000) according to the latest federal decennial census, the amount of the bond shall not be less than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00).  Any taxpayer of the municipality may sue on such bond for the use of the municipality, and such taxpayer shall be liable for all costs in case his suit shall fail.  No member of the city council or board of aldermen shall be surety for any other such member.

     (2)  Unless such actions are specifically authorized by another statute or law of the State of Mississippi, this section shall not authorize the governing authorities of municipalities to (a) levy taxes of any kind or increase the levy of any authorized tax, (b) issue bonds of any kind, (c) change the requirements, practices or procedures for municipal elections or establish any new elective office, (d) change the procedure for annexation of additional territory into the municipal boundaries, (e) change the structure or form of the municipal government, (f) permit the sale, manufacture, distribution, possession or transportation of alcoholic beverages, (g) grant any donation, * * *or (h) without prior legislative approval, regulate, directly or indirectly, the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential property in which the municipality does not have a property interest or (i) authorize the imposition of civil penalties or fines on a partnership, corporation, alarm contracting company, as defined under Section 73-69-5, or other business entity engaged in the security business for a false alarm that is not caused by improper installation of an alarm, the provision of defective equipment or an operational error attributable to the business entity.

     (3)  Nothing in this or any other section shall be construed so as to prevent any municipal governing authority from paying any municipal employee not to exceed double his ordinary rate of pay or awarding any municipal employee not to exceed double his ordinary rate of compensatory time for work performed in his capacity as a municipal employee on legal holidays.  The governing authority of any municipality shall enact leave policies to ensure that a public safety employee is paid or granted compensatory time for the same number of holidays for which any other municipal employee is paid.

     (4)  The governing authority of any municipality, in its discretion, may expend funds to provide for training and education of newly elected or appointed municipal officials before the beginning of the term of office or employment of such officials.  Any expenses incurred for such purposes may be allowed only upon prior approval of the governing authority.  Any payments or reimbursements made under the provisions of this subsection may be paid only after presentation to and approval by the governing authority of the municipality.

     (5)  The governing authority of any municipality may lease the naming rights to municipal property to a private commercial entity.

     SECTION 4.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.


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