Bill Text: MS HB717 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Contractors; require to submit signed agreement acknowledging certain information when submitting a bid.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2021-02-02 - Died In Committee [HB717 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2021-HB717-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2021 Regular Session

To: Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency; Judiciary A

By: Representative Williams-Barnes

House Bill 717

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 31-5-37, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE CONTRACTORS SUBMITTING BIDS ON PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS TO SUBMIT A SIGNED AGREEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR AWARENESS OF CERTAIN STATUTORY HIRING POLICIES; TO REQUIRE THE SIGNED AGREEMENT TO BE SUBMITTED WITH THE CONTRACTOR'S BID AND EMPLOYMENT PLAN; TO AMEND SECTION 37-153-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  Section 31-5-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     31-5-37.  (1)  All public works projects utilizing funds received by state or local governmental entities resulting from a federally declared disaster or a spill of national significance, including damages, penalties, fines or supplemental projects paid or financed by responsible parties pursuant to a court order, negotiated settlement, or other instrument, including under any law distributing such fines and penalties including the federal Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economy of the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 (R.E.S.T.O.R.E.), the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 or the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or similar legislation, shall be subject to the hiring policies established by this section.

     (2)  Contractors submitting bids for public works projects that involve an expenditure of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or more and that are financed, in whole or in part, through the use of funds described in subsection (1) of this section shall submit * * *with their bid a certification that they will comply with the provisions of this section if they are awarded a contract a signed agreement acknowledging awareness of this section and its requirements, which must be submitted with the contractor's bid and employment plan.  The contractor shall submit to the agency or governing authority that solicited the bid and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security an employment plan within seven (7) days after the award of the contract which shall include the following:

          (a)  The types of jobs involved in the public works project;

          (b)  The skill level of the jobs involved in the project;

          (c)  Wage information on the jobs involved in the project;

          (d)  The number of vacant positions that the contractor and any subcontractor needs to fill;

          (e)  How the contractor and any subcontractor will recruit, low-wage and unemployed individuals for job vacancies;

          (f)  Such other information as may be required by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security; and

          (g)  Proof of registration with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security for taxation in accordance with the provisions of Title 71.

     (3)  From the date written notice of the contract award is received and until ten (10) business days after the receipt of the employment plan by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the contractor and any subcontractor shall not hire any personnel to fill vacant positions necessary for the public works project except residents of the State of Mississippi who are to be verified by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and/or those qualified individuals who are submitted by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.  For purposes of this subsection, the contractor or subcontractor is authorized to employ Mississippi residents to begin work immediately, and such persons are to be verified by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security after employment by the contractor or subcontractor.  During the ten-day period, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security shall submit qualified individuals to the contractor to consider for the vacant positions.  The contractor shall review the individuals submitted by the department before hiring individuals who are not submitted by the department.  The contract award shall be vacated if the contractor fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection.

     SECTION 2.  Section 37-153-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-153-7.  (1)  There is created the Mississippi Office of Workforce Development and the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board, which shall serve as the advisory board for the office.  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board shall be composed of thirty-one (31) voting members, of which a majority shall be representatives of business and industry in accordance with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or any successive acts.

     (2)  The members of the State Workforce Investment Board shall include:

          (a)  The Governor, or his designee;

          (b)  Nineteen (19) members, appointed by the Governor, of whom:

              (i)  A majority shall be representatives of businesses in the state, who:

                   1.  Are owners of businesses, chief executives or operating officers of businesses, or other business executives or employers with optimum policymaking or hiring authority, and who, in addition, may be members of a local board described in Section 3122(b)(2)(A)(i) of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  At least two (2) of the members appointed under this item 1. shall be small business owners, chief executives or operating officers of businesses with less than fifty (50) employees;

                   2.  Represent businesses, including small businesses, or organizations representing businesses, which provide employment opportunities that, at a minimum, include high-quality, work-relevant training and development in high-demand industry sectors or occupations in the state; and

                   3.  Are appointed from among individuals nominated by state business organizations and business trade associations;

              (ii)  Not less than twenty percent (20%) shall consist of representatives of the workforce within the state, which:

                   1.  Includes labor organization representatives who have been nominated by state labor federations;

                   2.  Includes a labor organization member or training director from an apprenticeship program in the state, which shall be a joint labor-management apprenticeship program if such a program exists in the state;

                   3.  May include representatives of community-based organizations, including organizations serving veterans or providing or supporting competitive, integrated employment for individuals with disabilities, who have demonstrated experience and expertise in addressing employment, training or education needs of individuals with barriers to employment; and

                   4.  May include representatives of organizations, including organizations serving out-of-school youth, who have demonstrated experience or expertise in addressing the employment, training or education needs of eligible youth;

              (iii)  The balance shall include government representatives, including the lead state officials with primary responsibility for core programs, and chief elected officials (collectively representing both cities and counties, where appropriate);

          (c)  Two (2) representatives of businesses in the state appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;

          (d)  Two (2) representatives of businesses in the state appointed by the Governor from a list of three (3) recommendations from the Speaker of the House; and

          (e)  The following state officials:

              (i)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security;

              (ii)  The Executive Director of the Department of Rehabilitation Services;

              (iii)  The State Superintendent of Public Education;

              (iv)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority;

              (v)  The Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Board;

              (vi)  The President of the Community College Association; and

              (vii)  The Commissioner of the Institutions of Higher Learning.

          (f)  One (1) senator, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, and one (1) representative, appointed by the Speaker of the House, shall serve on the state board in a nonvoting capacity.

          (g)  The Governor may appoint additional members if required by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or any successive acts.

          (h)  Members of the board shall serve a term of four (4) years, and shall not serve more than three (3) consecutive terms.

          (i)  The membership of the board shall reflect the diversity of the State of Mississippi.

          (j)  The Governor shall designate the Chairman of the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board from among the business and industry voting members of the board, and a quorum of the board shall consist of a majority of the voting members of the board.

          (k)  The voting members of the board who are not state employees shall be entitled to reimbursement of their reasonable expenses in the manner and amount specified in Section 25-3-41 and shall be entitled to receive per diem compensation as authorized in Section 25-3-69.

     (3)  Members of the state board may be recalled by their appointing authority for cause, including a felony conviction, fraudulent or dishonest acts or gross abuse of discretion, failure to meet board member qualifications, or chronic failure to attend board meetings.

     (4)  The Mississippi Department of Employment Security shall establish limits on administrative costs for each portion of Mississippi's workforce development system consistent with the federal Workforce Investment Act or any future federal workforce legislation.

     (5)  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board shall have the following duties.  These duties are intended to be consistent with the scope of duties provided in the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, amendments and successor legislation to this act, and other relevant federal law:

          (a)  Through the office, develop and submit to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House a strategic plan for an integrated state workforce development system that aligns resources and structures the system to more effectively and efficiently meet the demands of Mississippi's employers and job seekers.  This plan will comply with the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, as amended, the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 and amendments and successor legislation to these acts;

          (b)  Assist the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House in the development and continuous improvement of the statewide workforce investment system that shall include:

              (i)  Development of linkages in order to assure coordination and nonduplication among programs and activities; and

              (ii)  Review local workforce development plans that reflect the use of funds from the federal Workforce Investment Act, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act and the amendment or successor legislation to the acts, and the Mississippi Comprehensive Workforce Training and Education Consolidation Act;

          (c)  Recommend to the office the designation of local workforce investment areas as required in Section 116 of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.  There shall be four (4) workforce investment areas that are generally aligned with the planning and development district structure in Mississippi.  Planning and development districts will serve as the fiscal agents to manage Workforce Investment Act funds, oversee and support the local workforce investment boards aligned with the area and the local programs and activities as delivered by the one-stop employment and training system.  The planning and development districts will perform this function through the provisions of the county cooperative service districts created under Sections 19-3-101 through 19-3-115; however, planning and development districts currently performing this function under the Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1974, Sections 17-13-1 through 17-13-17, may continue to do so;

          (d)  Assist the Governor in the development of an allocation formula for the distribution of funds for adult employment and training activities and youth activities to local workforce investment areas;

          (e)  Recommend comprehensive, results-oriented measures that shall be applied to all of Mississippi's workforce development system programs;

          (f)  Assist the Governor in the establishment and management of a one-stop employment and training system conforming to the requirements of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, as amended, recommending policy for implementing the Governor's approved plan for employment and training activities and services within the state.  In developing this one-stop career operating system, the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board, in conjunction with local workforce investment boards, shall:

              (i)  Design broad guidelines for the delivery of workforce development programs;

              (ii)  Identify all existing delivery agencies and other resources;

              (iii)  Define appropriate roles of the various agencies to include an analysis of service providers' strengths and weaknesses;

              (iv)  Determine the best way to utilize the various agencies to deliver services to recipients; and

              (v)  Develop a financial plan to support the delivery system that shall, at a minimum, include an accountability system;

          (g)  To provide authority, in accordance with any executive order of the Governor, for developing the necessary collaboration among state agencies at the highest level for accomplishing the purposes of this chapter;

          (h)  To monitor the effectiveness of the workforce development centers and WIN job centers;

          (i)  To advise the Governor, public schools, community/junior colleges and institutions of higher learning on effective school-to-work transition policies and programs that link students moving from high school to higher education and students moving between community colleges and four-year institutions in pursuit of academic and technical skills training;

          (j)  To work with industry to identify barriers that inhibit the delivery of quality workforce education and the responsiveness of educational institutions to the needs of industry;

          (k)  To provide periodic assessments on effectiveness and results of the overall Mississippi comprehensive workforce development system and district councils;

          (l)  Develop broad statewide development goals, including a goal to raise the state's labor force participation rate;

          (m)  Perform a comprehensive review of Mississippi's workforce development efforts, including the amount spent and effectiveness of programs supported by state or federal money; and

          (n)  To assist the Governor in carrying out any other responsibility required by the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, as amended and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, successor legislation and amendments.

          (o)  Assist the Mississippi Department of Employment Security in performing the duties required in Section 31-5-37.

     (6)  The Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board shall coordinate all training programs and funds within its purview, consistent with the federal Workforce Investment Act, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, amendments and successor legislation to these acts, and other relevant federal law.

     Each state agency director responsible for workforce training activities shall advise the Mississippi Office of Workforce Development and the State Workforce Investment Board of appropriate federal and state requirements.  Each state agency, department and institution shall report any monies received for workforce training activities or career and technical education and a detailed itemization of how those monies were spent to the state board.  The board shall compile the data and provide a report of the monies and expenditures to the Chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee, the Chair of the House Workforce Development Committee and the Chair of the Senate Economic and Workforce Development Committee by October 1 of each year.  Each such state agency director shall remain responsible for the actions of his agency; however, each state agency and director shall work cooperatively to fulfill the state's goals.

     (7)  The State Workforce Investment Board shall establish an executive committee, which shall consist of the following State Workforce Investment Board members:

          (a)  The Chair of the State Workforce Investment Board;

          (b)  Two (2) business representatives currently serving on the state board selected by the Governor;

          (c)  The two (2) business representatives currently serving on the state board appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;

          (d)  The two (2) business representatives currently serving on the state board appointed by the Governor from a list of three (3) recommendations from the Speaker of the House;

          (e)  The two (2) legislators, who shall serve in a nonvoting capacity, one (1) of whom shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the membership of the Mississippi Senate and one (1) of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from the membership of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

     (8)  The executive committee shall select an executive director of the Office of Workforce Development, with the advice and consent of a majority of the State Workforce Investment Board.  The executive committee shall seek input from economic development organizations across the state when selecting the executive director.  The executive director shall:

          (a)  Be a person with extensive experience in development of economic, human and physical resources, and promotion of industrial and commercial development.  The executive director shall have a bachelor's degree from a state-accredited institution and no less than eight (8) years of professional experience related to workforce or economic development;

          (b)  Perform the functions necessary for the daily operation and administration of the office, with oversight from the executive committee and the State Workforce Investment Board, to fulfill the duties of the state board as described in Chapter 476, Laws of 2020;

          (c)  Hire staff needed for the performance of his or her duties under this act.  The executive director, with approval from the executive committee, shall set the compensation of any hired employees from any funds made available for that purpose;

          (d)  Enter any part of the Mississippi Community College Board, individual community and junior colleges, or other workforce training facilities operated by the state or its subdivisions;

          (e)  Serve at the will and pleasure of the executive committee;

          (f)  Promulgate rules and regulations, subject to oversight by the executive committee, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may be necessary to enforce the provisions in this act; and

          (g)  Perform any other actions he or she, in consultation with the executive committee, deems necessary to fulfill the duties under Chapter 476, Laws of 2020.

     (9)  The Office of Workforce Development and Mississippi Community College Board shall collaborate in the administration and oversight of the Mississippi Workforce Enhancement Training Fund and Mississippi Works Fund, as described in Section 71-5-353.  The executive director shall maintain complete and exclusive operational control of the office's functions.

     (10)  The office shall file an annual report with the Governor, Secretary of State, President of the Senate, Secretary of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and Clerk of the House not later than October 1 of each year regarding all funds approved by the office to be expended on workforce training during the prior calendar year.  The report shall include:

          (a)  Information on the performance of the Mississippi Workforce Enhancement Training Fund and the Mississippi Works Fund, in terms of adding value to the local and state economy, the contribution to future growth of the state economy, and movement toward state goals, including increasing the labor force participation rate; and

          (b)  With respect to specific workforce training projects:

              (i)  The location of the training;

              (ii)  The amount allocated to the project;

              (iii)  The purpose of the project;

              (iv)  The specific business entity that is the beneficiary of the project; and

              (v)  The number of employees intended to be trained and actually trained, if applicable, in the course of the project.

          (c)  All information concerning a proposed project which is provided to the executive director shall be kept confidential.  Such confidentiality shall not limit disclosure under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 of records describing the nature, quantity, cost or other pertinent information related to the activities of, or services performed using, the Mississippi Workforce Enhancement Training Fund or the Mississippi Works Fund.

     (11)  Nothing in Chapter 476, Laws of 2020 [Senate Bill No. 2564] shall void or otherwise interrupt any contract, lease, grant or other agreement previously entered into by the State Workforce Investment Board, Mississippi Community College Board, individual community or junior colleges, or other entities.

     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.


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