House Bill No. 499

Introduced By bohlinger



A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act establishing an office of the state coordinator for ethnic affairs; defining the duties and responsibilities of the coordinator for ethnic affairs; and amending section 2-18-103, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."



Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:



NEW SECTION. Section 1.  Legislative findings. The legislature finds that:

(1) people of different cultures in this state are confronted by problems such as unemployment, underemployment, and the lack of economic and educational opportunity;

(2) the problems facing people of different cultures are perpetuated because there has been no concerted or faithful effort to eliminate the factors contributing to undesirable social and economic conditions for people of different cultures in the state; and

(3) there is a need to increase the awareness of both the public and private sectors in order to address the current problems and conditions confronting people of different cultures in Montana.



NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Purpose. Consistent with the findings stated in [section 1], the legislature declares that it is the purpose of [sections 1 through 7] to assist and enable people of different cultures to take their rightful place in society.



NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Definitions. For purposes of [sections 1 through 7], unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Coordinator for ethnic affairs" means the person appointed by the governor to serve in the office of the state coordinator for ethnic affairs as provided in [section 5].

(2) "People of different cultures" means people of Hispanic, black, Asian, or American Indian descent ANY ETHNIC MINORITY.



NEW SECTION. Section 4.  Office of state coordinator for ethnic affairs. (1) There is an office of state coordinator for ethnic affairs within the commission for human rights, as provided for in 2-15-1706.

(2) FUNDING FOR THE OFFICE AND FOR THE COORDINATOR FOR ETHNIC AFFAIRS MUST BE PROVIDED FROM THE BUDGET OF THE COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.

(3) THE OFFICE OF THE COORDINATOR FOR ETHNIC AFFAIRS MUST BE LOCATED WITHIN THE MUNICIPALITY IN MONTANA WITH THE HIGHEST TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT CULTURES BASED ON THE LATEST U.S. CENSUS.



NEW SECTION. Section 5.  Appointment of coordinator for ethnic affairs. (1) The governor shall appoint the coordinator for ethnic affairs from a list of qualified people of different cultures that must include the names of persons submitted by organizations representing people of different cultures in the state.

(2) The governor shall set the salary of the coordinator for ethnic affairs.



NEW SECTION. Section 6.  Term -- vacancy in office. (1) The coordinator for ethnic affairs shall serve a term of 4 years and may be reappointed by the governor.

(2) A vacancy in the office must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.



NEW SECTION. Section 7.  Duties and responsibilities. The coordinator for ethnic affairs shall:

(1) become acquainted with the problems confronting people of different cultures in Montana;

(2) focus attention on the problems of people of different cultures in the state in order to foster better understanding and concern for the problems of people of different cultures;

(3) inform the governor and the legislature of the problems of people of different cultures and recommend ways to address these problems;

(4) serve as a representative for people of different cultures in all matters of state government of special concern to people of different cultures in the state; and

(5) carry out any other responsibilities consistent with the purpose of [sections 1 through 7].



Section 8.  Section 2-18-103, MCA, is amended to read:

"2-18-103.   Officers and employees excepted. (1) Parts 1 and 2 do not apply to the following positions in state government:

(a)  elected officials;

(b)  county assessors and their chief deputy;

(c)  employees of the office of consumer counsel;

(d)  judges and employees of the judicial branch;

(e)  members of boards and commissions appointed by the governor, the legislature, or other elected state officials;

(f)  officers or members of the militia;

(g)  agency heads appointed by the governor;

(h)  academic and professional administrative personnel with individual contracts under the authority of the board of regents of higher education;

(i)  academic and professional administrative personnel and live-in houseparents who have entered into individual contracts with the state school for the deaf and blind under the authority of the state board of public education;

(j)  teachers under the authority of the department of corrections or the department of public health and human services;

(k)  investment officer, assistant investment officer, executive director, and three professional staff positions of the board of investments;

(l)  four professional staff positions under the board of oil and gas conservation;

(m)  assistant director for security of the Montana state lottery;

(n)  executive director and senior investment officer of the Montana board of science and technology development;

(o)  executive director and employees of the state compensation insurance fund;

(p)  state racing stewards employed by the executive secretary of the Montana board of horseracing;

(q)  executive director of the Montana wheat and barley committee;

(r)  commissioner of banking and financial institutions; and

(s)  training coordinator for county attorneys; and

(t) state coordinator for ethnic affairs.

(2)  Employees of an entity of the legislative branch, other than the office of consumer counsel, are exempt from the application of 2-18-1011 through 2-18-1013. With respect to entities of the legislative branch, other than the office of consumer counsel:

(a)  as used in parts 1 through 3 of this chapter, references to the "department of administration" or "department" apply to the legislative council established by 5-11-101, which may delegate administrative duties to the legislative services division established by 5-11-111;

(b)  as used in 2-18-102, the term "governor" applies to the legislature; and

(c)  as used in 2-18-204, the term "budget director" applies to the "approving authority" as defined in 17-7-102."



NEW SECTION. Section 9.   Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 7] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 90, and the provisions of Title 90 apply to [sections 1 through 7].



NEW SECTION. SECTION 10. EFFECTIVE DATE. [THIS ACT] IS EFFECTIVE ON PASSAGE AND APPROVAL.

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