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     2-15-1820. Economic development advisory council. (1) There is an economic development advisory council.
     (2) The council is composed of up to 19 members appointed as follows:
     (a) 15 members appointed by the governor to include:
     (i) the director of the department of commerce;
     (ii) the chief business development officer provided for in 2-15-219, who serves as presiding officer of the council;
     (iii) one member from a Montana tribal government who represents a tribal economic development organization; and
     (iv) up to 12 public members representing each geographic region covered by each of the regional development corporations certified by the department pursuant to 90-1-116; and
     (b) (i) two representatives, including one from each party, appointed by the speaker of the house; and
     (ii) two senators, including one from each party, appointed by the committee on committees.
     (3) The governor is encouraged to appoint to the initial council two individuals who were members of the microbusiness advisory council immediately prior to its being abolished.
     (4) (a) Except as provided in subsection (4)(b), members of the council shall serve staggered 3-year terms subject to replacement at the discretion of the governor. The governor shall designate five of the initial members to serve 1-year terms and five of the initial members to serve 2-year terms.
     (b) Legislative members must be appointed on or before the 10th day of each regular session of the legislature and shall serve until the convening of the next regular session of the legislature. If a vacancy on the council occurs during a legislative interim, that vacancy must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
     (5) Members of the council, other than legislative members, are not entitled to compensation for their services except for reimbursement of expenses as provided in 2-18-501 through 2-18-503. Legislative members of the council are entitled to compensation pursuant to 5-2-302, which must be paid by the department of commerce.
     (6) The council shall:
     (a) advise the department concerning the distribution of funds to certified regional development corporations for business development purposes in accordance with 90-1-116 and this section;
     (b) advise the department regarding the creation, operation, and maintenance of the microbusiness finance program and the policies and operations affecting the certified microbusiness development corporations;
     (c) advise the governor and the department on significant matters concerning economic development in Montana;
     (d) prescribe allowable administrative expenses for which economic development funds may be used by certified regional development corporations; and
     (e) encourage certified regional development corporations to promote economic development on Indian reservations in their regions.
     (7) The council is allocated to the department of commerce for administrative purposes only as provided in 2-15-121.

     History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 351, L. 2003.

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