Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6657

Public Act No. 03-229

AN ACT CONCERNING THE LATINO AND PUERTO RICAN AFFAIRS COMMISSION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 2-120 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) There is established a Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission. The initial appointees shall include all members of the Governor's Council for Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs established by Executive Order No. Ten of Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. The terms of such initial appointees shall expire on January 31, 1995.

(b) On and after February 1, 1995, the commission shall consist of thirteen members, appointed as follows: (1) Three by the Governor, one of whom shall serve for a term of one year from said February first and have expertise in the field of education, one of whom shall serve for a term of two years from said February first and have expertise in the field of human services, and one of whom shall serve for a term of three years from said February first and have expertise in the fields of small business and economic development, and each of whom thereafter shall serve for terms of three years from February first in the year of their appointment and have expertise in the field of the member's predecessor; (2) two by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one of whom shall have expertise in the field of children and youth development and one of whom shall have expertise in the field of health; (3) one by the majority leader of the Senate, who shall be a member of the public; (4) two by the minority leader of the Senate, one of whom shall have expertise in the field of environment and one of whom shall have expertise in the field of arts and culture; (5) two by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall have expertise in the field of housing and one of whom shall have expertise in the field of public safety; (6) one by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be a member of the public; and (7) two by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall have expertise in the field of transportation and one of whom shall be a member of the public. All members appointed under this subsection shall have experience in the field of Latino and Puerto Rican affairs. All members appointed under subdivision (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) or (7) of this subsection shall serve for terms of two years from February first in the year of their appointment. The commission shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from among its members. Any person absent from (A) three consecutive meetings of the commission, or (B) fifty per cent of such meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from the commission, effective immediately. Vacancies on the commission shall be filled by the appointing authority. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall, within the limits of available funds, be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties. The commission shall meet as often as deemed necessary by the chairperson or a majority of the commission.

(c) The commission shall:

(1) Review and comment on any proposed state legislation and regulations that would affect the Latino and Puerto Rican populations in the state and provide to the members of the General Assembly copies of any such comments;

(2) Advise and provide information to the Governor and the General Assembly on the state's policies concerning the Latino and Puerto Rican communities;

(3) Advise the Governor and the General Assembly concerning the coordination and administration of state programs serving the Latino and Puerto Rican populations;

(4) Maintain a liaison between the Latino and Puerto Rican communities and governmental entities, including, but not limited to, the General Assembly;

(5) Encourage Latino and Puerto Rican representation at all levels of state government, including state boards and commissions, and maintain an accessible list of prospective appointees who are members of the Latino or Puerto Rican community;

(6) Secure appropriate recognition of the accomplishments and contributions of Latino and Puerto Rican populations of the state; [and]

(7) Work in consultation with the joint committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to legislative management for the purpose of establishing a plan of short-term and long-term initiatives based on the needs of the Latino and Puerto Rican community; and

[(7)] (8) Prepare and submit to the Governor an annual report concerning its activities with any appropriate recommendations concerning the Latino and Puerto Rican populations of the state and submit a copy of the report to the joint committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to legislative management, which committee shall distribute a copy of the report to each member of the General Assembly.

(d) Any report required to be submitted to the General Assembly under subsection (c) of this section shall be submitted not later than January first, annually, in accordance with section 11-4a.

[(d)] (e) The commission may use such funds as may be available from federal, state or other sources and may enter into contracts to carry out the purposes of this section.

[(e)] (f) The commission may, subject to the provisions of chapter 67, employ any necessary staff within available appropriations.

[(f)] (g) On and after February 1, 1995, the commission shall be part of the Legislative Department.

Approved July 9, 2003