Section 16.615, Florida Statutes 2009
16.615 Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.--
(1) The Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys is established within the Department of Legal Affairs and shall consist of 19 members appointed as follows:
(a) Two members of the Senate who are not members of the same political party, appointed by the President of the Senate with the advice of the Minority Leader of the Senate.
(b) Two members of the House of Representatives who are not members of the same political party, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives with the advice of the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
(c) The Secretary of Children and Family Services or his or her designee.
(d) The director of the Mental Health Program Office within the Department of Children and Family Services or his or her designee.
(e) The State Surgeon General or his or her designee.
(f) The Commissioner of Education or his or her designee.
(g) The Secretary of Corrections or his or her designee.
(h) The Attorney General or his or her designee.
(i) The Secretary of Management Services or his or her designee.
(j) The director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation or his or her designee.
(k) A businessperson who is an African American, as defined in s. 760.80(2)(a), appointed by the Governor.
(l) Two persons appointed by the President of the Senate who are not members of the Legislature or employed by state government. One of the appointees must be a clinical psychologist.
(m) Two persons appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives who are not members of the Legislature or employed by state government. One of the appointees must be an Africana studies professional.
(n) The deputy secretary for Medicaid in the Agency for Health Care Administration or his or her designee.
(o) The Secretary of Juvenile Justice or his or her designee.
(2) Each member of the council shall be appointed to a 4-year term; however, for the purpose of providing staggered terms, of the initial appointments, 9 members shall be appointed to 2-year terms and 10 members shall be appointed to 4-year terms. A member of the council may be removed at any time by the member's appointing authority who shall fill the vacancy on the council.
(3)(a) At the first meeting of the council each year, the members shall elect a chair and a vice chair.
(b) A vacancy in the office of chair or vice chair shall be filled by vote of the remaining members.
(4)(a) The council shall make a systematic study of the conditions affecting black men and boys, including, but not limited to, homicide rates, arrest and incarceration rates, poverty, violence, drug abuse, death rates, disparate annual income levels, school performance in all grade levels including postsecondary levels, and health issues.
(b) The council shall propose measures to alleviate and correct the underlying causes of the conditions described in paragraph (a). These measures may consist of changes to the law or systematic changes that can be implemented without legislative action.
(c) The council may study other topics suggested by the Legislature or as directed by the chair of the council.
(d) The council shall receive suggestions or comments pertinent to the applicable issues from members of the Legislature, governmental agencies, public and private organizations, and private citizens.
(e) The council shall monitor outcomes of the direct-support organization created pursuant to s. 16.616.
(f) The council shall develop a strategic program and funding initiative to establish local Councils on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.
(5) The council may:
(a) Access data held by any state departments or agencies, which data is otherwise a public record.
(b) Make requests directly to the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee for assistance with research and monitoring of outcomes by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.
(c) Request, through council members who are also legislators, research assistance from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research within the Florida Legislature.
(d) Request information and assistance from the state or any political subdivision, municipal corporation, public officer, or governmental department thereof.
(e) Apply for and accept funds, grants, gifts, and services from the state, the Federal Government or any of its agencies, or any other public or private source for the purpose of defraying clerical and administrative costs as may be necessary for carrying out its duties under this section.
(f) Work directly with, or request information and assistance on issues pertaining to education from, Florida's historically black colleges and universities.
(6) The Office of the Attorney General shall provide staff and administrative support to the council.
(7) The council shall meet quarterly and at other times at the call of the chair or as determined by a majority of council members and approved by the Attorney General.
(8) Eleven of the members of the council constitute a quorum, and an affirmative vote of a majority of the members present is required for final action.
(9)(a) The council shall issue its first annual report by December 15, 2007, and by December 15 each following year, stating the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the council. The council shall submit the report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairpersons of the standing committees of jurisdiction in each chamber.
(b) The initial report must include the findings of an investigation into factors causing black-on-black crime from the perspective of public health related to mental health, other health issues, cultural disconnection, and cultural identity trauma.
(10) Members of the council shall serve without compensation. Members are entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061. State officers and employees shall be reimbursed from the budget of the agency through which they serve. Other members may be reimbursed by the Department of Legal Affairs.
(11) The council and any subcommittees it forms are subject to the provisions of chapter 119, related to public records, and the provisions of chapter 286, related to public meetings.
(12) Each member of the council who is not otherwise required to file a financial disclosure statement pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144, must file a disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
History.--s. 1, ch. 2006-123; s. 2, ch. 2008-6; s. 1, ch. 2008-130.