ASSEMBLY, No. 2326
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 16, 1996
By Assemblymen DORIA, COLLINS and Roberts
An Act creating the Commission on the Status of Minorities and making an appropriation.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. There is established a legislative study commission to be known as the Commission on the Status of Minorities. The purpose of the commission is to assess the status of social and economic opportunities for New Jersey's ethnic and racial minorities of color. Social opportunities include, but are not limited to, opportunities to earn at all grade levels an equal education, opportunities to access publicly- and privately-supported health and social services, opportunities to benefit from governmental efforts promoting and fostering respect for diversity and multiculturalism and eliminating discrimination and racism, and opportunities to favorably interact with the judiciary and law enforcement agencies. Economic opportunities include, but are not limited to, opportunities to access public and private capital for small business development, opportunities to procure home mortgage financing and quality housing, and opportunities for equal employment in the public and private sectors.
2. a. The commission shall consist of 20 members. Of four legislative members, two shall be appointed by the President of the Senate from among its members thereof, not more than one of whom shall be of the same political party, and two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly from among its members thereof, not more than one of whom shall be of the same political party. The remaining 16 public members shall be appointed as follows: four by the President of the Senate, one of 1[which] whom1 shall be selected from a list submitted by the New Jersey Ethnic and Racial Alliance ("NJERA"); four by the Minority Leader of the Senate, one of 1[which] whom1 shall be selected from a list submitted by the NJERA; four by the Speaker of the General Assembly, one of 1[which] whom1 shall be selected from a list submitted by the NJERA; and four appointed by the Minority Leader of the General Assembly, one of 1[which] whom1 shall be selected from a list submitted by the NJERA. The percentage of public members of African-American and Latino descent shall approximate the percentage of African-Americans and Latinos in the State. The percentage of public members of Asian and Native American descent shall exceed the percentage of Asians and Native Americans in the State due to their underrepresentation in the State.
b. All appointments shall be made within 30 days following the effective date of this act. The commission shall convene as soon as possible after a majority of its authorized membership has been appointed. At the commission's first meeting, an Executive Director shall be appointed by the commissioners.
c. Legislative members shall serve during their terms of office. A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
d. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for necessary and reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties. Reimbursement of costs and expenses is limited to the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the commission for its purposes.
3. In its first year, the duties of the commission shall be to:
a. review current literature and statistical data concerning ethnic and racial minorities of color;
b. interview experts;
c. hire consultants;
d. meet and hold hearings at such places and times as it designates; and
e. catalogue and inventory existing public and private resources aimed at providing social and economic opportunities to the State's communities of color.
In its second year, the duties of the commission shall be to:
a. create from the catalogued and inventoried information gathered in the first year a comprehensive database to be located at and managed by the Institute for Urban and Public Policy at Rowan College; the database shall be made available to the public, State and local governments and nongovernmental organizations, particularly those representing the State's African American, Asian, Latino and Native American communities;
b. issue interim reports as necessary; and
c. issue a final report to the people of New Jersey containing its findings and recommendations regarding the status of opportunities for minorities of color.
4. The commission shall be entitled to the assistance and services of the officials and employees of the State and its political subdivisions and their departments, boards, bureaus, commissions and agencies as it may require to discharge its obligations and as may be available to it.
5. There is appropriated to the commission from the General Fund the sum of $300,000 to effectuate the purposes of this act.
6. This act shall take effect immediately and expire two years following the date of the first meeting of the commission.
Creates the Commission on the Status of Minorities.