Code of Alabama

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Body:Section 41-18-1


Article I. Findings and Purposes.

(a) The party states find that the South has a sense of community based on common social, cultural and economic needs and fostered by a regional tradition. There are vast potentialities for mutual improvement of each state in the region by cooperative planning for the development, conservation and efficient utilization of human and natural resources in a geographic area large enough to afford a high degree of flexibility in identifying and taking maximum advantage of opportunities for healthy and beneficial growth. The independence of each state and the special needs of subregions are recognized and are to be safeguarded. Accordingly, the cooperation resulting from this agreement is intended to assist the states in meeting their own problems by enhancing their abilities to recognize and analyze regional opportunities and take account of regional influences in planning and implementing their public policies.

(b) The purposes of this agreement are to provide:

(1) Improved facilities and procedures for study, analysis and planning of governmental policies, programs and activities of regional significance;

(2) Assistance in the prevention of interstate conflicts and the promotion of regional cooperation;

(3) Mechanisms for the coordination of state and local interests on a regional basis; and

(4) An agency to assist the states in accomplishing the foregoing.

Article II. The Board.

(a) There is hereby created the southern growth policies board, hereinafter called "the board."

(b) The board shall consist of five members from each party state, as follows:

(1) The governor,

(2) Two members of the state legislature, one appointed by the presiding officer of each house of the legislature or in such other manner as the legislature may provide, and

(3) Two residents of the state who shall be appointed by the governor to serve at his pleasure.

(c) In making appointments pursuant to paragraph (b)(3), a governor shall, to the greatest extent practicable, select persons who, along with the other members serving pursuant to paragraph (b), will make the state's representation on the board broadly representative of the several socioeconomic elements within his state.

(d)(1) A governor may be represented by an alternate with power to act in his place and stead, if notice of the designation of such alternate is given to the board in such manner as its bylaws may provide.

(2) A legislative member of the board may be represented by an alternate with power to act in his place and stead, unless the laws of his state prohibit such representation, and if notice of the designation of such alternate is given to the board in such manner as its bylaws may provide. An alternate for a legislative member of the board shall be selected by the member from among the members of the legislative house in which he serves.

(3) A member of the board serving pursuant to paragraph (b)(3), of this article may be represented by another resident of his state who may participate in his place and stead, except that he shall not vote; provided, that notice of the identity and designation of the representative selected by the member is given to the board in such manner as its bylaws may provide.

Article III. Powers.

(a) The board shall prepare and keep current a statement of regional objectives, including recommended approaches to regional problems. The statement may also identify projects deemed by the board to be of regional significance. The statement shall be available in its initial form two years from the effective date of this agreement and shall be amended or revised no less frequently than once every six years. The statement shall be in such detail as the board may prescribe. Amendments, revisions, supplements or evaluations may be transmitted at any time. An annual commentary on the statement shall be submitted at a regular time to be determined by the board.

(b) In addition to powers conferred on the board elsewhere in this agreement, the board shall have the power to make or commission studies, investigations and recommendations with respect to:

(1) The planning and programming of projects of interstate or regional significance;

(2) Planning and scheduling of governmental services and programs which would be of assistance to the orderly growth and prosperity of the region and to the well-being of its population;

(3) Effective utilization of such federal assistance as may be available on a regional basis or as may have an interstate or regional impact;

(4) Measures for influencing population distribution, land use, development of new communities and redevelopment of existing ones;

(5) Transportation patterns and systems of interstate and regional significance;

(6) Improved utilization of human and natural resources for the advancement of the region as a whole; and

(7) Any other matters of a planning, data collection or informational character that the board may determine to be of value to the party states.

Article IV. Avoidance of Duplication.

(a) To avoid duplication of effort and in the interest of economy, the board shall make use of existing studies, surveys, plans and data and other materials in the possession of the governmental agencies of the party states and their respective subdivisions or in the possession of other interstate agencies. Each such agency, within available appropriations and if not expressly prevented or limited by law, is hereby authorized to make such materials available to the board and to otherwise assist it in the performance of its functions. At the request of the board, each such agency is further authorized to provide information regarding plans and programs affecting the region, or any subarea thereof, so that the board may have available to it current information with respect thereto.

(b) The board shall use qualified public and private agencies to make investigations and conduct research, but if it is unable to secure the undertaking of such investigations or original research by a qualified public or private agency, it shall have the power to make its own investigations and conduct its own research. The board may make contracts with any public or private agencies or private persons or entities for the undertaking of such investigations or original research within its purview.

(c) In general, the policy of paragraph (b) of this article shall apply to the activities of the board relating to its statement of regional objectives, but nothing herein shall be construed to require the board to rely on the services of other persons or agencies in developing the statement of regional objectives or any amendment, supplement or revision thereof.

Article V. Advisory Committees.

The board shall establish a local governments advisory committee. In addition, the board may establish advisory committees representative of subregions of the South, civic and community interests, industry, agriculture, labor or other categories or any combinations thereof. Unless the laws of a party state contain a contrary requirement, any public official of the party state or a subdivision thereof may serve on an advisory committee established pursuant hereto, and such service may be considered as a duty of his regular office or employment.

Article VI. Internal Management of the Board.

(a) The members of the board shall be entitled to one vote each. No action of the board shall be binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of votes on the board are cast in favor thereof. Action of the board shall be only at a meeting at which a majority of the members or their alternates are present. The board shall meet at least once a year. In its bylaws, and subject to such directions and limitations as may be contained therein, the board may delegate the exercise of any of its powers relating to internal administration and management to an executive committee or the executive director. In no event shall any such delegation include final approval of:

(1) A budget or appropriation request,

(2) The statement of regional objectives or any amendment, supplement or revision thereof,

(3) Official comments on or recommendations with respect to projects of interstate or regional significance, or

(4) The annual report.

(b) To assist in the expeditious conduct of its business when the full board is not meeting, the board shall elect an executive committee of not to exceed 17 members, including at least one member from each party state. The executive committee, subject to the provisions of this agreement and consistent with the policies of the board, shall be constituted and function as provided in the bylaws of the board. One half of the membership of the executive committee shall consist of governors, and the remainder shall consist of other members of the board, except that at any time when there is an odd number of members on the executive committee the number of governors shall be one less than half of the total membership. The members of the executive committee shall serve for terms of two years, except that members elected to the first executive committee shall be elected as follows: one less than half of the membership for two years and the remainder for one year. The chairman, chairman-elect, vice-chairman and treasurer of the board shall be members of the executive committee and, anything in this paragraph to the contrary notwithstanding, shall serve during their continuance in these offices. Vacancies in the executive committee shall not affect its authority to act, but the board at its next regularly ensuing meeting following the occurrence of any vacancy shall fill it for the unexpired term.

(c) The board shall have a seal.

(d) The board shall elect from among its members a chairman, a chairman-elect, a vice-chairman and a treasurer. Elections shall be annual. The chairman-elect shall succeed to the office of chairman for the year following his service as chairman-elect. For purposes of the election and service of officers of the board, the year shall be deemed to commence at the conclusion of the annual meeting of the board and terminate at the conclusion of the next annual meeting thereof. The board shall provide for the appointment of an executive director. Such executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the board and, together with the treasurer and such other personnel as the board may deem appropriate, shall be bonded in such amounts as the board shall determine. The executive director shall be secretary.

(e) The executive director, subject to the policy set forth in this agreement and any applicable directions given by the board, may make contracts on behalf of the board.

(f) Irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the party states, the executive director, subject to the approval of the board, shall appoint, remove or discharge such personnel as may be necessary for the performance of the functions of the board and shall fix the duties and compensation of such personnel. The board in its bylaws shall provide for the personnel policies and programs of the board.

(g) The board may borrow, accept or contract for the services of personnel from any party jurisdiction, the United States or any subdivision or agency of the aforementioned governments, or from any agency of two or more of the party jurisdictions or their subdivisions.

(h) The board may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this agreement any and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state, the United States, or any other governmental agency or from any person, firm, association, foundation, or corporation, and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same. Any donation or grant accepted by the board pursuant to this paragraph or services borrowed pursuant to paragraph (g) of this article shall be reported in the annual report of the board. Such report shall include the nature, amount and conditions if any, of the donation, grant or services borrowed and the identity of the donor or lender.

(i) The board may establish and maintain such facilities as may be necessary for the transacting of its business. The board may acquire, hold and convey real and personal property and any interest therein.

(j) The board shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its business and shall have the power to amend and rescind these bylaws. The board shall publish its bylaws in convenient form and shall file a copy thereof and a copy of any amendment thereto with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the party states.

(k) The board annually shall make to the governor and legislature of each party state a report covering the activities of the board for the preceding year. The board at any time may make such additional reports and transmit such studies as it may deem desirable.

(l) The board may do any other or additional things appropriate to implement powers conferred upon it by this agreement.

Article VII. Finance

(a) The board shall advise the governor or designated officer or officers of each party state of its budget of estimated expenditures for such period as may be required by the laws of that party state. Each of the board's budgets of estimated expenditures shall contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each of the party states.

(b) The total amount of appropriation requests under any budget shall be apportioned among the party states. Such apportionment shall be in accordance with the following formula:

(1) One third in equal shares,

(2) One third in the proportion that the population of a party state bears to the population of all party states, and

(3) One third in the proportion that the per capita income in a party state bears to the per capita income in all party states.

In implementing this formula, the board shall employ the most recent authoritative sources of information and shall specify the sources used.

(c) The board shall not pledge the credit of any party state. The board may meet any of its obligations in whole or in part with funds available to it pursuant to article VI (h) of this agreement, provided that the board takes specific action setting aside such funds prior to incurring an obligation to be met in whole or in part in such manner. Except where the board makes use of funds available to it pursuant to article VI (h), or borrows pursuant to this paragraph, the board shall not incur any obligation prior to the allotment of funds by the party states adequate to meet the same. The board may borrow against anticipated revenues for terms not to exceed two years, but in any such event the credit pledged shall be that of the board and not of a party state.

(d) The board shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the board shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established by its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the board shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the board.

(e) The accounts of the board shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection by duly constituted officers of the party states and by any persons authorized by the board.

(f) Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prevent board compliance with laws relating to audit or inspection of accounts by or on behalf of any government contributing to the support of the board.

Article VIII. Cooperation With the Federal Government and Other Governmental Entities.

Each party state is hereby authorized to participate in cooperative or joint planning undertakings with the federal government, and any appropriate agency or agencies thereof, or with any interstate agency or agencies. Such participation shall be at the instance of the governor or in such manner as state law may provide or authorize. The board may facilitate the work of state representatives in any joint interstate or cooperative federal-state undertaking authorized by this article, and each such state shall keep the board advised of its activities in respect of such undertakings, to the extent that they have interstate or regional significance.

Article IX. Subregional Activities.

The board may undertake studies or investigations centering on the problems of one or more selected subareas within the region; provided, that in its judgment such studies or investigations will have value as demonstrations for similar or other areas within the region. If a study or investigation that would be of primary benefit to a given state, unit of local government, or intrastate or interstate area is proposed, and if the board finds that it is not justified in undertaking the work for its regional value as a demonstration, the board may undertake the study or investigation as a special project. In any such event, it shall be a condition precedent that satisfactory financing and personnel arrangements be concluded to assure that the party or parties benefited bear all costs which the board determines that it would be inequitable for it to assume. Prior to undertaking any study or investigation pursuant to this article as a special project, the board shall make reasonable efforts to secure the undertaking of the work by another responsible public or private entity in accordance with the policy set forth in article IV (b).

Article X. Comprehensive Land Use Planning.

If any two or more contiguous party states desire to prepare a single or consolidated comprehensive land use plan or a land use plan for any interstate area lying partly within each such state, the governors of the states involved may designate the board as their joint agency for the purpose. The board shall accept such designation and carry out such responsibility; provided, that the states involved make arrangements satisfactory to the board to reimburse it or otherwise provide the resources with which the land use plan is to be prepared. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to deny the availability for use in the preparation of any such plan of data and information already in the possession of the board or to require payment on account of the use thereof in addition to payments otherwise required to be made pursuant to other provisions of this agreement.

Article XI. Compacts and Agencies Unaffected.

Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to:

(1) Affect the powers or jurisdiction of any agency of a party state or any subdivision thereof;

(2) Affect the rights or obligations of any governmental units, agencies or officials, or of any private persons or entities conferred or imposed by any interstate or interstate-federal compacts to which any one or more states participating herein are parties; or

(3) Impinge on the jurisdiction of any existing interstate-federal mechanism for regional planning or development.

Article XII. Eligible Parties; Entry Into and Withdrawal.

(a) This agreement shall have as eligible parties the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

(b) Any eligible state may enter into this agreement, and it shall become binding thereon when it has adopted the same; provided, that in order to enter into initial effect, adoption by at least five states shall be required.

(c) Adoption of the agreement may be either by enactment thereof or by adherence thereto by the governor; provided, that in the absence of enactment, adherence by the governor shall be sufficient to make his state a party only until December 31, 1977. During any period when a state is participating in this agreement through gubernatorial action, the governor may provide to the board an equitable share of the financial support of the board from any source available to him. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require a governor to take action contrary to the constitution or laws of his state.

(d) Except for a withdrawal effective on December 31, 1977, in accordance with paragraph (c) of this article, any party state may withdraw from this agreement by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect until one year after the governor of the withdrawing state has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to the governors of all other party states. No withdrawal shall affect any liability already incurred by or chargeable to a party state prior to the time of such withdrawal.

Article XIII. Construction and Severability.

This agreement shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this agreement shall be severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this agreement is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any state or of the United States, or the application thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this agreement and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this agreement shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state participating therein, the agreement shall remain in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.

(Acts 1975, No. 1206, ยง1.)