§ 23-19-6. Creation, membership, and terms of the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.
(a) There is authorized, created, and established a public corporation of the state, having a distinct legal existence from the state and not constituting a department of the state government, with the politic and corporate powers set forth in this chapter, to be known as the Rhode Island resource recovery corporation, ("the corporation") to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The corporation is constituted a public instrumentality and agency exercising public and essential governmental functions, and the exercise by the corporation of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential governmental function of the state.
(b) It is the intent of the general assembly by the passage of this chapter to create and establish a public corporation and instrumentality and agency of the state for the purpose of the activities authorized by this chapter, and to vest the corporation with all powers, authority, rights, privileges, and titles that may be necessary to enable it to accomplish those purposes. This chapter shall be liberally construed in conformance with the purpose expressed in this section.
(c) The powers of the corporation shall be vested in nine (9) commissioners, consisting of the director of administration, or the director's designee, who shall be a subordinate within the department of administration, who shall serve as an ex-officio member, and eight (8) public members to be appointed by the governor with advice and consent of the senate, at least three (3) of whom shall be a resident of the town of Johnston. In making these appointments, the governor shall give due consideration to recommendations from the mayor of the town of Johnston and from the League of Cities and Towns. The governor shall also give due consideration to recommendations from representatives of the commercial waste haulers, and environmental advocacy organizations, and shall consider persons experienced in the field of recycling. Those members of the corporation as of May 4, 2006 who were appointed to the corporation by members of the general assembly shall cease to be members of the corporation on May 4, 2006, and the governor shall thereupon nominate one new member who shall serve the balance of the unexpired term of his or her predecessor. Those members of the corporation as of May 4, 2006 who were appointed to the corporation by the governor shall continue to serve the balance of their current terms. Thereafter, the appointments shall be made by the governor with advice and consent of the senate as prescribed in this section.
(d) All public members shall serve staggered three (3) year terms except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section. In the month of June each year thereafter, the governor shall appoint the successor(s) to the commissioners the governor has appointed whose terms expire that year, to serve for a term of three (3) years commencing on the day they are qualified. All public members shall serve until their respective successors are appointed and qualified. The members of the corporation shall be eligible to succeed themselves.
(e) Any vacancy occurring in the office of a member by death, resignation, or otherwise shall be filled by the governor with advice and consent of the senate in the same manner as the original appointment for the balance of the unexpired term of the former member as prescribed in subsection 23-19-6(c).
(f) Members of the corporation shall be removable by the governor pursuant to § 36-1-7 of the Rhode Island general laws, and removal solely for partisan or personal reasons unrelated to capacity or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.
(g) The commissioners shall annually elect from among their number a chair, vice chair and a treasurer, and any other officers that they may determine. Meetings shall be held at the call of the chair or whenever two (2) commissioners so request. Four (4) commissioners shall constitute a quorum, and any action taken by the corporation under the provisions of this chapter may be authorized by resolution approved by a majority of the commissioners present and voting at any regular or special meeting. No vacancy in the membership of the corporation's board of commissioners shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the corporation.
(h) Commissioners shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties, but the commissioner shall be reimbursed for his or her reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out the duties under this chapter.
(i) The commissioners of the corporation shall at regular intervals at least eight (8) times a year conduct business meetings for the purpose of carrying out its general business. The meetings shall be open to the public and all records and minutes will be a matter of public record. The corporation shall be considered a "public body" and shall be subject to the provisions of the Open Meetings Law, chapter 42-46 and to the provisions of title 38 concerning public records.
(j) The corporation shall continue until its existence is terminated by law. At that time its holdings and assets shall pass to and become vested in the state.
(k) The state shall indemnify and hold harmless every past, present, or future commissioner, officer, or employee of the corporation who is made a party to or is required to testify in any action, investigation, or other proceeding in connection with or arising out of the performance or alleged lack of performance of that person's duties on behalf of the corporation. These persons shall be indemnified and held harmless, whether they are sued individually or in their capacities as commissioners, officers, or employees of the corporation, for all expenses, legal fees and/or costs incurred by them during or resulting from the proceedings, and for any award or judgment arising out of their service to the corporation that is not paid by the corporation and is sought to be enforced against a person individually, as expenses, legal fees, costs, awards or judgments occur. Provided, however, that neither the state nor the corporation shall indemnify any commissioner, officer, or employee:
(1) For acts or omissions not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;
(2) For any transaction from which the member derived an improper personal benefit; or
(3) For any malicious act.
(l) No one shall be eligible for appointment unless he or she is a resident of the state.
(P.L. 1974, ch. 176, § 1; P.L. 1975, ch. 272, § 1; P.L. 1978, ch. 305, § 5; G.L. 1956, § 23-46.1-6; P.L. 1979, ch. 39, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 23-19-6; P.L. 1985, ch. 420, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 522, § 2; P.L. 1992, ch. 12, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 133, art. 111, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 91, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 302, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 86, § 80; P.L. 2001, ch. 180, § 48; P.L. 2006, ch. 26, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 52, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 56; P.L. 2013, ch. 307, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 346, § 1.)