§ 25-2-18.1. Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission.
(a) There is created a permanent commission to be known as the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission to consist of thirteen (13) members, three (3) of whom shall be from the house of representatives, not more than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the speaker; three (3) of whom shall be from the senate, not more than two (2) from the same political party to be appointed by the president of the senate; three (3) of whom shall be representatives of the general public, to be appointed by the speaker; two (2) of whom shall be representatives of the general public to be appointed by the president of the senate; one of whom shall be a representative of the governor's office, to be appointed by the governor; and one of whom shall be the lieutenant governor, all of the foregoing to be known as commission members. The commission shall appoint not more than sixteen (16) representatives from organizations and groups generally identified with and thought to epitomize the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., all of whom shall be known as non-voting affiliate members, to serve for two (2) year terms.
(b) The purpose of the commission shall be to plan, supervise and administer, in conjunction with the federal Martin Luther King Day Commission and the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, an appropriate celebration to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the annual observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, which will be observed on the third Monday in January each year. The commission shall not limit its activities to the annual celebration, but shall endeavor to promote educational efforts throughout the year, as well as to promote seminar events during the annual celebration that will be of informative value to all segments of the Rhode Island community.
(c) The members of the commission shall, in February of each odd-numbered year, elect from among themselves a chairperson, who shall be a legislator, and a vice-chairperson, who shall not be a government official or employee. Vacancies in the commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
(d) The commission is empowered to appoint committees to study specialized areas of concern and to report their findings and recommendations to the commission; provided, however, that one of these committees shall be an education committee.
(e) The commission is empowered to establish a Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund and to award scholarships from the fund. Decisions concerning scholarship awards shall be made by the education committee of the commission in conjunction with the division of higher education assistance.
(f) The commission is empowered to apply for and receive grants, appropriations, or gifts from any federal, state, or local agency, from any public or private foundation, and from any person, firm, or corporation in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The allocation of any funds received shall be decided by a majority vote of voting members in attendance at a meeting duly convened for the conduct of business by the commission.
(g) Seven (7) members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.
(h) The commission shall meet at least four (4) times per year.
(i) The commission shall adopt policies concerning the responsibilities of its voting members and non-voting affiliate members, including attendance at commission meetings.
(j) All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to the commission and its agents as may be necessary or desirable to facilitate the purposes of this chapter.
(k) The speaker is authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters for the commission.
(l) The commission shall file a report with the general assembly outlining its plans for the celebration on or before December 15th each year prior to the celebration.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 18, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 369, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 180, § 56; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 3; P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 7, § 12.)