WHEREAS, Spanish-speaking Missourians and Missourians who identify themselves as Hispanic make up a vibrant and growing segment of the business and industry sectors of this state; and
WHEREAS, economic development within the Hispanic community benefits all members of the community and all citizens of this state; and
WHEREAS, adequate means must be provided to ensure that Hispanic Missourians have a voice within the business community; and
WHEREAS, members of the Hispanic community have unique concerns and specific needs with regard to economic development assistance; and
WHEREAS, appropriate and additional means should be developed to ensure that government is responsive to the crucial issues facing the Hispanic business community.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Matt Blunt, Governor of the State of Missouri, by the power vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby create and establish the Hispanic Business, Trade and Culture Commission.
The purpose of the Hispanic Business, Trade and Culture Commission shall be to serve as a statewide advisory body to the Department of Economic Development, Office of International Trade & Investment, on trade and investment issues of importance and relevance to the Hispanic business community in Missouri.
The Commission's responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, gathering and disseminating information concerning matters relevant to the economic needs of Hispanic businesses; monitoring legislative issues pertaining to the Hispanic business community; submitting recommendations to the Office of International Trade & Investment and private-sector entities concerning business development issues relevant to Hispanic Missourians and, when appropriate, recommending legislative initiatives to the Department of Economic Development.
The Commission shall work in a liaison capacity for the Office of International Trade & Investment in order to aid in mentoring Missouri entrepreneurs of Hispanic origin while assisting them to open and expand businesses in the state. The Commission shall also help to identify and facilitate foreign and domestic investment opportunities for companies of Hispanic origin.
Commission members shall act as ambassadors of the state of Missouri while traveling abroad. Reports shall be submitted quarterly indicating foreign company references, business visits, and mentoring meetings, as well as any international trips taken on Commission business.
An annual report on the Commission's activities and accomplishments during the preceding year shall be produced by the executive board and submitted to the Director of International Trade & Investment.
The Commission shall be composed of not more than fifteen citizen members and one ex-officio member, who shall be an employee of the Missouri Office of International Trade & Investment. The Director of the Department of Economic Development shall appoint all citizen members of the Commission and shall designate the Office of International Trade & Investment member.
All members of the Commission shall be legal residents of the United States and registered voters in the state of Missouri. The citizen members shall be selected with a view toward equitable geographic representations, with at least one member from each of the defined economic regions within the state of Missouri, and representation of persons who are business owners or founding members of not-for-profit organizations. Not more than nine of the citizen members shall be from the same political party.
The Governor shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson who shall hold their positions at the pleasure of the Director of the Department of Economic Development. All citizen members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, except that members may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses arising from Commission activities or business. Such expenses shall be paid by the Department of Economic Development, to which the Commission is assigned for administrative purposes.
Commission members shall serve at the pleasure of the Director of the Department of Economic Development. If no action has been taken sooner, each Commission member shall serve for a term of three years; provided, however, that of the members first appointed, five shall be appointed for a term of one year, five for a term of two years, and five for a term of three years. Any vacancies shall be filled for the balance of the departing member's unexpired term. Each member shall continue to serve until a successor is duly appointed. A citizen may be reappointed, but shall not serve more than two complete terms.
The Commission shall conduct not less than two meetings and not more than four meetings per calendar year with one meeting to include the annual International Trade & Investment foreign director's meeting. The chairperson of the Commission may establish subcommittees as necessary to further the objectives and responsibilities of the commission, and those subcommittees may meet as often as necessary. Attendance at the commission meetings is mandatory, with failure to attend at least half (50%) of official meetings in any twelve-month period resulting in removal from the Commission.
The Commission shall convene no earlier than November 30, 2005, and no later than November 1, 2006.
Executive Order 03-24 and all previous Executive Orders pertaining to the subject matter contained therein are hereby superseded and the Missouri Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs is hereby abolished.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 30th day of November, 2005.
[Matt Blunt's signature]
[Robin Carnahan's signature]
Secretary of State