The following is the text of the bylaws and statutes that govern the council.
As Amended August 2018
Name and Establishment of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind
(Amended 8/4/05, 4/4/2013)
The name of this organization shall be the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. (hereinafter referred to as SRC-B).
The SRC-B is established consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, and Minn. Stat. 248.10. The members of the SRC-B are appointed by the Governor.
Purpose and Duties of the SRC-B
(Amended 8/4/05, 4/4/2013, 8/2/2018)
The purpose of this Council shall be to advise the Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development about programs of Services for the Blind and to perform other functions as provided in State and Federal statutes and regulations.
Membership Composition, Terms, Removal, Attendance and Filling of Vacancies
(Amended 8/7/08, 4/4/2013, 8/2/2018)
The composition of the SRC-B's membership shall be as provided in State and Federal statute. A majority of the SRC-B's membership must be blind, visually impaired or DeafBlind. The SRC-B shall also include a representative from each of the consumer groups representing persons who are blind or DeafBlind consistent with federal and state statutes.
The terms of members of the SRC-B, term limits, and exceptions are defined by state and federal statute. Upon completion of two terms, members may be considered for reappointment after being off the SRC-B for at least one year.
In the event a member has three unexcused absences for general SRC-B meetings in a twelve-month period, the Chair shall contact the member to inquire as to his/her willingness and ability to continue to serve on the SRC-B. The Chair shall inform the SRC-B of the results of up to three attempts to contact the member. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the SRC-B, a letter will be sent to the Governor with a copy to the SRC-B member. An "unexcused absence" is one in which a member of the SRC-B does not notify the chair or SRC-B support staff of the reason for the absence, either before or after the meeting but simply fails to attend.
Except as provided by state and federal law, any vacancy occurring in the membership of the SRC-B shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The vacancy shall not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the SRC-B.
Members of the SRC-B shall be offered compensation as provided in State Statute. In addition, members of the SRC-B shall be offered reimbursement for travel expenses associated with attendance at full SRC-B meetings, SRC-B Committee or Task Force meetings, or when requested by the SRC-B at any other meeting. In order to qualify to receive compensation, the activity must constitute a full day spent on SRC-B activities. A "full day spent on council activities" consists of:
- Any meeting of the full SRC-B at which the member of the SRC-B is present for more than two hours including travel time;
- Any time a member of the SRC-B has been assigned to a SRC-B committee or task force, at which the member of the SRC-B is present for more than two hours including travel time;
- Any event approved by the chairperson of the SRC-B in advance for which a member of the SRC-B is required to stay overnight;
- Any event approved by the chairperson of the SRC-B in advance that a member attends in the performance of his/her responsibilities as a member of the SRC-B that is two hours or longer in duration including travel time.
Members who, as a result of time spent attending SRC-B or committee meetings, incur child care expenses that would not otherwise have been incurred, may be reimbursed for those expenses upon authorization by the chairperson of the SRC-B.
Accessibility of Meetings and Materials
The location and the content of SRC-B meetings will be fully accessible. Reasonable accommodations will be provided regularly for members of the SRC - B and provided upon request for members of the public. All requests should be made at least two weeks prior to the meeting. Written material used at the meeting shall not be distributed at that meeting if materials in accessible, alternative formats are unavailable. Requests can be made by contacting the SSB office.
Regular meetings, Special Meetings, Record of Meetings, Decision Making, Conflict of Interest, Public Comment and Public Notice
(Amended 8/7/08, 04/04/2013, 08/02/2018)
The SRC-B shall meet at least six (6) times per year. Written notice and any document requiring a SRC-B decision shall be mailed, provided using electronic methods or personally delivered to each member of the SRC-B, in the format preferred by the member, not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the meeting. In the case of a recess to another day, all members of the SRC-B shall be notified of the place, day and hour of the reconvened meeting. A majority of currently appointed members of the SRC-B must be present in order to constitute a quorum to transact business.
Special meetings of the SRC-B may be called at the request of the chairperson, Commissioner of DEED, Director of State Services for the Blind, or by written request to the chairperson by any four (4) members of the SRC-B. Written notice and any document requiring a SRC-B decision shall be mailed, provided using electronic methods, or personally delivered to each member of the SRC-B, in the format preferred by the member, not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the meeting. A majority of currently appointed members of the SRC-B must be present in order to constitute a quorum to transact business.
Unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, decisions of the SRC-B shall be made by a simple majority of the members of the SRC-B present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. Robert's Rules of Order shall be used as a guide in the conduct of all SRC-B meetings. The SRC-B may use telephone or other electronic means in the conduct of its meetings as defined with Minn. Stat. 248.10:
(a) All members of the SRC-B participating in the meeting, wherever their physical location, can hear one another and can hear all discussion and testimony;
(b) members of the public present at the regular meeting location of the SRC-B can hear all discussion and all testimony and all votes of members of the SRC-B;
(c) at least one member of the SRC-B is physically present at the regular meeting location; and
(d) all votes are conducted by roll call so that each member's vote on each issue can be identified and recorded.
Conflict of Interest
Members must abstain from chairing a meeting, voting or making a motion on matters that may financially benefit the member or any organization in which they serve in a policy-making capacity. Members of the SRC-B, its committees or task forces should voluntarily remove themselves from such matters, or may be removed, when there is an apparent conflict of interest, with the support of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting.
Time will be made available at each regular meeting of the SRC-B for public comment whether or not such comment is directly related to the agenda. Further, non-members attending SRC-B meetings shall have the opportunity to comment concerning matters related to the agenda prior to formal action by the SRC-B. Public comment may be extended or terminated by the chairperson or by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting.
Public Notice of Meetings
In accordance with Minnesota's Open Meeting Law, the public shall be notified of all SRC-B meetings using all appropriate means of notification.
Records of Meetings
Verbatim transcriptions of all SRC-B meetings shall be retained on secure audio media and/or in print by SSB as the SRC-B's official record. Summary minutes, reflecting discussion and action taken by the SRC-B, shall be prepared for general distribution.
Hearings and Forums
The SRC-B is authorized to hold such hearings and forums as the SRC-B may determine to be necessary to carry out the duties of the SRC-B.
Officers and Elections
The officers of the SRC-B shall consist of a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson, elected by the SRC-B from among its members. Officers shall be elected annually, during the first SRC-B meeting of each calendar year, by a simple majority of the members of the SRC-B present and voting by phone or in person.
Chairperson of the SRC-B
The chairperson of the SRC-B shall preside at all meetings of the SRC-B in a fair and impartial manner, fully participate in SRC-B business except making or seconding motions, have voting privileges, and shall be an ex-officio member of all SRC-B committees and task forces. In presiding over meetings the chairperson shall assure the right of the minority to full and fair expression of its views and shall not allow such expression to defeat the will of the majority. In addition, the chairperson of the SRC-B shall:
- With the approval of the SRC-B, appoint chairpersons for SRC-B committees and task forces;
- With the SSB Director, or designated staff, develop agendas for SRC-B meetings;
- With the SSB Director, or designated staff, orient new members of the SRC-B and encourage their involvement in SRC-B activities; and
- Engage in effective communication with all members of the SRC-B.
Vice Chairperson of the SRC-B
The vice chairperson of the SRC-B shall aid the chairperson in the performance of his/her duties and, in the absence of the chairperson, shall preside at meetings of the SRC-B. If the chairperson is unable to serve, the vice chairperson shall assume the duties of that position but shall not officially occupy that chairperson's position until elected to that position by the SRC-B.
In the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair, members present shall elect a temporary Chair.
Committees and Task Forces
The SRC-B shall create such committees and task forces as it deems appropriate and necessary to carry out its purposes. Such Committees and Task forces will be listed, with duties and dates for completion of duties, in the annual SRC-B Work Plan. With the approval of the SRC-B, the chairperson of the SRC-B shall appoint members and chairpersons for all committees and task forces. Members and chairpersons of Committees shall be appointed for a term of one (1) year. Members and chairpersons of Task forces shall serve for the life of the task force. Members and chairpersons of committees and task forces need not be members of the SRC-B. However, all committees and task forces shall include at least one member of the SRC-B.
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the SRC-B by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting. The proposed amendment must have been submitted in writing at a previous regular or special meeting of the SRC-B.
History of Revisions to these Bylaws
- October 2, 2004
- August 4, 2005
- August 7, 2008
- April 4, 2013
- August 2, 2018
Date these revisions are approved
Relevant Links to Statutes and Regulations
The following links to state and federal documents provide the legal underpinnings for state councils, including the SRC-B of Minnesota.
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