(a) The compact shall be organized as a voluntary public-private partnership and shall be constituted as a not-for-profit public corporation. The members of the Joint Legislative Committee on Southern Leadership Goals created under Act No. 94-55, SJR 12, 1994 Regular Session, shall effectuate the filing of papers for the incorporation of the compact as provided in subsection (b). Upon the filing of the documents with the Secretary of State, and until the election of the officers and board of directors at the annual membership meeting on September 17, 1994, as provided in subsection (b) of Section 16-44A-3 of the compact, the members of the committee shall then be officially constituted as an interim board of directors and specifically shall extend notices and invitations to the initial membership meeting of the compact to as many entities it can identify which are eligible to be member parties to the compact. It shall affirmatively include public, non-profit, and private sector organizations representative of the racial, geographic, demographic, and urban/rural diversity of the state. It shall also expedite the organization of the compact and exercise any of the duties of the board of directors to the end that the compact will be operational following the conclusion of the first annual membership meeting.
(b) As provided in subsection (a), the above listed persons, together with the Governor, Presiding Officer of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, may present to the Secretary of State of Alabama an executed application for incorporation compatible with the purposes of this article. The Secretary of State shall immediately examine the application, and, if he or she finds that it substantially complies with the requirements of this article, he or she shall receive it, file it, and record it in the appropriate books of record, and shall make and issue to the applicants a certificate of incorporation as a not-for-profit public corporation, under the Great Seal of the State, and shall record the certificate with the application. No fees shall be required to be paid to the Secretary of State for any work in connection with the incorporation of the compact.