Section 9-8A-3

Commission - Members and officers; terms of office; vacancies; compensation and expenses; meetings; quorum; record of proceedings; copies of proceedings as evidence; members and officers not personally liable.

(a) The members of the commission shall consist of the Governor; the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries; the President of the Alabama Farmers Federation; the President of the Alabama Cattlemen's Association; the Chair of the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee; a member of the Alabama Forestry Commission designated by the Governor; the President of the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts; and two citizens of the state of good reputation who are active farmers or timberland owners or involved in environmental protection appointed by the Governor. Each voting member of the commission, except the two citizens appointed by the Governor, may appoint a designee to represent him or her at all commission meetings. The members of the commission may request that a member replace his or her designee if the designee has been absent from three or more consecutive meetings without good cause. The Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, the Chair of the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee, two members of the House, and two members of the Senate appointed by the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor, respectively, shall also serve as nonvoting ex officio members of the commission and as an oversight committee to review and report to the Legislature respecting the programs and activities of the commission. The members of the commission appointed by the Governor shall be appointed at the beginning of each organizational session of the Legislature to serve until the next organizational session of the Legislature; provided, however, that the initial appointed members will be appointed promptly following ratification by the qualified electors of the state of the amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 that was proposed by House Bill 10 introduced at that special session of the Legislature that convened on January 23, 1985. Each member shall hold office for the term of his or her appointment, if he or she is appointed, or as long as he or she serves in one of the positions listed above, and until his or her successor shall have been appointed and qualified.

(b) The Governor shall serve as chair of the commission and the commission shall elect from among its members a vice-chair, a secretary, and such other officers as it may determine. The State Treasurer of Alabama shall serve as treasurer of the commission.

(c) If at any time there is a vacancy among the appointed members of the commission, a successor member shall be appointed to serve for the unexpired term applicable to the vacancy. The appointment of each appointed member of the commission, other than those initially appointed, whether for a full term or to complete an unexpired term, shall be made by the same officer of the state who appointed the member of the commission whose term has expired or is to expire or in whose position on the commission the vacancy otherwise exists. The appointment shall be made not earlier than 30 days prior to the date on which the member of the commission is to take office. Each appointed member of the commission shall hold office from the effective date of his or her appointment until the expiration of the term, or portion thereof, for which he or she was appointed, and if the term of any member of the commission expires prior to the reappointment of the member of the commission or prior to the appointment of his or her successor, the member of the commission shall continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed, and if the member of the commission is reappointed for a new term after the expiration of the immediately preceding term which he or she has been serving, his or her new term of office shall be deemed to have commenced at noon on the date on which the immediately preceding term shall have expired. Members of the commission shall be eligible for reappointment without limit as to the number of terms previously served.

(d) Each member of the commission shall, at the time of his or her appointment or otherwise becoming a member and at all times during his or her term of office, be a qualified elector of the state, and a failure by any member of the commission to remain so qualified during the term shall cause a vacancy of the office of the member of the commission. Any member of the commission may be impeached and removed from office as a member of the commission in the same manner and on the same grounds provided in Section 173 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, or successor provision thereof, and the general laws of the state for impeachment and removal of the officers of the state subject to Section 173 or successor provision thereof. The Governor and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries may not be impeached and removed from office as members of the commission apart from their impeachment and removal from the respective offices by virtue of which, ex officio, they serve as members of the commission.

(e) Regular meetings of the commission shall be held at the time and place fixed by resolution or by law of the commission. Special meetings of the commission shall be held at the call of the chair or whenever three members of the commission so request, in each case upon two days' notice to each member of the commission given in person or by registered letter or telegram. The notice to each member of the commission may be waived by the member of the commission, either before or after the meeting with respect to which notice would otherwise be required. A majority of the voting members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and decisions shall be made and resolutions adopted on the basis of a majority of the quorum then present and voting, with each voting member of the commission having a single vote. No vacancy in the membership of the commission or the voluntary disqualification or abstention of any member of the commission shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all of the powers and duties of the commission. No member or officer of the commission shall receive any salary therefor, but may be reimbursed for necessary travel and the reasonable expenses of performing the duties of office. All proceedings of the commission shall be reduced to writing by the secretary, signed by the chair and at least three members of the commission, recorded in a substantially bound book, and filed in the office of the commission. All proceedings of the commission shall be open to the public, except that executive or secret sessions may be held when the character or good name of a person is involved, and all records of the commission shall be subject to public inspection during business hours. Copies of the proceedings, when certified by the secretary under the seal of the commission, shall be received in all courts as prima facie evidence of the matters and things therein certified.

(f) No member, office, or employee of the commission shall be personally liable for the obligations or acts of the commission.

(Acts 1985, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 85-123, p. 169, §3; Acts 1986, No. 86-426, p. 775, §3; Acts 1992, No. 92-108, p. 178, §6; Acts 1995, No. 95-578, p. 1215, §1.)