The Governor is authorized and directed to execute the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children on behalf of this state with any other state or states legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:
Interstate Compact on Educational
Opportunity for Military Children
PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
A. Facilitating the timely enrollment of children of military families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of education records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.
B. Facilitating the student placement process through which children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content, or assessment.
C. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic, and social activities.
D. Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military families.
E. Providing for the adoption and enforcement of administrative rules implementing this compact.
F. Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools, and military families under this compact.
G. Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children.
H. Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents, and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.
DEFINITIONS.—As used in this compact, unless the context clearly requires a different construction, the term:
A. “Active duty” means the full-time duty status in the active uniformed service of the United States, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. ss. 1209 and 1211.
B. “Children of military families” means school-aged children, enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, in the household of an active-duty member.
C. “Compact commissioner” means the voting representative of each compacting state appointed under Article VIII of this compact.
D. “Deployment” means the period 1 month before the service members’ departure from their home station on military orders through 6 months after return to their home station.
E. “Educational records” or “education records” means those official records, files, and data directly related to a student and maintained by the school or local education agency, including, but not limited to, records encompassing all the material kept in the student’s cumulative folder such as general identifying data, records of attendance and of academic work completed, records of achievement and results of evaluative tests, health data, disciplinary status, test protocols, and individualized education programs.
F. “Extracurricular activities” means a voluntary activity sponsored by the school or local education agency or an organization sanctioned by the local education agency. Extracurricular activities include, but are not limited to, preparation for and involvement in public performances, contests, athletic competitions, demonstrations, displays, and club activities.
G. “Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children” means the commission that is created under Article IX of this compact, which is generally referred to as the Interstate Commission.
H. “Local education agency” means a public authority legally constituted by the state as an administrative agency to provide control of, and direction for, kindergarten through 12th grade public educational institutions.
I. “Member state” means a state that has enacted this compact.
J. “Military installation” means a base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense, including any leased facility, which is located within any of the several states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other United States Territory. The term does not include any facility used primarily for civil works, rivers and harbors projects, or flood control projects.
K. “Nonmember state” means a state that has not enacted this compact.
L. “Receiving state” means the state to which a child of a military family is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought.
M. “Rule” means a written statement by the Interstate Commission adopted under Article XII of this compact which is of general applicability, implements, interprets, or prescribes a policy or provision of the compact, or an organizational, procedural, or practice requirement of the Interstate Commission, and has the force and effect of statutory law in a member state, and includes the amendment, repeal, or suspension of an existing rule.
N. “Sending state” means the state from which a child of a military family is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought.
O. “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other United States Territory.
P. “Student” means the child of a military family for whom the local education agency receives public funding and who is formally enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Q. “Transition” means:
1. The formal and physical process of transferring from school to school; or
2. The period of time in which a student moves from one school in the sending state to another school in the receiving state.
R. “Uniformed services” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Services.
S. “Veteran” means a person who served in the uniformed services and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
A. Except as otherwise provided in Section C, this compact applies to the children of:
1. Active duty members of the uniformed services, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active-duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. ss. 1209 and 1211;
2. Members or veterans of the uniformed services who are severely injured and medically discharged or retired for a period of 1 year after medical discharge or retirement; and
3. Members of the uniformed services who die on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty for a period of 1 year after death.
B. This interstate compact applies to local education agencies.
C. This compact does not apply to the children of:
1. Inactive members of the National Guard and military reserves;
2. Members of the uniformed services now retired, except as provided in Section A;
3. Veterans of the uniformed services, except as provided in Section A; and
4. Other United States Department of Defense personnel and other federal agency civilian and contract employees not defined as active-duty members of the uniformed services.
EDUCATIONAL RECORDS AND ENROLLMENT.—
A. If a child’s official education records cannot be released to the parents for the purpose of transfer, the custodian of the records in the sending state shall prepare and furnish to the parent a complete set of unofficial educational records containing uniform information as determined by the Interstate Commission. Upon receipt of the unofficial education records by a school in the receiving state, that school shall enroll and appropriately place the student based on the information provided in the unofficial records pending validation by the official records, as quickly as possible.
B. Simultaneous with the enrollment and conditional placement of the student, the school in the receiving state shall request the student’s official education record from the school in the sending state. Upon receipt of the request, the school in the sending state shall process and furnish the official education records to the school in the receiving state within 10 days or within such time as is reasonably determined under the rules adopted by the Interstate Commission.
C. Compact states must give 30 days from the date of enrollment or within such time as is reasonably determined under the rules adopted by the Interstate Commission for students to obtain any immunization required by the receiving state. For a series of immunizations, initial vaccinations must be obtained within 30 days or within such time as is reasonably determined under the rules promulgated by the Interstate Commission.
D. Students shall be allowed to continue their enrollment at grade level in the receiving state commensurate with their grade level, including kindergarten, from a local education agency in the sending state at the time of transition, regardless of age. A student who has satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in the local education agency in the sending state is eligible for enrollment in the next highest grade level in the receiving state, regardless of age. A student transferring after the start of the school year in the receiving state shall enter the school in the receiving state on their validated level from an accredited school in the sending state.
PLACEMENT AND ATTENDANCE.—
A. If a student transfers before or during the school year, the receiving state school shall initially honor placement of the student in educational courses based on the student’s enrollment in the sending state school or educational assessments conducted at the school in the sending state if the courses are offered. Course placement includes, but is not limited to, Honors, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, vocational, technical, and career pathways courses. Continuing the student’s academic program from the previous school and promoting placement in academically and career challenging courses should be paramount when considering placement. A school in the receiving state is not precluded from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement and continued enrollment of the student in the courses.
B. The receiving state school must initially honor placement of the student in educational programs based on current educational assessments conducted at the school in the sending state or participation or placement in like programs in the sending state. Such programs include, but are not limited to:
1. Gifted and talented programs; and
2. English as a second language (ESL).
A school in the receiving state is not precluded from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement and continued enrollment of the student in the courses.
C. A receiving state must initially provide comparable services to a student with disabilities based on his or her current individualized education program (IEP) in compliance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. s. 1400, et seq. A receiving state must make reasonable accommodations and modifications to address the needs of incoming students with disabilities, subject to an existing section 504 or title II plan, to provide the student with equal access to education, in compliance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C.A. s. 794, and with title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 12131-12165. A school in the receiving state is not precluded from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement and continued enrollment of the student in the courses.
D. Local education agency administrative officials may waive course or program prerequisites, or other preconditions for placement in courses or programs offered under the jurisdiction of the local education agency.
E. A student whose parent or legal guardian is an active-duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from deployment to, a combat zone or combat support posting shall be granted additional excused absences at the discretion of the local education agency superintendent to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian relative to such leave or deployment of the parent or guardian.
A. When considering the eligibility of a child for enrolling in a school:
1. A special power of attorney relative to the guardianship of a child of a military family and executed under applicable law is sufficient for the purposes of enrolling the child in school and for all other actions requiring parental participation and consent.
2. A local education agency is prohibited from charging local tuition to a transitioning military child placed in the care of a noncustodial parent or other person standing in loco parentis who lives in a school’s jurisdiction different from that of the custodial parent.
3. A transitioning military child, placed in the care of a noncustodial parent or other person standing in loco parentis who lives in a school’s jurisdiction different from that of the custodial parent, may continue to attend the school in which he or she was enrolled while residing with the custodial parent.
B. State and local education agencies must facilitate the opportunity for transitioning military children’s inclusion in extracurricular activities, regardless of application deadlines, to the extent they are otherwise qualified.
GRADUATION.—In order to facilitate the on-time graduation of children of military families, states and local education agencies shall incorporate the following procedures:
A. Local education agency administrative officials shall waive specific courses required for graduation if similar coursework has been satisfactorily completed in another local education agency or shall provide reasonable justification for denial. If a waiver is not granted to a student who would qualify to graduate from the sending school, the local education agency must provide an alternative means of acquiring required coursework so that graduation may occur on time.
B. States shall accept exit or end-of-course exams required for graduation from the sending state; national norm-referenced achievement tests; or alternative testing, in lieu of testing requirements for graduation in the receiving state. If these alternatives cannot be accommodated by the receiving state for a student transferring in his or her senior year, then the provisions of Article VII, Section C shall apply.
C. If a military student transfers at the beginning of or during his or her senior year and is not eligible to graduate from the receiving local education agency after all alternatives have been considered, the sending and receiving local education agencies must ensure the receipt of a diploma from the sending local education agency, if the student meets the graduation requirements of the sending local education agency. If one of the states in question is not a member of this compact, the member state shall use its best efforts to facilitate the on-time graduation of the student in accordance with Sections A and B of this Article.
STATE COORDINATION.—Each member state shall, through the creation of a state council or use of an existing body or board, provide for the coordination among its agencies of government, local education agencies, and military installations concerning the state’s participation in, and compliance with, this compact and Interstate Commission activities.
A. Each member state may determine the membership of its own state council, but the membership must include at least: the state superintendent of education, the superintendent of a school district that has a high concentration of military children, a representative from a military installation, one representative each from the legislative and executive branches of government, and other offices and stakeholder groups the state council deems appropriate. A member state that does not have a school district deemed to contain a high concentration of military children may appoint a superintendent from another school district to represent local education agencies on the state council.
B. The state council of each member state shall appoint or designate a military family education liaison to assist military families and the state in facilitating the implementation of this compact.
C. The compact commissioner responsible for the administration and management of the state’s participation in the compact shall be appointed by the Governor or as otherwise determined by each member state.
D. The compact commissioner and the military family education liaison shall be ex officio members of the state council, unless either is already a full voting member of the state council.
INTERSTATE COMMISSION ON EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR MILITARY CHILDREN.—The member states hereby create the “Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.” The activities of the Interstate Commission are the formation of public policy and are a discretionary state function. The Interstate Commission shall:
A. Be a body corporate and joint agency of the member states and shall have all the responsibilities, powers, and duties set forth herein, and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it by a subsequent concurrent action of the respective legislatures of the member states in accordance with the terms of this compact.
B. Consist of one Interstate Commission voting representative from each member state who shall be that state’s compact commissioner.
1. Each member state represented at a meeting of the Interstate Commission is entitled to one vote.
2. A majority of the total member states shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, unless a larger quorum is required by the bylaws of the Interstate Commission.
3. A representative shall not delegate a vote to another member state. In the event the compact commissioner is unable to attend a meeting of the Interstate Commission, the Governor or state council may delegate voting authority to another person from their state for a specified meeting.
4. The bylaws may provide for meetings of the Interstate Commission to be conducted by telecommunication or electronic communication.
C. Consist of ex officio, nonvoting representatives who are members of interested organizations. The ex officio members, as defined in the bylaws, may include, but not be limited to, members of the representative organizations of military family advocates, local education agency officials, parent and teacher groups, the United States Department of Defense, the Education Commission of the States, the Interstate Agreement on the Qualification of Educational Personnel, and other interstate compacts affecting the education of children of military members.
D. Meet at least once each calendar year. The chairperson may call additional meetings and, upon the request of a simple majority of the member states, shall call additional meetings.
E. Establish an executive committee, whose members shall include the officers of the Interstate Commission and such other members of the Interstate Commission as determined by the bylaws. Members of the executive committee shall serve a 1-year term. Members of the executive committee are entitled to one vote each. The executive committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the Interstate Commission, with the exception of rulemaking, during periods when the Interstate Commission is not in session. The executive committee shall oversee the day-to-day activities of the administration of the compact, including enforcement and compliance with the compact, its bylaws and rules, and other such duties as deemed necessary. The United States Department of Defense shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the executive committee.
F. The Interstate Commission shall collect standardized data concerning the educational transition of the children of military families under this compact as directed through its rules which shall specify the data to be collected, the means of collection and data exchange, and reporting requirements. The methods of data collection, exchange, and reporting shall, insofar as is reasonably possible, conform to current technology and coordinate its information functions with the appropriate custodian of records as identified in the bylaws and rules.
G. The Interstate Commission shall create a procedure that permits military officials, education officials, and parents to inform the Interstate Commission if and when there are alleged violations of the compact or its rules or when issues subject to the jurisdiction of the compact or its rules are not addressed by the state or local education agency. This section does not create a private right of action against the Interstate Commission or any member state.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.—The Interstate Commission has the power to:
A. Provide for dispute resolution among member states.
B. Adopt rules and take all necessary actions to effect the goals, purposes, and obligations as enumerated in this compact. The rules have the force and effect of statutory law and are binding in the compact states to the extent and in the manner provided in this compact.
C. Issue, upon request of a member state, advisory opinions concerning the meaning or interpretation of the interstate compact, its bylaws, rules, and actions.
D. Enforce compliance with the compact provisions, the rules adopted by the Interstate Commission, and the bylaws, using all necessary and proper means, including, but not limited to, the use of judicial process.
E. Establish and maintain offices that shall be located within one or more of the member states.
F. Purchase and maintain insurance and bonds.
G. Borrow, accept, hire, or contract for services of personnel.
H. Establish and appoint committees, including, but not limited to, an executive committee as required by Article IX, Section E, which shall have the power to act on behalf of the Interstate Commission in carrying out its powers and duties hereunder.
I. Elect or appoint such officers, attorneys, employees, agents, or consultants, and to fix their compensation, define their duties, and determine their qualifications; and to establish the Interstate Commission’s personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of interest, rates of compensation, and qualifications of personnel.
J. Accept any and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, and to receive, utilize, and dispose of it.
K. Lease, purchase, accept contributions or donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve, or use any property, real, personal, or mixed.
L. Sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal, or mixed.
M. Establish a budget and make expenditures.
N. Adopt a seal and bylaws governing the management and operation of the Interstate Commission.
O. Report annually to the legislatures, governors, judiciary, and state councils of the member states concerning the activities of the Interstate Commission during the preceding year. Such reports shall also include any recommendations that may have been adopted by the Interstate Commission.
P. Coordinate education, training, and public awareness regarding the compact, its implementation, and operation for officials and parents involved in such activity.
Q. Establish uniform standards for the reporting, collecting, and exchanging of data.
R. Maintain corporate books and records in accordance with the bylaws.
S. Perform such functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact.
T. Provide for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools, and military families under this compact.
ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.—
A. The Interstate Commission shall, by a majority of the members present and voting, within 12 months after the first Interstate Commission meeting, adopt bylaws to govern its conduct as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of the compact, including, but not limited to:
1. Establishing the fiscal year of the Interstate Commission;
2. Establishing an executive committee and such other committees as may be necessary;
3. Providing for the establishment of committees and for governing any general or specific delegation of authority or function of the Interstate Commission;
4. Providing reasonable procedures for calling and conducting meetings of the Interstate Commission and ensuring reasonable notice of each such meeting;
5. Establishing the titles and responsibilities of the officers and staff of the Interstate Commission;
6. Providing a mechanism for concluding the operations of the Interstate Commission and the return of surplus funds that may exist upon the termination of the compact after the payment and reserving of all of its debts and obligations.
7. Providing “start up” rules for initial administration of the compact.
B. The Interstate Commission shall, by a majority of the members, elect annually from among its members a chairperson, a vice chairperson, and a treasurer, each of whom shall have such authority and duties as may be specified in the bylaws. The chairperson or, in the chairperson’s absence or disability, the vice chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Interstate Commission. The officers so elected shall serve without compensation or remuneration from the Interstate Commission; provided that, subject to the availability of budgeted funds, the officers shall be reimbursed for ordinary and necessary costs and expenses incurred by them in the performance of their responsibilities as officers of the Interstate Commission.
C. The executive committee has the authority and duties as may be set forth in the bylaws, including, but not limited to:
1. Managing the affairs of the Interstate Commission in a manner consistent with the bylaws and purposes of the Interstate Commission;
2. Overseeing an organizational structure within, and appropriate procedures for, the Interstate Commission to provide for the adoption of rules, operating procedures, and administrative and technical support functions; and
3. Planning, implementing, and coordinating communications and activities with other state, federal, and local government organizations in order to advance the goals of the Interstate Commission.
D. The executive committee may, subject to the approval of the Interstate Commission, appoint or retain an executive director for such period, upon such terms and conditions and for such compensation, as the Interstate Commission may deem appropriate. The executive director shall serve as secretary to the Interstate Commission but is not a member of the Interstate Commission. The executive director shall hire and supervise such other persons as may be authorized by the Interstate Commission.
E. The Interstate Commission’s executive director and its employees are immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for a claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused or arising out of, or relating to, an actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the person is not protected from suit or liability for damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of the person.
1. The liability of the Interstate Commission’s executive director and employees or Interstate Commission representatives, acting within the scope of the person’s employment or duties, for acts, errors, or omissions occurring within the person’s state may not exceed the limits of liability set forth under the constitution and laws of that state for state officials, employees, and agents. The Interstate Commission is considered to be an instrumentality of the states for the purposes of any such action. This subsection does not protect the person from suit or liability for damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of the person.
2. The Interstate Commission shall defend the executive director and its employees and, subject to the approval of the Attorney General or other appropriate legal counsel of the member state represented by an Interstate Commission representative, shall defend an Interstate Commission representative in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of an actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that the defendant had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of the person.
3. To the extent not covered by the state involved, a member state, the Interstate Commission, and the representatives or employees of the Interstate Commission shall be held harmless in the amount of a settlement or judgment, including attorney’s fees and costs, obtained against a person arising out of an actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that the person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of the person.
RULEMAKING FUNCTIONS OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.—The Interstate Commission shall adopt rules to effectively and efficiently implement this act to achieve the purposes of this compact.
A. If the Interstate Commission exercises its rulemaking authority in a manner that is beyond the scope of the purposes of this act, or the powers granted hereunder, the action undertaken by the Interstate Commission is invalid and has no force or effect.
B. Rules must be adopted pursuant to a rulemaking process that substantially conforms to the “Model State Administrative Procedure Act,” of 1981 Act, Uniform Laws Annotated, Vol. 15, p. 1 (2000) as amended, as may be appropriate to the operations of the Interstate Commission.
C. No later than 30 days after a rule is adopted, a person may file a petition for judicial review of the rule. The filing of the petition does not stay or otherwise prevent the rule from becoming effective unless a court finds that the petitioner has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of the petition. The court shall give deference to the actions of the Interstate Commission consistent with applicable law and shall not find the rule to be unlawful if the rule represents a reasonable exercise of the Interstate Commission’s authority.
D. If a majority of the legislatures of the compacting states rejects a rule by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the compact, then the rule is invalid and has no further force and effect in any compacting state.
OVERSIGHT, ENFORCEMENT, AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION.—
A. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government in each member state shall enforce this compact and shall take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the compact’s purposes and intent. The provisions of this compact and the rules adopted under it have the force and effect of statutory law.
B. All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact and its adopted rules in any judicial or administrative proceeding in a member state pertaining to the subject matter of this compact which may affect the powers, responsibilities, or actions of the Interstate Commission.
C. The Interstate Commission is entitled to receive all service of process in any such proceeding, and has standing to intervene in the proceeding for all purposes. Failure to provide service of process to the Interstate Commission renders a judgment or order void as to the Interstate Commission, this compact, or its adopted rules.
D. If the Interstate Commission determines that a member state has defaulted in the performance of its obligations or responsibilities under this compact, or the bylaws or the adopted rules, the Interstate Commission shall:
1. Provide written notice to the defaulting state and other member states of the nature of the default, the means of curing the default, and any action taken by the Interstate Commission. The Interstate Commission must specify the conditions by which the defaulting state must cure its default.
2. Provide remedial training and specific technical assistance regarding the default.
3. If the defaulting state fails to cure the default, terminate the defaulting state from the compact upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the member states and all rights, privileges, and benefits conferred by this compact shall be terminated from the effective date of termination. A cure of the default does not relieve the offending state of obligations or liabilities incurred during the period of the default.
E. Suspension or termination of membership in the compact may not be imposed on a member until all other means of securing compliance have been exhausted. Notice of the intent to suspend or terminate membership must be given by the Interstate Commission to the Governor, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state’s legislature, and each of the member states.
F. A state that has been suspended or terminated is responsible for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred through the effective date of suspension or termination, including obligations, the performance of which extends beyond the effective date of suspension or termination.
G. The remaining member states of the Interstate Commission do not bear any costs arising from a state that has been found to be in default or that has been suspended or terminated from the compact, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon in writing between the Interstate Commission and the defaulting state.
H. A defaulting state may appeal the action of the Interstate Commission by petitioning the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the Interstate Commission has its principal offices. The prevailing party shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
I. The Interstate Commission shall attempt, upon the request of a member state, to resolve disputes that are subject to the compact and that may arise among member states and between member and nonmember states. The Interstate Commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes as appropriate.
1. The Interstate Commission, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this compact.
2. The Interstate Commission may, by majority vote of the members, initiate legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or, at the discretion of the Interstate Commission, in the federal district where the Interstate Commission has its principal offices to enforce compliance with the provisions of the compact, or its promulgated rules and bylaws, against a member state in default. The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and damages. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing party shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
3. The remedies herein are not the exclusive remedies of the Interstate Commission. The Interstate Commission may avail itself of any other remedies available under state law or the regulation of a profession.
FINANCING OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.—
A. The Interstate Commission shall pay, or provide for the payment of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization, and ongoing activities.
B. The Interstate Commission may levy on and collect an annual assessment from each member state to cover the cost of the operations and activities of the Interstate Commission and its staff which must be in a total amount sufficient to cover the Interstate Commission’s annual budget as approved each year. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the Interstate Commission, which shall adopt a rule binding upon all member states.
C. The Interstate Commission may not incur any obligation of any kind before securing the funds adequate to meet the obligation and the Interstate Commission may not pledge the credit of any of the member states, except by and with the permission of the member state.
D. The Interstate Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the Interstate Commission are subject to audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the Interstate Commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the Interstate Commission.
MEMBER STATES, EFFECTIVE DATE, AND AMENDMENT.—
A. Any state is eligible to become a member state.
B. The compact shall take effect and be binding upon legislative enactment of the compact into law by not less than 10 of the states. The effective date shall be no earlier than December 1, 2007. Thereafter, it shall become effective and binding as to any other member state upon enactment of the compact into law by that state. The governors of nonmember states or their designees shall be invited to participate in the activities of the Interstate Commission on a nonvoting basis before adoption of the compact by all states.
C. The Interstate Commission may propose amendments to the compact for enactment by the member states. An amendment does not become effective and binding upon the Interstate Commission and the member states until the amendment is enacted into law by unanimous consent of the member states.
WITHDRAWAL AND DISSOLUTION.—
A. Once in effect, the compact continues in force and remains binding upon each and every member state, provided that a member state may withdraw from the compact, specifically repealing the statute that enacted the compact into law.
1. Withdrawal from the compact occurs when a statute repealing its membership is enacted by the state, but does not take effect until 1 year after the effective date of the statute and until written notice of the withdrawal has been given by the withdrawing state to the Governor of each other member state.
2. The withdrawing state must immediately notify the chairperson of the Interstate Commission in writing upon the introduction of legislation repealing this compact in the withdrawing state. The Interstate Commission shall notify the other member states of the withdrawing state’s intent to withdraw within 60 days after its receipt thereof.
3. A withdrawing state is responsible for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred through the effective date of withdrawal, including obligations, the performance of which extend beyond the effective date of withdrawal.
4. Reinstatement following withdrawal of a member state shall occur upon the withdrawing state reenacting the compact or upon such later date as determined by the Interstate Commission.
B. This compact shall dissolve effective upon the date of the withdrawal or default of the member state which reduces the membership in the compact to one member state.
C. Upon the dissolution of this compact, the compact becomes void and has no further force or effect, and the business and affairs of the Interstate Commission shall be concluded and surplus funds shall be distributed in accordance with the bylaws.
SEVERABILITY AND CONSTRUCTION.—
A. The provisions of this compact shall be severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision is deemed unenforceable, the remaining provisions of the compact shall be enforceable.
B. The provisions of this compact shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes.
C. This compact does not prohibit the applicability of other interstate compacts to which the states are members.
BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT AND OTHER LAWS.—
A. This compact does not prevent the enforcement of any other law of a member state that is not inconsistent with this compact.
B. All member states’ laws conflicting with this compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.
C. All lawful actions of the Interstate Commission, including all rules and bylaws promulgated by the Interstate Commission, are binding upon the member states.
D. All agreements between the Interstate Commission and the member states are binding in accordance with their terms.
E. If any part of this compact exceeds the constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any member state, the provision shall be ineffective to the extent of the conflict with the constitutional provision in question in that member state.