A. There is a Maryland Council for New Americans (the "Council"). The Council shall be a partnership among the public, private, and civic sectors to promote full immigrant integration into the economic and civic life of Maryland.
B. Duties. The Council shall:
(1) Review and recommend new policies and practices to expedite immigrant integration into the economic and civic life of the State;
(2) Provide a Maryland Council for New Americans report and recommendations no later than nine months after the date of this Executive Order; and
(3) Perform any other duties that may be requested by the Governor.
(1) The following members or their designees, shall be ex-officio members:
(a) The Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation;
(b) The Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development;
(c) The Secretary of the Department of Planning;
(d) The Secretary of the Department of Human Resources;
(e) The Secretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development;
(f) The Executive Director of the Governor's Workforce Investment Board;
(g) The Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives;
(h) The Special Secretary of the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs;
(i) The Chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture; and
(j) The Chair of each of the commissions on ethnic affairs that the Governor has established, or establishes in the future, including but not limited to the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, the Governor's Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, the Governor's Commission on Indian Affairs, and the Governor's Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs.
(2) The following members shall be appointed by the Governor, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor for up to two consecutive four year terms:
(a) One Maryland County Executive;
(b) One additional representative from county government;
(c) One representative from municipal government;
(d) Three representatives from nonprofit social service organizations that reflect the ethnic diversity of the State;
(e) Three representatives from private sector employers;
(f) Ten representatives from faith-based organizations and the clergy;
(g) One representative from higher education;
(h) One representative with expertise in adult education and language acquisition;
(k) One representative from the banking and financial services sector;
(l) One representative from the healthcare sector;
(m) One representative from organized labor;
(n) One representative from the small business sector;
(o) One representative from a national organization with expertise in demographic trends and public policy; and
(p) One representative from the philanthropic sector.
(3) The Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates shall appoint two members from among the members of the House.
(4) The President of the Maryland Senate shall appoint two members from among the members of the Senate.
(5) Members of the Council may not receive any compensation for their services, but may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, in accordance with the Standard State Travel Regulations, and as provided in the State budget.
(6) In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, the Governor shall appoint a successor.
(7) State government representatives shall not constitute a majority of members.
(1) The Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and the County Executive member shall co-chair the Council.
(2) There shall be an Executive Committee of the Council, which shall consist of the Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development or the Secretary's designee; the Secretary of the Department of Planning or the Secretary's designee; the Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives or the Director's designee; and the Executive Director of the Governor's Workforce Investment Board or the Director's designee.
(3) The Council shall meet at the call of the Chairs.
(4) A majority of Council members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.
(5) The Council may adopt such other procedures and by-laws as may be necessary to ensure the orderly transaction of business.
E. Working Groups. In addition to any other groups the Council deems necessary to establish to accomplish its work, it shall establish the following working groups, which may include participants who are not Council members, to make recommendations to the Council to address specific challenges facing immigrants.
(1) Workforce Working Group. The Workforce Working Group will focus on helping to address the State's workforce shortage by examining credential transfer, training, and the attraction of key workers to create the region's most competitive workforce; examining the role of "One Stop" employment centers in streamlining the economic integration of new Americans; and identifying best practices that expedite English as a second language, both for children in the public school system and for working adults.
(2) Citizenship Working Group. The Citizenship Working Group will plan a broad, coordinated citizenship promotion and assistance program to naturalize Maryland's estimated 175,000 legal permanent residents who are eligible for naturalization at a faster pace.
(3) Governmental Access Working Group. The Governmental Access Working Group will focus on how to improve accessibility of State and local government services to new Americans. This will include an assessment of resources necessary for compliance with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requirements; an assessment of the availability of vital documents in other languages; and identifying best practices at the county, community, and municipal levels. This group is also charged with developing specific government wide StateStat measures to track capacity to serve these communities.
(4) Financial Services Working Group. The Financial Services Working Group will examine strategies for increasing immigrants' access to mainstream financial services, stable homeownership, and family financial planning.
F. Operational Support. The Governor's Office of Community Initiatives and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation shall provide publication, operational, and other support as needed to the Council.
G. The Maryland Office for New Americans within the Department of Human Resources is hereby renamed the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees. Its purpose is to administer Maryland's federally-funded refugee programs.