The Mississippi First Act

MS Code § 31-5-37


(1) All public works projects utilizing funds received by state or local governmental entities resulting from a federally declared disaster or a spill of national significance, including damages, penalties, fines or supplemental projects paid or financed by responsible parties pursuant to a court order, negotiated settlement, or other instrument, including under any law distributing such fines and penalties including the federal Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economy of the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 (R.E.S.T.O.R.E.), the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 or the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or similar legislation, shall be subject to the hiring policies established by this section.

(2) Contractors submitting bids for public works projects that involve an expenditure of Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00) or more and that are financed, in whole or in part, through the use of funds described in subsection (1) of this section shall submit with their bid a certification that they will comply with the provisions of this section if they are awarded a contract. The contractor shall submit to the agency or governing authority that solicited the bid and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security an employment plan within seven (7) days after the award of the contract which shall include the following:

(a) The types of jobs involved in the public works project;

(b) The skill level of the jobs involved in the project;

(c) Wage information on the jobs involved in the project;

(d) The number of vacant positions that the contractor and any subcontractor needs to fill;

(e) How the contractor and any subcontractor will recruit, low-wage and unemployed individuals for job vacancies;

(f) Such other information as may be required by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security; and

(g) Proof of registration with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security for taxation in accordance with the provisions of Title 71.

(3) From the date written notice of the contract award is received and until ten (10) business days after the receipt of the employment plan by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, the contractor and any subcontractor shall not hire any personnel to fill vacant positions necessary for the public works project except residents of the State of Mississippi who are to be verified by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and/or those qualified individuals who are submitted by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. For purposes of this subsection, the contractor or subcontractor is authorized to employ Mississippi residents to begin work immediately, and such persons are to be verified by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security after employment by the contractor or subcontractor. During the ten-day period the Mississippi Department of Employment Security shall submit qualified individuals to the contractor to consider for the vacant positions. The contractor shall review the individuals submitted by the department before hiring individuals who are not submitted by the department. The contract award shall be vacated if the contractor fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection.