(a) There is hereby created the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs within the office of the Governor. The office shall be charged with the following responsibilities and duties:
(1) Provide a forum for discussion of issues that affect the state's minorities;
(2) Identify and promote best practices in the provision of programs and services to minorities;
(3) Review information and research that can inform state policy as to the delivery of programs and services to minorities;
(4) Make recommendations in areas of policy and allocation of resources;
(5) Apply for grants, and accept gifts from private and public sources for research to improve and enhance minority affairs;
(6) Integrate and coordinate state grant and loan programs established specifically for minority related issues;
(7) Award grants, loans and loan guaranties for minority affairs programs and activities in this state if such funds are available from grants or gifts from public or private sources;
(8) Identify other state and local agencies and programs that provide services or assistance to minorities;
(9) Establish the appropriate program linkages with related federal, state and local agencies and programs including, but not limited to, the Office of Minority Health located within the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Economic Development Authority established pursuant to article fifteen, chapter 31 of this Code; and
(10) Provide recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature regarding the most appropriate means to provide programs and services to support minority groups in the state.
(b) On or before the first day of January of each year, the office shall submit a report to the Governor and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance. The report may include, but is not limited to, findings and recommendations regarding:
(1) The extent to which programs and services for minorities are available in the state, and to which funding for providing those programs and services is available;
(2) The most appropriate means for the planning, delivery and evaluation of existing and needed programs and services for minority groups in the manner that best promotes diversity and regional, cultural and ethnic sensitivity;
(3) Recommendations for the coordination of programs and services to minority groups throughout the state and with those of other states and the federal government;
(4) Identifications of governmental and private agencies, offices, departments or other entities in existence or recommended for creation that would, alone or in concert, most effectively improve the delivery of programs and services to minority groups throughout the state;
(5) Recommendations for changes to law that would facilitate the achievement of the objectives of the office; and
(6) Such other matters as the office may determine appropriate to its purposes.
(c) The Governor shall appoint an executive director of the office to carry out its functions, and shall provide funding and offices for those purposes. The executive director shall serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor.
(d) The executive director may hire one administrative assistant to assist in carrying out the functions of the office.