Outside Section 89
Data Current as of: 8/6/2010
The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 120 the following chapter:-
INTERSTATE COMPACT ON JUVENILES
Section 1. The compacting states to this interstate compact recognize that each state is responsible for the proper supervision or return of juveniles, delinquents and status offenders who are on probation or parole and who have absconded, escaped or run away from supervision and control and, in so doing, have endangered their own safety and the safety of others. The compacting states also recognize that each state is responsible for the safe return of juveniles who have run away from home and, in so doing, have left their state of residence. The compacting states also recognize that Congress, by enacting 4 U.S.C. section 112, has authorized and encouraged compacts for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in the prevention of crime.
It is the purpose of this compact, through means of joint and cooperative action among the compacting states to: (i) ensure that adjudicated juveniles and status offenders subject to this compact are provided adequate supervision and services in the receiving state as ordered by the adjudicating judge or parole authority in the sending state; (ii) ensure that the public safety interests of citizens, including the victims of juvenile offenders, in both the sending and receiving states are adequately protected; (iii) return juveniles who have run away, absconded or escaped from supervision or control or have been accused of an offense to the state requesting their return; (iv) make contracts for the cooperative institutionalization in public facilities in member states for delinquent youth needing special services; (v) provide for the effective tracking and supervision of juveniles; (vi) equitably allocate the costs, benefits and obligations of the compacting states; (vii) establish procedures to manage the movement between states of juvenile offenders released to the community under the jurisdiction of courts, juvenile departments or any other criminal or juvenile justice agency which has jurisdiction over juvenile offenders; (viii) ensure immediate notice to jurisdictions where defined offenders are authorized to travel or to relocate across state lines; (ix) establish procedures to resolve pending charges against juvenile offenders prior to transfer or release thereof to the community under the terms of this compact; (x) establish a system of uniform data collection on information pertaining to juveniles subject to this compact that allows access by authorized juvenile justice and criminal justice officials, and regular reporting of compact activities to heads of state executive, judicial and legislative branches and juvenile and criminal justice administrators; (xi) monitor compliance with rules governing interstate movement of juveniles and initiate interventions to address and correct non-compliance; (xii) coordinate training and education regarding the regulation of interstate movement of juveniles for officials involved in such activity; and (xiii) coordinate the implementation and operation of the compact with the interstate compact for the placement of children, the interstate compact for adult offender supervision and other compacts affecting juveniles, particularly in those cases in which concurrent or overlapping supervision issues arise. It is the policy of the compacting states that the activities conducted by the interstate commission created herein are the formation of public policies and therefore are public business. Furthermore, the compacting states shall cooperate and observe their individual and collective duties and responsibilities for the prompt return and acceptance of juveniles subject to this compact. The provisions of this compact shall be reasonably and liberally construed to accomplish the purposes and policies of the compact.
Section 2. As used in this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
"By-laws", those by-laws established by the interstate commission for its governance or for directing or controlling its actions or conduct.
"Compact administrator", the individual in each compacting state responsible for the administration and management of such state's supervision and transfer of juveniles subject to the terms of this compact, the rules adopted by the interstate commission and policies adopted by the state council under this compact.
"Compacting state", any state which has enacted the enabling legislation for this compact.
"Commissioner", the voting representative of each compacting state appointed pursuant to section 3.
"Court", any court having jurisdiction over delinquent, neglected or dependent children.
"Deputy compact administrator", the individual, if any, in each compacting state appointed to act on behalf of a compact administrator, pursuant to the terms of this compact, responsible for the administration and management of the state's supervision and transfer of juveniles subject to the terms of this compact, the rules adopted by the interstate commission and policies adopted by the state council under this compact.
"Interstate commission", the interstate commission for juveniles created by section 3.
"Juvenile", any person defined as a juvenile in any member state or by the rules of the interstate commission, including:
(1) "Accused delinquent", a person charged with an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a criminal offense;
(2) "Adjudicated delinquent", a person found to have committed an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a criminal offense;
(3) "Accused status offender", a person charged with an offense that would not be a criminal offense if committed by an adult;
(4) "Adjudicated status offender", a person found to have committed an offense that would not be a criminal offense if committed by an adult; and
(5) "Non-offender", a person in need of supervision who has not been accused or adjudicated a status offender or a delinquent.
"Non-compacting state", any state which has not enacted the enabling legislation for this compact.
"Probation or parole", any kind of supervision or conditional release of juveniles authorized under the laws of the compacting states.
"Rule", a written statement by the interstate commission adopted pursuant to section 4 that is of general applicability, implements, interprets or prescribes a policy or provision of the compact, or an organizational, procedural or practice requirement of the commission, and has the force and effect of statutory law in a compacting state and includes the amendment, repeal or suspension of an existing rule.
"State", a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, or its designee, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas Islands.
Section 3. (a) The compacting states hereby create the interstate commission for juveniles. The commission shall be a body corporate and joint agency of the compacting states. The commission shall have all the responsibilities, powers and duties set forth herein, and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it by subsequent action of the respective legislatures of the compacting states in accordance with the terms of this compact.
(b) The interstate commission shall consist of commissioners appointed by the appropriate appointing authority in each state pursuant to the rules and requirements of each compacting state and in consultation with the state council for interstate juvenile supervision created hereunder. The commissioner shall be the compact administrator, deputy compact administrator or designee from a state who shall serve on the interstate commission in such capacity pursuant to the applicable law of such compacting state.
(c) In addition to the commissioners, who shall be the voting representatives of each state, the interstate commission shall include individuals who are not commissioners, but who are members of interested organizations. Such non-commissioner members shall include a member of the national organizations of governors, legislators, state chief justices, attorneys general, interstate compact for adult offender supervision, interstate compact for the placement of children, juvenile justice and juvenile corrections officials and crime victims. All non-commissioner members of the interstate commission shall be ex-officio members. The interstate commission may provide in its by-laws for such additional ex-officio members, including members of other national organizations, in such numbers as shall be determined by the commission.
(d) Each compacting state represented at any meeting of the commission shall be entitled to 1 vote. A majority of the compacting states shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, unless a larger quorum is required by the by-laws of the interstate commission.
(e) The commission shall meet at least once each calendar year. The chairperson may call additional meetings and, upon the request of a simple majority of the compacting states, shall call additional meetings. Public notice shall be given of all meetings and meetings shall be open to the public.
(f) The interstate commission shall establish an executive committee, which shall include commission officers, members and others as determined by the by-laws. The executive committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the interstate commission during periods when the interstate commission is not in session, with the exception of rulemaking power or power to amend the compact. The executive committee shall oversee the day-to-day activities of the administration of the compact managed by an executive director and interstate commission staff; administer enforcement and compliance with the compact, its by-laws and rules; and perform such other duties as directed by the interstate commission or set forth in the by-laws.
(g) Each member of the interstate commission shall have the right and power to cast a vote to which that compacting state is entitled and to participate in the business and affairs of the interstate commission. A member shall vote in person and shall not delegate a vote to another compacting state; provided, however, a commissioner, in consultation with the state council, shall appoint another authorized representative, in the absence of such commissioner from that state, to cast a vote on behalf of such compacting state at a specified meeting. The by-laws may provide for members' participation in meetings by telephone or other means of telecommunication or electronic communication.
(h) The interstate commission's by-laws shall establish conditions and procedures under which the interstate commission shall make its information and official records available to the public for inspection or copying. The interstate commission may exempt from disclosure any information or official records to the extent that they would adversely affect personal privacy rights or proprietary interests.
(i) Public notice shall be given of all meetings and all meetings shall be open to the public, except as set forth in the rules or as otherwise provided in the compact. The interstate commission and any of its committees may close a meeting to the public if it determines, by two-thirds vote, that an open meeting would be likely to:
(1) relate solely to the interstate commission's internal personnel practices and procedures;
(2) disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute;
(3) disclose trade secrets or commercial or financial information which is privileged or confidential;
(4) involve accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person;
(5) disclose information of a personal nature if disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(6) disclose investigative records compiled for law enforcement purposes;
(7) disclose information contained in, or related to, examination, operating or condition reports prepared by, or on behalf of or for the use of, the interstate commission relative to a regulated person or entity for the purpose of regulation or supervision of such person or entity;
(8) disclose information, the premature disclosure of which would significantly endanger the stability of a regulated person or entity; or
(9) specifically relate to the interstate commission's issuance of a subpoena, or its participation in a civil action or other legal proceeding.
(j) For every meeting closed pursuant to this section, the interstate commission's legal counsel shall publicly certify that, in the legal counsel's opinion, the meeting may be closed to the public and shall reference each relevant exemption. The interstate commission shall keep minutes which shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in any meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken, and the reasons therefore, including a description of each of the views expressed on any item and the record of any roll call vote reflected in the vote of each member on the question. All documents considered in connection with any action shall be identified in the minutes.
(k) The interstate commission shall collect standardized data relative to the interstate movement of juveniles as directed through its rules which shall specify the data to be collected, the means of collection and data exchange and reporting requirements. Such methods of data collection, exchange and reporting shall, insofar as is reasonably possible, conform to up-to-date technology and coordinate its information functions with the appropriate repository of records.
Section 4. The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) to provide for dispute resolution among compacting states;
(2) to promulgate rules to effect the purposes and obligations as enumerated in this compact, which shall have the force and effect of statutory law and shall be binding in the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided in this compact;
(3) to oversee, supervise and coordinate the interstate movement of juveniles subject to the terms of this compact and any by-laws adopted and rules adopted by the interstate commission;
(4) to enforce compliance with the compact provisions, the rules adopted by the interstate commission and the by-laws, using all necessary and proper means including, butnot limited to, the use of judicial process;
(5) to establish and maintain offices which shall be located within 1 or more of the compacting states;
(6) to purchase and maintain insurance and bonds;
(7) to borrow, accept, hire or contract for services of personnel;
(8) to establish and appoint committees and hire staff which it deems necessary for the carrying out of its functions including, but not limited to, an executive committee, as required by section 3, which shall have the power to act on behalf of the interstate commission in carrying out its powers and duties hereunder;
(9) to 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, inter alia, conflicts of interest, rates of compensation and qualifications of personnel;
(10) to accept donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services and to receive, utilize and dispose of the same;
(11) to lease, purchase, accept contributions or donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve or use any property, real, personal or mixed;
(12) to sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal or mixed;
(13) to establish a budget and make expenditures and levy dues as provided in section 11;
(14) to sue and be sued;
(15) to adopt a seal and by-laws governing the management and operation of the interstate commission;
(16) to perform such functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact;
(17) to report annually to the legislatures, governors, judiciary, and state councils of the compacting states relative to the activities of the interstate commission during the preceding year, including any recommendations that may have been adopted by the interstate commission;
(18) to coordinate education, training and public awareness relative to the interstate movement of juveniles for officials involved in such activity; and
(19) to establish uniform standards of the reporting, collecting and exchanging of data.
The interstate commission shall maintain its corporate books and records in accordance with the by-laws.
Section 5. The interstate commission shall, by a majority of the members present and voting, within 12 months after the first interstate commission meeting, adopt by-laws 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 governing any general or specific delegation of any 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 of the interstate commission;
(6) providing a mechanism for concluding the operations of the interstate commission and the return of any surplus funds that may exist upon the termination of the compact after the payment or reserving of all of its debts and obligations;
(7) providing "start-up" rules for initial administration of the compact; and
(8) establishing standards and procedures for compliance and technical assistance in carrying out the compact.
Section 6. (a) The interstate commission shall, by a majority of the members, elect annually from among its members a chairperson and a vice chairperson, each of whom shall have such authority and duties as may be specified in the by-laws. 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 but, subject to the availability of budgeted funds, the officers shall be reimbursed for any ordinary and necessary costs and expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties and responsibilities as officers of the interstate commission.
(b) The interstate commission shall, through its executive committee, 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 shall not be a member and shall hire and supervise such other staff as may be authorized by the interstate commission.
Section 7. (a) The commission's executive director and employees shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused or arising out of or relating to any actual or alleged act, error or omission that occurred, or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties or responsibilities except that any such person shall not be protected from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury or liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of any such person.
(b) The liability of any commissioner, or the employee or agent of a commissioner, acting within the scope of such person's employment or duties for acts, errors or omissions occurring within such 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. Nothing in this section shall be construed to protect any such person from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury or liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of such person.
(c) The interstate commission shall defend the executive director or the employees or representatives of the interstate commission and, subject to the approval of the attorney general of the state represented by any commissioner of a compacting state, shall defend such commissioner or the commissioner's representatives or employees in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any 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, unless the actual or alleged act, error or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of such person.
(d) The interstate commission shall indemnify and hold the commissioner of a compacting state or the commissioner's representatives or employees and the interstate commission's representatives or employees harmless in the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against such persons arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or omission that occurred within the scope of interstate commission employment, duties or responsibilities, or that such persons had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of interstate commission employment, duties or responsibilities, if the actual or alleged act, error or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of such persons.
Section 8. (a) The interstate commission shall promulgate and publish rules in order to effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of the compact.
(b) Rulemaking shall occur pursuant to the criteria set forth in this section and the by-laws and rules adopted pursuant thereto. Such rulemaking shall substantially conform to the principles of the "Model State Administrative Procedures Act," 1981 Act, Uniform Laws Annotated, Vol. 15, p.1 (2000), or such other administrative procedures act, as the interstate commission deems appropriate, consistent with due process requirements under the United States Constitution as now or hereafter interpreted by the United States Supreme Court. All rules and amendments shall become binding, as of the date specified, as published with the final version of the rule as approved by the commission.
(c) When promulgating a rule, the interstate commission shall, at a minimum:
(1) publish the proposed rule's entire text, stating the reasons for such proposed rule;
(2) allow and invite any and all persons to submit written data, facts, opinions and arguments, which information shall be added to the record and be made publicly available;
(3) provide an opportunity for an informal hearing if petitioned by 10 or more persons; and
(4) promulgate a final rule and its effective date, if appropriate, based on input from state or local officials or interested parties.
(d) Not later than 60 days after a rule is promulgated, any interested person may file a petition in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or in the Federal District Court where the interstate commission's principal office is located for judicial review of such rule. If the court finds that the interstate commission's action is not supported by substantial evidence in the rulemaking record, the court shall hold the rule unlawful and set it aside. For purposes of this section, evidence is substantial if it would be considered substantial evidence under the Model State Administrative Procedures Act.
(e) If a majority of the legislatures of the compacting states rejects a rule, those states may, by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the compact, cause that such rule shall have no further force and effect in any compacting state.
(f) The existing rules governing the operation of the interstate compact on juveniles superseded by this chapter shall be null and void 12 months after the first meeting of the interstate commission.
(g) Upon determination by the interstate commission that a state of emergency exists, it may promulgate an emergency rule which shall become effective immediately upon adoption, but the rulemaking procedures provided hereunder shall be retroactively applied to such rule as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than 90 days after the effective date of the emergency rule.
Section 9. (a) The interstate commission shall oversee the administration and operations of the interstate movement of juveniles subject to this compact in the compacting states and shall monitor such activities being administered in non-compacting states which may significantly affect compacting states.
(b) The courts and executive agencies in each compacting state shall enforce this compact and shall take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the compact's purposes and intent. This compact, and the rules adopted thereby, shall be received by all the judges, public officers, commissions and departments of the state government as evidence of the authorized statute and administrative rules. All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact and the rules. In any judicial or administrative proceeding in a compacting state relative to the subject matter of this compact which may affect the powers, responsibilities or actions of the interstate commission, it shall be entitled to receive all service of process in any such proceeding, and shall have standing to intervene in the proceeding for all purposes.
Section 10. (a) The compacting states shall report to the interstate commission on all issues and activities necessary for the administration of the compact as well as issues and activities relative to compliance with the compact and its by-laws and rules.
(b) The interstate commission shall attempt, upon the request of a compacting state, to resolve any disputes or other issues which are subject to the compact and which may arise among compacting states and between compacting and non-compacting states. The commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes among the compacting states.
(c) The interstate commission, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this compact using any or all means set forth in section 16.
Section 11. (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 shall levy on and collect an annual assessment from each compacting state to cover the cost of the internal 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, taking into consideration the population of each compacting state and the volume of interstate movement of juveniles in each compacting state and shall promulgate a rule binding upon all compacting states which governs such assessment.
(c) The interstate commission shall not incur any obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the interstate commission pledge the credit of any of the compacting states, except by and with the authority of the compacting state.
(d) The interstate commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the interstate commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its by-laws; provided, 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.
Section 12. Each member state shall create a state council for interstate juvenile supervision. While each state may determine the membership of its own state council, its membership must include at least 1 representative from the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government, victims groups, and the compact administrator, deputy compact administrator or designee. Each compacting state shall retain the right to determine the qualifications of the compact administrator or deputy compact administrator. Each state council shall advise and may exercise oversight and advocacy relative to such state's participation in interstate commission activities and other duties as may be determined by such state including, but not limited to, development of policy relative to operations and procedures of the compact within such state.
Section 13. (a) Any state, the District of Columbia, or its designee, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas Islands as defined in section 2 shall be eligible to become a compacting state.
(b) The compact shall become effective and binding upon legislative enactment of the compact into law by not less than 35 of the states. The initial effective date shall be the later of July 1, 2004 or upon enactment into law by the thirty-fifth jurisdiction. Thereafter, it shall become effective and binding as to any other compacting state upon enactment of the compact into law by such state. The governors of non-member states or their designees shall be invited to participate in the activities of the interstate commission, on a non-voting basis, prior to adoption of the compact by all states and territories of the United States.
(c) The interstate commission may propose amendments to the compact for enactment by the compacting states. No amendment shall become effective and binding upon the interstate commission and the compacting states unless and until it is enacted into law by unanimous consent of the compacting states.
Section 14. (a) Once effective, the compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each compacting state but a compacting state may withdraw from the compact by repealing the statute which enacted the compact into law in such state.
(b) The effective date of withdrawal shall be the effective date of the repeal.
(c) The withdrawing state shall immediately notify the chairperson of the interstate commission, in writing, upon the introduction of legislation repealing the compact in the withdrawing state. The interstate commission shall notify the other compacting states of the withdrawing state's intent to withdraw within 60 days of its receipt thereof.
(d) The withdrawing state shall be responsible for all assessments, obligations and liabilities incurred through the effective date of withdrawal, including any obligations, the performance of which extend beyond the effective date of withdrawal.
(e) Reinstatement following withdrawal of any compacting state shall occur upon the withdrawing state reenacting the compact or upon such later date as determined by the interstate commission.
Section 15. (a) If the interstate commission determines that any compacting state has at any time defaulted in the performance of any of its obligations or responsibilities under this compact, or the by-laws or duly adopted rules, the interstate commission may impose any or all of the following penalties:
(1) remedial training and technical assistance as directed by the interstate commission;
(2) alternative dispute resolution;
(3) fines, fees and costs in such amounts as are deemed to be reasonable as fixed by the interstate commission; and
(4) suspension or termination of membership in the compact, which shall be imposed only after all other reasonable means of securing compliance under the by-laws and rules have been exhausted and the interstate commission has therefore determined that the offending state is in default. Immediate notice of suspension shall be given by the interstate commission to the governor, the chief justice or the chief judicial officer of the state, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state's legislature and the state council. Grounds for default include, but are not limited to, failure of a compacting state to perform such obligations or responsibilities imposed upon it by this compact, the by-laws or duly adopted rules and any other grounds designated in interstate commission by-laws and rules. The interstate commission shall immediately notify the defaulting state, in writing, of the penalty imposed by the interstate commission and of the default, pending a cure of the default. The interstate commission shall stipulate the conditions and the time period within which the defaulting state must cure the default. If the defaulting state fails to cure the default within the time period specified by the interstate commission, the defaulting state shall be terminated from the compact upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the compacting states and all rights, privileges and benefits conferred by this compact shall be terminated from the effective date of termination of membership.
(b) Within 60 days of the effective date of termination of a defaulting state, the commission shall notify the governor, the chief justice or chief judicial officer, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state's legislature and the state council of such termination.
(c) The defaulting state shall be responsible for all assessments, obligations and liabilities incurred through the effective date of termination including any obligations, the performance of which extends beyond the effective date of termination.
(d) The interstate commission shall not bear any costs relating to the defaulting state unless otherwise mutually agreed upon, in writing, between the interstate commission and the defaulting state.
(e) Reinstatement following termination of any compacting state requires both a reenactment of the compact by the defaulting state and the approval of the interstate commission pursuant to the rules.
Section 16. 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 wherein the interstate commission offices are located, to enforce compliance with the compact, its duly adopted rules and by-laws, against any compacting state in default. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing party shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorneys fees.
Section 17. (a) The compact shall dissolve effective on the date of the withdrawal or default of the compacting state, which reduces membership in the compact to 1 compacting state.
(b) Upon the dissolution of this compact, the compact shall become null and void and shall be of no further force or effect, and the business and affairs of the interstate commission shall be concluded. Any surplus funds of the interstate commission shall be distributed in accordance with the by-laws.
Section 18. (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.
Section 19. (a) Nothing in this compact shall prevent the enforcement of any other law of a compacting state that is not inconsistent with this compact.
(b) All compacting states' laws other than state constitutions and other interstate compacts conflicting with this compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.
Section 20. (a) All lawful actions of the interstate commission, including all rules and by-laws adopted by the interstate commission, shall be binding upon the compacting states.
(b) All agreements between the interstate commission and the compacting states shall be binding in accordance with the terms thereof.
(c) Upon the request of a party to a conflict over meaning or interpretation of interstate commission actions, and upon a majority vote of the compacting states, the interstate commission may issue advisory opinions regarding such meaning or interpretation.
(d) In the event any provision of this compact exceeds the constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any compacting state, the obligations, duties, powers or jurisdiction sought to be conferred by such provision upon the interstate commission shall be ineffective and such obligations, duties, powers or jurisdiction shall remain in the compacting state and shall be exercised by the agency thereof to which such obligations, duties, powers or jurisdiction are delegated by law in effect at the time this compact becomes effective.