Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately facilitate the management of investments of the Ministerial Fund of the First Parish in Beverly, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Chapter 8 of the acts of 1832 is hereby amended by striking out sections 1 to 5, inclusive, and inserting in place thereof the following six sections:-
Section 1. As used in this act the following words shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
"Fund", the Ministerial Fund, established by this act in effect prior to the effective date of this act.
"Trustees", the trustees from time to time of the fund appointed pursuant to this act.
"Church", the First Parish Unitarian Church, Beverly, Massachusetts, formerly known as the First Parish in Beverly, and the parish thereof.
"Parish committee", the parish committee of the church elected or appointed pursuant to the by-laws thereof.
"Annual Meeting" or "special meeting", the annual meeting or special meeting of the church as provided for in the by-laws thereof at which a quorum is present and voting.
Section 2. (a) There shall be five trustees of the fund, each serving for a term of five years. The term of the trustees shall end on the date of the annual meeting, and shall be staggered so that the term of one trustee shall expire at each annual meeting. The trustees of the fund as of the effective date of this act shall continue in their office until the next following annual meeting, at which time the church shall elect five trustees in the manner prescribed in its by-laws, with terms of one, two, three, four and five years, respectively. At each succeeding annual meeting, one trustee shall be elected in the manner prescribed in said by-laws for a five-year term.
(b) If any trustee shall die, resign his office, or otherwise cease to serve as trustee, the parish committee shall be empowered to appoint a temporary trustee to serve until a successor to serve the remainder of the term of such trustee is elected by the church by majority vote at its annual meeting, or at a special meeting called for the purpose. Until such temporary trustee or successor trustee is duly appointed or elected, however, the remaining trustees shall be fully empowered to perform all of the duties of the trustees pursuant to this act.
Section 3. (a) The trustees are expressly empowered to invest and reinvest the fund or any portion thereof in their discretion only in:-
(i) any type of securities, as such term is defined in section four hundred and one of chapter one hundred and ten of the General Laws which are traded on any national or regional stock exchange, or on the over the counter market and listed on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation system facility, or any future market system replacing any of the foregoing;
(ii) any common, collective, co-mingled or pooled trust maintained by banking institution chartered under the laws of the commonwealth or the United States of America, or in any open-ended investment company registered under the provisions of the Federal Investment Company Act of 1940;
(iii) any savings account, term deposit instrument, certificate of deposit or debt obligation of like character of any banking institution chartered under the laws of the commonwealth or the United States of America;
(iv) any obligation guaranteed by the United States of America;
(v) any other investment authorized by the church by two-thirds vote of the church membership at an annual meeting or at a special meeting called for the purpose.
(b) The trustees may delegate their powers of investment set forth in paragraph (a) by written agreement to any investment adviser registered pursuant to the Federal Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and its investment advisory services rendered. Such investment adviser shall be subject to the limitations on investment power set forth in said paragraph (a) and may, limited by the ethical consideration of the trustees and members of First Parish, otherwise have full investment discretion as its contract with the trustees so provides.
(c) The trustees, and any investment adviser to whom discretionary powers over fund assets is delegated pursuant to this section, shall give due consideration to the monetary needs of the church, as communicated in writing by the parish committee, in formulating the investment objectives and strategies of the fund from time to time.
(d) The trustees shall have such other powers as may be necessary or convenient to the execution of their duties pursuant to this act. A majority of the trustees in office shall be empowered to act on behalf of all of the trustees then in office in the execution of such duties.
Section 4. (a) At least quarterly, the trustees may disburse the net investment income of the fund to the treasurer of the church.
(b) Upon a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the church at an annual meeting, or at a special meeting of the church called for the purpose, the trustees may disburse such additional amounts of the assets of the fund to the treasurer of the church as the trustees in their sole discretion determine is necessary to maintain the financial stability of the church.
(c) All disbursements of the fund authorized by this section shall be applied by the treasurer of the church for any lawful debt or obligation of the church incurred in connection with its operations, including without limitation the acquisition, improvement or maintenance of any real or personal property.
Section 5. (a) The trustees shall present an account to the church at each annual meeting, which shall include for the fiscal year of the church then ended the identifying description, cost and market values of all securities of the fund, and the amount of all cash items, in each case as of the first and last day of such fiscal year, or date reasonably proximate thereto, all purchase and sales of securities, all distributions to the church, and all other disbursements, fees, costs and expenses for which the fund was charged during such fiscal year. Upon approval of such account by vote of at least sixty-seven per cent of the members of the church at such meeting, the trustees shall be relieved of all liability for all transactions and matters disclosed therein.
(b) The trustees shall report to the parish committee on such matters relative to the fund as the parish committee shall reasonably request in writing, provided that such reports shall not be required more frequently than quarterly.
Section 6. The trustees, and any investment adviser appointed pursuant to section three, shall not be liable to the church, or any member thereof, or to any person claiming through or on behalf of the church or any member, for any act or omission of any of them done in good faith and without willful negligence or misconduct; provided, however, that no trustee or investment adviser of the fund shall be liable for any act or omission occurring or continuing prior to such trustee or investment adviser assuming such position, nor for any act or omission occurring or continuing after such trustee or investment adviser ceases to hold such position, unless such trustee or investment adviser was a prominent cause of such act or omission and then would be liable therefor pursuant to this section; and provided, further, that nothing in this section shall relieve such investment adviser from any liability which it may have under the laws of the commonwealth or of the United States of America.