There shall be established an Agricultural Tourism Study Commission which shall be charged with exploring opportunities to support, expand and enhance opportunities for agricultural tourism in the Commonwealth. Commission activities shall include but not be limited to review of state and municipal laws relative to zoning and public health; a review of laws, regulations, policies and grant programs within the Department of Agricultural Resources including the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program; and a review of relevant programs within the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. The commission shall, in the course of its study, study the best practices from around the country, and analyze relevant regulations and statutes to ensure such regulations and statutes are not impediments to the expansion of agritourism.
The Commission shall consist of 9 members: 1 of whom shall be the Commissioner of the Department of Agricultural Resources or his designee who shall serve as Chairman, Commission, 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism or his designee; 1 of whom shall be the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health or his designee; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Municipal Association; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, and 4 members appointed by the Governor who are involved in various agricultural tourism activities.
The commission shall, in the course of its efforts, study the best practices from around the country, and analyze current regulations and statutes to ensure such regulations and statutes are not impediments to the expansion of agritourism.
Within 12 months of the passage of this legislation, The Commission shall report to the governor and the general court the results of its study and its recommendations, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect by filing the same with the Clerks of the House of Representatives and the Senate, who shall forward the same to the House and Senate committees on Ways and Means, and the Joint Committees on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.
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