SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there is hereby created a commission that shall investigate the economic impact of the Commonwealth’s minimum pricing laws on businesses and residents within the Commonwealth. The commission shall analyze the additional costs, if any, incurred by Massachusetts residents as compared to businesses and residents of neighboring states.
(b) The commission shall consist of the secretary of the executive office of administration and finance or his designee; the director of the department of agriculture or his designee; the treasurer or her designee; the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on revenue, who shall co-chair the commission; a representative of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts; a representative of the National Federation of Independent Business Massachusetts; a representative appointed by the Governor from each of the industries currently impacted by minimum pricing laws, including the dairy, alcohol and tobacco industries; an individual an individual with an expertise in finance or consumer economics; a representative of a statewide public health organization engaged in tobacco cessation efforts; a representative of a statewide public health organization engaged in alcohol cessation or recovery efforts; a representative of a wholesaler engaged in the distribution of tobacco, alcohol or dairy products and a representative of the New England's Convenience Stores and Energy Marketers as appointed by the Governor. The commission shall adopt rules and establish procedures it considers necessary for the conduct of its business. No action of the commission shall be considered official unless approved by a majority vote of the commission members.
(c) In the course of its investigation, the commission shall: (1) examine the minimum pricing laws in existence in the Commonwealth and the purpose behind their initial creation; (2) examine the minimum pricing laws in existence in the Commonwealth’s neighboring states, if any; (3) provide an analysis of the impact of the Commonwealth’s minimum pricing laws on the cost and price of products so regulated; (4) provide an analysis of the impact of the neighboring states’ minimum pricing laws on the cost and price of products so regulated; (5) develop recommendations as to whether the Commonwealth’s minimum pricing laws continue to serve their original purpose and whether such laws put the Commonwealth and its businesses and residents at a competitive disadvantage as compared to neighboring states; (6) determine whether the Commonwealth’s minimum pricing laws benefit certain businesses as opposed to others by creating subsidies of unnecessarily large profit.
(d) The commission may hold public hearings to assist in the collection and evaluation of data and testimony.
(e) Any research, analysis or other staff support that the commission reasonably requires shall be provided by the executive office of administration and finance and its agencies.
(f) The commission shall prepare a written report detailing its findings and recommendations, together with drafts of legislation, as may be necessary to carry those recommendations into effect. The commission shall submit its initial report to the governor, the secretary of the executive office of administration and finance, the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on revenue not later than 1 year after the effective date of this act.
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