SECTION 1. There shall be a special commission established to investigate and study the department of conservation and recreation and to make recommendations to strengthen the management, operations and asset condition of the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the commonwealth.
The commission shall consist of the following persons, or their designees: the secretary of the executive office of energy and environmental affairs, who shall serve as chairperson; the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation; the chair of the department of conservation and recreation stewardship council; 3 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the house chair of the committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture, 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party to be appointed by the minority leader of the house; 3 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be the senate chair of the committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture, 1 of whom shall be a member of the minority party to be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 5 members appointed by the governor, 2 of whom shall be representatives of park friends groups; a representative of the Environmental League of Massachusetts; a representative of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club; a representative of the Trust for Public Land; a representative of the Trustees of Reservations. No fewer than 8 members shall reside within the urban parks district defined in section 33 of chapter 92.
The investigation shall include, but not be limited to: (i) examine the current responsibilities and structure of the department of conservation and recreation and the stewardship council of the department of conservation and recreation; (ii) determine whether departments, divisions, assets or operations of the department of conservation and recreation should be transferred to other agencies, departments, municipalities or entities with special consideration given to urban parks and roadways; (iii) review the capital and operating budgets of the department of conservation and recreation, analyze at a component level the relationship of cost to value, and make recommendations as to how to: (a) improve transparency and accountability for project choice; (b) maximize return on the commonwealth’s investment in the department of conservation and recreation; and (c) project planning and project execution, with special consideration given to the possibility of enhancing the powers of the stewardship council.
The commission may solicit public input through public hearings and testimony.
The commission shall report and make recommendations resulting from its study to the governor, house and senate committees on ways and means, and the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture on or before December 1, 2020.
SECTION 2. To provide for the special commission, the sum set forth in section 2A for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this act, are hereby made available; provided, however, that the amounts specified may be adjusted to facilitate projects authorized in this act. This sum shall be in addition to any amounts previously appropriated and made available for the purposes of the item. The department of conservation and recreation and the executive office of energy and environmental affairs shall provide access to information as necessary for the work of the commission.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Office of the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
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