SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any General or special law to the contrary, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts shall recognize the Essex National Heritage Area, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, The Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area, and the Freedoms Way National Heritage Area and each Areas administrative entity (hereinafter “the Areas”), proper and consistent with the Areas’ present recognition as a public service entity by the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service as established in the Federal Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996, division II, title V, section 504 of Public Law 104-133, and being in compliance with the federal Executive Office of Management and Budget’s Circulars A-110, A-122, and A-133. Recognition of the Areas does not ‘diminish, enlarge, or modify any right of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any political subdivision thereof, to exercise civil and criminal jurisdiction or to carry out State laws, rules, and regulations within the Area” [Federal law, Section 1029(d)(2)].
SECTION 2. The Areas, in their capacity as not-for-profit charitable organizations under section 501(c)3 of the Federal tax code, and by providing essential services to the people, businesses, organizations, and communities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in particular the Areas’ counties of origin; through the preservation, promotion and interpretation of the unique historical, cultural, and national resources of the Areas and their collaborative efforts to build regional partnerships with local organizations, institutions, businesses, sites, municipalities, agencies, individuals, and groups that further advance said services, are hereby acknowledged to be entities in the service of the public good of the Commonwealth. As such, the Areas are hereby authorized to receive such appropriations as the Court shall from time to time allow in accordance with the state and Federal laws current to that effect.
SECTION 3. Nothing in this act or in the right to appropriation recognized by this act shall interfere with or modify the rights or responsibilities of the Areas, their officers, employees, or agents, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any subdivision thereof.
SECTION 4. The act and the provisions herein shall take effect immediately upon passage of the act.
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