SECTION 1. Chapter 15A of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following new section:--
Section 19F. The board of higher education, in exercising its powers under section four of chapter fifteen A, shall by no later than one hundred eighty days after the effective date of this act establish a program of tuition remission pursuant to which persons employed by providers of social services programs that hold contracts with the commonwealth, and spouses of those persons, are provided tuition remission benefits for courses or programs taken at any public community college or state college or the University of Massachusetts. Tuition remission benefits provided to such persons and their spouses shall be on parity, as nearly as possible, with tuition remission benefits provided to employees of the commonwealth and their spouses. For purposes of this act the term “social services programs" shall have the meaning specified in section two hundred seventy-four of chapter one hundred ten of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-three as amended. In developing such programs of tuition remission benefits, the board of higher education and the administrator of the current tuition remission program operated by the Massachusetts Council of Human Services Providers, Inc. shall consult with the secretaries of health and human services and elder affairs.
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