Resolved, A special commission is hereby established to investigate and study how poverty in the commonwealth can be reduced by at least 10% in the next five years and 20% in the next ten years by engaging the public, private, and non-profit sectors within Boston, the 24 gateway cities of the Commonwealth, and Framingham. The investigation and study shall include, but not be limited to: (a) appropriate measures of poverty; (b) the root causes of poverty; (c) analysis of income inequality in Massachusetts, in particular examining the number of people and families in the commonwealth living below 200% of the federal poverty level and the socio-economic challenges they face, while also calculating the number of people and families living at multiples above the federal poverty level; (d) violence in urban areas, particularly gun violence, and its effect on youth, commercial activity, and job opportunities in the community; (e) the number and types of existing jobs and the economically competitive strengths within gateway cities and Framingham; (f) obstacles to job opportunities for the poor; (g) recent examples and categories of successful paths out of poverty for youth, families, and neighborhoods; and (h) successful approaches and innovative system change efforts to reducing poverty and violence from within the commonwealth and throughout North America. The commission shall also produce data, estimates, and conduct analysis on the potential long-term municipal and state government savings that would result from effective poverty reduction efforts throughout the commonwealth as the number of people in need of government safety net spending is reduced. The commission shall establish and methodology for calculating annually relevant and appropriate metrics of poverty in the commonwealth.
The commission shall consist of 23 members as follows: the Governor, or a designee; the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, or a designee; the Secretary of Health and Human Services, or a designee; the Secretary of Transportation, or a designee; the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, or a designee; the Secretary of Education, or a designee; the Secretary of Administration and Finance, or a designee; the Secretary of Public Safety and Security, or a designee; two appointees to be chosen by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; two appointees to be chosen by the Senate President; one appointee to be chosen by the House Minority Leader; one appointee to be chosen by the Senate Minority Leader; one appointee to be chosen by the Massachusetts Mayors Association; one appointee to be chosen by the Massachusetts Non-Profit Network; one appointee to be chosen by the MassInc.; one appointee to be chosen by a Massachusetts based philanthropic foundation; one appointee to be chosen by FSG or similar social impact consultant; one appointee to be chosen by the Institute for a Competitive Inner-City; one appointee to be chosen by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center; one appointee to be chosen by the Boston Chamber of Commerce; and one appointee to be chosen by the Massachusetts Council of Churches.
The commission shall issue a report to the governor and the general court that includes its findings and recommendations, with outlines of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the Clerks of the House of Representatives and the Senate on or before November 30, 2013.
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