Resolved, there is hereby established a commission to consist of 19 members, 1 of whom shall be the secretary of the executive office of health and human services, or a designee, who shall serve as chair of the commission; 1 of whom shall be the attorney general, or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the secretary of the executive office of elder affairs, or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the undersecretary of the department of housing and community development, or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of mental health, or a designee; 2 of whom shall be the chairs of the joint committee on housing, or their designees; 2 of whom shall be the chairs of the joint committee on elder affairs, or their designees; 2 of whom shall be the chairs of the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse, or their designees; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; and 6 of whom shall be appointed by the governor, and shall be representatives of consumer protection advocacy organizations, such as the Massachusetts Association of Independent Living Centers, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants, Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants, Stop Bullying Coalition, legal services organizations such as Mass Law Reform Institute and Disability Law Center, and individuals with direct experience and knowledge of the issue that can contribute to the commission.
The commission shall study the prevalence and impact of the bullying of tenants, with a focus on elderly and disabled tenants, in public and subsidized multi-family housing. This shall include, but not be limited to identifying the conditions that give rise to and cause bullying; researching and investigating successful methods for preventing bullying in other contexts, including but not limited to schools, nursing homes, assisted living, the workplace, and housing. This research shall be used to identify and develop best practices; raise public awareness; and propose public policy recommendations and legislation necessary to protect tenants from harm and preserve their rights.
The commission shall identify and invite to participate and contribute individuals with experience and knowledge of bullying in public or subsidized housing including tenants who have been victimized by bullying, managers who coordinate resident services, industry professionals and stakeholders, and individuals who have direct experience with bullying prevention. The commission shall hold public meetings in various locations throughout the Commonwealth in recognition of the difficulty some individuals may have in travelling long distances to attend commission meetings.
The commission shall submit its findings and recommendations with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the joint committee on housing, the joint committee on elder affairs and the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse not later than December 31, 2015.
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