SECTION 1. Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 38, the following section:-
Section 38A. (a) Biennially, on or before March 31, the governor may appoint a poet laureate for the commonwealth of Massachusetts from a list of nominees submitted by the poet laureate nominating committee pursuant to subsection (b). The poet laureate shall seek to raise the consciousness of all commonwealth residents, especially school children, to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. The poet laureate shall be appointed to serve for a term of 2 years or until a successor is appointed and qualified as provided in this section. In the event of a vacancy in the office of poet laureate, the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(b) There shall be a poet laureate nominating committee consisting of the following 5 members: the speaker of the house of representatives, or a designee; the senate president, or a designee; and 3 members appointed by the governor, 2 of whom shall be members of the board of directors of the Massachusetts cultural council. Members of the poet laureate nominating committee shall serve without compensation.
(c) The poet laureate nominating committee shall advertise and receive nominations for the selection of the poet laureate for the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Nominees shall be residents of the commonwealth and shall provide biographical and professional information, as well as supporting representative material, explaining why, based on their poetic accomplishments, they deserve recognition as the poet laureate for commonwealth of Massachusetts. The poet laureate nominating committee shall review all nominations and select 3 nominees to submit to the governor biennially on or before February 1.
(d) The poet laureate shall be an honorary position and the person appointed shall receive no remuneration. The person appointed to the position of poet laureate shall not be considered a state official or a state employee for such person's service in the position of poet laureate.
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