SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, there shall be a cranberry industry revitalization task force which shall consist of the following members: 3 representatives from the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association who shall be appointed by the governor from a list of 6 names submitted by said Association; 1 representative of Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., who shall be appointed by the governor; 1 representative of an independent cranberry handler company, who shall be appointed by the governor; 1 researcher from the University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station, who shall be appointed by the governor; the secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs or his designee; the commissioner of Agricultural Resources or his designee; 1 agricultural economist, who shall be appointed by the commissioner of Agricultural Resources; the commissioner of Energy Resources or his designee; the commissioner of Environmental Protection or his designee; 3 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader and 2 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house; and 3 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader and 2 of whom shall be appointed by the president of the senate. The task force shall be chaired jointly by the secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the commissioner of Agricultural Resources, or their designees.
The task force shall investigate short and long-term solutions to preserving and strengthening the cranberry industry in Massachusetts. The investigation shall examine methods to promote innovation in, and the revitalization of, the Massachusetts cranberry farming community including, without limitation, the impact of increased fixed costs borne by the cranberry growing community, alternative and renewable energy uses for growers and an investigation of the unique geography, culture and needs of the Massachusetts cranberry industry.
The task force shall submit its findings, together with drafts of recommended legislation, if any, to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the chairs of the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture, and the senate and house committees on ways and means not later than October 1, 2015.
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