WHEREAS cancer from toxic smoke is the leading cause of line-of duty firefighter deaths in the US;
WHEREAS that estimates suggest that firefighters in Boston are 2.5 times more likely to get cancer than civilians; and
WHEREAS the occupation conditions for firefighters lead to high skin absorption rates of toxic chemicals that are significantly increased if their “turnout gear” is not washed immediately.
Chapter 29 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2VVVV, inserted by section 41 of chapter 133 of the acts of 2016, the following section:-
Section 2WWWW. (a) There shall be an Industrial Washing Machine Bulk Purchase Trust Fund to be administered and expended by the state fire marshal for the municipal and district industrial washing machine bulk purchase program. Municipalities and fire districts may join the program to purchase industrial washing machines for municipal fire departments or fire districts. The department of fire services, hereinafter referred to as the department, shall assist with the purchasing and distribution of industrial washing machines on behalf of the program, and with administering the program’s price reductions and grant allocations for industrial washing machine purchases.
(b) The fund shall consist of: (i) payments made by participating municipalities and fire districts for the purchase of industrial washing machines; (ii) revenue from appropriations or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund; and (iii) funds from public or private sources, including, but not limited to, gifts, grants, donations, rebates and settlements received by the commonwealth that are specifically designated to be credited to the fund. Funds received under clauses (ii) or (iii) shall be apportioned in a manner determined by the department and shall be applied to provide price reductions for participating municipalities and districts purchasing industrial washing machines through the program, and grants to participating and non-participating municipalities and fire districts to purchase industrial washing machines through the program.
(c) Amounts credited to the fund shall not be subject to further appropriation and monies remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund. The state fire marshal shall report annually not later than October 1 to the house and senate committees on ways and means on the fund’s activity. The report shall include, but not be limited to, revenue received by the fund, revenue and expenditure projections for the forthcoming fiscal year and details of all expenditures from the fund, the municipalities and fire districts participating in the program, the amount of industrial washing machines purchased by each municipality and fire district, and the discount procured through bulk purchasing.
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