SECTION 1. (a) There shall be established, under the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, a commission to research and review dredging needs for recreational boating in Commonwealth waterways. Within one year, the Commission shall report to the legislature on recommendations for how to: (i) fund such dredging projects; (ii) streamline the permitting process for such dredging projects; (iii) reduce the costs associated with permitting such projects; and (iv) identify disposal options, all for the purpose of maintaining and, where appropriate, improving recreational boating access to the Commonwealth’s waterways. Special attention shall be given to Commonwealth owned sediments requiring dredging to maintain recreational boating access, irrespective of what entity owns or operates the boating facilities associated therewith.
(b) (1) The commission shall have 9 members: 1 member to be appointed by the governor, 1 member to be appointed by the secretary of energy and environmental affairs; 1 member to be appointed by the president of the senate for a term of 2 years; 1 member to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives for a term of 2 years; 1 member to be appointed by the senate minority leader, for a term of 2 year; and 1 member to be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, ex-officio and the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, ex-officio. Each member of the commission shall be an expert with experience in at least one of the following fields: the business of recreational boating; environmental policy, public policy, economic development or ocean management. At least one member shall be a director of a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the business of recreational boating. One of the members shall be appointed by the governor to serve as chairperson of the commission. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs shall provide meeting space and administrative support to the commission.
(2) The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services, other than as may be already provided for due to their position outside the commission. The commission may receive such funds to carry out its mission as may be authorized and appropriated or donated from time to time.
(3) The powers of the commission shall be advisory.
(4) The commission may request from all state agencies such information and assistance as the commission may require, which shall be provided as promptly as is reasonably practicable. The commission may also request such information from companies and organizations with state contracts that provide services relative to the scope of the commission, which shall also be provided as promptly as is reasonably practicable.
(5) The commission shall convene its first meeting within one month of appointment and shall submit its first report of recommendations not later than one year from appointment with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate who shall forward a copy of the report to the house and senate chairs of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Governor.
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