Resolved, that there shall be a special commission to research and make recommendations to the governor and legislature on reducing unnecessary barriers to professional licensure for qualified immigrants and promoting workforce training, education, and business development in Massachusetts.
The commission shall undertake a study to: (1) identify barriers related to occupational licensing; (2) examine the scope of underemployment of skilled foreign-born individuals and its economic costs to the commonwealth, including, lost tax revenues, and gaps in needed services; and (3) research best practices for strengthening career pathways for skilled immigrants.
In conducting its work, the commission shall review efforts made by other states to facilitate professional licensure, such as creating revised or limited licensing standards; apprenticeships and partnerships with potential employers and professional associations; educational equivalency and readiness programs; career pathway guides; and technical assistance.
The commission shall be comprised of: the secretary of labor and workforce development or a designee, who shall serve as chair; the director of the office of consumer affairs and business regulation, or a designee; the commissioner of the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants, or a designee; the director of the division of professional licensure, or a designee; the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on consumer protection & professional licensure, or a designee; the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies, or designees; 1 member of the senate to be appointed by the senate minority leader; 1 member of the house of representatives to be appointed by the house minority leader; and up to 10 members to be appointed by the Governor, 1 of whom shall represent community colleges in the commonwealth; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute; 1 of whom shall be a representative from the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition; 1 of whom shall be a representative from Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) who specializes in employment law; and up to 6 of whom who shall represent immigrant-led organizations representing diverse communities, including those that provide employment assistance and training to their members. To take action at a meeting, a majority of the members of the board present and voting shall constitute a quorum.
The commission shall meet at least monthly, or as frequently as the chair recommends. The commission shall monitor the implementation of its recommendations and update said recommendations to reflect changes to federal and state immigration and licensing laws, regulations and policies.
The chair may appoint subcommittees in order to expedite the work of the commission.
The commission shall file a report of its recommendations and proposed legislation or regulatory changes, if any, with the clerks of the house and senate, the chairs of the joint committee on consumer protection & professional licensure, and the chairs of the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies within one year of the effective date of this act.
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