SECTION 1. Chapter 6A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 104 the following section:-
For the purposes of this section “government agency” shall be defined as any state agency, quasi-state agency, sub-divisions of a state agency, or board, commission or entity created by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Every government agency that collects demographic data as to the race or ethnicity of residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, shall use separate collection and tabulations for the following: (i) each major Asian group, as reported by the United States Census Bureau, including but not limited to, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, Asian Indian, Laotian, Cambodian, Bangladeshi, Hmong, Indonesian, Malaysian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, Nepalese, Burmese, Tibetan, and Thai; (ii) each major Pacific Islander group, as reported by the United States Census Bureau, including but not limited to, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian, Samoan, Fijian and Tongan; (iii) other Asian or Pacific Islander group; (iv) each major Black or African American group, as reported by the United States Census Bureau, including but not limited to African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Cape Verdean, and Somali; (v) each major Latino group, as reported by the United States Census Bureau, including but not limited to, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican and Colombian; and (vi) each major White or Caucasian group, as reported by the United States Census Bureau, including but not limited to, German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, and French. Individuals may choose more than one subgroup, write in their own, or choose the aggregate category. If collection of data on race or ethnicity was not previously conducted or required then the information in this section shall not apply. Individuals not participating in this data collection shall not be denied services. No government agency shall fill out racial or ethnic information unless directed by the individual.
Except for Personal Identifying Information, which shall be deemed confidential, each government agency shall make the data available to the public in accordance with state and federal law. Personal Identifying Information is defined as information: (i) that directly identifies an individual (e.g., name, address, social security number or other identifying number or code) or (ii) by which an agency intends to identify specific individuals in conjunction with other data elements, which shall include indirect identification which can compile an identity, such as a combination of gender, race, birth date, geographic indicator, and other descriptors. Additionally, information permitting the physical or online contacting of a specific individual is the same as personally identifiable information. This information can be maintained in either paper, electronic or other media. To prevent identification of individuals, the information may be aggregated into data categories at a state, county, city, census tract, or ZIP code to facilitate comparisons, identify disparities, and be part of studies and reports. This paragraph shall not be construed to prevent any other government agency from posting data collected on the agency’s website, in a manner prescribed in this section.
The Executive Office of Administration and Finance shall establish regulations and guidelines on the collection of demographic data, which may include a standardized form for information collection, expanding the categories of race or ethnicity, a standard format for agencies to make data publicly available and to update said data on an annual basis, a method to ensure no personal identifying information is publically released, a standardized written disclosure to the individual filling the form out that this information collected is voluntary, nonparticipation of completing the form will have no impact of eligibility on state services, annual cost impact and annual review on the successfulness of collecting information. There shall at least be one annual public hearing about the implementation or changes in the regulations and guidelines. A report on the progress of data collection shall be provided to the House and Senate Clerks and the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight every August 1st of each year.
All data collected by the state shall be subject to both state and federal privacy laws; including Title 13 of the U.S. Code and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93H, Section 2(c).
SECTION 2. Paragraph 4 of Section 1 shall go into effect on January 1, 2021. The remainder of the act shall go into effect on January 1, 2022.
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