Resolved, that there shall be a special citizens commission to investigate and report on what measures may be necessary and appropriate to protect the citizens of the commonwealth from the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons and to contribute towards the total elimination of these weapons from all countries in line with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The citizens commission shall investigate measures and make recommendations to the general court that may include, but are not limited to, the divestment of funds under the control of the commonwealth from companies involved in the development, production or maintenance of nuclear weapons; the disqualification of a bidder or vendor involved in the development, production or maintenance of nuclear weapons from an award of a state contract; and other financial or legal measures that may assist or encourage the transition from nuclear weapons-related jobs and activities taking place within the commonwealth to jobs and activities that instead address the climate crisis and other pressing social needs.
The citizens commission shall consist of 11 United States citizens who are residents of Massachusetts: 1 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;1 of whom shall be appointed by the senate president; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the secretary of the commonwealth; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the attorney general; and 7 of whom shall be appointed by the governor, of whom 6 shall be selected by the governor from a group of 10 individuals nominated by Massachusetts Peace Action, Inc.; provided, however, that all appointments shall be made from a list of applicants who have publicly applied to the commission for such appointment. The governor’s office shall post all applications on a webpage, established for the public knowledge and oversight of the appointment to and operation of the commission. No person may be appointed to the commission who is a current or former employee of any company or military installation involved in the development, production or maintenance of nuclear weapons.
An application to serve on the commission shall state: (i) the intent of the applicant to comply with and advance the policy established by this resolve; (ii) the applicant’s qualifications and interest in serving on the commission; (iii) the city or town in which the applicant resides; and (iv) the employment of the applicant, if employed. The governor shall post the appointment opportunity on the official website of the commonwealth within 30 days of the effective date of this resolve. All applications for service on the commission shall be submitted within 30 days of the posting of the appointment opportunity.
All appointments shall be made no sooner than 90 days and no later than 120 days after the effective date of this resolve. In making appointments to the commission, the speaker of the house of representatives, senate president, secretary of the commonwealth, attorney general and governor shall consider the range of expertise needed on the commission and shall seek to ensure that the commission reflects a range of geographical and demographic backgrounds. Appointees to the commission shall serve without compensation.
The commission shall convene for its first meeting not later than 30 days after the appointment of the final member of the commission. Members of the commission shall, at their first meeting, elect a chair or co-chairs, as the members of the commission may decide by majority vote. The commission shall meet on a regular basis to research and to gather evidence, testimony and advice in the manner that the members of the commission determine is most conducive to achieving the objectives of this resolve; provided, however, that commission proceedings and activities shall be subject to the open meeting law established by sections 18 to 25, inclusive, of chapter 30A of the General Laws and shall be considered public records as defined in clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4 of the General Laws; and, provided further, that all residents of Massachusetts have a reasonable opportunity to offer their views and ideas related to the policies herein to the commission.
The commission shall hold at least 5 public hearings in different parts of the commonwealth to inform citizens and legislators about humanitarian consequences to the commonwealth resulting from the use of nuclear weapons and implications of the entry into force of Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, including but not limited to how jobs, technologies and industries within the commonwealth currently devoted to nuclear weapons shall be affected.
The commission shall report the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerk of the house of representatives and the clerk of the senate, with copies to the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and all members of the Massachusetts federal congressional delegation, on or before July 31, 2024. The report may include recommendations for specific legislation aimed at reducing the involvement of private companies and public institutions within the commonwealth in the design, manufacture or maintenance of nuclear weapons and increasing their involvement in the global effort to address the climate emergency and to meet other pressing social needs.
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