SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the Commonwealth Corps, as established in chapter 192 of the acts of 2007, as amended in chapter 142 of the acts of 2011, shall be expanded to include the Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps, established in direct response to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps shall be administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance. In order to promote community service and build organizational capacity, the Massachusetts Service Alliance shall deploy service members to support organizations addressing challenges posed by COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including access to health services, disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and workforce development as outlined in paragraphs (1) through (3) below. The Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps, subject to appropriation, will place service members in:
(1) health-focused organizations, including but not limited to, community health centers and municipal public health departments, throughout the Commonwealth that have seen higher incidences of COVID-19 or that are located in high-risk communities and in communities in need as determined by the Massachusetts Service Alliance. The Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps shall provide a wide range of support including, but not limited to, care navigation, patient education, and conducting outreach to connect new patients with health care services. The work of the Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps members within this focus area shall place a special emphasis on addressing health disparities that exist for racial and ethnic populations;
(2) disaster services organizations responding to COVID-19 that need support in areas including, but not limited to, food distribution, personal protective equipment distribution, ground support, medical distribution, distribution of future vaccines, and other areas where there is ongoing, emergent need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic as determined by the Massachusetts Service Alliance; and
(3) organizations, as determined by the Massachusetts Service Alliance, that support workforce development pipelines throughout the Commonwealth in order to connect residents who are unemployed and underemployed as a direct result of COVID-19 to job training, adult education, work readiness skills, employment opportunities, and career advising activities.
(b) The Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps shall exist until its mission is deemed complete during the COVID-19 pandemic recovery period as determined by the commissioner of the department of public health or their designee, the secretary of public safety and security or their designee, and the secretary of labor and workforce development or their designee, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Service Alliance, or not more than three years after the governor’s state of emergency declaration is lifted, whichever is sooner.
(c) The Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps shall be supported with public and private funds, which shall be administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance.
(d) The Massachusetts Service Alliance shall, at its discretion, reach out to relevant agencies, including the executive office of health and human services, the executive office of public safety and security, the executive office of labor and workforce development, as needed to obtain relevant information and data. The above named agencies shall provide any data or information requested by the Massachusetts Service Alliance that may be needed to fulfill the goals of the Recovery Corps.
(e)The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, in conjuction with the Massachusetts Service Alliance, shall conduct a study relative to determining the effectiveness and utility of the Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps during the COVID-19 pandemic and potential need for a similar program during future pandemics or other emergency scenarios in the Commonwealth. The study shall include an analysis of the program and recommendations for additional measures and resources that would be required for the Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps to operate effectively during future pandemics and emergency scenarios. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security shall file a written report of its findings and any recommendations within 120 days following the termination of the Massachusetts Coronavirus Recovery Corps. Said written report shall be filed with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate and shall include its recommendations together with any drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect.
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