SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission established to conduct a study and make recommendations on the barriers faced by low-income workers to finding and maintaining jobs in the Commonwealth. The commission shall consist of 18 members, as follows: the house and senate chairs of the committee on labor and workforce development, who shall serve as co-chairs; the secretary of labor and workforce development or the secretary’s designee; the secretary of transportation or the secretary’s designee; the secretary of housing and economic development or the secretary’s designee; the secretary of the department of transitional assistance or the secretary’s designee; the secretary of the department of health and human services or the secretary’s designee; 1 of whom shall be a member of the house of representatives to be appointed by the speaker of the house; 1 of whom shall be member of the senate to be appointed by the senate president; 1 of whom shall be appointed by Ascentria Care Alliance; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Job Training Alliance; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Massachusetts Retail Association; 1 of whom shall be appointed by Associated Industries of Massachusetts; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network; 1 of whom shall be appointed by EmPath; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Massachusetts Workforce Board Association; and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Commonwealth Corporation.
(b) The commission shall examine and make recommendations on topics including, but not limited to: barriers that exist in Massachusetts that prevent low-income workers from finding and retaining jobs with sustainable wages; strategies that the Commonwealth could employ that would help to address barriers to job retention for low-income workers; Massachusetts laws and regulations that are currently in place, or could be put in place, that assist or hamper this population from maintaining jobs with a sustainable wage; and holistic and wraparound service approaches and programs that the Commonwealth could explore to prevent a fragmented and inefficient response to addressing these barriers.
(c) The commission may hold hearings and invite testimony from experts and the public to gather information. The commission and its working groups are encouraged to involve other experts, stakeholders and members of the public in its work through listening and working group sessions or whatever other mechanisms the commission chooses.
(d) The commission shall file its recommendations, including any drafts of legislation or regulations necessary to carry out its recommendations, with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the joint committee on public health and the joint committee on health care financing not later than July 1, 2022.
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