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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 607         FILED ON: 1/18/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 88

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Jay R. Kaufman

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying resolve:

Resolve providing for an investigation and study by a special commission (including members of the General Court)  relative to creating and expanding access to opportunity in low-opportunity communities.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Jay R. Kaufman

15th Middlesex

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk

Patricia D. Jehlen

 

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera

10th Hampden

James B. Eldridge

 

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 607        FILED ON: 1/18/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 88

By Mr. Kaufman of Lexington, a petition (accompanied by resolve, House, No. 88) of Jay R. Kaufman and others providing for an investigation and study by a special commission (including members of the General Court)  relative to creating and expanding access to opportunity in low-opportunity communities.  Community Development and Small Businesses. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 199 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

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Resolve providing for an investigation and study by a special commission (including members of the General Court)  relative to creating and expanding access to opportunity in low-opportunity communities.

 

              Resolved, SECTION 1.              Preamble.

              Whereas the legislature finds that nationwide, 1 in 7 Americans now live in poverty, the largest number recorded in over 51 years of tracking poverty data;

              Whereas, in the Commonwealth, 1 in 2 children in Springfield live in poverty, 1 in 3 in New Bedford and Lawrence live in poverty, and 1 in 2 people living in poverty are women;

              Whereas, in the Commonwealth, 9 out of 10 high-income and low-income Latino and African-American households are isolated in low-opportunity communities, and 3 out of 10 residents live in low-opportunity communities;  

              Whereas, the Commonwealth recognizes the imperative for long range planning to create and expand economic and social opportunity for all its citizens and reduce the incidence of childhood and adult poverty;

              SECTION 2.              Commission-- Creation and Membership.

              Be It Resolved, that a special commission is hereby established for the purposes of: a) investigating, devising and recommending statewide strategies to create and expand opportunity in low-opportunity communities; and b) investigating, identifying and recommending public policy strategies and legislation that have the potential to achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in poverty in the state by June 30, 2021. 

              The commission shall consist of 3 members of the senate, two of whom shall be appointed by the senate president and one to be appointed by the senate minority leader; 3 members of the house of representatives, two of whom shall be appointed by the speaker and one of whom to be appointed by the house minority leader; the assistant secretary for access and opportunity; the secretary for health and human services or her designee; the undersecretary of the department of housing and community development or her designee; the commissioner of the department of transitional assistance or her designee; the secretary of labor and workforce development or her designee; the secretary of education or his designee; 2 mayors, town managers or chairs of boards of selectmen or their designees nominated by the Massachusetts Municipal Association; 2 directors of community action agencies or their designees as nominated by the Massachusetts Association for Community Action; 2 directors of community development corporations or their designees as nominated by the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations; and 5 persons to be appointed by the governor, three of whom shall be representatives from academic institutions, one from the business community; and one shall be from an organization providing legal services to low-income people.  The governor shall designate a member of the commission to serve as one co-chairperson and the members of the commission shall elect a member of the commission to serve as one co-chairperson.

              SECTION 3.              Commission--  Duties.

              The commission shall develop a comprehensive strategy to create, foster and expand opportunity in low-opportunity communities, including a consensus budget proposal, capable of being implemented over a 5 year period, with a focus on the collaboration of the department of housing and community development, the executive office of health and human services, the executive office of education and other state agencies, departments, and quasi-public entities in the planning and distribution of resources that will create coordinated efforts to expand opportunity, reduce the incidence of poverty, develop jobs and economic opportunities, transportation, and provide other appropriate services.   The commission shall also develop comprehensive procedures, priorities and quantifiable benchmarks for gradual reduction poverty.

              SECTION 4.              Commission-- Final Report.

              The commission shall file its strategic plan, including a timeline for implementation, cost estimates and finance mechanisms and its recommendations, and its budget proposals together with drafts of legislation and regulations, if any, necessary to carry out its recommendations with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives, the joint committee on children and families, the joint committee on housing, the joint committee on education, the joint committee on community development and small business, and the senate and house committees on ways and means not later than June 30, 2012.

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