Skip to Content


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1457         FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 144

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Denise Provost

_______________

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 bill:

An Act affirming inclusion of individuals with disabilities within civil rights protections and nondiscrimination provisions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1457        FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 144

By Ms. Provost of Somerville, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 144) of Denise Provost and others for the inclusion of individuals with disabilities within civil rights protections and nondiscrimination protections and for an investigation by a special commission (including members of the General Court) of the status of individuals and families with disabilities .  Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 1865 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act affirming inclusion of individuals with disabilities within civil rights protections and nondiscrimination provisions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 66 of chapter 3 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended in line 4 by inserting after the word, age” the following:-

                       disability,

              And, in section 67 by inserting in line 12 after the word, “age”, the following:-

              disability,

              SECTION 2. Section 3 of chapter 15D of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by inserting after the word, “racial”, the following:-

              disability,

              And, in section 5, deleting in clause (9) the words “and cultural”, and inserting it its place the following:-

                       cultural and disabilities 

              SECTION 3.  Section 58 of chapter 7 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended in the definition of “Minority business enterprise,” by inserting after the word, “racial”, the following:-

              disability,

              SECTION 4. Section 1E of chapter 69 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by deleting in line 1 of paragraph 2 the words “or racial” and inserting in their place the following:-

                           racial, disability and age 

              And, by deleting line 2 of paragraph 2 in its entirety, and inserting it is place the following:-

              The frameworks shall reflect sensitivity to the variety of learning styles and diverse methods of learning.

              SECTION 5. Section 5 of chapter 76 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended in line 6 of clause 4(j) by inserting after the word “performance”, the following:-

                       disability

              And, in section 12B by deleting in line 6 of paragraph 4(j) the words “physical handicap” and inserting it place thereof the following:-

              disability

              SECTION 6. Section 13A of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by deleting clause(c) and inserting in its place  a new clause (c) as follows:-              

              (c) any person who is physically unable to use safety belts; provided, however, that such condition is duly certified by a Massachusetts registered and licensed doctor, chiropractor, or nurse practitioner who shall describe why such restraint is inappropriate; and provided that no such physician shall be subject to liability in any civil action for the issuance or for the failure to issue such certificate; and provided further that wheelchair-using passengers shall be seated forward-facing and secured with properly installed and maintained wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint system.

              SECTION 7. Section 87AAA of chapter 112 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by inserting in line 28 of clause (k)  after the word “level”, the following:-

              age, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity,

              SECTION 8. Section 1 of chapter 121B, of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by inserting after the sentence of the definition “Handicapped persons of low income”, the following:-

              “Handicapped persons of low income” shall have the same meaning as 

              "individuals with disabilities with low income" and "disabled persons

              with low income”; persons whose annual net income is less than the

              amount necessary to enable them to maintain decent, safe and sanitary

              housing, as defined by 24CFR9.103.

              And, section 32 of chapter 121B is amended in clause (e) of paragraph 3 by deleting the words “or physical handicap”, and inserting in place thereof the following:-

                        disability, sexual orientation and gender identity

              Additionally, section 32 of chapter 121B is amended in subclause (f) (3) of paragraph 3 by inserting after the word “sanitary”, the following:- 

                         and architectural access 

              SECTION 9. The title of chapter 151B of the General Laws, as appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by deleting the words “OR SEX” and inserting in place thereof the following:-             

              , SEX OR DISABILITY

              And, in section 1 of chapter 151B by inserting after definition 23 the following:-

              The term "accessible dwelling unit", means an addaptable or accessible unit that is on an accessible route and otherwise in compliance with the standards set forth in  521CMR.

              And, by deleting definition 17 in section 1 of chapter 151B and inserting in its place the following:-

              The term "disability" means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses. “Handicap” means the same as “disability.” 

              And, by deleting definition 19 in section 1 of chapter 151B and inserting in its place the following:-

              The term "person with a disability" means a person who has such impairment, a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.

              Moreover, by deleting definition 16 in section 1 of chapter 151B and inserting in its place the following:-

              The term “qualified handicapped person” means a person with a disability who is capable of performing the essential functions of a particular job with or without reasonable accommodations.

              And, in subsection 6 of section 3 of chapter 151B by striking out the word “handicap” in line 21 and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              disability

              And, by deleting, in line 22 of chapter 151B, the words “handicapped person” and inserting in its place the following:-

              person with a disability 

              And, by deleting, in line 54 of chapter 151B, the words “handicapped persons” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              individuals with disabilities

              And, by inserting in line 63 of chapter 151B after the word “ancestry” the following:-

              or disability.

              And, by inserting on line 82 of chapter 151B, after the word “level” the following:-

                    or disability.

              Moreover, in section 4 of chapter 151B by striking out on line 5 the words “or ancestry” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              ancestry or disability

              And, by deleting on lines 71-72 of section 4 of chapter 151B, the words starting from “or ancestry of any individual” through “person” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              ancestry, or disability

              And, by deleting on lines 84-85 and 88-89 in section 4 of chapter 151B, the words “the handicap of a qualified person” and inserting in both places the following:-

              disability

              Furthermore, by deleting on line 98 in section 4 of chapter 151B, the words or ancestry” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              ancestry or disability

              And, by deleting on line 139 of section 4 of chapter 151B, the word “handicap” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              disability

              And, on lines 165, 171 and 181 of section 4 of chapter 151B, by inserting after the word “ancestry” the following:-

              disability

              And, by deleting in lines 166-167, 172-173, and 183-184 of section 4 of chapter 151B the words “or because such person is blind, or hearing impaired or has any other handicap” and inserting in their place the following:-

              disability

              Furthermore, by deleting in lines 229-230, 236-237, and 246 of section 4 of chapter 151B the words “blindness, or hearing impairment or other handicap” and inserting in its place the following:-

              disability

              And, by deleting in lines 230-231, 237-238, and 247-248 of section 4 chapter 151B the words “possesses a trained dog guide as a consequence of blindness or hearing impairment” and inserting in its place the following:-

              utilizes a service animal as a consequence of a disability

              And, in line 266 of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by deleting the word “handicap” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

                            disability

              And, in line 267-268 of subclause (1) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B by deleting the words “handicapped person” and inserting in its place the following:-

              individual with a disability

              And by inserting in line 270 of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, after the word “enjoyment” the following:-

                            and equal use

              And, in line 278 of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by deleting the words “handicapped person” and inserting in its place the following:-

                                          tenant

              And, in line 285 of clause (2) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by deleting the words “a handicapped person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              individual with a disability equal opportunity to use all elements including common areas of such a dwelling;

              Moreover, in line 288 of clause (3) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by inserting after the word “for” the following:-

              an accessible dwelling unit, including through

              And in line 293 of clause (3) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by inserting after the word “cabinet” the following:-

                    ensuring the entrance is on an accessible route

              And in line 296 of clause (3) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by inserting after the word “lift” the following:-

              , unless the request for modifications is in connection with a building which (1) has three or more units and was constructed for first occupancy after March thirteenth, nineteen hundred and ninety-one.

              And, in line 316 of clause (3) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by inserting after the word “subsection” the following:- 

              It shall be the owner's burden to prove undue hardship.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, an accommodation or modification which is paid for by the owner or other person having the right of ownership is considered reasonable if it is requested by an individual with a disability in order to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises; and if such architectural or communications features were otherwise mandated by Federal and State architectural accessibility code at the time of construction or rehabilitation.

              And, in line 317 of clause (3) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, by deleting the words “wheelchair accessible” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              an accessible dwelling unit 

              And, by deleting in line 331 of clause (3) of subsection 7A of section 4 of chapter 151B, the words “handicap-accessible” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              accessible or adaptable.

              Moreover, by deleting in line 342 of subsection 7B of section 4 of chapter 151B, the word “handicap”, and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              disability

              And, in lines 351, 355, and 362 of subsection 8 of section 4 of chapter 151B, by deleting the word “handicap” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              disability

              And, by deleting subsection 9A of section 4 of chapter 151B in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              9A. For an employer himself or through his agent to refuse, unless based upon a bonafide occupational qualification, to hire or employ or to bar or discharge from employment any person by reason of his or her failure to furnish information regarding his or her admission, on one or more occasions, voluntarily or involuntarily, to any public or private facility for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons, provided that such person can prove that he is mentally competent to perform the job or the job for which he is applying. No application for employment shall contain any questions or requests for information regarding the admission of an applicant, on one or more occasions, voluntarily or involuntarily, to any public or private facility for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons.

              And, by deleting in line 475 of subsection 11 of section 4 of chapter 151B, the words “a handicapped person” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              disability

              And by inserting in line 484 in clause (b) of subsection 13 of section 4 of chapter 151B, after the word "sex,” the following:-

              gender identity or expression,

              And by deleting on line 485 in clause (b) of subsection 13 of section 4 of chapter 151B, the words “handicapped person” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              disability

              SECTION 10. Section 92A of chapter 272 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “disability” on line 12 the following:-

              , age,

              SECTION 11. Section 98 of chapter 272 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “disability” on line 5 the following:-

              , age,

              And, in the title of section 98A of chapter 272 by deleting the phrase “Physically handicapped persons with dog guides” and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              individual with disabilities accompanied by their service animal

              And, in section 98A of chapter 272, by deleting the entire section and inserting in place thereof the following:-

                    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any individual with  

              one or more disabilities accompanied by their service animal, shall be entitled to any and all accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, public amusements and places of public accommodation, within the commonwealth, to which persons not accompanied by service animals are entitled, subject only to the conditions and limitations applicable to all persons not accompanied by service animals, and no such individual with one or more disabilities shall be required to pay any charge or fare for or on account of the transportation on any public conveyance for himself or herself and their accompanying service animal  in addition to the charge or fare lawfully chargeable for his/her own transportation. Whoever deprives any individuals with one or more disabilities of any right conferred by this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars and shall be liable to any person aggrieved thereby for such damages as are set forth in section five of chapter one hundred and fifty-one B; provided, however, that such civic forfeiture shall be of an amount not less than one hundred dollars.

              SECTION 12. Section 98B of chapter 272 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended on line 3 by inserting after the word “religion” the following:-

                      disability

              SECTION 13.  Chapter 3, of the General Laws, as so appearing in the Official Edition of 2008, is hereby amended by adding after section 69 the following new section, section 70 as follows:-

              Section 70. Commission on the status of individuals and families with disabilities

              (1)              There shall be established a permanent commission on the status of individuals and families with disabilities comprised of 17 persons including; 1 person appointed by the president of the senate; 1 person appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; and the following persons appointed by the governor: 1 person nominated by the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities; 6 persons nominated by local and regional disability rights organizations; 1 person nominated by the architectural access board; 1 person nominated by the Massachusetts office on disability; and 6 persons from among the following industries: communications, education, architecture, assistive technologies, arts and engineering who have demonstrated competence in universal or inclusive design within their respective industries.

              (2)              Members of the commission shall be drawn from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and socio-economic backgrounds from throughout the commonwealth and shall have had experience working toward the improvement of the status of individuals with disabilities in society. Members shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 268A as they apply to special state employees.

                 The commission shall be an independent agency of the government of the

                 commonwealth and shall not be subject to the control of any other department or

                 agency.

              (3)(a) Members shall serve terms of three years and until their successors are appointed.

                 (b) Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled by the original appointing or nominating authority for the balance of the unexpired term. If the position was filled by a nominating body, the replacement member shall be selected from solicited nominations.

                (c) Nominations shall be solicited between January 1 and February 15 of each year through an open application process using a uniform application that is widely distributed throughout the state.  Appointments will be announced on April 1 of each year.

                (d) The commission shall elect from among its members a chair, a vice-chair, a treasurer and any other officers it deems necessary.

                (e) An executive director shall be selected by the commission, and shall hire staff, subject to appropriations.   The executive director shall be qualified by his or her accomplishments in eradicating barriers to equality for individuals and families with disabilities, in organizing research and reports, and by having demonstrated leadership. The executive director shall not simultaneously serve as a member of the commission on the status of individuals and families with disabilities.

                (f) The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for any usual and customary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

              (3) The commission shall work to foster strategic integration of disability diversity within all sectors of the Commonwealth; collect data relevant to short and long-term community support and independent living service delivery programs;  continuously monitor and evaluate plans, programs and policies relevant to equalizing access to justice as well as assets and opportunities for minorities; and provide an annual report with recommendations including, but not limited to; (a) tools and guidelines; (b) specific disability benchmarking goals and objectives;(c) necessary legislation, if any; and (d) mechanisms and processes.

              (4) The commission shall: (a) study, review and report on the status of individuals with disabilities in the commonwealth; (b) evaluate baseline conditions of accessibility and integration throughout the Commonwealth and propose benchmarks, data collection improvements and indicators to further the equal inclusion of individuals with disabilities in economic, housing and environmental programs; (c) establish an informal resource group to provide and support a platform of dialogue and feedback amongst program users and planners; (d) inform leaders of business, education, health care, state and local governments and the communications media of issues pertaining to individuals with disabilities; (e) identify and recommend qualified individuals with disabilities for appointive positions at all levels of government, including boards and commissions, as the commission deems necessary and appropriate; (f) assess programs and practices in all state agencies as they affect individuals with disabilities, as the commission deems necessary and appropriate; (g) advise executive and legislative bodies regarding the impact of proposed legislation on individuals with disabilities, as the commission deems necessary and appropriate; and, (h) promote and facilitate collaboration among local disabilities commissions and among disability rights advocacy organizations in the state, as the commission deems necessary and appropriate. The commission shall annually, on or before June 2, report the results of its findings and activities of the preceding year and its recommendations to the governor, the senate and house committees on ways and means, the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, and the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities.

              (5) The powers of the commission shall include but not be limited to the following: (a) to use such voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may from time to time be offered and needed; (b) to recommend policies and make recommendations to agencies and officers of the state and local subdivisions of government to effectuate the purposes of subsection (3); (c) to select an executive director and to acquire adequate staff to perform its duties, subject to appropriation; (d) to establish and maintain such offices as it may deem necessary, subject to appropriation; (e) to enact bylaws for its own governance; (f) to appoint members to regional chapters of the commission; and (g) to hold regular, public meetings and fact-finding hearings and other public forums as it may deem necessary. 

              (6) The commission shall meet once a month for at least eleven months each year.  The (i) governor, (ii) president of the senate, (iii) speaker of the house of representatives, (iv) chairs of the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities and (v) directors of the state disability offices and commissions, or their designees, shall be invited to attend the monthly meetings. 

              (7)(a) The commission may request from all state agencies such information and assistance as the commission may require.

                 (b) The commission may accept and solicit funds, including any gifts, donations, grants or bequests or any federal funds, for any of the purposes of this section. Such funds shall be deposited in a separate account with the state treasurer, be received by said treasurer on behalf of the commonwealth, and be expended by the commission in accordance with law.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Error