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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 578        FILED ON: 1/13/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1674


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Martin J. Walsh and John Hart, Jr.


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 to require national background checks.






Martin J. Walsh

13th Suffolk

John Hart, Jr.

First Suffolk

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Jerald A. Parisella

6th Essex

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

David T. Vieira

3rd Barnstable

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Dennis A. Rosa

4th Worcester

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

Mark J. Cusack

5th Norfolk

John H. Rogers

12th Norfolk

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Stephen L. DiNatale

3rd Worcester

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Angelo L. D'Emilia

8th Plymouth

William Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester

Mary S. Keefe

15th Worcester

Robert F. Fennell

10th Essex

Katherine M. Clark

Fifth Middlesex

Paul R. Heroux

2nd Bristol

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

James M. Murphy

4th Norfolk

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

Bradford Hill

4th Essex

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk

Michael R. Knapik

Second Hampden and Hampshire

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

William M. Straus

10th Bristol

Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Kevin J. Murphy

18th Middlesex

Matthew A. Beaton

11th Worcester

John J. Binienda

17th Worcester

Richard J. Ross

Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

20th Middlesex

Donald Humason


James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

Barry R. Finegold

Second Essex and Middlesex

Thomas J. Calter

12th Plymouth

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex

Bruce E. Tarr

First Essex and Middlesex

James E. Timilty

Bristol and Norfolk

John J. Lawn, Jr.

10th Middlesex

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Sheila C. Harrington

1st Middlesex

Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Sonia Chang-Diaz

Second Suffolk

Theodore C. Speliotis

13th Essex

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex

Thomas A. Golden, Jr.

16th Middlesex

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 578        FILED ON: 1/13/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1674

By Representative Walsh of Boston and Senator Hart, a joint petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1674) of Martin J. Walsh, John A. Hart and others relative to national criminal offender record information checks for persons working with individuals served by the Department of Mental Retardation.  The Judiciary. 


SEE HOUSE, NO. 523 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen



An Act to require national background checks.


              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 172 of chapter 6 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is amended by inserting the following new section 172J as follows:-

              Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person seeking employment or a position as a regular volunteer or trainee to provide services for, or, on behalf of the Department of Developmental Services or its vendor agency programs where such employment or position involves potential unsupervised contact with individuals with an intellectual disability (or other individuals determined to be eligible clients of the Department of Developmental Services) shall be required to have a national criminal background check prior to assuming said employment or position. Said criminal background check will be determined by using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

              It shall be the responsibility of the Commonwealth to ensure that said criminal background checks are processed for review prior to such time that an individual seeking employment or a position as a volunteer or trainee assumes said employment or position.

              Any person who willfully requests, obtains or seeks to obtain criminal offender record information or the equivalent from other jurisdictions under false pretenses, or who willfully communicates or seeks to communicate criminal offender record information or the equivalent from other jurisdictions to any agency or person except in accordance with the provisions of sections one hundred and sixty-eight to one hundred and seventy-five, inclusive, or any member, officer, employee or agency of the board or any participating agency, or any person connected with any authorized research program, who willfully falsifies criminal offender record information, or the equivalent from other jurisdictions, or any records relating thereto, shall be in violation of this provision.

              The Criminal History Systems Board, the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, and the State Police shall collaborate and jointly oversee  the participation by all Department of Developmental Services providers in any interstate system for the exchange of criminal offender record information or the equivalent from other jurisdictions and shall be responsible to assure the consistency of such participation including redacting information so that criminal offender record information or the equivalent from other jurisdictions is limited to convictions and open cases, and, that juvenile records are not made available. Any provider of services to individuals pursuant to a contract with the Department that hires, retains or supervises an employee, volunteer or trainee whom the provider knows or should know, will potentially come into unsupervised contact with such individuals, and, because of a criminal conviction or pending criminal charge of a nature that would pose a unacceptable risk of physical harm to or financial exploitation of such individuals shall be in violation of this provision. The hiring authority shall use, when making a determination of unacceptable risk, the guidelines as provided by existing Department of Developmental Services regulations.

              The Board shall afford an individual who may be wrongly associated with a record or whose record may contain errors, the opportunity to contest the accuracy of an out-of-state record. Each individual shall have the right to inspect, and if practicable, copy, criminal offender record information or the equivalent from other jurisdictions which refers to him. If an individual believes such information to be inaccurate or incomplete, the Criminal Systems History Board shall notify the state whose record is contested and assist the individual in following the process for correcting inaccuracies in that state, as well as notify the agency to whom the record was disseminated that the record is being contested and that no adverse action can be taken by that agency pending a resolution of the dispute. This matter should be resolved as soon as practicable but no later than 30 days after notification. Agencies at which criminal offender records or the equivalent from other jurisdictions are sought to be inspected shall prescribe reasonable hours and places of inspection, and shall impose such additional restrictions as may be approved by the board, as are reasonably necessary both to assure the record’s security and to verify the identities of those who seek to inspect them.

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