Amendment #1154 to H3600
State Reciprocity Agreements
Representatives Jones of North Reading, Hill of Ipswich, Poirier of North Attleborough, Gifford of Wareham, Frost of Auburn and Smola of Warren move to amend the bill by adding the following section:
"SECTION XX. Section 9 of Chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph:-
Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or specific law to the contrary, the board of higher education shall have the authority to enter into interstate reciprocity agreements that authorize any accredited, degree-granting institution of higher education located in Massachusetts to voluntarily participate in such reciprocity agreements and to provide distance education programs to students in other states in accordance with the provisions of such agreements. The authority granted by this paragraph applies only to distance learning programs and does not affect other approvals of institutions of higher education or programs required under Massachusetts law, nor does it affect any exemptions for institutions of higher education or programs. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit accredited, degree-granting institutions of higher education located in Massachusetts that do not participate in any interstate reciprocity agreement entered into by the board of higher education from offering postsecondary distance education programs. Provided further, and for purposes of online distance education programs only, that an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher education located in another state that is a party to the interstate reciprocity agreement entered into by the board shall be in compliance with Section 31A of Chapter 69 as long as said institution of higher education is approved to participate in and meets all of the requirements of such interstate reciprocity agreement. Provided further, that nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the authority of the Attorney General to enforce statutes or promulgate and enforce regulations prohibiting consumer fraud and unfair or deceptive business practices, including but not limited to Chapter 93A, and to enforce the federal Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, as authorized by 12 U.S.C. 5552. Before the board of higher education enters into any interstate reciprocity agreement, the Department of Higher Education and the Attorney General shall execute any memoranda of understanding needed to coordinate the enforcement of applicable requirements, statutes and regulations, including those related to consumer fraud and unfair or deceptive business practices."