Section 216: Military asset and security strategy task force; membership; powers and duties; meetings
Section 216. (a) Within the office of the governor, there shall be a military asset and security strategy task force which shall be chaired by the governor. The task force shall also be co-chaired by up to 4 current or former elected officials to be appointed by the governor and shall include at least 1 member of the United States Congress from the commonwealth, who shall serve on the task force through at least the first full year of a new gubernatorial administration. The task force shall consist of the following members: the secretary of public safety and security or a designee; the adjutant general of the Massachusetts national guard or a designee; the commander of the Massachusetts army national guard or a designee; the commander of the Massachusetts air national guard or a designee; the secretary of housing and economic development or a designee; the secretary of labor and workforce development or a designee; the secretary of energy and environmental affairs or a designee; the secretary of education or a designee; the secretary of administration and finance or a designee; the secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation or a designee; the chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Port Authority or a designee; the secretary of health and human services or a designee; the secretary of veterans services or a designee; the president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency or a designee; 2 representatives from the defense sector appointed by the governor; 2 representatives from institutions of higher education appointed by the governor; 2 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on veterans and federal affairs and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader; and 2 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on veterans and federal affairs and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader.
(b) The military asset and security strategy task force may:
(i) engage with representatives from the military, business community and government, including municipal officials and community members surrounding each installation in order to enhance, expand, add or otherwise improve missions, programs, facilities and operations on or affecting the military installations;
(ii) engage with community partners, including, but not limited to, chambers of commerce, business associations, education officials, workforce development officials, municipal officials, elected officials and veteran and military family support agencies, located in the vicinity of each military installation to create and expand upon the impact each installation has on the municipality and surrounding cities and towns;
(iii) engage with regional partners, including, but not limited to, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island to identify opportunities to finance and otherwise support military installations on a regional basis;
(iv) develop, coordinate and implement workforce training programs, infrastructure improvements, environmental and utility savings, housing renovations or construction and transportation improvements to support the missions at each military installation;
(v) identify initiatives that can be implemented to address or resolve operational or mission weaknesses at the military installations;
(vi) identify initiatives to support existing military installations and allow for future adaptive civilian use;
(vii) identify opportunities for local businesses, municipalities, state or public agencies, community colleges or other institutions of higher education to contract and partner with the military installations to provide goods, services, training or education;
(viii) consider establishing ''military enterprise zones'' to offer low-cost loans and other state assistance to municipalities and private businesses for initiatives that support existing military installations, encourage private investment and job creation and diversify and revitalize local economies, without encroaching on existing military installations; and
(ix) advise the governor and executive and legislative branch officials regarding efforts by the United States Department of Defense to close, realign, restructure, streamline or otherwise take actions that would impact the military installations.
(c) To the extent permitted by law, every agency within the executive branch and public agencies or authorities shall make all reasonable efforts to cooperate with the task force and to furnish all information and assistance requested by the task force.
(d) The governor, in consultation with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency and the Massachusetts national guard, shall serve as the point of contact for the military asset and security strategy task force with federal, state and local elected and non-elected officials to coordinate with the military, government and the public and private sectors.
(e) The military asset and security strategy task force shall meet at times and places to be determined by the chair or co-chairs and may establish working groups, meetings, forums and any other activity deemed necessary to carry out its mandate.
(f) The military asset and security strategy task force, through the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, may engage or contract with the University of Massachusetts or other institutions or entities to supply statistical data, reports, curriculum and other information and assistance necessary to support the work of the task force.