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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 217: Commission on autism; membership; powers and duties; annual report

[ Text of section added by 2014, 165, Sec. 12 effective until July 1, 2014. Repealed by 2015, 46, Sec. 7. See 2015, 46, Sec. 111. See also, Section 217 added by 2014, 226, Sec. 1, below.]

  Section 217. (a) There shall be a science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, advisory council. The council shall advise the governor and assist in informing the work of the secretary of education, the secretary of labor and workforce development and the secretary of housing and economic development on issues relating to STEM education and STEM careers.

  (b) The council shall:

  (i) confer with participants and parties from the public and private sectors involved with STEM planning and programming;

  (ii) assess how to increase student interest in, and preparation for, careers in STEM; and

  (iii) advise on the creation, implementation of and updates to a statewide STEM plan that contains clear goals and objectives to guide future STEM efforts, including the creation of benchmarks for improvements.

  (c) The council shall consist of at least 20 but not more than 30 members, not including members serving ex officio. The members of the council shall be appointed by the governor for a term of 2 years and shall serve without compensation. Council members shall be persons with demonstrated interest, experience and expertise in STEM education and shall include: a senator in congress from the commonwealth; a representative in congress from the commonwealth; a member of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative; a member of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; a member of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; the president of the University of Massachusetts or a designee; a president of a state university or a designee; a president of a private university or a designee; a president of a public community college or a designee; a superintendent of a public school district or a designee; a superintendent of a vocational technical school or a designee; a chamber of commerce executive or a designee; a representative of a regional STEM network; an early education provider; a science or mathematics department chair from a public school district; an out-of-school time or informal educator with expertise in the STEM fields; a parent representative; a member of organized labor; a member of the Massachusetts cultural council; a member from the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and a member from a not-for-profit organization. The governor shall designate 2 members of the council to serve as co-chairs, 1 of whom shall be a member from the public sector and 1 of whom shall be a member from the private sector.

  The following members or their designees shall serve as members of the council, ex officio: the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on education; the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on labor and workforce development; the secretary of education; the secretary of labor and workforce development; the secretary of housing and economic development; the commissioner of higher education; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education; and the commissioner of early education and care.

  (d) The council shall establish an executive committee which shall consist of 7 members who shall provide guidance on the recommendations of the council and plan future meetings and initiatives. The co-chairs shall determine the membership of the executive committee and shall designate subcommittees to focus on particular challenges facing STEM education and the STEM fields. The council and the executive committee shall meet at such times and places as determined by the co-chairs. The council shall submit its findings and recommendations, together with drafts of legislation or regulations necessary to carry those recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the governor and the clerks of the senate and house of representatives at such periods as determined by the co-chairs.

Chapter 6: Section 217. Commission on autism; membership; powers and duties; annual report

[ Text of section added by 2014, 226, Sec. 1. See also, Section 217 added by 2014, 165, Sec. 12, above.]

  Section 217. (a) There shall be a commission on autism located within, but not subject to the control of, the executive office of health and human services. The commission shall consist of 35 members and shall be comprised of: the secretary of health and human services or a designee, who shall serve as chair; 1 member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker; 1 member of the house of representatives appointed by the minority leader of the house; 1 member of the senate appointed by the senate president; 1 member of the senate appointed by the minority leader of the senate; the commissioner of developmental services or a designee; the commissioner of mental health or a designee; the secretary of education or a designee; the director of housing and community development or a designee; the secretary of labor and workforce development or a designee; the commissioner of the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission or a designee; the commissioner of early education and care or a designee; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or a designee; the commissioner of higher education or a designee; the secretary of elder affairs or a designee; the commissioner of children and families or a designee; the commissioner of public health or a designee; the director of the office of Medicaid or a designee; 1 person appointed by the secretary of education from the community college system; the director of the division of autism or a designee; 1 person appointed by the commissioner of developmental services who shall have clinical knowledge of smith-magenis syndrome; and 14 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, 1 of whom shall be a representative of Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Autism Insurance Resource Center, 1 of whom shall be a representative of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Arc of Massachusetts, 1 of whom shall be a representative of Autism Speaks, Inc., 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Lurie Center and 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Asperger's Association of New England, Inc. Members of the commission shall be persons with demonstrated interest, experience and expertise in autism and related services and shall serve for a term of 4 years, without compensation. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment. Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term. Any member may be removed by the governor for cause.

  (b) There shall be an executive director of the committee. The executive director shall be appointed by the governor from candidates recommended by the committee. The executive director may be removed by the governor for cause. The executive director shall promote the goals of the commission and improve commission functions through the coordination and standardization of programs, operations and procedures. The executive director shall have a working knowledge of the autism service delivery system and agencies providing these services, legislative advocacy experience and a personal connection to autism. The executive director may: expend appropriated funds together with additional funds from federal grants and other contributions, which may be made available for these purposes; and appoint other necessary personnel for the efficient management of the office. Expenditures for salaries and for other administrative functions shall be approved by the commission. Duties of the executive director shall include, but not be limited to: (i) reporting on the progress of implementation of the 13 recommendations of the March 2013 Massachusetts autism commission report with periodic benchmarks and cost estimates for a coordinated, system-wide response supporting people of all ages on the autism spectrum; (ii) coordination of commission meetings; (iii) coordination with relevant state agencies; and (iv) completion of the annual report.

  (c) The commission shall make recommendations on policies impacting individuals with autistic spectrum disorders, which shall include, but not be limited to, asperger's syndrome, high functioning autism, smith-magenis syndrome and pervasive development disorder. The commission shall investigate the range of services and supports necessary for such individuals to achieve their full potential across their lifespan, including, but not limited to, investigating issues related to public education, higher education, job attainment and employment, including supported employment, provision of adult human services, post-secondary education, independent living, community participation, housing, social and recreational opportunities, behavioral services based on best practices to ensure emotional well-being, mental health services and issues related to access for families of children with autism spectrum disorder and adults who are from linguistically and culturally diverse communities. The commission shall meet at least quarterly, or as frequently as the executive director recommends. The commission shall file an annual report, on or before March 1, with the governor, the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities and the joint committee on health care financing outlining unmet needs and trends in autism services, supports and treatments for the autism population, including any recommendations for regulatory and legislative action necessary to provide or improve such services or supports. The commission shall monitor the implementation of its recommendations and update recommendations to reflect current research and service needs as necessary.