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General Laws

Section 56. There shall be a commission to be known as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Such commission shall consist of three members, to be known as commissioners, who shall be appointed by the governor. One commissioner shall reside in Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire county. Each commissioner shall devote his full time to the duties of his office. The governor shall from time to time designate one commissioner as chairman. Each commissioner shall be appointed for a term of three years. Any commissioner chosen to fill a vacancy occurring other than by expiration of a term shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the commissioner whom he is to succeed. Two commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting the business of the commission. A vacancy shall not impair the right of the remaining commissioners to exercise all the powers of the commission.

The positions of commission members shall be classified in accordance with section forty-five of chapter thirty and the salaries shall be determined in accordance with section forty-six C of said chapter thirty. Any commissioner may be removed by the governor for inefficiency, neglect of duty, misconduct or malfeasance in office, after being given a written statement of the charges and an opportunity to be heard thereon.

All employees of the commission, except as an executive director, executive secretary, the heads and deputy heads of divisions, attorneys, field representatives, and such other positions as the commission may from time to time designate, shall be subject to chapter thirty-one and the rules and regulations made thereunder.

There shall be regional offices in the cities of New Bedford, Springfield and Worcestor.

The commissioners shall each be delegated regional responsibilities as follows: one commissioner shall be responsible for the Springfield region, one commissioner shall be responsible for the New Bedford region and shall be responsible with the third commissioner for the Boston region. Each commissioner shall hold such hearings as are needed in the respective region, but each commissioner may also hold hearings in other regions. Every case shall, to the extent practicable, be heard in the region in which the complainant resides. The aforementioned duties shall not be construed to reduce any of the responsibilities of a commissioner.

The governor shall appoint an advisory board to the commission, consisting of not less than twenty-one persons, who shall serve at his pleasure. The members of said board shall include representatives of each of the local or regional advisory boards; owners and brokers of residential property; major lending and credit institutions; major private employers; a designee of the civil service commission; post-secondary educational institutions; major labor organizations; minority racial, ethnic and linguistic groups; women; elderly and handicapped persons; and recipients of public assistance. The board shall advise the commission and the governor on matters of policy affecting the commission, and shall review the implementation of the commission’s programs and policies and from time to time report their conclusions to the commission and the governor. The board shall coordinate the activities of the local or regional advisory boards appointed pursuant to subsection 8 of section three of chapter one hundred and fifty-one B. The governor shall from time to time designate one member as chairman. The members of the board shall not be compensated for their services, but they shall be reimbursed for travel and other expenses necessary for the performance of their duties. The commission may provide technical and clerical assistance to the advisory board.

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