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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 21: Criminal history database checks

[ Text of section added by 2017, 55, Sec. 41 effective July 28, 2017.]

Section 21. (a) The commission shall conduct fingerprint-based checks of state and national criminal history databases, as authorized by Public Law 92-544, for the following purposes: (i) prior to issuing a license as provided in section 4 and (ii) to determine the suitability of lab agents as provided in section 15. Authorized department staff may receive criminal offender record information and the results of checks of state and national criminal history databases under said Public Law 92-544 but they shall not receive juvenile adjudications and delinquency matters or sealed records. When the department obtains the results of checks of state and national criminal history databases, it shall treat the information according to section 167 to 178, inclusive, of chapter 6 and the regulations thereunder regarding criminal offender record information.

(b) Fingerprint submissions shall be submitted by the commission to the identification unit within the department of state police through the department of criminal justice information services, or its successor, for a state criminal records check and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal records check according to the policies and procedures established by the identification unit and the department of criminal justice information services. The department of state police and Federal Bureau of Investigation are expressly authorized to search criminal justice databases including all latent fingerprint submissions. Fingerprint submissions may be retained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the state identification section and the department of criminal justice information services to assist the commission. The department of criminal justice information services may disseminate the results of a state and national criminal history check to the commission as provided in this section.

(c) Notwithstanding subsections 9 and 91/2 of section 4 of chapter 151B, if the commission receives criminal history record information from the state or national fingerprint-based criminal background checks that includes no disposition or is otherwise incomplete, the commission may request that an individual provide additional information regarding the results of the criminal background checks to assist the commission in determining the applicant's suitability for employment, licensure, registration or approval.

(d) The department of criminal justice information services shall disseminate the results of the criminal background check to the commission. The department of criminal justice information services shall only disseminate information under this section that would otherwise be available to the commission as provided in this section.

(e) All persons required to submit fingerprints under this section shall pay a fee to be established by the secretary of administration and finance, in consultation with the secretary of public safety and the commission, to offset the costs of operating and administering a fingerprint-based criminal background check system. The secretary of administration and finance, in consultation with the secretary of public safety and the commission, may increase the fee accordingly if the Federal Bureau of Investigation increases its fingerprint background check service fee. The commission may pay the fee on behalf of applicants or reimburse applicants for all or part of the fee on the grounds of financial hardship. Any fees collected from fingerprinting activity under this chapter shall be deposited into the Fingerprint-Based Background Check Trust Fund, established in section 2HHHH of chapter 29.