Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out sections 182A and 182B, as appearing in the 1992 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following three sections:-
Section 182A. There shall be a commission to be known as the Schooner Ernestina commission, to consist of nine persons to be appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be the commissioner of environmental management or his designee, one of whom shall be the director of the office of travel and tourism or his designee, one of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of education or his designee, one of whom shall be a resident of New Bedford, one of whom shall be a member of the Ernestina/Morrissey Historical Association, the four remaining persons shall be any person whose expertise would be an asset to the commission and the Schooner Ernestina or have particular expertise in the Cape Verdean history as it relates to said schooner, or history of said ship as the Effie M. Morrissey. Of the initial appointment, three shall be for a term of one year, three shall be for a term of two years and three shall be for a term of three years. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for terms of three years. Said commission shall annually thereafter elect from among their members a chairman and a vice-chairman. The members of said commission shall serve without compensation. Said commission shall meet a minimum of four times annually and shall additionally meet as often as necessary to transact the business of the vessel. It is the responsibility of the commission to establish all policies relative to the operation of the vessel.
Section 182B. The Schooner Ernestina commission is hereby authorized and empowered:-
(a) to hold, administer, operate, preserve and maintain said vessel for educational or training purposes. Said vessel shall serve as the official vessel of the commonwealth and it may participate in tourism activities in cooperation with the advisory commission on vacation travel;
(b) to authorize the vessel to ply the oceans, seas, and all navigable waters and to fly the flag of the commonwealth; provided, however, that said vessel shall not be used for commercial fishing;
(c) to charge fees or tuition to students, trainees, sailing cadets or others who are carried on voyages or trips for educational or training purposes;
(d) to charge fees to passengers for excursions and tours;
(e) to develop educational programs, including exhibitions and dockside tours of the vessel and to charge and receive admission fees from the public for the provisions of such services;
(f) to retain and expend any fees, tuitions and revenues received under the provisions of clauses (c), (d) and (e). All monies retained and expended shall be reported to the secretary of administration and finance, the department of environmental management and the house and senate committees on ways and means;
(g) to receive and expend from both municipal and federal agencies, as well as private foundations, grants to support the operations, preservation and maintenance of said vessel and to receive and accept contributions from any source of either money, property, labor or other things of value, to be used for the purposes for which said grants and contributions may be made;
(h) to hire, as needed, professional staff to assist with the operation of the vessel;
(i) to contract out, with private and not for profit organizations, the operations and maintenance of the vessel;
(j) and directed to establish fees and tuitions pursuant to clauses (c), (d), (e) and (f) at a level sufficient to ensure the continued operation, preservation and maintenance of the Schooner Ernestina. The commission is hereby further authorized and directed to establish a business and spending plan detailing revenues of and expenditures by said commission which plan shall ensure the continued operation, preservation and maintenance of the Schooner Ernestina. Said plan shall be filed annually on or before March first, to the state auditor, the secretary of administration and finance, the department of environmental management and the house and senate committees on ways and means.
Section 182C. The Schooner Ernestina commission shall be placed in the department of environmental management and will work jointly with said agency so that operational and managerial responsibilities authorized and empowered to the commission herein follow state policies. The state auditor is hereby authorized and directed to conduct an annual audit of the commission's books and accounts which audit shall be sent to the governor, the department of environmental management, the commissioner of the department of revenue and the house and senate committees on ways and means. Said audit shall be a public record. The home berth of said vessel shall be in the port of the city of New Bedford.