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  • Acts
  • 2002
  • Chapter 334 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A DISTINCTIVE REGISTRATION PLATE PROCESS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Chapter 10 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 67. (a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Commonwealth Security Trust Fund. There shall be credited to said fund revenues received from the sale of United We Stand distinctive registration plates and interest earnings thereon issued pursuant to section 2E of chapter 90.

(b) There shall be a board of trustees of the Fund which shall consist of the secretary of public safety; the secretary of health and human services; the registrar of motor vehicles; and the following individuals to be appointed by the governor: 2 representatives from the law enforcement community; 2 representatives from the firefighting community and 2 relatives of Massachusetts victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America. The secretary of public safety shall serve as chair of the board of trustees. The board of trustees shall adopt operating rules and procedures for its organization and activities and shall submit such rules and procedures in writing to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the secretary of administration and finance. The board shall serve without compensation.

(c) Amounts credited to the Commonwealth Security Trust Fund and interest earnings thereon shall be available for expenditure and not subject to appropriation at the direction of the chair of the board of trustees upon the approval of the board for the following purposes: (i) for providing grants to local police and fire departments for the purpose of enhancing emergency response, including responses to acts of terrorism; (ii) toward the design, construction and maintenance of a law enforcement memorial dedicated to Massachusetts law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty; and (iii) toward the design, construction and maintenance of a firefighters memorial dedicated to Massachusetts firefighters killed in the line of duty.

SECTION 2. Section 2E of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:-

(c) The registrar shall furnish, upon application, to the owners of private passenger motor vehicles distinctive registration plates which shall display on their face a design commemorating the victims and heroes of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack with the image of the American flag and the words "United We Stand". There shall be a fee of not less than $40 for such plates in addition to the established registration fee for private passenger motor vehicles, such fee being payable at the time of registration of such vehicle and at each renewal thereof. The portion of the total fee remaining after the deduction of the costs directly attributable to the issuance of such plates shall be deposited in a registry retained revenue account and of the remaining portion of such fee, 50 per cent shall be directed to the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, Inc. and distributed by such fund at its discretion for the benefit of the relatives of the Massachusetts victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America or toward the design, construction and maintenance of a permanent memorial to such Massachusetts victims, or both; 25 per cent shall be deposited within 90 days of receipt thereof to the Rewards for Justice Fund, to be contributed to the United States State Department's Rewards for Justice program and used solely to apprehend terrorists and bring them to justice; and 25 per cent shall be deposited in the Commonwealth Security Trust Fund established in section 67 of chapter 10.

SECTION 3. Said chapter 90 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 2E the following section:-

Section 2F. (a) The registrar shall design, issue and regulate the use of distinctive registration plates, subject to the following conditions: an organization sponsoring or requesting a distinctive registration plate shall post a bond in the amount of $100,000 to secure the issuance of the distinctive plate. The organization or group shall also submit 1,500 individual applications requesting the distinctive registration plate on an application form determined by the registrar, and the application form shall include the name, address and signature of each individual requesting the distinctive registration plate. Each of the 1,500 applications shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable check in the amount of $40. Upon the completion of the submission of the bond and the 1,500 individual applications, the organization or group requesting the distinctive registration plate shall submit a proposed design for the plate. The registrar shall approve the design within 90 days of its submission. After the registrar grants approval of the design, the registrar shall send the distinctive registration plate into production.

(b) A minimum of 3,000 distinctive registration plates shall be issued within 2 years of the issuance of the first distinctive registration plate in the series. Failure to reach the minimum by the end of the 2 year period shall result in the total or partial forfeiture of the bond. If total revenue generated by the distinctive registration plate is less than the established total cost to the commonwealth for issuing distinctive registration plates, an amount equivalent to the difference in revenues and costs shall be deposited from the bond into the General Fund. The remainder of the bond shall be returned to the organization or group that posted the bond.

(c) Distinctive registration plates to be considered by the registrar pursuant to this section shall include only plates that will benefit the following agencies, charities, causes or nonprofit organizations: The Jimmy Fund for the purpose of assisting their efforts in cancer treatment, research and prevention; The American Cancer Society for the purpose of assisting their efforts in cancer treatment, research and prevention; the establishment of a children's education fund to assist local cities and towns in purchasing textbooks for their school systems; the establishment of a library preservation trust fund to assist the commonwealth's public libraries in purchasing books, periodicals and other literature and equipment; the Black United Fund of Massachusetts; the establishment of a Diane Zaniboni breast cancer research fund to be coordinated by the department of public health; the pharmacy assistance program; The Humane Coalition for the purposes of instituting animal control programs; The Rotary Foundation; The Springfield Library and Museum Association for the purposes of creating and supporting a Dr. Seuss Museum in the city of Springfield; The New England Chapter of Transplant Recipients International Organization, Inc. for supporting organ and tissue donation and outreach efforts; the department of environmental management for the maintenance of historical vessels; the University of Massachusetts scholars fund and alumni fund; the establishment of an agricultural trust fund to promote and enhance the viability of agriculture; the establishment of a violence prevention education program to be coordinated by the department of education; an open space acquisition program to be coordinated by the executive office of environmental affairs; the Second Century Fund coordinated by the department of environmental management for the maintenance, preservation and operation of the state park system; the establishment of a fund to assist in the maintenance and preservation of historical monuments; the establishment of a youth hockey promotion fund to offset the costs of participating in youth hockey and promote improvement of parent and player behavior; the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Program and the Lazarus Program; the establishment of a Massachusetts AFL-CIO scholarship trust fund to promote the study of labor history and to provide scholarship assistance to Harvard University's trade union program; the establishment of a future of nursing fund to assist in efforts to address the shortage of nurses; and the rider education program to promote driver and motorcycle safety.

SECTION 4. The board established by section 67 of chapter 10 of the General Laws shall be appointed within 30 days after the effective date of this act, and the board shall adopt its initial rules and regulations within 90 days after the effective date of this act.

Approved September 26, 2002.