Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
(a) There is hereby established a permanent commission on the status of women in Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties called the Cape Cod and Islands commission on the status of women, herein referred to as the commission, which shall consist of 13 persons to be appointed by the Massachusetts commission on the status of women. The commission shall conduct an ongoing study of all matters concerning women on Cape Cod and the Islands. The commission shall report its findings to the Massachusetts commission on the status of women annually and recommend solutions to the problems facing the women of Cape Cod and the Islands.
(b) The Massachusetts commission on the status of women shall make such appointments to the commission from a pool of applicants who reside in Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties.
(c) Members of the commission shall serve a term of 3 years and until their successors are appointed. Members may be reappointed for 2 consecutive terms. After the completion of 2 consecutive terms, former members may reapply to serve on the commission after 1 year has passed since their last term. The initial members of the commission shall be appointed for the following terms: 4 members for a term of 1 year, 4 members for a term of 2 years and 5 members for a term of 3 years.
(d) Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled by the Massachusetts commission on the status of women for the balance of the unexpired term.
(e) Appointments by the Massachusetts commission on the status of women to the commission shall be made in consultation with women's organizations. Nominations shall be solicited each year through an open application that is widely distributed throughout Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties. Members of the commission should be diverse and represent different towns and municipalities in Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties.
(f) Members shall serve on the commission as volunteers and shall not be compensated.
(g) The commission shall elect from among its members a chair, a vice chair, a treasurer, a secretary and any other officers it deems necessary.
(h) The commission shall meet at least 6 times a year, at the members' discretion. Members of the Massachusetts commission on the status of women may attend the meetings of the commission.
(i) The commission may accept and solicit funds, including any gifts, donations, grants or bequests or any federal funds for the purposes of this section. Such funds shall be deposited in a separate account to be expended at the discretion of the commission.
(j) The powers of the commission shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (i) to use voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may from time to time be offered and needed; (ii) to recommend policies and make recommendations to agencies and officers of the state and local subdivisions of government to effectuate the purposes of the commission; (iii) to enact by-laws for its own governance; and (iv) to hold regular, public meetings and to hold fact-finding hearings and other public forums as it may deem necessary.
Approved January 9, 2009