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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE HAMPSHIRE-FRANKLIN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN.

      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 shall be a Hampshire-Franklin commission on the status of women, hereinafter referred to in this act as the Hampshire-Franklin commission, which shall consist of 9 persons to be appointed by the commission on the status of women established in section 66 of chapter 3 of the General Laws , hereinafter referred to in this act as the commission on the status of women. The Hampshire-Franklin commission shall conduct an ongoing study of all matters concerning women in Hampshire and Franklin counties. The Hampshire-Franklin commission shall report its findings to the commission on the status of women annually, not later than June 2, and recommend solutions to the problems facing the women of Hampshire and Franklin counties. The commission on the status of women shall make appointments to the Hampshire-Franklin commission from a pool of applicants who reside in Hampshire and Franklin counties.
      (b)  Members shall serve 3-year terms and shall remain in office until their successors are appointed. Members shall not be reappointed for more than 2 consecutive terms; provided, however, that former commissioners may reapply to serve on the commission after 1 year has passed since the expiration of their last term. Of the initial members appointed to the Hampshire-Franklin commission, 3 members shall be appointed for a term of 1 year, 3 members shall be appointed for a term of 2 years and 3 members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.
      (c)  Vacancies in the membership of the Hampshire-Franklin commission shall be filled by the commission on the status of women for the balance of the unexpired term.
      (d)  In making appointments to the Hampshire-Franklin commission, the commission on the status of women shall consult with women's organizations. Nominations shall be solicited between August 1 and September 16 annually through an open application that shall be widely distributed throughout Hampshire and Franklin counties. Members of the Hampshire-Franklin commission shall be diverse and represent a variety of the towns and municipalities in both Hampshire and Franklin counties.
      (e)  Members shall serve on the Hampshire-Franklin commission as volunteers and shall not be compensated.
      (f)  The Hampshire-Franklin commission shall elect from among its members a chair, a vice chair, a treasurer and any other officers it deems necessary.
      (g)  The Hampshire-Franklin commission shall meet at least 4 times each year, at the members' discretion. Members of the commission on the status of women may attend the meetings of the Hampshire-Franklin commission.     
      (h)  The Hampshire-Franklin commission may accept and solicit funds, including any gifts, donations, grants or bequests and federal funds for any of the purposes of this act. The funds shall be deposited in a separate account to be expended at the discretion of the commission.
      (i)  The Hampshire-Franklin commission may: (i) use voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may, from time to time, be offered or required; (ii) recommend policies and make recommendations to state and local agencies and officers to effectuate the purposes of the commission; (iii) enact by-laws for its own governance; (iv) hold regular public meetings, conduct fact-finding hearings and hold other public forums as it deems necessary; and (v) take other actions as it deems necessary to effectuate its purposes.

Approved, January 11, 2017