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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

An Act establishing regional commissions on the status of women and girls

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to establish certain regional commissions on the status of women, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience

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. (a) There shall be an eastern regional commission on the status of women 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. The eastern regional commission shall conduct an ongoing study of all matters concerning women in eastern regional communities. The eastern regional commission shall report its findings to the commission on the status of women annually, not later than June 2, and shall recommend solutions to the problems facing women in eastern regional communities. The commission on the status of women shall appoint members to the eastern regional commission from a pool of applicants who reside in eastern regional communities. For the purpose of this act, “eastern regional communities” shall include the towns of Avon, Brookline, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Foxborough, Holbrook, Hull, Milton, Plainville, Sharon and Westwood, the cities known as the towns of Braintree, Randolph, Stoughton and Weymouth and the cities of Boston, Chelsea, Quincy, Revere and Winthrop.

(b) Each member shall serve a 3-year term and shall continue in office until a successor is appointed and qualified. Members shall not be reappointed for more than 2 consecutive terms; provided, however, that former members may reapply to serve on the eastern regional commission after 1 year has passed since the conclusion of their last term. Of the initial members appointed to the eastern regional 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 eastern regional 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 eastern regional 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 is widely distributed throughout the eastern regional communities. Members of the eastern regional commission shall be diverse and represent different eastern regional communities.

(e) Members shall serve on the eastern regional commission as volunteers and shall not be compensated.

(f) The eastern regional commission shall elect from among its members a chair, a vice chair, a treasurer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(g) The eastern regional commission shall meet not less than 4 times a year, at the members' discretion. Members of the commission on the status of women may attend the meetings of the eastern regional commission.

(h) The eastern regional commission may accept and solicit funds, including gifts, donations, grants or bequests and federal funds for the purposes of this section. The funds shall be deposited in a separate account to be expended at the discretion of the eastern regional commission.

(i) The eastern regional commission may: (i) use voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may 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 it considers necessary; and (v) take other actions it considers necessary to effectuate its purposes.

SECTION 2. (a) There shall be an upper Middlesex commission on the status of women 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. The upper Middlesex commission shall conduct an ongoing study of all matters concerning women in upper Middlesex communities. The upper Middlesex commission shall report its findings to the commission on the status of women annually, not later than June 2, and shall recommend solutions to the problems facing women in upper Middlesex communities. The commission on the status of women shall appoint members to the upper Middlesex commission from a pool of applicants who reside in upper Middlesex communities. For the purpose of this act, “upper Middlesex communities” shall include the towns of Acton, Arlington, Ashby, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dunstable, Groton, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, North Reading, Pepperell, Reading, Shirley, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Westford, Wilmington and Winchester, the cities known as the towns of Dracut and Watertown and the cities of Cambridge, Everett, Lowell, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Somerville, Waltham and Woburn.

(b) Each member shall serve a 3-year term and shall continue in office until a successor is appointed and qualified. Members shall not be reappointed for more than 2 consecutive terms; provided, however, that former members may reapply to serve on the upper Middlesex commission after 1 year has passed since the conclusion of their last term. Of the initial members appointed to the upper Middlesex 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 upper Middlesex 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 upper Middlesex 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 is widely distributed throughout the upper Middlesex communities. Members of the upper Middlesex commission shall be diverse and represent different upper Middlesex communities.

(e) Members shall serve on the upper Middlesex commission as volunteers and shall not be compensated.

(f) The upper Middlesex commission shall elect from among its members a chair, a vice chair, a treasurer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(g) The upper Middlesex commission shall meet not less than 4 times a year, at the members' discretion. Members of the commission on the status of women may attend the meetings of the upper Middlesex commission.

(h) The upper Middlesex commission may accept and solicit funds, including gifts, donations, grants or bequests and federal funds for the purposes of this section. The funds shall be deposited in a separate account to be expended at the discretion of the upper Middlesex commission.

(i) The upper Middlesex commission may: (i) use voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may 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 it considers necessary; and (v) take other actions it considers necessary to effectuate its purposes.

SECTION 3. (a) There shall be a Plymouth county commission on the status of women 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. The Plymouth county commission shall conduct an ongoing study of all matters concerning women in Plymouth county communities. The Plymouth county commission shall report its findings to the commission on the status of women annually, not later than June 2, and shall recommend solutions to the problems facing women in Plymouth county communities. The commission on the status of women shall appoint members to the Plymouth county commission from a pool of applicants who reside in Plymouth county communities. For the purpose of this act, “Plymouth county communities” shall include all municipalities located in Plymouth county.

(b) Each member shall serve a 3-year term and shall continue in office until a successor is appointed and qualified. Members shall not be reappointed for more than 2 consecutive terms; provided, however, that former members may reapply to serve on the commission after 1 year has passed since the conclusion of their last term. Of the initial members appointed to the Plymouth county 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 Plymouth county 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 Plymouth county 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 is widely distributed throughout the Plymouth county communities. Members of the Plymouth county commission shall be diverse and represent different Plymouth county communities.

(e) Members shall serve on the Plymouth county commission as volunteers and shall not be compensated.

(f) The Plymouth county commission shall elect from among its members a chair, a vice chair, a treasurer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(g) The Plymouth county commission shall meet not less than 4 times a year, at the members' discretion. Members of the commission on the status of women may attend the meetings of the Plymouth county commission.

(h) The Plymouth county commission may accept and solicit funds, including gifts, donations, grants or bequests and federal funds for the purposes of this section. The funds shall be deposited in a separate account to be expended at the discretion of the Plymouth county commission.

(i) The Plymouth county commission may: (i) use voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may 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 it considers necessary; and (v) take other actions it considers necessary to effectuate its purposes.

 

Approved, March 15, 2018