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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2021 TO PROVIDE FOR SUPPLEMENTING CERTAIN EXISTING APPROPRIATIONS AND FOR CERTAIN OTHER ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purposes, which are forthwith to make supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2021 and to make certain changes in law, each of which is immediately necessary to carry out those appropriations or to accomplish other important public purposes, 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.  To provide for supplementing certain items in the general appropriation act and other appropriation acts for fiscal year 2021, the sums set forth in section 2 are hereby appropriated from the General Fund unless specifically designated otherwise in this act or in those appropriation acts, for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this act or in those appropriation acts, and subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. These sums shall be in addition to any amounts previously appropriated and made available for the purposes of those items. These sums shall be made available until June 30, 2022, except as otherwise stated.

SECTION 2.

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Office of the Attorney General

0810-0000............................................................. $93,785

EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance

1102-3199.......................................................... $1,075,653

Human Resources Division

1750-0100.......................................................... $1,000,000

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

Department of Fish and Game

2330-0100............................................................ $371,107

Department of Conservation and Recreation

2810-0100.......................................................... $1,000,000

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF EDUCATION

Department of Early Education and Care

3000-7040............................................................ $264,373

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Office of the Secretary

1595-1068......................................................... $31,937,236

Soldiers' Home in Massachusetts

4180-0100.......................................................... $3,170,447

Soldiers' Home in Holyoke

4190-0100.......................................................... $2,221,107

Department of Transitional Assistance

4403-2000......................................................... $27,853,223

Department of Public Health

4510-0100............................................................ $132,522

4516-1000.......................................................... $1,491,441

4590-0913.......................................................... $1,000,000

4590-0915.......................................................... $7,259,080

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

Department of State Police

8100-0012.......................................................... $1,300,000

8100-1001......................................................... $11,032,617

Military Division

8700-0001......................................................... $13,034,845

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Department of Elder Affairs

9110-0600.......................................................... $7,774,619

SECTION 2A.  To provide for certain unanticipated obligations of the commonwealth, to provide for an alteration of purpose for current appropriations, and to meet certain requirements of law, the sums set forth in this section are hereby appropriated from the General Fund unless specifically designated otherwise in this section, for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this section, and subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. These sums shall be made available until June 30, 2022, except as otherwise stated.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

Reserves

1599-1210.. For a reserve for the start-up costs of the Massachusetts peace officer standards and training commission established in section 2 of chapter 6E of the General Laws; provided, that funds may be transferred to other items to reimburse costs incurred by those items in state fiscal year 2021 and state fiscal year 2022 on behalf of the commission; provided further, that not less than $1,000,000 shall be expended for stipends for the 9 commissioners of the Massachusetts peace officers standards and training commission; and provided further, that not less than $200,000 shall be expended for the maintenance costs of the officer certification database $5,000,000

1599-1211.. For a reserve to meet the expenses associated with the implementation of chapter 253 of the acts of 2020; provided, that the secretary of administration and finance may transfer funds from this item to state agencies as defined in section 1 of chapter 29 of the General Laws; provided further, that not less than $2,262,100 shall be expended for bridge academies for reserve officers and special state police officers previously not subject to the same training requirements as the general law enforcement population; provided further, that not less than $3,208,000 shall be expended for new or expanded police training obligations of the municipal police training committee in accordance with section 116 of chapter 6 of the General Laws, including de-escalation training, use of force training and school resource officer training; provided further, that not less than $1,597,160 shall be expended on the first diverse class of state police cadets for the program established in section 10A of chapter 22C of the General Laws; provided further, that not less than $150,000 each shall be expended on: (i) the commission on the status of African Americans established by section 72 of chapter 3 of the General Laws; (ii) the commission of the status of Latinos and Latinas established by section 73 of said chapter 3; (iii) the commission on the status of persons with disabilities established by section 74 of said chapter 3; and (iv) the commission on the social status of Black men and boys established by section 75 of said chapter 3; provided further, that not less than $200,000 shall be expended on the shared administrative costs of said commissions; and provided further, that not less than $50,000 each shall be expended on: (a) the model school resource officer memorandum of understanding review commission established in section 37P of chapter 71 of the General Laws; (b) the commission on correction officers and juvenile detention officers training established in section 103 of chapter 253 of the acts of 2020; and (c) the law enforcement body camera task force established in section 104 of said chapter 253...................................................... $12,500,000

Supplier Diversity Office

 

1780-0100.. For the operation and administration of the supplier diversity office; provided, that the office shall provide training and other services to businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, service-disabled veterans, individuals with disabilities and individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, certified by the office that allow those businesses to better compete for state contracts and ensure that equitable practices and policies in the public marketplace are maintained; provided further, that the office shall administer an electronic business certification application that shall be accessible to business applicants through the internet; provided further, that the office shall ensure the integrity and security of personal and financial information transmitted by electronic application; and provided further, that the office shall, using all existing available resources, provide certification services to all supplier diversity office qualified applicants, within or outside of the commonwealth, as applicable... $1,000,000

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF EDUCATION

Department of Early Education and Care

3000-1021.. For efforts to support and stabilize the early education and care workforce and address varied operational costs at state child care programs supervised by the department of early education and care, especially those related to the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic and the costs associated with reopening and rebuilding capacity during the period of pandemic recovery; provided, that not less than $91,060,103 shall be used to fund: (i) stabilization grants to providers based on a consistent, equitable formula to sustain operational capacity despite fluctuations in enrollment; (ii) system-level workforce investments to encourage stability in the workforce and to maintain provider capacity during the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic; (iii) investments in technology infrastructure to support innovation and flexibility in the field of early education and care providers; and (iv) departmental technical assistance related to the administration and distribution of funding; provided further, that the calculation used to determine the distribution of the stabilization grants in clause (i) shall prioritize equity and early education programs with higher percentages of state subsidized enrollment by using a consistent, equitable calculation that provides a base amount to every eligible provider, while adding supplemental funds as needed to address equity concerns; provided further, that not less than $40,000,000 shall be made available as grants to providers serving subsidized children, calculated using an equal amount per subsidized child served by each provider, including children receiving both Head Start and subsidy; provided further, that eligible expenditures for said grants shall include, but not be limited to: (a) 2 years of bonus pay to retain and attract early educators, (b) additional 1-time bonus pay to retain credentialed educators who have obtained associates or bachelor’s degrees; (c) expenditures that build on and work in conjunction with existing state funded early education and care workforce programs, including but not limited to, scholarship and degree pathway options and loan forgiveness opportunities; (d) small scale facility improvements; and (e) other 1-time educator benefit enhancements, including but not limited to, contributions to retirement accounts, child care assistance for early educators, and temporary additional assistance with health care co-pays; provided further, that the first distributions from this item shall be made not later than October 15, 2021; provided further, that not less than 45 days prior to the disbursement of funds from this item, the department shall submit a spending plan to the joint committee on education and the house and senate committees on ways and means that shall include, but not be limited to: (1) a description of the formula through which funding will be allocated to providers; (2) an analysis of the incorporation of equity into the formula, including the projected distribution of funding to state subsidized and non-state subsidized childcare programs; (3) any system-wide programmatic updates the department feels will be necessary to monitor expenditures from this item; (4) a summary of the initiatives providers have funded or plan to fund with their grants as reported on their initial application; and (5) all additional information necessary for future budget and policy-making, including detailed financial information relative to non-state subsidized childcare programs who have and are expected to receive federal funding through fiscal year 2022; provided further, that the commissioner shall provide quarterly detailed updates on the distribution and related expenditures to the joint committee on education and the house and senate committees on ways and means until the funds are fully expended; provided further, that all funding distributed through this item shall be in accordance with the terms of the child care and development block grant appropriation in the federal coronavirus response and relief supplemental appropriations act, Public Law 116-260, and any state plans filed under that act; provided further, that the department shall provide technical assistance to providers to assist them in planning expenditures so as to avoid any so called “funding cliffs” in future fiscal years; and provided further, that any unexpended funds in this item shall not revert to the General Fund but shall be made available for this item until September 30, 2023........................ $131,060,103

SECTION 2B.  To provide for supplementing certain intragovernmental chargeback authorizations in the general appropriation act and other appropriation acts for fiscal year 2021, to provide for certain unanticipated intragovernmental chargeback authorizations, to provide for an alteration of purpose for current intragovernmental chargeback authorizations and to meet certain requirements of law, the sum set forth in this section is hereby authorized from the Intragovernmental Service Fund for the several purposes specified in this section or in the appropriation acts and subject to the provisions of law regulating the disbursement of public funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. This sum shall be in addition to any amounts previously authorized and made available for the purposes of this item.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Office of the Secretary

4000-1701......................................................... $20,000,000

SECTION 2C.I.  For the purpose of making available in fiscal year 2022 balances of appropriations that otherwise would revert on June 30, 2021, the unexpended balances of the appropriations listed below, not to exceed the amount specified below for each item, are hereby re-appropriated for the purposes of and subject to the conditions stated for the corresponding item in section 2 of chapter 227 of the acts of 2020.  However, for items that do not appear in section 2 of the general appropriation act, the amounts in this section are re-appropriated for the purposes of and subject to the conditions stated for the corresponding item in section 2 or section 2A of this act or in prior appropriation acts.  Amounts in this section are re-appropriated from the fund or funds designated for the corresponding item in said section 2 of said chapter 227; provided, however, that for items that do not appear in said section 2 of said chapter 227, the amounts in this section are re-appropriated from the fund or funds designated for the corresponding item in section 2 to 2E, inclusive, of this act or in prior appropriation acts.  The sums reappropriated in this section shall be in addition to any amounts available for said purposes.

OFFICE OF THE STATE AUDITOR

Office of the State Auditor

0710-0000............................................................ $390,000

0710-0100............................................................. $11,400

0710-0200............................................................ $198,600

0710-0225............................................................ $195,000

0710-0300............................................................ $150,000

SECTION 3.  Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 172N the following section:-

Section 172O.  (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:

“Care”, the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision or recreation to children; provided, that care shall include adoption and foster care.

“Covered individual”, an individual who has, seeks to have or may have access to a child or children, served by a qualified entity, as an adoptive or foster parent or prospective adoptive or foster parent.

“Identification document”, a document made or issued by or under the authority of the United States government, a state, political subdivision of a state, a sponsoring entity of an event designated as a special event of national significance, a foreign government, political subdivision of a foreign government, an international governmental or an international quasi-governmental organization which, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals.

“Qualified entity”, a business or organization, whether public, private, for-profit, not-for-profit or voluntary, that provides care or care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide care or care placement services; provided, that qualified entity shall include adoption agencies, foster care agencies, entities providing adoption or foster care services, entities providing adoption or foster care placement services and providers under contract with the department of children and families.

(b)  A qualified entity shall require that all covered individuals are fingerprinted for the purposes of obtaining a state and national fingerprint-based criminal background check of the state and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history databases, as authorized by 34 U.S.C. section 40102(a).

(c)  A qualified entity may obtain a state and national fingerprint-based criminal background check of the state and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history databases, as authorized by 34 U.S.C. section 40102(a), for the purpose of determining whether a covered individual has been convicted of a crime that bears upon the covered individual’s fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of children. Any qualified entity that contracts with the department of children and families and any qualified entity that is licensed by the department of early education and care shall also receive all conviction data, arrest data, sealed record data and juvenile arrest or conviction data.

(d)  A qualified entity that seeks to obtain said state and national fingerprint-based criminal background check under this section shall first submit a request to the department of criminal justice information services to be designated a qualified entity and execute a user agreement. Qualified entities shall be subject to the regulations of the department of criminal justice information services with respect to access to said state and national fingerprint-based criminal background check information.

(e)  Requests for state and national fingerprint-based criminal background checks pursuant to this section shall be submitted in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the executive office of public safety and security, the department of criminal justice information services and the department of state police.

(f)  A qualified entity is authorized to require a covered individual to be fingerprinted. No qualified entity shall request a background check pursuant to this section unless the covered individual first provides a set of fingerprints. 

(g)  Prior to submitting a state and national fingerprint-based criminal background check a covered individual shall complete and sign a statement authorizing consent to such a background check and notifying the covered individual that the qualified entity may request such a background check. The statement shall include the following additional information: (i) the name, address and date of birth as appearing on a valid identification document of the covered individual; (ii) a statement that the covered individual has not been convicted of a crime and, if the covered individual has been convicted of a crime, a description of the crime and the particulars of the conviction; (iii) notification of the rights of the covered individual to obtain a copy of the background check and the process by which the covered individual may appeal the results of the background check to challenge the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in the background report; and (iv) notification that prior to the completion of the background check the qualified entity may choose to deny the covered individual access to children.

(h)  Fingerprints shall be submitted to the identification section of the department of state police for a state criminal history check and forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check, according to the policies and procedures established by the identification section of the department of state police and by the department of criminal justice information services. The department of state police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation may search criminal justice databases including all latent fingerprint submissions. Fingerprint submissions may be retained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the state identification section of the department of state police and the department of criminal justice information services to assist qualified entities authorized under this section to ensure the continued suitability of covered individuals to provide care for children. The department of criminal justice information services may disseminate the results of the state and national criminal background checks to the qualified entity and authorized staff of the qualified entity.

(i)  A qualified entity may receive all available criminal offender record information and the results of checks of state and national criminal history information databases under 34 U.S.C. section 40102. The department of children and families, any qualified entity that contracts with the department of children and families and any qualified entity that is licensed by the department of early education and care shall also receive all conviction data, arrest data, sealed record data and juvenile arrest or conviction data. Upon receipt of the results of the state and national criminal background checks, the qualified entity shall treat the information according to sections 167 to 178, inclusive, and the regulations promulgated thereunder regarding criminal offender record information. Information obtained by the qualified entity under this section shall be used only for determining the suitability of the covered individual’s fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of children and shall not be used or disseminated for any other purpose. Qualified entities shall also provide covered individuals with information regarding how to obtain a copy of the criminal history record information and the process by which the covered individual may appeal to challenge the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in the criminal history record information.

(j)  An authorized qualified entity submitting background checks pursuant to this section shall also submit a sex offender registry information check to the sex offender registry board for covered individuals.

(k)  Notwithstanding subsections 9 and 9 1/2 of section 4 of chapter 151B, if the qualified entity receives criminal history record information from the state or national fingerprint-based criminal background checks that includes no disposition or is otherwise incomplete, the qualified entity may request that a covered individual provide additional information regarding the results of the criminal background checks to assist the qualified entity in determining suitability.

(l)  Upon receipt of the results of a state and national criminal background check for a covered individual, the authorized entity shall review the results and determine the suitability of the covered individual.

(m)  There shall be a fee charged for fingerprint-based background checks under this section, established by the secretary of administration and finance in consultation with the secretary of public safety and security, to offset the costs of operating and administering a fingerprint-based criminal background check system. The secretary of administration and finance in consultation with the secretary of public safety and security, may increase the fee accordingly if the Federal Bureau of Investigation increases the fee for its fingerprint background check service. Any fees collected from fingerprinting activity under this section shall be deposited into the Fingerprint-Based Background Check Trust Fund established under section 2HHHH of chapter 29.

(n)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the department of children and families from requesting or conducting state or national criminal background checks on covered individuals or from disseminating the results of such criminal background checks to qualified entities where authorized by federal and state law as applicable.

SECTION 4.  Chapter 15D of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out sections 7 and 8 and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sections:-

Section 7.  (a) The department shall issue and may renew a license to any person other than a department, agency or institution of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, who meets applicable standards and requirements to establish and maintain or to assist in the establishment and maintenance of a school-aged child care program, a child care center, a family child care home, a placement agency, a large family child care home, or family foster care which is not supervised and approved by a placement agency, residential program or temporary shelter facility.

(i)  As part of the department’s licensing and background record check process, the department, prior to issuing any license, shall: (1) obtain from the sex offender registry board all available sex offender registry information, including all registration forms and documents maintained by the sex offender registry board considered necessary by the department to investigate background record checks or licensing violations, associated with the address of the program, center, facility or home; and (2) conduct fingerprint-based checks of the state and national criminal history databases, as authorized by Public Law 92-544. The fingerprint-based checks shall be conducted on any current holder of or applicant for a family child care assistant certificate or any current holder of or applicant seeking a license for: family child care; small group and school age child care; large group and school age child care; a residential program; or a placement agency. The fingerprint-based checks shall also be required for any household member, age 15 or older, or any person, age 15 or older, regularly on the premises of applicants for family child care licensure, as well as in-home non-relative caregivers. Authorized department staff may receive all criminal offender record information and the results of checks of state and national criminal history databases pursuant to Public Law 92-544. When the department obtains the results of checks of state and national criminal history databases, it shall treat the information according to sections 167 to 178, inclusive, of chapter 6 and the regulations thereunder regarding criminal offender record information. Additionally, the department shall obtain all available criminal offender record information through the department of criminal justice information services consistent with clause (13) of subsection (a) of section 172 of chapter 6 and section 172F of said chapter 6, and all supported findings and pending investigations of abuse or neglect available through the department of children and families consistent with sections 51B, 51E, and 51F of chapter 119. The department may require additional checks as required by state or federal law.

    (ii)  As part of the department’s licensing and background record check process, the department shall conduct fingerprint-based checks of the state and national criminal history databases, as authorized by Public Law 92-544, to determine the suitability of all current and prospective candidates for employment or internships, whether or not those candidates have unsupervised access to children, and all volunteers with unsupervised access to children in department-licensed programs, unless specifically exempt by department regulations or policies. The department shall outline in its regulations or policies the circumstances under which candidates within department-licensed programs shall complete a background record check through the department regardless of the candidate’s unsupervised access to children. The fingerprint-based checks shall also be required to determine the suitability of an individual who provides transportation services on behalf of a department-licensed or approved program. Authorized department staff may receive criminal offender record information and the results of checks of state and national criminal history databases pursuant to Public Law 92-544. When the department obtains the results of checks of state and national criminal history databases, it shall treat the information according to sections 167 to 178, inclusive, of chapter 6 and the regulations thereunder regarding criminal offender record information.

(b)  The department shall issue approval to a department, agency, or institution of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof which it determines meets the applicable standards and requirements to establish and maintain a child care center, family child care home or large family child care home, placement agency, group care facility or temporary shelter facility.

As part of the department’s approval process, the department or an agency authorized by the department, prior to issuing an approval, shall: (i) obtain from the sex offender registry board all available sex offender registry information, including all registration forms and documents maintained by the sex offender registry board considered necessary by the department to investigate background record checks or licensing violations, associated with the address of the center, home or facility; and (ii) conduct fingerprint-based checks of the state and national criminal history databases, pursuant to Public Law 92-544, that are required under this subsection.

The fingerprint-based checks of the state and national criminal history databases shall be conducted, pursuant to Public Law 92-544, to determine the suitability of all current or prospective candidates for employment and internships, whether or not those candidates have unsupervised access to children, and all candidates for volunteer positions with unsupervised access to children in department-approved programs, unless specifically exempt by department regulations or policies. The fingerprint-based checks shall also be required to determine the suitability of an individual who provides transportation services on behalf of a department-approved program. Authorized department staff may receive criminal offender record information and the results of checks of state and national criminal history information databases pursuant to Public Law 92-544. When the department obtains the results of checks of state and national criminal information databases, it shall treat the information according to sections 167 to 178, inclusive, of chapter 6 and the regulations thereunder regarding criminal offender record information.

The fingerprint-based checks of the state and national criminal history databases shall be conducted, pursuant to Public Law 92-544, to determine the suitability of all current or prospective candidates for employment and internships, whether or not those candidates have unsupervised access to children, and all candidates for volunteer positions with unsupervised access to children in programs run by public school districts where families of children enrolled in such programs receive funding from the department, unless specifically exempt by department regulations or policies. The fingerprint-based checks shall also be required to determine the suitability of an individual who provides transportation services on behalf of a department-approved program. Authorized department staff may receive all criminal offender record information and the results of checks of state and national criminal history information databases pursuant to Public Law 92-544. When the department obtains the results of checks of state and national criminal information databases, it shall treat the information according to sections 167 to 178, inclusive, of chapter 6 and the regulations thereunder regarding criminal offender record information.

(c)  With respect to department-licensed and approved child care programs and any other program subject to 42 U.S.C. section 9858, additional background record checks shall be required by the department’s regulations or policies consistent with federal and state law.

(d)  The department may issue a provisional license for or may provisionally approve a school-aged child care program, a child care center, family child care home or large family child care home, family foster care which is not supervised and approved by a placement agency, placement agency, group care facility or temporary shelter facility, which has not previously operated, or is operating, but is temporarily unable to meet applicable standards and requirements. A provisional license or approval shall be issued for a period of not more than 6 months, and a person shall not operate under a provisional license, provisional approval, or renewal thereof for more than 12 consecutive months.

(e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a private right of action if a provider has acted in accordance with this section.

Section 8.  (a) The board shall adopt regulations relative to the requirements for licensure and approval of school-aged child care programs, child care centers, family child care homes or large family child care homes and family foster care which are not supervised and approved by a placement agency, placement agencies, group care facilities or temporary shelter facilities. These regulations shall be appropriate for the protection of the health, well-being and development of children and shall include, but need not be limited to, provisions relative to: (1) admission policies and procedures; (2) safe transport of children; (3) physical plant and equipment; (4) the number and qualifications of staff; (5) the nature of programs of care or treatment; (6) behavior management and child guidance policies and procedure; (7) health care and nutrition; (8) rights and responsibilities of parents, children and staff; (9) record keeping and other procedures relevant to evaluation including, but not limited to, reports by placement agencies detailing the number and nature, as defined jointly by the University of Massachusetts center for adoption research and policy in the city of Worcester and the department of children and families, of adoptions processed during each calendar quarter to be filed with the center annually on or before January 30; (10) organization, financing and administration; and (11) the imposition of civil fines and other sanctions. The board shall consult with the board of elementary and secondary education, the executive office of public safety and security and the executive office of health and human services before adopting these rules and regulations. The board shall submit any rules and regulations, or revisions to them, to the joint committee on education for review and comment at least 60 days before adoption.

(b)  The regulations may establish classifications for department-licensure, approval or funding that are necessary to achieve the purposes of this section, but the standards and requirements for approval of a child care center, family child care home or large family child care home, placement agency, group care facility, or temporary shelter operated by a department, agency or institution of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof shall be the same as or higher than those applicable to the licensure of comparable facilities or services. The regulations shall establish reasonable license fees and appropriate terms for all licenses granted under this section. No license or approval shall be transferable.

(c)  The regulations, as they relate to standards and requirements for licensure and approval of large family child care homes, shall include, but not be limited to, appropriate standards for: 1 or more approved assistants as provided in this chapter; additional floor space; staff-to-child ratios for multiple age and size groupings; limitations on the number of infants in care at 1 time; the hours of school-aged care; the number and age of school-aged children cared for; a prerequisite that a provider have at least 3 years of experience in licensed family child care and have completed at least 5 hours of specialized training before licensure as a large family child care provider and at least 10 hours of training each subsequent year. In formulating the regulations pertinent to family child care homes, large family child care homes and family foster care, the department shall give special attention to fire and safety precautions.

(d)  The timing, scope and nature of the department’s background record check process shall be established by the board in its regulations or policies, consistent with federal and state law. Nothing in this section shall prevent the department from completing the background record check process in a shorter amount of time than that required by federal or state law. The regulations shall provide that: a person providing child care or support services or with unsupervised access to children in a program or facility licensed, approved or funded by the department and household members, age 15 or older, or persons regularly on the premises, age 15 or older, of family child care and large family child care homes shall be subject to a background record check not less than every 3 years in accordance with regulations established by the department; provided, however, that a candidate for employment in a department-licensed, approved or funded program who is subject to a fingerprint-based check of the state and national criminal history databases for the same employer that is approved pursuant to chapters 19B or 71B shall submit to a fingerprint-based check under regulations established by the department; provided further, that a person who is considered suitable by the department shall not be subject to more than 1 fingerprint-based check every 3 years to maintain employment with the same employer that is department-licensed, approved or funded pursuant to this chapter and is subject to said chapters 19B or 71B, and shall not be subject to duplicative fingerprint-based checks for the same employer when fingerprinted for the department first unless an exception described in the regulations or policies of the department applies or an increased frequency is required by state or federal law; and provided further, that the department shall only determine whether an applicant is suitable for affiliation with a department-licensed, approved or funded program.

The board shall adopt regulations establishing that the following individuals shall be subject to a sex offender registry information check pursuant to sections 178I and 178J of chapter 6: (1) each person defined as an applicant of a department-licensed, approved or funded program; (2) individuals who are providing child care or support services with unsupervised access to children in a program or facility licensed, approved or funded by the department when mandated by department regulations or policies consistent with federal and state law; (3) household members, age 15 or older, or persons regularly on the premises, age 15 or older, of family child care and large family child care homes; (4) department-funded caregivers or candidates for employment, internships or volunteer positions within programs in receipt of federal funding pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 9858, consistent with department regulations or policies; and (5) an individual who provides transportation services on behalf of a department-licensed, funded or approved program. The regulations shall establish the conditions upon which the department may deny an application for a license, a license renewal or approval, employment or department funding. The board shall adopt regulations establishing an address search of the sex offender registry for the purposes of licensing and license renewal or approval of school-aged child care programs, child care centers, family child care homes, placement agencies or large family child care homes, family foster care that is not supervised and approved by a placement agency, group care facilities or temporary shelter facilities, including the conditions under which the department may deny an application for a license, license renewal, approval or funding based upon the information obtained from the address search of the sex offender registry.

(e)  Any rule or regulation involving medical treatment shall include appropriate exemptions for children whose parents object to such treatment on the ground that it conflicts with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the parent or child is an adherent or member. The regulations shall require that each child care program licensed or approved by the department shall obtain from a parent or guardian of a child in care under the age of 6 years, but not less than 2 years of age, a statement, signed by a physician or an employee of a health care agency, that the child has been screened for lead poisoning. This statement shall be obtained upon the child's enrollment if the child is 2 years of age or older or at the time the child reaches 2 years of age.

(f)  The regulations shall require that any person who operates a school age child care program, as defined in section 2 of chapter 132B, or a child care center shall comply with the requirements regarding pesticide applications as set forth in sections 6C to 6I, inclusive of said chapter 132B.

(g)  Fines authorized by this section shall range from $50 to $1,000. In no case shall a fine imposed on a family child care home, large family child care home or child care center exceed a maximum fine of $250 per violation.

(h)  The department shall provide consultation to assist applicants in meeting its requirements for licensure or approval, and in meeting other applicable state and local requirements relative to fire, safety, and zoning codes.

(i)  The board shall conduct a comprehensive review of rules and regulations established under this section at least once every 5 years.

(j)  Fingerprints, as referenced in subsections (a) and (b) of section 7 and subsection (d), shall be submitted to the identification section of the department of state police for a state criminal history check and forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check, according to the policies and procedures established by the identification section of the department of state police and by the department of criminal justice information services. Fingerprint submissions may be retained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the identification section of the department of state police and the department of criminal justice information services to assist the department of early education and care in the department's review of suitability for initial or continued licensure, certification, approval or funding. The department of criminal justice information services may disseminate the results of a state and national criminal history check to the department of early education and care to determine the suitability of: (i) a current holder of or applicant for a family child care, small group and school age, large group and school age and residential and placement license or family child care assistant certificate; (ii) current and prospective candidates for employment and for internships and volunteer positions where there is unsupervised access to children in a department-licensed, approved or funded program consistent with department regulations or policies and with federal and state law; (iii) household members, age 15 or older, or all persons, age 15 or older, regularly on the premises, of current family child care providers and applicants for family child care licensure; (iv) department-funded caregivers or candidates within programs in receipt of federal funding pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 9858, consistent with department regulations or policies; and (v) an individual who is a current or prospective provider of transportation services on behalf of, whether or not they have unsupervised access to children in, a department-licensed, approved or funded program, consistent with department regulations or policies. If the department receives information from a background record check that does not include a final disposition or is otherwise incomplete, the department may request that a candidate, either new or renewing, provide additional information to assist the department in determining the suitability of the individual for licensure, certification, approval, funding or employment.

The board of early education and care shall, in a manner provided by law and under this chapter, promulgate regulations necessary to carry out this subsection. The regulations shall address the circumstances under which a licensed, approved or funded program may hire an individual in provisional status consistent with this section, the department's regulations or policies and the federal requirements of 42 U.S.C. section 9858f.

For the purposes of this subsection, the term “provisional status” shall mean the standing of a candidate for employment, an internship or a volunteer position with a department-licensed, approved or funded program, or a candidate who has access to children in those programs, who the department preliminarily approves to have supervised access to children after obtaining the results of a state and national fingerprint-based criminal history check and required sex offender checks consistent with federal and state law and the department’s regulations or policies. A candidate may be hired by the employer in provisional status if the employer determines that hiring the candidate is necessary and authorized by department regulations or policies and is consistent with federal law. Candidates in provisional status shall adhere to the requirements in department regulations and policies. If a program or transportation provider seeks to hire a candidate in provisional status, the department may request that the candidate provide additional information regarding the individual’s history of criminal convictions, if any, to assist the department in determining the individual’s suitability for provisional status; provided, however, that access to children shall not occur prior to the program or transportation provider obtaining the results of a fingerprint-based state and national criminal check and all sex offender registry information checks pursuant to sections 178I and 178J of chapter 6 and consistent with federal and state law and department regulations and policies.

The department of criminal justice information services shall disseminate the results of the criminal background check to the department. The department of criminal justice information services shall only disseminate information under this section that would otherwise be available to requesting entities pursuant to sections 167 to 178, inclusive, of said chapter 6 and the regulations thereto regarding criminal offender record information.

(k)  The board shall adopt regulations establishing the conclusiveness of information obtained by the department in an address search of the sex offender registry for purposes of licensing, license renewal or approval of school-aged child care programs, child care centers, family child care homes, placement agencies or large family child care homes, family foster care that is not supervised and approved by a placement agency, group care facilities or temporary shelter facilities, including the conditions in which the address search of the sex offender registry shall be sufficient cause for the department to deny an application for a license, license renewal or approval.

(l)  All persons required to submit fingerprints pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to: (i) a current holder of or applicant for a family child care, small group and school age, large group and school age and residential and placement license, or family child care assistant certificate; (ii) current and prospective candidates for employment, internships and volunteer positions in department-licensed, approved or funded programs, consistent with department regulations or policies; (iii) household members, age 15 or older, or persons, age 15 or older, regularly on the premises of current family child care providers and applicants for family child care licensure; (iv) department-funded caregivers or candidates within programs in receipt of federal funding pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 9858, consistent with department regulations or policies; and (v) a current or prospective candidate who provides transportation services on behalf of, or who has unsupervised access to children in, a department-licensed, approved or funded program, consistent with department regulations or policies, shall pay a fee, to be established by the secretary of administration and finance, in consultation with the secretary of public safety and security and the commissioner, to offset the costs of operating and administering a fingerprint-based criminal background check system; provided, however, that the fee shall not exceed the fingerprint background check service fee charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The department-licensed, approved or funded programs may reimburse candidates for employment, internships or volunteer positions, for all or a portion of the fee on the grounds of financial hardship. Fees collected from fingerprinting activity pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the Fingerprint-Based Background Check Trust Fund, established by section 2HHHH of chapter 29.

(m)  The department’s review process into a person’s presumptive and discretionary disqualifications shall include an opportunity for the person to address department personnel, if requested by the person, about any disqualifications. Upon receipt of such a request, it shall be within the discretion of the department to conduct a telephone interview, in-person interview or to accept a written statement by the person to make a final suitability determination.

(n)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a private right of action if a provider has acted in accordance with this section.

SECTION 5.  Subsection (a) of section 69 of chapter 23A of the General Laws, as added by section 9 of chapter 358 of the acts of 2020, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:-

For the purposes of this section, the term “micro business” shall mean a business: (i) with no more than 5 employees; (ii) located in a census tract as reported in the most recently completed decennial census published by the United States Census Bureau that has a median household income not greater than 80 per cent of the statewide median household income; and (iii) with no more than $250,000 in annual revenue.

SECTION 6.  Section 2HHHH of chapter 29 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting, in line 4, after the word “in” the following words:- section 172O of chapter 6,.

SECTION 7.  Said section 2HHHH of said chapter 29, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting, in line 14, after the word “in” the following words:- section 172O of chapter 6,.

SECTION 8.  Subsection (b) of section 2WWWW of said chapter 29, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “regulations”, in line 19, the following words:- ; provided, that money in the fund may also be expended for payments to such hospitals necessary to reconcile prior-year assessment amounts due to timing discrepancies in the calculation of the ratio described in subsection (b) of section 67 of chapter 118E.

SECTION 9.  Section 100 of chapter 32 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “death”, in line 13, the following words:- , or if a police officer while at the scene of an emergency in the performance of the police officer’s duties is killed or sustains injuries which result in the police officer’s death.

SECTION 10.  Subsection (c) of section 3A of chapter 40A of the General Laws, as added by section 18 of chapter 358 of the acts of 2020, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “department”, the first time it appears, the following words:- of housing and community development.

SECTION 11.  The fifth paragraph of section 5 of said chapter 40A, as amended by section 19 of said chapter 358, is hereby amended by striking out clause (4) and inserting in place thereof the following clause:-

(4)  the adoption of a smart growth zoning district or starter home zoning district in accordance with section 3 of chapter 40R.

SECTION 12.  Said section 5 of said chapter 40A, as so amended, is hereby further amended by inserting after the fifth paragraph the following 2 paragraphs:-

Any amendment that requires a simple majority vote shall not be combined with an amendment that requires a two-thirds majority vote.

If, in a city or town with a council of fewer than 25 members, there is filed with the clerk prior to final action by the council a written protest against a zoning change under this section, stating the reasons duly signed by owners of 50 per cent or more of the area of the land proposed to be included in such change or of the area of the land immediately adjacent extending 300 feet therefrom, no change of any such ordinance shall be adopted except by a two-thirds vote of all members.

SECTION 13.  Section 4G of chapter 40J of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 subsections:-

(c)  Notwithstanding the requirements of subsections (a) and (b), the fund may be used to support technology and innovation ecosystems through grants or loans for facilities that foster innovation, demonstration, research and product development in emerging technologies and systems of strategic importance to the commonwealth including, but not limited to, artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, cyber security, financial technology, blockchain and marine technologies. Grants may be made to public entities, public or private universities or private business entities; provided, however, that a private university or business entity shall not be eligible for assistance from the fund unless the corporation has made a finding that a grant to such university or entity will result in a significant public benefit and the private benefit is incidental to a legitimate public purpose. Capital assets acquired with grant funds may be privately-owned or leased to a private entity if necessary to achieve the public purpose of the grant.

(d)  Annually, not later than October 1, the corporation shall file a report with clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the joint committee on higher education, the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies and the senate and house committees on ways and means detailing the grants and loans issued under this section.

SECTION 14.  Chapter 40X of the General Laws, as inserted by section 56 of chapter 358 of the acts of 2020, is hereby amended by striking out section 8 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 8.  (a) The municipal governing body of a lead jurisdiction shall notify the commissioner of its approval of a tourism destination marketing district, the rate at which the special assessment is to be imposed and the effective date of the special assessment. Such notification shall be received by the commissioner within 48 hours of the formal approval of the tourism destination marketing district by the local municipal governing body of the lead jurisdiction. The special assessment shall take effect on the first day of the first calendar quarter following 30 days after approval by the municipal governing body of a lead jurisdiction of the tourism destination marketing district; provided, that the assessment shall not take effect for a calendar quarter if the commissioner has not first been notified of the adoption of the assessment at least 28 days before the start of such calendar quarter.

(b)  The management entity of a tourism destination marketing district shall, with respect to every lodging business operating in the tourism destination marketing district, report to the commissioner the lodging business’s name, address, zip code, federal employment identification number and any other information the commissioner may require for the purposes of the administration and collection of the special assessment within 30 days after approval by the municipal governing body of a lead jurisdiction of the tourism destination marketing district. The management entity must report this information to the commissioner with respect to any lodging businesses added to the tourism destination marketing district within 30 days of such addition.

(c)  Assessed lodging businesses shall pay the tourism destination marketing district special assessment to and file a return with the commissioner at the same time and in the same manner provided for filing the return required by paragraph (g) of section 16 of chapter 62C. Such special assessment shall be treated as tax for administration and collection purposes and shall be subject to said chapter 62C. All sums received by the commissioner under this chapter shall, at least quarterly, be distributed, credited and paid by the state treasurer upon certification of the commissioner, to each management entity in proportion to the amount of such sums received from the respective tourism destination marketing districts.

The special assessments collected shall be used solely to fund supplemental services identified and approved in the tourism destination marketing district plan for the tourism destination marketing district.

(d)  An annual audit, certified by a certified public accountant, of the revenues generated, the grants, donations and gifts received and the expenses incurred by the tourism destination marketing district shall be made within 120 days of the close of the fiscal year, and shall be placed on file with the commissioner. Such accounting shall be a public record.

(e)  The commissioner may promulgate regulations and issue other guidance for the assessing, reporting, collecting, remitting and enforcement of the special assessment under this section.

SECTION 15.  Section 9 of said chapter 40X, as inserted by said section 56 of said chapter 358, is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:-

(e)  The municipal governing body of a lead jurisdiction shall notify the commissioner of the approval of any amendment to a tourism destination marketing district plan within 48 hours of the formal approval of such amendment. Any change in assessment rate shall take effect in the manner provided in subsection (a) of section 8.

SECTION 16.  Said chapter 40X, as inserted by said section 56 of said chapter 358, is hereby further amended by striking out section 11 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 11.  (a) The validity of an assessment levied pursuant to this chapter shall not be contested in any action or proceeding unless the action or proceeding is commenced within 30 days after the formal approval of the tourism destination marketing district by the local municipal governing body of the lead jurisdiction. Any appeal from a final judgment in an action or proceeding shall be perfected within 30 days after entry of judgment.

(b)  Notwithstanding subsection (a), chapter 62C shall apply to disputes regarding the proper amount of assessment due from a lodging business pursuant to this chapter.

SECTION 17.  Subsection (a) of section 7 of chapter 93L of the General Laws, as appearing in section 65 of said chapter 358, is hereby amended by striking out the fifth paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-

All records of investigations by the commissioner, records of the office of the student loan ombudsman established under section 35 of chapter 12 and reports of examinations by the commissioner, including workpapers, information derived from the reports that cannot be obtained from other sources and responses to the reports, and any copies thereof in the possession of a student loan servicer under the supervision of the commissioner, shall be confidential and privileged communications; provided, however, that nothing in this subsection shall interfere with the work of the office of the student loan ombudsman established under said section 35 of said chapter 12; and provided further, that the records of the student loan ombudsman may be made public only if the attorney general determines that such disclosure is in the public interest. 

SECTION 18.  Section 3 of chapter 161A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 2 and 3, the words “board of directors of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation established in chapter 6C” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority board of directors established in section 7.

SECTION 19.  Said chapter 161A is hereby further amended by striking out section 7, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 7.  (a) The authority shall be governed and its corporate powers exercised by a board of directors. The board shall consist of: the secretary, who shall serve ex officio; 1 person to be appointed by the advisory board who shall have municipal government experience in the service area constituting the authority and experience in transportation operations, transportation planning, housing policy, urban planning or public or private finance; and 5 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall have experience in safety, 1 of whom shall have experience in transportation operations, 1 of whom shall have experience in public or private finance, 1 of whom shall be a rider as defined in section 1 and a resident of an environmental justice population as defined in section 62 of chapter 30 and 1 of whom shall be selected from a list of 3 persons recommended by the president of the Massachusetts State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

The member appointed by the advisory board with municipal government experience in the service area constituting the authority shall represent 1 of the following service areas: (i) the 14 cities and towns; (ii) the 51 cities and towns; or (iii) the other served communities; provided, however, that of the members appointed by the governor, not less than 1 shall reside or work in a different service area than the member appointed by the advisory board. A vacancy from a member appointed by the advisory board with municipal government experience in the service area constituting the authority who has served for 2 full terms shall be filled with a member with municipal government experience from a different service area of the authority than the departing member.

Not less than 2 of the appointed members shall also be members of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation established under section 2 of chapter 6C.

In making selections to the board of directors, the appointing authority shall strive to ensure a board whose diversity and inclusion are reflective of the population served by the authority.

(b)  The term of each member, except for the secretary, shall be 4 years; provided, however, that 3 of the members appointed by the governor, not including the secretary, shall serve for terms that are coterminous with the governor. A member shall be eligible for reappointment; provided, however, that a member shall not serve more than 2 terms. A member appointed to fill a vacancy in the board shall serve only for the unexpired portion of the term of the former member but may be appointed to serve 2 full terms thereafter.

(c)  Not more than 4 members shall be enrolled in the same political party. The governor shall designate 1 member to serve as chair and the board shall elect 1 member to serve as vice-chair; provided, however, that the secretary shall not serve as chair or vice-chair.

(d)  Four members of the board shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of a majority of members present at a duly called meeting, if a quorum is present, shall be necessary for any action taken by the board. Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the board may be taken without a meeting if all of the members consent in writing to such action and such written consent is filed with the records of the minutes of the board. Such consent shall be treated for all purposes as a vote at a meeting.

(e)  The board shall be afforded all the powers, responsibilities and obligations under this chapter. The board may delegate any powers, responsibilities and obligations specifically afforded to it to the general manager unless otherwise prohibited by this section. The board shall adopt a written policy providing for the delegation of any of its powers and duties.

(f)  The board shall establish subcommittees, which shall include at a minimum a subcommittee on: (i) safety, health and environment; (ii) planning and workforce development; and (iii) audit and finance. Each member shall participate on 2 subcommittees of the board. Each subcommittee shall have 3 board members. The appointee of the governor who has experience in safety shall chair the subcommittee on safety, health and environment. The appointee of the governor who has experience in public or private finance shall chair the subcommittee on audit and finance.

(g)  The members of the board, except for the secretary, shall serve without compensation, but each member may be reimbursed for actual and necessary travel and other expenses reasonably incurred by the member in the discharge of the member’s official duties; provided, however, that reimbursement shall not exceed $6,000 annually per member.

(h)  Meetings of the board and its subcommittees shall be subject to sections 18 to 25, inclusive, of chapter 30A. Records of the board shall be subject to section 10 of chapter 66.

(i)  The board shall meet at least 1 time per month and not less than 12 times per calendar year.

(j)  Each member shall make full disclosure of their financial interest, if any, in matters before the board by notifying the state ethics commission, in writing, and shall abstain from voting on any matter before the board in which the member has a financial interest, unless otherwise permissible under chapter 268A. Chapters 268A and 268B shall apply to the secretary in the secretary’s capacity as an ex officio member. Said chapters 268A and 268B shall apply to all other members of the board, except that the board may purchase from, sell to, borrow from, loan to, contract with or otherwise deal with any person with which any member of the board has an interest or involvement; provided, however, that: (i) such interest or involvement is disclosed in advance to the members of the board and recorded in the minutes of the board; and (ii) no member having such interest or involvement may participate in a decision of the board relating to such interest or involvement. Employment by the commonwealth or service in any agency thereof shall not be deemed to be such an interest or involvement.

(k)  Members shall not be liable to the commonwealth, the authority or any other person as a result of their activities related to their duties as members of the board, whether ministerial or discretionary, except for willful dishonesty or intentional violations of law. The board may purchase liability insurance for members, officers and employees of the board and may indemnify such persons against the claims of others.

SECTION 20.  Chapter 175 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 47NN, inserted by section 47 of chapter 260 of the acts of 2020, the following 2 sections:-

Section 47OO.  (a) For the purposes of this section, “long-term antibiotic therapy” and “Lyme disease” shall have the meaning ascribed to them in section 12DD of chapter 112.

(b)  A policy, contract, agreement, plan or certificate of insurance issued, delivered or renewed within the commonwealth that provides medical expense coverage shall provide coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for a patient with Lyme disease when determined to be medically necessary and ordered by a licensed physician after making a thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, diagnostic test results or response to treatment. An experimental drug shall be covered as a long-term antibiotic therapy if it is approved for an indication by the United States Food and Drug Administration; provided, however, that a drug, including an experimental drug, shall be covered for an off-label use in the treatment of Lyme disease if the drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Section 47PP.  A policy, contract, agreement, plan or certificate of insurance issued, delivered or renewed within the commonwealth that provides coverage for prescription eye drops shall provide coverage for refills of prescription eye drops in accordance with the Medicare Part D guidelines on early refills of topical ophthalmic products when: (i) the prescribing health care practitioner indicates on the original prescription that additional quantities of the prescription eye drops are needed; (ii) the refill requested by the insured does not exceed the number of additional quantities indicated on the original prescription by the prescribing health care practitioner; and (iii) the prescription eye drops prescribed by the health care practitioner are a covered benefit under the policy or contract of the insured.

SECTION 21.  Section 47OO of said chapter 175 is hereby repealed.

SECTION 22.  Chapter 176A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 8OO, inserted by section 48 of said chapter 260, the following 2 sections:-

Section 8PP.  (a) For the purposes of this section, “long-term antibiotic therapy” and “Lyme disease” shall have the meaning ascribed to them in section 12DD of chapter 112.

(b)  A contract between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan that is delivered, issued or renewed within the commonwealth shall provide coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for a patient with Lyme disease when determined to be medically necessary and ordered by a licensed physician after making a thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, diagnostic test results or response to treatment. An experimental drug shall be covered as a long-term antibiotic therapy if it is approved for an indication by the United States Food and Drug Administration; provided, however, that a drug, including an experimental drug, shall be covered for an off-label use in the treatment of Lyme disease if the drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Section 8QQ.  A contract between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan which is delivered, issued or renewed within the commonwealth that provides coverage for prescription eye drops shall provide coverage for refills of prescription eye drops in accordance with the Medicare Part D guidelines on early refills of topical ophthalmic products when: (i) the prescribing health care practitioner indicates on the original prescription that additional quantities of the prescription eye drops are needed; (ii) the refill requested by the insured does not exceed the number of additional quantities indicated on the original prescription by the prescribing health care practitioner; and (iii) the prescription eye drops prescribed by the health care practitioner are a covered benefit under the policy or contract of the insured.

SECTION 23.  Section 8PP of said chapter 176A is hereby repealed.

SECTION 24.  Chapter 176B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4OO, inserted by section 50 of said chapter 260, the following 2 sections:-

Section 4PP.  (a) For the purposes of this section, “long-term antibiotic therapy” and “Lyme disease” shall have the meaning ascribed to them in section 12DD of chapter 112.

(b)  A subscription certificate under an individual or group medical service agreement delivered, issued or renewed within the commonwealth shall provide coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for a patient with Lyme disease when determined to be medically necessary and ordered by a licensed physician after making a thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, diagnostic test results or response to treatment. An experimental drug shall be covered as a long-term antibiotic therapy if it is approved for an indication by the United States Food and Drug Administration; provided, however, that a drug, including an experimental drug, shall be covered for an off-label use in the treatment of Lyme disease if the drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Section 4QQ.  A subscription certificate under an individual or group medical service agreement delivered, issued or renewed within the commonwealth that provides coverage for prescription eye drops shall provide coverage for refills of prescription eye drops in accordance with the Medicare Part D guidelines on early refills of topical ophthalmic products when: (i) the prescribing health care practitioner indicates on the original prescription that additional quantities of the prescription eye drops are needed; (ii) the refill requested by the insured does not exceed the number of additional quantities indicated on the original prescription by the prescribing health care practitioner; and (iii) the prescription eye drops prescribed by the health care practitioner are a covered benefit under the policy or contract of the insured.

SECTION 25.  Section 4PP of said chapter 176B is hereby repealed.

SECTION 26.  Chapter 176G of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4GG, inserted by section 52 of said chapter 260, the following 2 sections:-

Section 4HH.  (a) For the purposes of this section, “Long-term antibiotic therapy” and “Lyme disease” shall have the meaning ascribed to them in section 12DD of chapter 112.

(b)  An individual or group health maintenance contract shall provide coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for a patient with Lyme disease when determined to be medically necessary and ordered by a licensed physician after making a thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, diagnostic test results or response to treatment. An experimental drug shall be covered as a long-term antibiotic therapy if it is approved for an indication by the United States Food and Drug Administration; provided, however, that a drug, including an experimental drug, shall be covered for an off-label use in the treatment of Lyme disease if the drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Section 4II.  An individual or group health maintenance contract that provides coverage for prescription eye drops shall provide coverage for refills of prescription eye drops in accordance with the Medicare Part D guidelines on early refills of topical ophthalmic products when: (i) the prescribing health care practitioner indicates on the original prescription that additional quantities of the prescription eye drops are needed; (ii) the refill requested by the insured does not exceed the number of additional quantities indicated on the original prescription by the prescribing health care practitioner; and (iii) the prescription eye drops prescribed by the health care practitioner are a covered benefit under the policy or contract of the insured.

SECTION 27.  Section 4HH of said chapter 176G is hereby repealed.

SECTION 28.  Chapter 46 of the acts of 2015 is hereby amended by striking out sections 199 to 208, inclusive. 

SECTION 29.  Section 102 of chapter 41 of the acts of 2019 is hereby amended by striking out the words “July 1, 2021” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- April 1, 2022.

SECTION 30.  Item 7008-1117 of section 2A of chapter 142 of the acts of 2019 is hereby further amended by striking out the figure “2021”, inserted by section 31 of chapter 201 of the acts of 2020, and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 2022.

SECTION 31.  Said item 7008-1117 of said section 2A of said chapter 142, as most recently amended by said section 31 of said chapter 201, is hereby further amended by striking out the figure “2021”, the second time it appears, and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 2022.

SECTION 32.  Item 1599-1232 of section 2A of chapter 124 of the acts of 2020, as amended by section 72 of chapter 227 of the acts of 2020, is hereby further amended by inserting after the words “at the discretion of the director of the Barnstable county department of health and environment” the following words:- ; provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 33.  Said item 1599-1232 of said section 2A of said chapter 124, as so amended, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “Falmouth” the following words:- ; provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 34.  The first paragraph of section 98 of said chapter 124 is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The fund shall consist of revenues received by the commonwealth from the federal government pursuant to section 5001(a) of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, hereinafter referred to as the CARES Act, and any reimbursements for expenses charged to the fund.

SECTION 35.  Chapter 156 of the acts of 2020, as amended by section 44 of chapter 201 of the acts of 2020, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “the lifting of the state of emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease outbreak declared by the governor on March 10, 2020 or for 210 days from July 31, 2020, whichever is sooner” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- January 1, 2022.

SECTION 36.  Item 1410-0010 of section 2 of chapter 227 of the acts of 2020 is hereby amended by inserting after the word “Norton” the following words:- ; and provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 37.  Item 2810-0100 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by inserting after the words “Devir Park Revitalization Project” the following words:- ; provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 38.  Item 3000-1045 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by inserting after the word “disrupted” the following words:- ; provided further, that not less than $60,000,000 shall be made available for direct grants to providers, which shall be calculated using an equal amount per subsidized child; provided further, that the department of early education and care shall take all steps necessary to expedite the grant application and distribution process.

SECTION 39.  Item 4403-2000 said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by inserting after the words “of September 2020” the following words:- ; provided further, that a non-recurring COVID-19 relief payment for costs associated with the pandemic shall be provided to each child and pregnant recipient who received a benefit under this program in the month directly preceding the month of the issuance of said non-recurring COVID-19 relief payment; provided further, that the amount of said COVID-19 relief payment shall be determined based on the number of eligible recipients; provided further, that the total cost of payments shall not exceed $27,853,223; provided further, that any unspent balance of up to $27,853,223 in this item as of June 30 of the current fiscal year shall be re-authorized for expenditure in the next fiscal year using the same eligibility criteria.

SECTION 40.  Item 4512-2023 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by inserting after the words “food insecure and housing insecure residents of the county of Barnstable” the following words:- ; provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 41.  Item 4513-1121 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by adding the following words:- ; and provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 42.  Item 5911-1003 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by inserting after the words “Congress, Inc.” the following words:- ; provided further, that the commissioner of developmental services may transfer funds between items 5920-2025, 5920-2000 and 5911-2000; provided further, that the commissioner shall notify the house and senate committees on ways and means 15 days in advance of any such transfer.

SECTION 43.  Item 7007-1641 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by striking out the words “Smaller Business Association of New England, Inc, for the” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation established by chapter 40J of the General Laws for a.

SECTION 44.  Said item 7007-1641 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby further amended by striking out the words “president of the Smaller Business Association of New England, Inc,” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- grantee.

SECTION 45.  Item 7008-1116 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by inserting after the words “Salem common in the city of Salem” the following words:- ; provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 46.  Said item 7008-1116 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby further amended by inserting after the words “Future Leaders Program” the following words:- ; provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 47.  Item 8324-0000 of said section 2 of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by inserting after the words “General Laws”, the second time they appear, the following words:- ; provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, such funds may be expended to pay stipends in excess of $3,000 to the members of hazardous materials mitigation emergency response teams in fiscal year 2021; provided further, that such funds shall be made available through June 30, 2022.

SECTION 48.  Item 1595-1068 of section 2E of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by striking out the figure “$437,750,000” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- $465,350,000.

SECTION 49.  Said item 1595-1068 of said section 2E of said chapter 227 is hereby further amended by striking out the figure “$505,250,000” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- $537,190,000.

SECTION 50.  Item 1595-1070 of said section 2E of said chapter 227 is hereby amended by striking out the words “or 2020” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- , 2020 or 2021.

SECTION 51.  Subsection (a) of chapter 255 of the acts of 2020, as amended by section 4 of chapter 5 of the acts of 2021, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “annual or special municipal or state primary or election held on or before June 30, 2021” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- regular or special municipal or state preliminary, primary or general election held on or before December 15, 2021.

SECTION 52.  Subsection (b) of said chapter 255, as amended by section 5 of said chapter 5, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “annual or special municipal or state primary or election held on or before June 30, 2021” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- regular or special municipal or state preliminary, primary or general election held on or before December 15, 2021.

SECTION 53.  Subsection (c) of said chapter 255, as amended by section 6 of said chapter 5, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “annual or special municipal or state primary or election held on or before June 30, 2021” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- regular or special municipal or state preliminary, primary or general election held on or before December 15, 2021.

SECTION 54.  Subsection (l) of said chapter 255, as amended by section 7 of said chapter 5, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “annual or special municipal election held on or before June 30, 2021” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- regular or special municipal preliminary, primary or general election held on or before December 15, 2021.

SECTION 55.  Said chapter 255, as most recently amended by section 8 of said chapter 5, is hereby further amended by adding the following subsection:-

(n)  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the select board, board of selectmen, town council or city council may, after a public hearing and by recorded and public vote not less than 45 days prior to the date of the election, opt-out of the provisions of subsection (c) or (d) for any annual or special municipal preliminary or municipal election held on or before December 15, 2021; provided, however, that any qualified voter, as defined in section 1 of chapter 51 of the General Laws, shall be allowed to cast a ballot by mail as set forth in subsection (c) and (d) for city or town election held at the same time as any special state primary or election.

SECTION 56.  Subsection (f) of section 20 of chapter 9 of the acts of 2021, as amended by section 4 of chapter 16 of the acts of 2021, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “section 21A” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- section 21.

SECTION 57.  Section 20 of chapter 20 of the acts of 2021 is hereby amended by striking out subsection (b) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-

(b)  Notwithstanding section 20 of chapter 30A of the General Laws or any general or special law to the contrary, a public body, as defined in section 18 of said chapter 30A, shall not be required to conduct its meetings in a public place that is open and physically accessible to the public; provided, however, that if the public body does not conduct the meeting in a public place that is open and physically accessible to the public, the public body shall ensure public access to the deliberations of the public body for interested members of the public through adequate, alternative means of public access. Where active, real-time participation by members of the public is a specific requirement of a general or special law, regulation or a local ordinance or by-law, pursuant to which the proceeding is conducted, any adequate, alternative means of public access shall provide for such participation and shall be sufficient to meet such participation requirement.

A municipal public body that for reasons of economic hardship and despite best efforts is unable to provide adequate, alternative means of public access that will enable the public to follow the proceedings of the municipal public body as those activities are occurring in real time may instead post on its municipal website a full and complete transcript, recording or other comprehensive record of the proceedings as soon as practicable upon conclusion of the proceedings. This paragraph shall not apply to proceedings that are conducted pursuant to a general or special law, regulation or a local ordinance or by-law that requires allowance for active participation by members of the public.

A public body shall offer its selected adequate, alternative means of public access to its proceedings without subscription, toll or similar charge to the public.

SECTION 58.  Notwithstanding section 1Q of chapter 69 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, due to the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education may establish an alternative means of demonstrating English language proficiency for the state seal of biliteracy for students in the class of 2020 or 2021, which may include, but is not limited to, earning the modified competency determination in English language arts.

SECTION 59.  Notwithstanding section 89 of chapter 71 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the list of districts in the lowest 10 per cent of all statewide student performance scores released in fiscal year 2020 shall be maintained as that list for fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023.

SECTION 60.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, for fiscal year 2021, the secretary of health and human services, with the written approval of the secretary of administration and finance, may authorize transfers of surplus among items 4000-0320, 4000-0430, 4000-0500, 4000-0601, 4000-0641, 4000-0700, 4000-0875, 4000-0880, 4000-0885, 4000-0940, 4000-0950, 4000-0990, 4000-1400, 4000-1420 and 4000-1425.

SECTION 61.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any unexpended balances, not exceeding a total of $40,000,000, in items 4000-0700 and 4000-1425 of section 2 of chapter 227 of the acts of 2020 shall not revert to the General Fund until September 1, 2021 and may be expended by the executive office of health and human services to pay for services enumerated in said items 4000-0700 and 4000-1425 provided during fiscal year 2021.

SECTION 62.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the secretary of health and human services shall, not later than September 3, 2021, provide to the comptroller information on the amount of the federal financial participation revenues claimed and received by the commonwealth for eligible expenditures made from the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Trust Fund established in section 2SSSS of chapter 29 of the General Laws for fiscal year 2021 that are attributable to the increase to the federal medical assistance percentage authorized by section 6008 of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127. The comptroller shall credit said amount to the General Fund and not the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Trust Fund in fiscal year 2021.

SECTION 63.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may take any and all interests in all the paper streets on the property: (i) described in the deed from the Trustees of the Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts dated December 27, 1934 recorded at the Suffolk county registry of deeds in book 5503, page 430; and (ii) identified in plans recorded at the Suffolk county registry of deeds in book 1174, page 16 and book 1168, page end, and may also take any other interests or rights necessary to clear title to the property by eminent domain pursuant to chapter 79 of the General Laws, as deemed necessary by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance to carry out this act.

SECTION 64.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in making initial appointments to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority board of directors established under section 7 of chapter 161A of the General Laws, the governor shall appoint the governor’s 2 members whose terms are not coterminous with the term of the governor to the following initial terms: 1 member shall be appointed for a term of 1 year and 1 member shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.

SECTION 65.  The special commission established pursuant to chapter 3 of the resolves of 2018 is hereby revived and continued to December 31, 2021. The special commission shall file its report with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, the joint committee on the environment, natural resources and agriculture and the joint committee on tourism, arts and cultural development not later than December 31, 2021.

SECTION 66.  The special commission on ocean acidification established pursuant to section 97 of chapter 209 of the acts of 2018 and revived and continued pursuant to section 45 of chapter 201 of the acts of 2020 is hereby revived and continued to December 31, 2021. The special commission shall file its report, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry out its recommendations, with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture not later than December 31, 2021.

SECTION 67.  The task force established pursuant to section 2 of chapter 93 of the acts of 2020, as amended by section 90 of chapter 124 of the acts of 2020, is hereby revived and continued to December 31, 2021. The task force shall file its recommendations with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than December 31, 2021.

SECTION 68.  Section 9 shall take effect as of June 3, 2021.

SECTION 69.  Sections 20, 22, 24 and 26 shall take effect as of July 1, 2021.

SECTION 70.  Sections 21, 23, 25 and 27 shall take effect on July 1, 2022.

SECTION 71.  Subsection (b) of section 20 of chapter 20 of the acts of 2021, as inserted by section 57, shall take effect as of June 15, 2021.

Approved, July 29, 2021.