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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to establish a hate crimes task force, 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.  Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 221.  (a) There shall be a task force on hate crimes. The task force shall consist of: the secretary of public safety and security or a designee, who shall serve as co-chair; 1 member appointed by the attorney general; 19 members appointed by the governor, 2 of whom shall be representatives of victim assistance agencies, 4 of whom shall be advocates for communities affected by hate crimes, 2 of whom shall be a representatives from district attorneys’ offices, 2 of whom shall be representatives from state, local or university police departments, 1 of whom shall be an educator, 1 of whom shall be a student and 2 of whom shall be persons with expertise or experience in hate crimes issues; the chairs of the joint committee on the judiciary or their designees; the chairs of the joint committee on racial equity, civil rights, and inclusion or their designees; 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the senate; and 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives. One of the persons appointed by the governor shall be designated by the governor to serve as co-chair.

(b)  The task force shall advise on: (i) issues relating to hate crimes, including the prevalence of hate crimes; (ii) ways to prevent hate crimes; and (iii) how to best support the victims of hate crimes.

(c)  The task force shall: (i) promote full and effective cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies and communities affected by hate crimes to improve prevention, investigation and prosecution of hate crimes; (ii) develop best practices related to technical assistance for school districts that may seek to incorporate hate crime education into their curricula; (iii) recommend policies, procedures and programs to ensure state and local governments provide enhanced support for victims of hate crimes and their communities; (iv) encourage and assist law enforcement agencies in reporting hate crimes pursuant to sections 32 to 35, inclusive, of chapter 22C, including assistance in gathering, analyzing and publishing hate crime reports; (v) encourage law enforcement agencies to better enforce section 39 of chapter 265; and (vi) recommend any appropriate legislation, regulations, policies or procedures to better combat hate crimes.

(d)  The task force shall meet not less than quarterly at the direction of the co-chairs.

(e)  Annually, not later than December 31, the task force shall submit a report to the governor, the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the senate and house committees on ways and means, the joint committee on the judiciary and the joint committee on public safety and homeland security. The report shall address the mission of the task force, targeted objectives, options, recommended actions and metrics to measure the effect of such recommendations on hate crimes. The report may also include any recommended legislation, regulations, policies or procedures to better combat hate crimes.

(f)  The co-chairs may establish subcommittees comprised of members of the task force and nonmembers drawn from various groups and organizations with expertise or experience in hate crimes issues.

SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect as of July 1, 2021.

Approved, August 3, 2021.