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  • Resolves
  • 2008
  • Chapter 1 RESOLVE PROVIDING FOR AN INVESTIGATION AND STUDY BY A SPECIAL COMMISSION RELATIVE TO THE HIDDEN WOUNDS OF WAR ON MASSACHUSETTS SERVICE MEMBERS.

Resolved, That a special commission is hereby established for the purposes of making an investigation and study relative to the mental health effects of war on those citizens of the commonwealth returning from active duty and the establishment of a mandatory mental health treatment program for national guard members who engage in combat, a state military family leave policy for caregivers and a statewide education training program to assist law enforcement, corrections officers and other first responders in recognizing the early warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The commission shall consist of: 4 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be the president of the senate or a designee who shall serve as co-chair , 1 of whom shall be the minority leader of the senate or a designee , 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on veterans and federal affairs or a designee and 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse or a designee ; 6 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the speaker or a designee who shall serve as co-chair, 1 of whom shall be the minority leader of the house of representatives or a designee, 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on veterans and federal affairs or a designee, 1 of whom shall be the chair of the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse or a designee; the adjutant general of the national guard or a designee; the secretary of veterans’ services or a designee; the commissioner of mental health or a designee; the commissioner of probation or a designee; and 5 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 of whom shall be a veterans’ agent to be selected  by the president of the Massachusetts Veterans’ Service Officers Association, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association and 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.

All appointments shall be made not later than 30 days after the effective date of this resolve.  The chairpersons shall meet with the commission not later than 60 days after the effective date of this resolve. 

Members shall not receive compensation for their services but may receive reimbursement for the reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out their responsibilities as members of the commission.

Not later than September 15, 2008, the commission shall report to the general court the result of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect by filing the same with the clerk of the house of representatives who shall forward the same to the joint committee on veterans and federal affairs and the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse.

Approved April 10 , 2008