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Bill Process

Bill S-822


Sponsored by Senator Thomas P. Kennedy, 2nd Plymouth & Bristol, Brockton1, Mass.

Proposed by the Massachusetts Genealogical Council

Public Hearing, Tuesday, OCT. 27, 2009

By the Joint Committee on Public Health
Chaired by Sen. Susan C. Fargo and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez

FACT SHEET for this bill:

Note 1: "SECTION" in all caps refers to a SECTION of this bill. "Section" with an initial
cap and remainder in lower case refers to a Section of existing law.
Note 2: SECTIONS No. 2, 7, 8, 9,and 11 - 16 are omitted here as Minor "housekeeping" items.

SECTION 1. amends (Public Health) Chapter 17, Section 4. and clarifies the current wording concerning the special vital records and statistics committee for proposing regulations of the Dept. of Public Health to be established under Section 31 of Chapter 46. The committee mentioned in present Chapter 17 Sec. 4 was never established, and has incorrect organizations listed.

SECTION 3. amends Chapter 46, Section 1E and adds eight (8) definitions (including certified copy and informational copy).

SECTION 4. amends Chapter 46, Section 2 and requires an index of records and that such an index will be available to researchers. It also provides for an automation of records and for reproductions.

SECTION 5. amends Chapter 46, Section 2A, and (a) provides for the orderly transfer of records to the state archives and funding to pay for care and preservation. (b) provides for public examination and abstractions of information. Keeps present exclusions of records for abnormal sex births and fetal deaths. In addition, (c) and (d) provide for federal agency of national statistics use, and exchange of records between states, and (e) provides that forms are to be uniform throughout the state, provided by the state registrar and have security features. Also, (f), (g), (h), and (i) concern records. (This SECTION was first proposed by the committee formed by the registrar and interested organizations about 15 years ago, to increase shelf space at the registry.)

SECTION 6. amends Chapter 46, Section 7, and clarifies reporting by the Master of vessels, concerning births and deaths at sea.

SECTION 10. amends Chapter 46, Section 16, and clarifies the provisioning of forms, instructions and explanations for the returns of vital records.

SECTION 17. This has four Sections, 31, 32, 33, and 34, to be adds to Chapter 46: Section 31 establishes a permanent special vital records and statistics committee, the starting date to be no later than January 1, 2009. The duties, number of members and organizations they represent, the number of meetings and the quorum required of 12 out of the 19 members, and how the expenditures may be made.

Section 32 provides for the matching of death and birth records to prevent fraudulent use.

Section 33 requires a safe storage of records in a state owned building to preclude the registry being moved frequently, which contributes to deterioration of records.

Section 34 provides for funds from fees to be collected to be used for improving the system for automation of the records system.

SECTION 18. amends (Public Health) Chapter 111, Section. 2, to require that an index of records
be created.


Massachusetts Genealogical Council
P.O. Box 5393
Cochituate, MA 01778-5393