Chapter 29 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 72. (a) In addition to other emergency powers allowed by law, the governor may declare a state of emergency whenever a catastrophic event, natural disaster, pandemic outbreak, terrorist threat or other occurrence or imminent danger threatens the health, safety or welfare of the people, or the fiscal or economic stability of the commonwealth. In such an emergency, the governor may direct any agency, authority, or political subdivision of the commonwealth to take appropriate action to eliminate the immediate threat or danger and to aid its citizens, including but not limited to temporary re-deployment of personnel, contractors or other resources. Upon notice in writing of the declaration of emergency to the comptroller and the clerks of the senate and the house of representative, there shall be appropriated an amount requested by the governor not to exceed $25,000,000 from the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund, and the comptroller shall transfer that amount into a separate emergency account for the costs incurred under this section.
(b) Agencies, authorities and political subdivisions directed by the governor to act under this section need not comply with procurement and personnel restrictions for obligations incurred in performance of directives under this section for the period of the emergency, but shall consult with the operational services division to use, to the greatest extent possible, existing state contractors and certified small, minority or women-owned businesses, to provide necessary goods or services under this section to obtain the most cost effective prices and quality services available. The comptroller may take whatever actions are necessary to enable obligations and payments under this section, shall advise agencies about the most efficient payment processes, including electronic payment options, and shall direct agencies in the proper accounting for all encumbrances and payments under this section in the state accounting system. Expenditures may be charged to other items of appropriation and to other subsidiaries as directed by the secretary of administration and finance in consultation with the comptroller. Every 60 days after an emergency is declared under this section, and until the governor declares that the emergency has terminated, the governor shall report in writing the specific amounts and purposes of expenditures under this section to the house and senate committees on ways and means.
(c) Any funds remaining in the emergency account at the conclusion of the fiscal year in which the emergency arises shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year, unless the emergency has terminated, but shall remain available for expenditure without further appropriation until the emergency ceases and all payments for all costs incurred under this section, at which time any remaining funds shall be transferred to the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund.
This section authorizes the Governor to expend funds up to $25 million, without further appropriation, in the event of a declared emergency.