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WHEREAS, the citizens of the Commonwealth have great skills, energy, interests and a desire to help others;
WHEREAS, citizen volunteer programs yield immeasurable benefits to the educational and economic interests of the Commonwealth and help create a more just society;
WHEREAS, many businesses and non-profit entities are donating their employees' time to addressing community needs;
WHEREAS, this Administration wishes not only to encourage the participation of its citizens in community service, but also to provide a means by which state employees within the Executive Branch may voluntarily donate their time through public service;
WHEREAS, the work schedules of most state employees within the Executive Branch preclude their participation in volunteer activities during regular work hours;
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth's need for citizen volunteers reaches beyond the needs of the public schools, and extends to areas such as the environment, education, health and public safety;
WHEREAS, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 29, Section 31E authorizes state employees, during working hours, to provide voluntary services at a public elementary, secondary, or vocational-technical school to assist the improvement of a student's or school's educational program not to exceed the equivalent of one work day per month;
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth will expand the State Employees Responding as Volunteers program to address additional community needs, including but not limited to, environmental, educational, health and public safety; and
WHEREAS, the State Employees Responding as Volunteers program shall provide opportunities to Executive Branch employees to volunteer at accredited non-profit organizations and public entities (including schools); and
NOW, THEREFORE, I , Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, hereby order as follows:
Section 1. State employees, within the Executive Branch, shall be encouraged to voluntarily contribute their time and talents to the improvement of the Commonwealth.
Section 2. Consistent with the policies and guidelines to be developed pursuant to Section 3 below, any person employed in the Executive Branch, shall be eligible to provide approved voluntary services, on site, in communities within the Commonwealth, during approved working hours, for a maximum of up to one day (7.5 or 8 hours) per month, and without loss of salary, in order to assist in the improvement of our state.
Section 3. The Secretary of Administration and Finance, in consultation with the Office of External Affairs, and the Chief Human Resources Officer, shall develop and issue uniform policies and guidelines for the voluntary participation of eligible employees of the Executive Branch. These volunteer opportunities will meet the Commonwealth's needs in areas including, but not limited to, environmental, educational, health, and public safety.
Section 4. The policies and guidelines issued pursuant to section 3 shall define eligible employees and include provisions that participating employees may not be compensated by the organization or entity that they are serving. Eligible employees shall not forfeit state compensation or benefits while engaged in approved activities in the Commonwealth.
Section 5. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 31st day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-one.
DEVAL L. PATRICK, GOVERNOR
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
Secretary of the Commonwealth