This proposed law would create a citizens commission to consider and recommend potential amendments to the United States Constitution to establish that corporations do not have the same Constitutional rights as human beings and that campaign contributions and expenditures may be regulated.
Any resident of Massachusetts who is a United States citizen would be able to apply for appointment to the 15-member commission, and members would serve without compensation. The Governor, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the state Attorney General, the Speaker of the state House of Representatives, and the President of the state Senate would each appoint three members of the commission and, in making these appointments, would seek to ensure that the commission reflects a range of geographic, political, and demographic backgrounds.
The commission would be required to research and take testimony, and then issue a report regarding (1) the impact of political spending in Massachusetts; (2) any limitations on the state’s ability to regulate corporations and other entities in light of Supreme Court decisions that allow corporations to assert certain constitutional rights; (3) recommendations for constitutional amendments; (4) an analysis of constitutional amendments introduced to Congress; and (5) recommendations for advancing proposed amendments to the United States Constitution.
The commission would be subject to the state Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law. The commission’s first report would be due December 31, 2019, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth would be required to deliver the commission’s report to the state Legislature, the United States Congress, and the President of the United States.
The proposed law states that, if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect. The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2019.