More than a third of seats on state boards and commissions in Massachusetts are either vacant or occupied by people with long-expired terms, the Boston Globe reported April 20. A review of the panels found 919 vacancies and 867 holdover on the nearly 700 boards authorized by the state.
For professional licensing, the deficit has often meant cancelled meetings or, possibly worse, meetings without legal quorums. The nursing board, with six of its 17 members not appointed, was forced to cancel two meetings in 2013 and postpone four disciplinary actions at a meeting in March. The respiratory care board did not meet for five straight months because it had only three members of the seven authorized, one short of the minimum for a quorum. The state attorney general issued a directive in February 2013 that clarified the board needed at least four people to meet, but being unable to meet has left some disciplinary cases and other matters in limbo, the newspaper found.
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