This Alert this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association -
October 22, 2013
PLEASE CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO PASS A LONG-TERM CHAPTER 90 BOND BILL BY NOV. 20
Cities And Towns Need A Multi-Year Ch. 90 Bill Now; Without a Long-Term Bill in Place, Next Year’s Authorization Could be Delayed Again
Even as the MMA and local officials across the state call on the Governor to release the full $300 million in Chapter 90 funds that the Legislature has authorized for fiscal year 2014, it is important to push for swift action to approve a multi-year bond bill to guarantee that Chapter 90 funds will flow on time for fiscal year 2015 and beyond.
Local officials across the state applaud the Legislature’s action to authorize $300 million for Chapter 90 during the current fiscal year. We are extremely disappointed in the Administration’s unwise decision to withhold $100 million from cities and towns – the Legislature voted to fund Chapter 90 by a unanimous vote, and provided a broad tax and revenue package to significantly increase transportation investments, and communities are dismayed that the Administration is unilaterally deciding to deny Chapter 90 even one penny of the additional revenues, let alone the full amount embraced by local officials and every lawmaker in the state.
The MMA and local officials will continue to call on the Governor to release the full amount of Chapter 90 funding that is due cities and towns. The good news is that the Legislature’s authorization will remain on the books, which means that this Administration, or any future Administration, can decide to release the $100 million at any point.
In the meantime, we are also looking beyond the fiscal 2014 authorization, to the passage of a multi-year Chapter 90 bond bill to enable cities and towns to plan for the future. The passage of a bond bill (and the companion “terms” bill) requires a long journey along a very time-consuming pathway. This lengthy process, coupled with the debate over the transportation finance bill, resulted in the Governor delaying release of final Chapter 90 allocation letters until July 30, rather than the customary and statutory date of April 1. Provisional and contingent letters were sent in April and May, but these did not provide cities and towns with legal authorization to enter into road construction contracts or to start work. Missing the April 1 deadline shortens the construction season and delays important projects in every part of the state.
In order to avoid another frustrating and costly delay in the start of local road projects for fiscal 2015 and beyond, please call your Representatives and Senators today and ask them to enact a multi-year, $300 million-a-year Chapter 90 bond bill as soon as possible before the end of the 2013 session on November 20. It is important for the Legislature to enact a new Chapter 90 authorization before the end of formal legislative sessions on November 20. Otherwise, using history as a guide, the fiscal 2015 authorization would likely be delayed again, and miss the April 1 notification date. Please ask your legislators to commit to passing a 5-year Chapter 90 bond bill that provides $300 million annually, indexed for inflation.
We need the Legislature to pass a long-term Chapter 90 bond bill today so that funds will flow to cities and towns without delay next spring!
Please click here to download a copy of the MMA’s letter to the Legislature calling for passage of a $300-million-a-year, multi-year Chapter 90 bond bill before the Legislature adjourns on November 20.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO PASS A MULTI-YEAR CHAPTER 90 BOND BILL BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS ON NOV. 20
Thank You Very Much.