DOR on budget cuts

This from the Dept. of Revenue Division of Local Services’ e-newsletter -


 

Local Aid Impacts of 9C Reductions

Using his authority under MGL c. 29, s. 9C, Governor Patrick has reduced various state appropriations to executive department agencies, including some minor reductions to cherry sheet appropriations. The Division of Local Services has reviewed these reductions and concluded that they will not impact previous cherry sheet estimates materially given the magnitude of the reductions and the normal variation in some of these accounts during the course of the year. Therefore, DLS will not be revising cherry sheet estimates as a result and does not anticipate that these reductions will impact the ongoing municipal tax rate setting process.

The Governor has also filed legislation seeking permission to reduce Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $25.5 million. This reduction will not take effect until it is approved by the Legislature.

For additional information regarding these reductions and related actions, click here.

House speaker says ‘no” to municipal cuts

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association -


November 20, 2014

SPEAKER DeLEO REJECTS $25.5 MILLION MUNICIPAL AID CUT

On Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after Governor Deval Patrick filed legislation to impose a $25.5 million mid-year cut in Unrestricted General Government Aid, House Speaker Robert DeLeo issued a strong statement in opposition to the measure.

“Understanding the vital role cities and towns play in providing services and jobs, I will not support a reduction of unrestricted local aid,” said Speaker DeLeo.  “Local aid is integral to helping municipalities accurately assess and plan their budgets so they can contribute to the overall growth of the Commonwealth’s economy.”

The Speaker’s opposition to mid-year cuts to local aid will effectively kill the proposal for the remainder of the legislative session.  “This is very good news for communities across Massachusetts,” said MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith.  “We applaud and deeply appreciate the leadership of Speaker DeLeo and his colleagues in the Legislature for rejecting the Administration’s unwise and damaging proposal to slash unrestricted municipal aid.”

On Wednesday, November 19, the Governor announced his desire to close a $329 million state budget deficit by imposing over $65 million in mid-year cuts to cities and towns.  He used his statutory budget authority to reduce key municipal and education reimbursements and aid programs by $40.3 million, and filed legislation seeking a $25.5 million reduction in unrestricted local aid.  Speaker DeLeo’s opposition to the cut in unrestricted local aid will block that proposal, yet communities will still be hit with the $40.3 million reduction because the Governor Patrick can implement those cuts unilaterally without legislative approval.

The Governor’s $40.3 million in mid-year cuts to key municipal and education programs includes the following:

  • $18.7 million from regional school transportation, a 27% cut;
    • $7.1 million from the regionalization and efficiencies reserve, which will shelve most, if not all, of the Community Innovation Challenge Grant program;
    • $3.86 million from the Special Education Circuit Breaker program, a 1.5% cut;
    • $2.88 million from the Chapter 70 “Pothole” account, an 85% cut;
    • $2.24 million from vocational school transportation, a 100% cut;
    • $1.3 million from public school military mitigation grants, a 100% cut;
    • $1.2 million from charter school reimbursements, a 1.5% cut in a program that is already underfunded by $33 million;
    • $1.1 million from sewer rate relief funding, a 100% cut;
    • $1 million from extended learning time grants, a 6.8% cut;
    • $359 thousand from kindergarten expansion grants, a 1.5% cut;
    • $287 thousand from METCO, a 1.5% cut; and
    • $283 thousand from library aid, a 1.5% cut.

Every city, town and school district will be hit with one or more of these cuts.  In most cases, the cuts will feel deeper because the reductions are being implemented five months into the fiscal year.

MMA on the proposed budget cuts

Gov. Patrick has proposed cuts to the current year spending in order to balance the state budget, which include about a 2% reduction in state aid to municipalities.  This is the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s response  -


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GOV. PATRICK IMPOSES SWEEPING MID-YEAR BUDGET CUTS, TARGETS LOCAL AID AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS

  • Gov. Says State Must Close $329M Fiscal 2015 Budget Gap
    • Gov. Uses His Budget Powers to Slash Education & Municipal Accounts by $40M
    • Gov. Files Bill With Legislature to Cut Unrestricted Local Aid by $25.5M

Two days after the November 4th state election, in the waning days of his tenure, Governor Patrick disclosed a $329 million deficit in the state’s fiscal 2015 budget, a shortfall caused mostly by state budget administrative and management issues, and not by declining tax revenues. Earlier today, the Governor released his plan to close the budget gap by slashing state and local funding by $65 million mid-year. He announced that he is using his budget powers to implement approximately $200 million in immediate cuts to state-funded programs in executive agencies under his control, including $40.3 million in cuts to important municipal and school reimbursement and grant programs.

In addition to the $40.3 million in immediate cuts, the Governor has proposed legislation to slash $25.5 million from Unrestricted General Government Aid, a measure which must be approved by the Legislature to take effect. This would translate into a 2.7 percent cut in UGGA funding for every city and town. His plan relies exclusively on budget cuts and does not draw on the state’s $1.2 billion rainy day fund.

While the Administration has said they are not proposing any cuts to Chapter 70 school aid, the reality is clear: the unilateral budget cuts will impose serious mid-year reductions in many important K-12 education accounts, and will be harmful to schools. In addition, his proposal to cut Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) would further hit local schools, because cities and towns use their municipal aid to fund local education budgets.

Click here to link to the A&F website that contains the list of emergency budget cuts: http://www.mass.gov/anf/budget-taxes-and-procurement/state-budget/fy15-budget-info/fy15-budget-cut-information/

The MMA has issued a statement opposing the Governor’s cuts to cities, towns and school districts, and is calling on the Legislature to reject his proposal to slash UGGA funding.

A copy of the MMA’s statement can be downloaded by clicking here.

A copy of the MMA’s letter to the Legislature can be downloaded by clicking here.

GOVERNOR IMPLEMENTS $40.3 MILLION IN IMMEDIATE MID-YEAR CUTS TO KEY SCHOOL AND MUNICIPAL PROGRAMS

Using his statutory authority to reduce executive branch spending, the Governor has unilaterally reduced funding for state budget accounts under his control by approximately $200 million, including $40.3 million in painful mid-year cuts to accounts that provide direct funding to cities, towns and school districts. The MMA has identified the local government accounts impacted the most, listed in order of size:

  • $18.7 million from Regional School Transportation (a 27% cut)
    • $7.1 million from the Regionalization and Efficiencies Reserve (a 49% cut)
    • $3.86 million from Special Education Reimbursements (a 15% cut)
    • $2.88 million from the Chapter 70 “Pothole” account (an 85% cut)
    • $2.24 million from Vocational School Transportation (a 100% cut)
    • $1.3 million from Public School Military Mitigation Grants (a 100% cut)
    • $1.2 million from Charter School Reimbursements (a 1.5% cut)
    • $1.1 million from Sewer Rate Relief (a 100% cut)
    • $1 million from Extended Learning Time Grants (a 6.8% cut)
    • $359 thousand from Kindergarten Expansion Grants (a 1.5% cut)
    • $287 thousand from METCO (a 1.5% cut)
    • $283 thousand from Library Aid (a 1.5% cut)

Every city, town and school district will be hit with one or more of these cuts. In most cases, the cuts will feel much deeper because the reductions are being implemented five months into the fiscal year. For example, with only seven months left in fiscal year 2015, a 10% cut in an account will translate into a 17% cut from now to the end of the year, and a 50% cut in a program will translate into an 85% reduction in remaining reimbursements due to cities and towns.

PLEASE ASK YOUR LEGISLATORS TO OPPOSE THE GOVERNOR’S LEGISLATION TO IMPOSE A $25.5 MILLION MID-YEAR CUT TO UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID

In a move that surprised the Legislature and local officials, the Governor has also filed legislation requesting $25.5 million or 2.7% cut in Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) for every city and town. The MMA will strongly oppose any cut to unrestricted municipal aid, because that would destabilize local budgets in the middle of the fiscal year, and force reductions in community services. Unrestricted municipal aid is already $400 million below original fiscal 2009 levels, and any additional cuts will be painful for cities and towns across the state.

Please call your legislators today and explain that cities and towns should not be hit with mid-year cuts, especially since the shortfall is in no way related to local government or the overall performance of the economy, and is primarily due to state spending decisions and the administration of state government. At this point in the year, cuts in municipal or school funding accounts would be extremely painful at the local level.

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED $25.5 MILLION MID-YEAR CUT TO UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID

 

Peak House Pantry & White Elephant Sale 11/22

Medfield Historical Society (Est. 1891)

Don’t Miss the
Peak House Pantry
& White Elephant Sale

Saturday, November 22
–>9 am – 1 pm<–
Peak House
345 East Main Street

You’ll have to arrive early if you want to get there before Elizabeth Mann, who is always awarded the honor of first in line at the Peak House door.

Pick up home-baked pies, quick breads and cookies as well as a wedge of sharp Vermont cheese, and browse the white elephant tables for treasures and novelties.

Special Collector’s Items at the White Elephant Sale

We ‘ll have about 40 holiday plates (boxed and in perfect condition) from B&G, Haviland, Royal Copenhagen, and Hummel.

 

Food and White Elephant Donations

If you have a recipe for Aunt Minnie’s to-die-for pecan pie, Grandma’s Snickerdoodles, Mom’s nut bread or a new Bon Appetit recipe that you’re eager to try, then why not take this opportunity to bake for a good cause?

Any food items as well as last-minute treasures you’d like to donate for the White Elephant Sale can be dropped off at the Peak House on Friday, November 21, 2014, between 2 pm and 4 pm.

All proceeds support the ongoing maintenance of the Peak House.

We’ll see you there!

Angel Run car parkers

The parking lot shift is from 1-2:30PM.  If you are able to help, please go to this link to sign up.  THANKS!

The Angel Run Needs Your Support!

See the Patch article

 

The Angel Run Needs Your Support!Mark your calendars! The Medfield Foundation Angel Run is taking place Sunday, December 7th at 2pm.  Last year we had 1,200+ registrants.  We are hoping this ye…
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Airbag recall

See if your car is covered by any recall by putting in your vehicle identification number (VIN) at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/

Generally see  www.recalls.gov


Takata hires NY lawyer to handle air bag scandal.

Reuters (11/18) reports Takata Corp has retained prominent New York defense lawyer Andrew Levander of Dechert LLP to oversee legal issues including the criminal probe on its defective airbags, the source of over 17 million car recalls since 2008. Last week a Federal grand jury subpoenaed Takata’s US Unit to produce documents on the defects, this while multiple class-action law suits, a probe by the US auto safety regulator, and a Senate hearing await Takata and its executives. Another partner at Dechert, David Bernick, will also represent Takata.

Defective Takata airbag grows into global problem for manufacturer. The New York Times (11/19, Gough, Soble, Tabuchi, Subscription Publication, 9.9M) reports that “What began as a largely American problem for Takata is taking on ever-wider proportions, confronting drivers and regulators in multiple countries with differing legal systems and attitudes toward automobile safety.” Last week, the first fatality of a non-US driver was linked to the Japanese airbag manufacturer’s defects thus confirming that faulty inflaters, made at North American plants, ended up in overseas vehicles. “The problem is that nobody knows how far it’s going to go — how many millions more vehicles,” said Koji Endo, an expert on the Japanese automobile industry at Advanced Research Japan. Adding to the company’s troubles, Federal regulators in the US on Tuesday urged automakers to recall cars nationwide that contain driver’s-side airbags made by Takata. Takata executives are scheduled to testify on Thursday at a Senate hearing on auto safety.

Is any one interested?

Dear Community Partner:

 

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is currently accepting applications for commissioner positions on the MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women, which was established through legislation filed by Senator Karen Spilka and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on October 1, 2014.

 

The MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women will serve to provide a positive and effective voice for women and girls within the region, broadening the reach of five previously established commissions in Massachusetts. The MetroWest Commission will be comprised of nine commissioners who will study, review, and report on the status of women and girls in the MetroWest area. Commissioners will be responsible for evaluating the status of women in the Metrowest region and offering policy recommendations to advance women’s opportunities and equality.  The findings of the MetroWest Commission will be issued in an annual report to the MCSW and elected officials.

 

The MCSW welcomes applications from individuals with experience of the challenges facing women and girls in the region and a commitment to advancing the work and mission of the MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women. The nine volunteer commissioners will serve staggered terms. The initial terms will range from one to three years, and subsequent terms will be for a period of three years. An inaugural event for the MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women will be held in January 2015. For appointment in January, applications are due December 1, 2014, after which applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications forms may be requested by contacting the MCSW office at 617-626-6520 or mcsw@state.ma.us.

 

Please let us know if you have any questions or can make any recommendations by contacting our office at 617-626-6520 or mcsw@state.ma.us. We look forward to working with you to ensure an effective MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women.

 

Sincerely,

Jill Ashton

 

Director

Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women

Charles F. Hurley Building

19 Staniford St, 6th Floor

Boston, Massachusetts, 02114

617-626-6525