Category Archives: Legislature

MMA on state budget

This today from the Massachusetts Municipal Association, with a good summary of the state budget issues –

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LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FINALIZING FISCAL 2019 STATE BUDGET – MILLIONS IN MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL FUNDING AT STAKE

 

PLEASE CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY TO SUPPORT LOCAL AID FUNDING AND KEY MUNICIPAL ISSUES

June 7, 2018

 

Dear Osler Peterson,

 

Now that the House and Senate have each passed their own versions of next year’s fiscal 2019 state budget, the next step is for a conference committee to iron out the differences and present a balanced budget for adoption by July 1.

 

While both budgets would increase municipal and school aid, there are significant differences between the branches, especially in funding for essential K-12 education accounts. It is imperative that you contact your legislators today and ask them to support the full appropriations, and make municipal and education aid a top priority.

 

Earlier this morning, the MMA delivered a detailed letter to the conference committee emphasizing the key local aid accounts that need to be funded at the highest possible level. Please call your legislators today and ask them to support the highest possible funding amounts for these municipal and school aid programs.

 

Please click here to download a copy of the MMA’s letter, so you can read and reference it when you speak with your legislators

 

The House and Senate budgets would both add to the municipal and school aid recommendations made by the governor in January, which is good news. When you talk with your local legislators, please thank them for making local aid a priority during the budget process this year, and ask that they contact conference committee members in support of the highest possible funding for municipal and school aid.

 

Millions of dollars are at stake: if the conference committee agrees on full funding by adopting the higher number for municipal and school aid accounts, this would return over $75 million more to cities and towns, compared to the funding that would result from adopting the lower number.

 

Here is a summary of the key priorities for cities and towns:

 

Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA)

The House and Senate both appropriated $1.099 billion for the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) account, an increase of $37.2 million over the fiscal 2018 level of funding. The 3.5 percent increase reflects the policy of increasing general municipal aid at the rate of growth in state tax collections reflected in the consensus tax forecast. This policy has been adopted by the Governor and the House and Senate since fiscal 2016, and is supported by the MMA. The good news is that the $37.2 million UGGA increase has already been agreed to by the House and Senate!

 

Chapter 70 School Aid and Local Contributions

The House funds the basic requirements of Chapter 70 education aid (7061-0008 and section 3), adopts provisions to continue to implement the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission, phases in target share funding for those communities where the local contribution exceeds the target share amount, and funds minimum aid at $30 per student. This would provide a Chapter 70 increase of $124.6M – which is significantly higher than the $103.6M increase in the governor’s budget proposal.

 

The Senate budget builds on the House approach by closing 100% of the target share gap and establishing an enhanced English language learner (ELL) foundation budget factor. These two changes would provide a Chapter 70 increase of $160.6M, or $36M more than the House. The MMA is supporting the Senate funding level.

 

Both the House and Senate would supplement Chapter 70 by providing $12.5 million to provide assistance to communities impacted by changes in how low-income students are counted. They do this in different accounts. What matters is that the final budget maintain the $12.5 million.

 

Special Education Circuit Breaker

Please ask your legislators to support the Senate’s full funding of the Special Education Circuit Breaker Program at $319.3 million, through which the state provides a measure of support for services provided to high-cost special education students. This is critically important.

 

Charter School Impact Mitigation Payments

Please ask your legislators to support the Senate appropriation of $100 million for Charter School Impact Mitigation Payments (7061-9010). This reflects an increase of $19.5 million above the current fiscal 2018 level of funding. This is a vital account for those communities impacted by charter schools.

 

Charter School Impact Analysis and Accountability

Please ask your legislators to support sections 61 and 62 in the Senate bill, which would bring a much-needed level of accountability related to state decisions to approve new and expanded charter schools that would include an assessment of the impact on local public schools.

 

Regional School District Student Transportation

Please ask your legislators to support the Senate appropriation of $68.9 million to reimburse regional school districts for a portion of the cost of transporting students.

 

McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Transportation

Please ask your legislators to support the House appropriation of $9.1 million for this account to reimburse municipalities and school districts for a portion of the cost of transporting homeless students as required under state and federal rules.

 

Payment in Lieu of Taxes on State-owned Land

Please support the Senate appropriation of $28.5 million to pay a portion of the payment-in-lieu-of taxes amount due to cities and towns to offset the property tax exemption for state-owned land. We support the additional $1.7 million set aside in the Senate appropriation language to ensure that Cherry Sheet PILOT payments next year are not reduced below the fiscal 2018 level due to the revaluation of state-owned land that takes effect next year.

 

Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program

Please support the Senate level of funding of $8 million for the highly effective and valuable Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program that has helped cities and towns respond to and suppress gang-related activities.

 

Reserve Fund for Municipal Improvements

Please support the House appropriation that would provide $2.8 million for the District Local Technical Assistance Fund (DLTA) that helps support local efforts to regionalize local government services. Please support the Senate appropriation that includes $2 million to support the Community Compact Cabinet program to facilitate the adoption of municipal best practices in cities and towns.

 

Community Preservation Act

Please support sections 45, 46, 47, 142, 143 and 196 of the Senate bill which would strengthen the Community Preservation Act (CPA) by updating the Registry of Deeds fee schedule to provide adequate revenue to restore the state match to an estimated 30 percent.

 

Municipal Police Training Fund

Please support sections 13, 14, and 70 in the Senate bill that would create a $2 surcharge on each rental car transaction in the Commonwealth to help fund an expanded police training program.

 

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact MMA Legislative Director John Robertson at 617-426-7272 ext. 122 or jrobertson@mma.org.

 

Thank you very much!

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Cherry Sheet for FY19

Historically, for the 18 years that I have been a selectman and therefore watching with interest the state budgets unfold, so I can learn what Medfield will get in state aide, I have noticed that we have always received more monies from the state Senate than in either proposals from the Governor or the House, but not this year.

It looks like our increase in state aide over last year will be about $62K.  Hardly enough to help with all our cost increases – the state continues to transfer to our property taxes the cost of running our town, by virtue of the state’s declining financial support of towns over time.

Below is the Cherry Sheet projection of where we will end up on state aid for the next fiscal year.

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Senate budget recommendations out

The Massachusetts Senate has issued its budget recommendations, which this year are lower that the House numbers (usually they are higher from my memory).  Unfortunately for Medfield, state revenue sharing with cities and towns continues on a downward trajectory, so that more of municipal costs msut be paid for off our property taxes.  This alert this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association with its summary –

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SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE FILES $41.4 B FY19 STATE BUDGET THAT ADDS MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL AID

• INCLUDES THE FULL $37M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (UGGA)

• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $148M TO FUND MINIMUM AID AT $30 PER STUDENT

• ADDS $38M FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER

• ADDS $20M FOR CHARTER SCHOOL IMPACT PAYMENTS

• ADDS $1.7 MILLION FOR PILOT PAYMENTS TO ENSURE NO FY19 AID LOSS

May 10, 2018

Dear Osler Peterson,

Earlier today, the Senate Ways & Means Committee reported out a $41.4 billion FY19 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by 3 percent. The SW&M plan is $61 million more than the budget filed by the Governor in January and $97 million less than the budget voted by the House last month. The full Senate will debate the FY19 spending plan starting May 22.

S. 4, the S W&M budget bill, provides significant progress on many important local priorities, including the full $37 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the Governor proposed and cities and towns are counting on. The SW&M budget would increase funding for other major aid programs by adding $38 million for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, adding $20 million for charter school impact mitigation payments, adding $1 million to Regional School Transportation, and increasing Chapter 70 aid by $148 million more than the FY18 level.

Please Click this Link Now to See the Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Municipal Aid Numbers for Your Community

Later Today or Early Tomorrow – Click on this Link to See Your Community’s Local Aid and Preliminary Cherry Sheet Numbers in the House Ways & Means Budget, as Posted by the Division of Local Services

$37.2 MILLION INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID

In a continuing good news story for cities and towns, the SW&M budget plan would provide $1.1 billion for UGGA, a $37.2 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker and voted by the House. The $37.2 million would increase UGGA funding by 3.5 percent, which matches the projected growth in state tax collections next year. Every city and town would see their UGGA funding increase by 3.5 percent.

SW&M BUDGET BUILDS ON PROGRESS IN HOUSE BUDGET, WITH $23.5M MORE FOR CHAPTER 70 ($44.1M MORE THAN GOV’S BUDGET), MINIMUM AID WOULD MATCH HOUSE’S $30 PER STUDENT

The Senate budget committee is proposing to increase Chapter 70 education aid by $147.7 million above current fiscal 2018 levels. This is $44.1 million higher than the increase in the Governor’s recommendation, and $23.5 million more than the budget passed by the House in April), with a provision that every city, town and school district receive an increase of at least $30 per student (compared to the $20-per-student amount in the Governor’s budget). The SW&M budget would continue to implement the target share provisions enacted in 2006 and would do so on a more accelerated schedule than proposed by the Governor and voted by the House. Further, the SW&M proposal would build on formula changes proposed by Governor and voted by the House to start addressing shortfalls in the foundation budget framework, by increasing the cost factors for school employee health benefits and for English Language Learners (ELL).

Please ask your Legislators to support a funding increase for Chapter 70 school aid that ensures that all schools receive a suitable and appropriate increase in fiscal 2019, which the MMA targets at $100 per student. The MMA also strongly supports implementation of all of the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission to update the Chapter 70 “foundation budget” minimum spending standards for special education and employee health insurance, and to add to the spending standard a measure of recognition for the cost of services for low-income, English Language Learner (ELL) and other students who would benefit from more intensive services. The Commission recommended phasing in the changes over a four-year period, a position the MMA supports as well. Increasing minimum aid and fixing the inadequacies in the foundation formula are essential.

$37.7 MILLION INCREASE FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER

In S. 4, Senate leaders have made clear that they support increased funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker program with the intent to reach full funding next year. The SW&M plan would provide $318.9 million, a $27.7 million increase above the Governor’s proposed FY19 level of $291.1 million, and $37.7 million more than the $281.2 million FY18 level. This is a vital program that every city, town and school district relies on to fund state-mandated services.

ADDS $1 MILLION TO REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

The Senate Ways and Means Committee budget would add $1 million to bring regional transportation reimbursements up to $62.5 million. The MMA will work to continue building on this increase to get to full funding.

CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS WOULD BE FUNDED AT $100 MILLION

The SW&M budget would provide $100 million to cover charter school impact mitigation payments, compared to the Governor’s recommendation to level fund the program at $80.5 million and the House plan to increase funding to $90 million. While the SW&M increase is certainly welcome and appreciated, both legislative proposals remain below the amount necessary to fully fund the statutory formula that was originally established to offset a portion of the funding that communities are required to transfer to charter schools. The FY18 funding level is currently $73.4 million below what is necessary to fund the reimbursement formula that is written into state law. An expanding shortfall would lead to the continued and growing diversion of Chapter 70 funds away from municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve 96 percent of public school children. Solving the charter school funding problem must be a major priority during the budget debate.

PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT), LIBRARY AID ACCOUNTS, METCO, AND SHANNON ANTI-GANG GRANTS

The Senate budget committee’s proposal would increase PILOT payments by $1.7 million to ensure that no city or town loses PILOT aid next year, add $540,000 to library grant programs, add $500,000 to METCO, and level fund McKinney-Vento reimbursements at $8.1 million.The SW&M budget would level fund Shannon Anti-Gang Grants at $6 million.

Please Call Your Senator Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Budget – Which Increases Direct Municipal and School Aid Accounts by More Than the Governor’s Budget

Please Explain How the Senate Ways and Means Budget Impacts Your Community, and Ask Your Senators to Build on this Progress During Budget Debate in the Senate

Thank You!

MMA on House budget

This alert came today from the Massachusetts Municipal Association about the areas needing protection by our legislators in the House budget negotiations this coming week.  I did email both our representatives to ask that they follow the Massachusetts Municipal Association recommendations.

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House to Start FY19 State Budget Debate on Monday

 

Representatives to Decide on Many Municipal and School Amendments

Please Oppose Costly Health Insurance Amendments

 

Please Call Your Representatives Today

 

April 20, 2018

 

Dear Osler Peterson,

 

This coming Monday, April 23, the House is scheduled to start debate on the fiscal 2019 state budget. House members will take up the 1,400 amendments that were filed by the deadline last Friday, including dozens related to municipal and school aid accounts, and many on important policy issues that affect local government. Debate is expected to wrap up by the end of the week.

 

The MMA has sent a detailed letter to all House members, taking a position on the major local government amendments. The House Ways and Means budget (H. 4400) and the proposed amendments can be found on the Legislature’s website.

 

Please Click Here for a Copy of MMA’s Budget Letter on House Amendments

 

Please review the MMA’s House budget letter, and call your Representatives to let them know how these amendments would impact you. This is the best time to influence their support for the issues and amendments that matter most. Please call on them to support amendments that would fully fund state obligations, such as the special education “circuit breaker” and charter school reimbursements, and oppose amendments that would pre-empt local decision-making in the area of health insurance.

 

This is a quick reference to amendments covered in the MMA letter.

 

Municipal Aid

Support for: Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (#830), Shannon Anti-Gang Grants (#40), Planning Grants (#282 and #731), and Public Libraries (#1171)

 

School Aid

Support for: Charter School Impact Payments (#952), Special Education “Circuit Breaker” (#693), Chapter 70 Minimum Aid at $50 per Student (#1154), McKinney-Vento Student Transportation (#930), Regional School Student Transportation (#29, #785, #823 and #974), Out-of-District Vocational Student Transportation (#192 and #1278), Summer Learning (#888), and Sumer Jobs (#456)

 

Labor Relations and Health Insurance

Oppose: Undermining Municipal Retiree Health Insurance Authority (oppose #1048 and #13)

Support for: Mediation and Dispute Resolution (#1153, #248 and #1160) and, and Municipal Police Training Fund (#1235 and #1380)

 

Other Amendments

Support for: Community Benefit Districts (#1074), Municipal Impact Statements (#62), water Infrastructure Funding (#813), Community Preservation Act Revenues (#466), Conservation Tax Credit (#1248), Bulk Purchasing of Naloxone (#223, #226, #477 and #1209), and Firefighter Equipment Cleaning Grants (#1189).

 

If you have any questions about amendments, please contact MMA Legislative Director John Robertson at jrobertson@mma.org or (617) 427-7272.

 

Please Call Your Representatives Today and Ask them to Support Cities and Towns in the House Budget Debate

 

Thank You!!

 

House budget #s

The Division of Local Services (DLS) today put online the House Ways and Means Committee’s numbers (copy attached below).  The Senate typically gives us a little more.

Massachusetts Department of Revenue Division of Local Services Municipal Databank/Local Aid Section Preliminary Municipal Cherry Sheet Estimates 1. Where present, uncheck NULL boxes and enter values (no commas) to set min and max data ranges. 2. Report will always include all data, but will display only communities within set ranges. 3. Click “View Report” and scroll down to check report status. 4. To view or sort data, export to Excel. Close Municipality (type municipality name): Fiscal Year (must be greater than 2010) of 2 ? Find | Next FY2019 Local Aid Estimates Medfield FY2018 Cherry Sheet Estimate FY2019 Governor's Budget Proposal FY2019 House Budget Proposal FY2019 Senate Budget Proposal FY2019 Conference Committee Education: Chapter 70 6,137,784 6,188,024 6,213,144 School Transportation 0 0 0 Charter Tuition Reimbursement 13,415 0 0 Smart Growth School Reimbursement 0 0 0 Offset Receipts: School Choice Receiving Tuition 0 0 0 Sub-total, All Education Items: 6,151,199 6,188,024 6,213,144 General Government: Unrestricted Gen Gov't Aid 1,448,128 1,498,812 1,498,812 Local Sh of Racing Taxes 0 0 0 Regional Public Libraries 0 0 0 Urban Revitalization 0 0 0 Veterans Benefits 15,060 13,811 13,811 State Owned Land 27,898 43,926 43,926 Exemp: VBS and Elderly 36,842 35,498 35,498 Offset Receipts: Public Libraries 16,164 16,623 16,484 Sub-Total, All General Government 1,544,092 1,608,670 1,608,531 Total Estimated Receipts 7,695,291 7,796,694 7,821,675

House budget gives us $25K more

The House budget is out this afternoon, and from my look I compute that it is about $25K more in Chap. 70 aid for Medfield that the Governor’s budget.  This is the Massachusetts Municipal Association alert –

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HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE OFFERS $40.98B FY 2019 STATE BUDGET THAT MAKES KEY INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL AID

• INCLUDES THE FULL $37.2M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (UGGA)

• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $125M TO FUND MINIMUM AID AT $30 PER STUDENT

• ADDS $18.8M TO THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER

• ADDS $1M MORE FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

• LEVEL-FUNDS MOST OTHER MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS

April 11, 2018

 

Dear Osler Peterson,

 

Earlier this afternoon, the House Ways & Means Committee reported out a $40.98 billion fiscal 2019 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by 3.1 percent. The House Ways and Means budget is $83 million more than the budget filed by the Governor in January, increasing Chapter 70 aid by $21 million above the Governor’s recommendation by increasing minimum aid from $20 per student to $30 per student. The full House will debate the fiscal 2019 state budget during the week of April 23.

 

  1. 4400, the House Ways and Means budget, provides progress on many important local aid priorities, including the full $37.2 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the Governor proposed and communities are counting on. The House W&M Committee would increase funding for other major aid programs, by adding $18.8 million to the Special Education Circuit Breaker, adding $1 million to Regional School Transportation, $1 million to McKinney-Vento reimbursements, and increasing Chapter 70 aid by $125 million more than fiscal 2018 levels.

 

Please Click this Link Now to See the Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Municipal Aid Numbers for Your Community

 

Later Today or Early Tomorrow – Click on this Link to See Your Community’s Local Aid and Preliminary Cherry Sheet Numbers in the House Ways & Means Budget, as Posted by the Division of Local Services

 

 

$37.2 MILLION INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID

In a major victory for cities and towns, the HW&M fiscal 2019 budget plan would provide $1.1 billion for UGGA, a $37.2 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker. The $37.2 million would increase UGGA funding by 3.5 percent, which matches the projected growth in state tax collections next year. Every city and town would see their UGGA funding increase by 3.5 percent.

 

CHAPTER 70 MINIMUM AID WOULD INCREASE TO $30 PER STUDENT

The House budget committee is proposing a $125 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid (this is $21 million higher than the $103.6 million increase in House Two), with a provision that every city, town and school district receive an increase of at least $30 per student (compared to the $20-per-student amount in the Governor’s budget). The House budget would continue to implement the target share provisions enacted in 2007. Further, the House Ways & Means Committee proposal would build on the Governor’s initial proposal to start addressing shortfalls in the foundation budget framework, by increasing the cost factors for employee health insurance by $39 million more than in fiscal 2018.

 

In the context of a tight budget year, the House budget committee’s increase in Chapter 70 funding is progress over the Governor’s proposal that was filed in January. The MMA continues to give top priority to full funding for the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s recommendations, and over the long-term will work to build on this increase.

 

Please ask your Legislators to support a funding increase for Chapter 70 school aid that ensures that all schools receive a suitable and appropriate increase in fiscal 2019, which the MMA targets at $100 per student. The MMA also strongly supports implementation of all of the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission to update the Chapter 70 “foundation budget” minimum spending standards for special education and employee health insurance, and to add to the spending standard a measure of recognition for the cost of services for low-income, English Language Learner (ELL) and other students who would benefit from more intensive services. The Commission recommended phasing in the changes over a four-year period, a position the MMA supports as well. Increasing minimum aid and fixing the inadequacies in the foundation formula are essential.

 

$18.8 MILLION INCREASE GETS CLOSER TO FULL FUNDING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER

In H. 4400, House leaders have announced that they support increased funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker program. The House budget plan would provide $300 million, an $8.9 million increase above the Governor’s proposed fiscal 2019 level of $291.1 million, and $18.8 million more than the $281.2 million fiscal 2018 level. However, the House budget would still be about $23 million short of full funding in fiscal 2019. This is a vital program that every city, town and school district relies on to fund state-mandated services. The MMA and local leaders will work to build on this increase to get to full funding during the Legislature’s budget deliberations.

 

ADDS $1 MILLION TO REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

House Ways and Means Committee budget would add $1 million to bring regional transportation reimbursements up to $62.5 million, compared to the Governor’s proposal to level fund the program at $61.5 million. The MMA will work to continue building on this increase to get to full funding.

 

CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS WOULD BE FUNDED AT $90 MILLION

Both budgets filed by the Governor and the House Ways & Means Committee would underfund charter school reimbursements in fiscal 2019. The HW&M budget would provide $90 million, compared to the Governor’s recommendation to level fund the program at $80.5 million. Both proposals are far below the amount necessary to fully fund the statutory formula that was originally established to offset a portion of the funding that communities are required to transfer to charter schools. The fiscal 2018 funding level is $73.4 million below what is necessary to fund the reimbursement formula that is written into state law. If the HW&M amount is enacted, the shortfall will grow to an estimated $76.8 million in fiscal 2019. This would lead to the continued and growing diversion of Chapter 70 funds away from municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve 96% of public school children. Solving the charter school funding problem must be a major priority during the budget debate.

 

PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT), LIBRARY AID ACCOUNTS, METCO, McKINNEY-VENTO, AND SHANNON ANTI-GANG GRANTS

The House budget committee’s proposal would level-fund PILOT payments at $26.77 million, provide $91K less to library grant programs, add $1.5 million to METCO, and add $1 million to McKinney-Vento reimbursements at $9.1 million. The HW&M budget would level fund Shannon Anti-Gang Grants at $6 million.

 

Please Call Your Representatives Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the House Ways and Means Committee Budget – Which Increases Direct Municipal and School Aid Accounts by $41 Million More Than the Governor’s Budget

 

Please Explain How the House Ways and Means Budget Impacts Your Community, and Ask Your Representatives to Build on this Progress During Budget Debate in the House

 

 

Senate’s final version of bill eliminates cap on municipal ambulance fees MMA opposed

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Thank you for acting on the Ambulance Fee Alert we sent you on November 1st!

 

The sweeping health care cost containment bill approved by the Senate last week does NOT include the provisions opposed by the MMA to cap ambulance fees. Your calls on this important issue made a big difference.

 

As you recall, an early version of the Senate’s health care bill included provisions to cap municipal ambulance fees and impose a state-driven system to oversee the local fee-setting process. That proposal would have imposed financial burdens on cities and towns, and made it difficult for communities to fund emergency response services.

 

Fortunately, the Senate Ways and Means Committee eliminated the fee-capping provisions from the legislation that was debated and passed by the Senate. This came after productive conversations between the MMA, legislators, Senate staff, Fire Chiefs and other EMS Coalition partners, as we explained why ambulance fee caps would hurt local budgets and undermine high-quality municipal EMS programs. The MMA’s effectiveness on this issue was possible because of the large volume of calls that Senators received from local officials, as you responded to our Nov. 1 Action Alert. Your calls were the key to our success.

 

The health care legislation now moves to the House, where a bill is expected to emerge for debate early next year. When you see your Senators over the upcoming holiday season, please thank them for protecting local fee-setting authority for ambulance fees, and when you see your Representatives, please explain why ambulance fee caps would be bad for cities and towns. And please thank them all for supporting municipal issues throughout the year.

 

If you have any questions regarding ambulance fee legislation or the Senate health care bill, please call or email MMA Legislative Director John Robertson at (617) 426-7272 x122 at any time.

 

Thank You Very Much!