Category Archives: Massachusetts Municipal Association

MMA on pothole $

This alert from the Mass. Municipal Assoc. –


 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BAKER ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE CITIES AND TOWNS WITH $30 MILLION FOR POTHOLE AND WINTER RECOVERY EFFORTS

$30 MILLION IN ONE-TIME AID TO BE AVAILABLE AND ALLOCATED THROUGH CHAPTER 90 FORMULA

The Baker Administration announced today that it has established a “Winter Recovery Assistance Program” that will provide cities and towns with $30 million in funding this spring to repair potholes and other damage to roads, bridges and signs caused by the punishing winter.

“This winter’s record-setting snowfall has left our cities and towns with a major maintenance deficit that needs to be addressed immediately,” Lt. Governor Polito said in a statement on Thursday. “This program provides municipalities with additional resources to accelerate those repairs and make our roadways safer for everyone.”

The $30 million for cities and towns will be allocated to municipalities using the Chapter 90 formula. The program will allow municipalities to seek reimbursement on expenditures related to potholes, pavement cracking, surface defects, paving projects, guardrails, storm drains, line striping, and repair or replacement of damaged signs.

MassDOT officials have outlined the following details: 1) the program will be implemented this month, with all qualifying work completed by June 30, 2015; 2) the department will issue one-time contracts with municipalities allowing them to draw down their share of the $30 million for the specific purpose of road and facility repairs; 3) these contracts will include a “use it or lose it” clause to ensure that funds are spent and projects are completed by June 30; and 4) all work invoices must be provided to MassDOT by July 31, 2015 and MassDOT will reimburse cities and towns as invoices are received.

Cities and towns will be receiving official notification and information on this program within the next several days.  Click here to view the WRAP apportionment list and rules and regulations, which detail how the $30 million will be apportioned to each city and town.

This year’s harsh winter has damaged local roads, generated countless potholes and placed a huge burden on local taxpayers as municipal leaders work to shore up their crumbling roadways. Communities will put these funds to immediate use rebuilding and repairing roads, equipment and facilities in every corner of Massachusetts, which will save money, help our economy and improve public safety.

This is very good news for cities and towns, and the MMA applauds Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, Secretary Pollack and MassDOT for this important program!

MMA on road $

March 12, 2015

GOV. BAKER FILES $200M CHAPTER 90 BOND BILL
Combined with the $100M Released in January, this 1-Year Bill Would Provide Cities and Towns with a Total of $300M in Chapter 90 Funds for the 2015 Construction Season

Earlier this afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker filed a one-year $200 million Chapter 90 bond bill for fiscal 2016, and asked legislators to approve the bill quickly so that cities and towns will have access to the money at the start of the construction season.

If the bond bill passes in the next several weeks, combined with the $100 million in new Chapter 90 authorizations the Governor released in January, cities and towns will have access to a total of $300 million to repair and maintain local roads during the 2015 spring-to-fall construction season.

With the state working to erase a $1 billion mid-year budget deficit in fiscal 2015, and a $1.8 billion structural budget gap for fiscal 2016, the Baker-Polito Administration decided to file a one-year Chapter 90 bond bill. Swift passage of the bond bill will ensure that cities and towns can access a total of $300 million in new Chapter 90 funds without delaying the start of the construction season.

The Chapter 90 program provides cities and towns with vital funding to maintain, repair and rebuild 30,000 miles of local roads in every corner of the state. Adequate and timely funding is essential for the growth of our economy and to ensure safe and passable roadways for residents, businesses and visitors.

Immediately after passage of this one-year bond bill, the MMA and local officials will work in partnership with the Administration and legislators to achieve long-range progress and funding for Chapter 90 that is both adequate for cities and towns and sustainable for the Commonwealth.

SWIFT ACTION ON CHAPTER 90 IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT COSTLY AND UNNECESSARY DELAYS IN THE CONSTRUCTION SEASON

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO ENACT THE $200 MILLION CHAPTER 90 BOND BILL BY APRIL 1 AT THE LATEST

Baker to MMA

The State House News Service got the quote from Governor Baker more accurately than I did on Friday.  It is encouraging that the Gov seems so focused on making the state-town relationship work better.  I am looking forward to learning more about the “community compacts.” –


BAKER PLEDGES STRONG TIES TO MUNI LEADERS

[Story Developing] After pledging on the campaign trail to boost local aid in lockstep with growing state revenues, Gov. Charlie Baker told local officials Friday in a major address that he’s creating a community compact cabinet.

The cabinet and the new position, located within the Department of Revenue, was created through the first executive order of Baker’s new administration.

The cabinet, headed by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, will “reduce red tape” and lead to “community compacts,” Baker said in a speech to 900 members of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “These compacts will create clear mutual standards, expectations and accountability,” he said.

On the campaign trail, Baker pledged to boost local aid in lockstep with growing state revenues. He is due to file his first budget for fiscal year 2016 by early March.

Baker on Friday noted the deficit in the fiscal 2015 budget, which he has estimated at $765 million.

“I would call it challenging, I don’t think it’s any more than that,” Baker said, adding that in 1991 while coming into government as a part of Gov. William Weld’s administration, “We faced a similar budget deficit on a more smaller budget overall and worked our way through that.” – Gintautas Dumcius/SHNS

MMA meeting Friday & Saturday

I am attending the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting for the next two days, which has the following schedule.  I am cheap enough that I just drive home at night and I am not willing to pay go to the dinners.  Let me know if there are programs that you think I should make sure to attend, especially for the concurrent workshops:


Friday, January 23, 2015
8 a.m.-5 p.m Conference Registration
9:30-11 a.m.
Hynes, Hall C foyer, 2nd floor
Opening Session
Keynote Speaker: Mike Walsh Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Municipal Trade Show
Hynes, Hall C & Auditorium
Noon-1 :30 p.m.
WEMO Luncheon (preregistration required)
Speaker: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito Hynes, Ballroom C, 3rd floor
2-3:30 p.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Friday session
• Emergency Planning for People, Pets and Property
• Executing the Business of Towns Through Board Collaboration: A Case Example
•Going Green: Getting Energy Efficiency Right
•Labor Law Update
• Lessons and Landmines: Navigating Interviews and Internal Investigations
• Roofs, Roads, Runoffs and Regulations: New Standards for Treating Stormwater and Drinking
Water
• Select Developments and Initiatives in Municipal Finance Law and Administration
• Seven Minutes with a Highly Effective Manager
• The CPA: What Makes It Great
•The Value of Creativity: Cultural Assets as Economic Drivers
Hynes, 2nd floor meeting rooms
3:45-5: 15 p.m.
EMERGING ISSUES FORUMS
•Driving Economic Development: What Matters to the Private Sector
•Modernizing Personnel Benefits: Sustainability and Flexibility for Cities and Towns
• Understanding the Opioid Crisis in Our Communities
Hynes, 3rd floor meeting rooms
6-7 p.m.
Opening Reception
Sheraton, Constitution Ballroom foyer, 2nd floor
7-9 p.m.
Banquet Dinner, MMA President’s Address
Special guest: Peter Sagal
(Preregistration required) Sheraton, Grand Ballroom, 2nd floor
Saturday, January 24, 2015
8 a.m.-3:30 p.m Conference Registration
7:30-8:30 a.m.
Member Associations Breakfast
Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
Hynes, Hall C foyer, 2nd floor
BUSINESS MEETINGS FOR MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association Hynes, room 306
8:30-10 a.m. •Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association Hynes, Ballroom C, 3rd floor
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Mayors’ Association Hynes, room 300
8:30-10 a.m. • Massachusetts Municipal Management Association Hynes, room 304
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Municipal Trade Show
Hynes, Hall C & Auditorium
I 0: 15-11 :50 a.m. MMA Annual Business Meeting
(incl. President’s Address) Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
11 :50 a.m.-noon
MMA Board of Directors Meeting: Election of Officers
Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
noon-I :30 p.m.
MIIA Luncheon and Business Meeting (by reservation only)
Hynes, Ballroom B, 3rd floor
2-3:30 p.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Saturday session
• Best Practices for Interacting With the Mentally Ill
•Everything You Want to Know About STIP
• Financial Trend Monitoring and Revenue Forecasting
• Housing that Fits: Meeting the Needs of Your Community
• Infrastructure Financing Programs: How to Pay for Improvements and Innovation
•How to Be Successful at the Joint Labor-Management Committee
• Municipal and Open Meeting Law Update
•New Rules for Improving Veterans’ Services
• Underwater: Financing New Regulations
•Unfunded Mandates
Hynes, 2nd floor meeting rooms
3:45-5 p.m. Closing Session Speaker:
Michael Beschloss Hynes, Ballroom A, 3rd floor
6-7:15 p.m.
Presentation oflnnovation, Municipal Website and Town Report Awards; President’s Reception
Sheraton, Constitution Ballroom, 2nd floor
7: 15-9: 15 p.m.
Annual Banquet (preregistration required)
Entertainment: Under the Streetlamp
Sheraton, Grand Ballroom, 2nd floor

MMA annual meeting in two weeks

I will again attend two days of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting, in an effort to gain and bring back new ideas to Medfield.  This from the MMA today  –


 

Monday, January 12, 2015

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER TO ADDRESS ANNUAL MEETING
Governor will Speak at the Opening Session on Friday, Jan. 23
Register Today to Hear the Governor’s Speech to Municipal Leaders

Governor Charlie Baker will address local officials from every corner of the state at the opening session of the MMA’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show on Friday morning, January 23rd. This will be our new Governor’s first address to municipal leaders since taking the oath of office last week.

Governor Baker is off to a fast start, having released $100 million in Chapter 90 funds on his first day in office, and pledging to protect local aid from further cuts as the state grapples with a massive mid-year budget deficit. By attending the opening session of Annual Meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 23, you will hear the latest from Governor Baker on his plans for a strong state-local partnership.

The MMA’s Annual Meeting will take place at the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel, and it is a must-attend event! You will hear many other distinguished speakers on key municipal and national issues, too. Choose from 20 information-packed educational workshops. Attend emerging issues forums on the opioid addiction crisis, economic development and modernizing employee benefits. Take advantage of invaluable networking opportunities. Attend the largest trade show in New England, there’s no better way to launch 2015 and prepare for the challenges ahead.

The line-up of renowned speakers is impressive. In addition to Gov. Charlie Baker, our opening session keynote speaker will be futurist and business leader Mike Walsh at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 23. Newly elected Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will be the WEMO luncheon speaker at noon. The Friday evening dinner speaker is Peter Sagal of NPR’s Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren will address the members at the MMA’s Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, January 24. The closing session will feature renowned presidential historian and author Michael Beschloss. The Annual Meeting’s Saturday dinner will feature the original Jersey Boys, now performing as Under the Streetlamp. Top state officials and legislators will be present through the conference, meeting with local officials on major issues.

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