Municipal leaders honor 9 as Legislators of the Year

Print Email

The MMA this morning recognized House Speaker Robert DeLeo as a “Legislator of the Year” based on his record of accomplishment for cities, towns and local taxpayers during the 2011 legislative session.

The award was presented during the opening session of the municipal association’s Annual Meeting on Jan. 20 before a crowd of more than 700 local officials from across the state.

“I am so grateful for this honor and I’m even more grateful for what this award represents,” said DeLeo, who began his political career as a Town Meeting member and then a selectman in his hometown of Winthrop. “To me, it demonstrates that our municipal leaders understand that we on Beacon Hill are doing everything in our power to help cities and towns – measures such as the Municipal Health Reform bill, which will save these communities money, preserve jobs, and create much opportunity for growth. The House will continue to look to the MMA as a partner in all that we do.”

During the award ceremony, Natick Selectman Josh Ostroff, the president of the MMA, said the speaker’s leadership on municipal health insurance was “truly remarkable.”

It was the third time the MMA had honored DeLeo.

Seven additional legislators will be honored during the second day of the meeting, on Jan. 21. They are:
• House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey
• Senate Ways and Means Chair Stephen Brewer
• House Ways and Means Vice Chair Stephen Kulik
• Senate Ways and Means Vice Chair Steven Baddour
• House Minority Leader Bradley Jones
• Joint Committee on Public Service House Chair John Scibak
• Joint Committee on Public Service Senate Chair Katherine Clark

Senate President Therese Murray was also named a Legislator of the Year, but was unable to accept the award during the MMA Annual Meeting.

“Over the last several years, Massachusetts cities and towns have struggled with the burgeoning costs of health insurance, growing an average of 15 percent per year,” said MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith. “These honored legislators made municipal health insurance reform the centerpiece of legislative action. Without the leadership of our Legislators of the Year, the Municipal Health Insurance Reform Act of 2011 would not have become law. This reform act will save local taxpayers at least $100 million a year, will preserve essential services and protect the jobs of police officers, firefighters, teachers and other key municipal workers all across the state.”

The Legislators of the Year are also being recognized for their work on the fiscal 2012 state budget, which restored $65 million in local aid; for the passage of $200 million for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program, and the enactment of strong pension reform legislation, which will reduce local pension costs by $2 billion over the next 30 years.

“The MMA, on behalf of local officials across the state, is honoring these lawmakers for their leadership, contributions and commitment to providing fiscal stability to municipalities, and for championing innovative programs to address challenges facing local government,” Beckwith said. “Cities and towns are fortunate to have advocates in the Legislature who will stand with them to improve the quality of life for Massachusetts citizens and taxpayers.”
Written by MMA Publications Editor & Web Director John Ouellette