His Excellency Charles D. Baker
Governor of the Commonwealth
State House, Boston

Delivered Electronically

Dear Governor Baker,

On behalf of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association is writing to express our deep appreciation for the proposals in your most recent fiscal 2022 supplemental budget, which you filed with the Legislature on Friday, February 18th.

In particular, we thank you for your very welcome proposals to provide a supplemental allocation of $100 million for the repair and maintenance of municipal roads through the Chapter 90 program, a $100 million allocation to cities and towns to address winter storm damage to municipal roadways, and $150 million to expand the Municipal Vulnerability Program and related investments to address the local impacts of climate change.

As you know, Chapter 90 funding is a top priority for municipal leaders in every part of Massachusetts. Since 2012, inflation has reduced the purchasing power of the underlying $200 million bond program by more than 40%, limiting the scope of municipal road repairs. MMA estimates that it would cost cities and towns $600 million a year to get and keep our 30,000 miles of local roadways into a state of good repair. With the start of the construction season fast approaching, local leaders are positioned to put this new $100 million cash allocation to work immediately. We look forward to partnering with you and the Legislature for a permanent increase in Chapter 90 to the $300 million level, and in the meantime applaud your action to provide an immediate infusion of funds to the program.

Further, the $100 million program for winter road repairs is perfectly timed, as the increasingly volatile winter weather New England has experienced in recent years is taking its toll on our roadways. Again, cities and towns will put these funds to immediate use, which will improve the quality of our roads, enhance public safety, and serve as a vital bridge to longer-term rebuilding projects and pavement management programs.

Finally, as you know, the MMA and local leaders are close allies with you in the effort to expand and invest more resources in the Municipal Vulnerability Program. Whether the source of revenue is the general appropriations act, the American Rescue Plan Act, or supplemental appropriations made possible by surplus state revenues, MVP-eligible projects will provide long-term benefits in communities across the state. Your $150 million proposal is most welcome, as these grants will enhance our state’s resilience to the harsh impacts of climate change.

This is a critical time for cities and towns, our residents, and our economy. You and Lieutenant Governor Polito have been outstanding partners for communities across the Commonwealth every single day during the past seven years, and we are deeply grateful for your leadership.

We look forward to working with you to urge the Legislature to move quickly to enact these key priorities so that every region of the state has the resources and support to maintain our roadways and protect our environmentally sensitive infrastructure.

We thank you very much for your support, dedication and commitment to the cities and towns of Massachusetts.


Geoffrey C. Beckwith
Executive Director & CEO

cc: The Honorable Karyn Polito, Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth
The Honorable Ronald Mariano, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Karen Spilka, Senate President
The Honorable Aaron Michlewitz, Chair, House Ways & Means Committee
The Honorable Michael J. Rodrigues, Chair, Senate Ways & Means Committee
Secretary Michael J. Heffernan, Executive Office for Administration & Finance