Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Honorable Walter F. Timilty, Senate Chair
The Honorable Carlos González, House Chair
Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security
State House, Boston
Dear Chair Timility, Chair González, and Distinguished Members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security:
On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, we are writing to submit comments regarding two bills that were heard at your public hearing on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
We would like to thank sponsors Senator Jo Comerford and Representative Natalie Blais for introducing bills S. 1489 and H. 3802, respectively, An Act creating a municipal and public safety building authority. These proposals would establish a new independent state authority, as well as a separate municipal and public safety building fund, to assist municipalities with the construction of or improvements to public safety or municipal office buildings. We support this framework as a way to help cities and towns address critical, unmet infrastructure needs.
With the property tax and other local revenues strictly limited by state law, municipal officials are seeking alternative ways to help offset the costs of municipal and public safety buildings. Municipal employees working within these buildings are delivering essential services each day, from critical public safety responses to holding elections. The ability to deliver these services with maximum efficiency is often hindered by the lack of modern updates, and even safety concerns, within dated infrastructure.
We are grateful to the sponsors for acknowledging this significant need and for filing these bills. We look forward to working with members of the Committee, and the Legislature as a whole, to determine the magnitude of this need across local government in the Commonwealth. This concept will be essential to setting forth a sustainable state-local partnership to modernize our municipal infrastructure and support local officials. We strongly urge the Committee to provide these companion bills with a favorable report.
Thank you for this opportunity to submit testimony on this issue, as it is of significant concern to city and town officials. If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. Please reach out to me or MMA Deputy Legislative Director Jackie Lavender Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MMA Executive Director & CEO