The Honorable Danielle W. Gregoire, House Chair
The Honorable Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
State House, Boston

Dear Chair Gregoire, Chair Pacheco, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association is writing to urge your support for H. 2674 and S. 1853, An Act Relative to Local Impacts of Enacted Legislation, before your committee for public hearing today.

This bill would amend Chapter 29 of the Massachusetts General Laws, requiring that the Governor, at the time a law is enacted, attach a fiscal note estimating the fiscal impact of the law on the revenues and expenditures of local governments.

Legislative impact accounting would not only clarify potential regulatory compliance costs, it would also identify the implementation costs associated with state-set policy actions, which are rarely, if ever, fully accounted for and shared with municipalities in a timely manner. Over 70% of the cities and towns in Massachusetts have 19,000 or fewer residents, and 50% of our communities have fewer than 10,000 residents. Unfunded mandates of any scale can have a huge impact on these small municipalities, especially when it is not anticipated.

H. 2674 and S. 1853 would also advance the principles of good governance by giving state leaders a better understanding of how their actions directly affect local budgets and local taxpayers.

Thank you for your interest in this very important local government matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Brittney Franklin at 617-426-7272 or bfranklin@mma.org at any time.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey C. Beckwith
Executive Director & CEO