Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Honorable Danielle W. Gregoire, House Chair
The Honorable Nick Collins, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets
State House, Boston
Dear Chair Gregoire, Chair Collins, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,
On behalf of Massachusetts’s cities and towns, the MMA thanks you for your continued partnership in supporting the wellbeing of the Commonwealth. We extend our sincere appreciation for your ongoing commitment to ensure that our communities have the resources they need, especially in a time of tightening local budgets and ballooning costs due to inflation and other factors.
In particular, we appreciate the efforts made by the House to expand the Chapter 90 bond bill to include $150 million for various municipal grant programs, in addition to the $200 million reauthorization for Chapter 90 funding. Further, we applaud you for moving quickly to pass the $100 million Winter Recovery Assistance Program included in a supplemental budget, which will ensure that communities are able to address immediate safety needs on our roadways. As you know, the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns rely on state investments in order to responsibly steward more than 30,000 miles of Massachusetts’s roads and bridges.
Today, we write to express strong support for H. 4798, An Act relative to Massachusetts’s transportation resources and climate (MassTRAC). H. 4798 provides strategic capital investments alongside authorizations necessary to access the unprecedented funding available through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This bill is essential to unlocking opportunity for the Commonwealth and will ensure that Massachusetts is well-positioned to compete for competitive discretionary funding. By approving this bill, the Legislature will indicate that Massachusetts is committed to investing in a resilient, statewide, multi-modal transportation network that prioritizes climate change mitigation, equity, access and safety for every user.
In addition to supporting the overarching intent of this bill, the MMA supports critical funding for regional transit authorities (RTAs), the MBTA, electric vehicle charging stations, and many targeted investments that directly benefit cities and towns. In particular, we strongly support the $85 million investment in non-federally funded roads and $55 million for municipal grant programs, including Complete Streets. We also support the additions to H. 4798 from the Joint Committee on Transportation, including a $21.5 million increase for RTAs and $25 million more for grants to reduce vehicle congestion, improve air quality, and enhance transportation demand management activities.
As municipalities continue to navigate today’s challenges — the effects of climate change, increased costs and inflation, and the existing challenges from the pandemic — this legislation is essential. H. 4798 will enable rapid and extensive improvements in our transportation system, an essential element to facilitating sustainable and resilient economic recovery in all parts of the Commonwealth while ensuring our residents are safe and healthy. It is our pleasure to partner with you on this important legislation.
Please do not hesitate to have your office contact me, MMA Legislative Director Dave Koffman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or MMA Legislative Analyst Adrienne Núñez at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Our cities and towns thank you for your thoughtful attention to this important legislation and your overall dedication and support.
Geoffrey C. Beckwith
MMA Executive Director & CEO