The Honorable Ann-Margaret Ferrante, House Chair
The Honorable Eric P. Lesser, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies
State House, Boston

Dear Chair Ferrante, Chair Lesser, 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 S. 216, An Act Relative to Promoting Local Economic Development, which is before your committee for a public hearing today.

This bill would create a program to provide funding or other resources, such as technical assistance, to municipalities or regions that maximize opportunities for economic development planning and growth by meeting a series of criteria. These criteria would include a self-assessment of economic potential and the identification of unique strengths and assets. This bill would borrow the conceptual structure of the Green Communities program, which provides funding opportunities for municipalities that reduce energy usage and improve energy efficiency, and would be administered through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED).

The Massachusetts economy is only as strong as the economies of its cities and towns, and we appreciate your work and ongoing partnership to help realize the economic potential of all communities across the Commonwealth. Cities and towns are in the best position to identify and implement the strategies that will be most effective in building strong, vibrant and attractive local economies. Local officials should be empowered and authorized to maximize economic opportunities for their communities, and S. 216 would embrace and support this vital process.

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