Dear Representative,

We are writing to express our appreciation for the many provisions included in the Economic Development Bill recently reported out by the House Committee on Ways and Means (H. 4789). The authorizations for critical infrastructure projects and programs in this legislation reflect a commitment to economic development in our 351 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.

We are deeply grateful to Speaker Mariano, Chair Michlewitz, Chair Parisella, Chair Finn, and so many others for their thoughtful work on this bill, and for moving it forward for debate this Thursday. H. 4789 includes a number of essential investments to help municipalities continue economic recovery efforts through infrastructure, climate resiliency, and green technology projects. With more than $3.5 billion in bonding authorizations and tax credits included in this bill, we believe these provisions can make a significant positive impact to ensure our communities are even more attractive places to live, work, play and stay. We strongly support this funding, including:

• $400 million for MassWorks grants for local infrastructure to provide much-needed and flexible assistance to move critical infrastructure projects in communities across Massachusetts
• $100 million for the Rural Development Fund to provide financial support for infrastructure improvements and community planning efforts in rural towns
• $150 million for public library building projects to assist many municipalities in updating and rehabilitating their facilities to better serve residents
• $100 million for coastal communities grants to ensure essential coastal assets are able to withstand and adapt to threats of climate change; and much more!

As you deliberate later this week, we welcome this opportunity to offer insights on many proposed amendments ahead of this week’s debate.

We respectfully ask you to support the following amendments:

Amendment #325 (Local Consultation on Municipal Priority Development Sites)
Please support and co-sponsor this amendment regarding local consultation for municipal priority development sites. Priority development sites are currently created through a lengthy, in-depth process by local officials who know their communities best. This amendment would ensure the permit regulatory office continues to seek local insight from municipal officials and regional planning agencies.

Amendment #503 (An Act to Modernize Civil Service Laws)
Please support and co-sponsor this amendment providing desperately needed reforms to the Civil Service system and modernizing many municipal public safety hiring practices. The current system does not reflect 21st century personnel management practices, and is in dire need of reform. This legislation reflects years of hard work among the Public Service Committee and a comprehensive list of stakeholders. We support this important effort to present a true compromise bill to reform Civil Service.

Amendment #390 (Remote Access for Public Bodies and Town Meetings)
Please support and co-sponsor this amendment, which would codify the many COVID-era changes to public bodies and town meetings. Importantly, this amendment would make permanent the existing flexibility for municipalities to determine the space and modality for the thousands of public boards and commissions that meet regularly to perform essential local government functions.

Amendment #498 (Public Safety and Municipal Building Authority)
Please support and co-sponsor this amendment, which would establish a new independent state authority, as well as a separate municipal and public safety building fund, to assist municipalities with the construction/rehabilitation of public safety or municipal buildings. We support this framework as a way to help cities and towns address critical, unmet infrastructure needs.

Amendment #42 (Paint Recycling)
Please support and co-sponsor this amendment requiring paint manufacturers to establish a postconsumer paint stewardship program to reduce the generation of postconsumer paint, promote its reuse and recycling, and manage its waste stream using environmentally sound management practices.

Amendment #338 (Returning Liquor License Control to Municipalities)
Please support and co-sponsor this amendment, which would lift statutory liquor license caps, allowing a municipality, at local discretion, to create a plan for the number of liquor licenses that it deems appropriate.

Further, we respectfully ask you to oppose Amendment #621:
Amendment #621 (Clarifying Retroactivity)
Please oppose this amendment, which would allow the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) to extend cannabis licenses beyond their termination date while upending established municipal authority. Given the inept, problematic, and delayed rulemaking process the CCC has recently engaged in, extending licenses beyond their given expiration would create an unreliable landscape for both host communities and licensees, further dragging the industry into uncertainty. We strongly oppose providing expanded power to this troubled agency.

Thank you for your attention to the municipal perspective on these issues and for your ongoing support of cities and towns. Local officials are eager to implement many of these programs on projects to revitalize and develop their communities, attracting new talent and visitors to the state while supporting the needs of our residents. The economic development investments proposed in this bill will help enrich our communities and ensure our cities and towns remain the best place to live.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me, MMA Senior Executive and Legislative Director Dave Koffman, at, or Legislative Analyst Ali DiMatteo, at, at any time.


Adam Chapdelaine
MMA Executive Director and CEO