The Honorable Antonio F. D. Cabral, House Chair
The Honorable Nick Collins, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
State House, Boston

Delivered electronically

Dear Chair Cabral, Chair Collins, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association would like to offer strong support for two bills currently under consideration.

The MMA strongly supports H. 3102 and S. 1977, An Act Advancing Equity for Rural Communities Receiving State Grants. These companion bills would direct the Secretary of Administration and Finance to require all departments, commissions, boards, divisions and other agencies administering grant programs to give preference to rural communities, especially if those funds are intended to be used to share or regionalize services. The bills would also require the Secretary to direct these agencies to identify and inform rural communities about discretionary grant opportunities to regionalize or otherwise share services.

This legislation is especially needed since rural communities are often unable to compete for grant funding as compared to their larger municipal counterparts, even when formula funding is taken into account. These bills also would strongly complement the efforts of the state’s new Director of Rural Affairs and help ensure that rural communities are not disadvantaged by formula funding and other factors in state assistance.

By incentivizing regionalization and shared services in rural areas, H. 3102 and S. 1977 would assist communities in achieving economies of scale and providing greater levels of essential municipal services.

The MMA also supports S. 2069, An Act Providing for Alternative Delivery of Infrastructure Projects. This bill would allow for greater private sector participation in the financing and delivery of infrastructure projects. As municipalities see rising infrastructure needs coupled with declining resources and soaring costs, allowing for greater private sector participation can be an important tool for public agencies to add innovative expertise and local capital into many desperately-needed municipal projects.

S. 2069 would create parameters and terms for public-private partnerships and ensure public agencies maintain control and oversight over these agreements while also mitigating legal risks. By creating these parameters, municipalities can ensure the public interest is always central and paramount in these partnership terms.

We respectfully urge the Committee to favorably report out H. 3102, S. 1977, and S. 2069. These bills will help ensure municipalities are on equal footing while incentivizing additional investments and regionalization efforts.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Legislative Analyst Ali DiMatteo, at at any time. We are grateful for your support of local government in the Commonwealth and deeply appreciate your consideration of the municipal perspective on these important issues.


Adam Chapdelaine
MMA Executive Director and CEO