The Honorable Walter F. Timilty, Senate Chair
The Honorable Carlos González, House Chair
Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security
State House, Boston

Submitted electronically

Dear Chair Timilty, Chair González, and Distinguished Members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security:

On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, we are writing to submit comments regarding two bills that will be heard at your public hearing on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.

We would like to thank sponsors Senator Joanne Comerford and Representative Natalie Blais for introducing bills S. 2457 and H. 3821, respectively, An Act creating a municipal and public safety building authority. These proposals would establish a new independent state authority, as well as a separate municipal and public safety building fund, to assist municipalities with the construction of or improvements to public safety or municipal office buildings. We support this framework as a way to help cities and towns address critical, unmet infrastructure needs.

With the property tax and other local revenues strictly limited by state law, municipal officials are seeking alternative ways to help offset the costs of public safety and municipal buildings. Municipal employees working within these buildings are delivering essential services each day, from critical public safety responses to holding elections. The ability to deliver these services with maximum efficiency is often hindered by the lack of modern updates, and even safety concerns, within dated infrastructure.

We are deeply grateful to the sponsors for acknowledging this need, and for filing these bills. We look forward to working with members of this committee, and the Legislature as a whole, to determine the magnitude of this need in municipalities across the Commonwealth. This concept will be crucial to setting forth a sustainable state-local partnership to modernize our municipal infrastructure into the future.

We appreciate this opportunity to submit testimony on this issue, as it is of significant concern to municipal officials. If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your office may reach out to me or MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Jackie Lavender Bird at at any time.

Thank you very much.


Geoffrey C. Beckwith
MMA Executive Director & CEO