Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
In addresses to more than 1,000 local officials from across Massachusetts during the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show in Boston, Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito acknowledged the critical importance of local government and announced a new program to help the state and communities build resiliency to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Gov. Baker said his soon-to-be-filed budget would include a “modest increase” in the excise on real estate transfers to fund a “substantial and sustained investment” to protect residents, communities and infrastructure from higher seas and fiercer storms.
He said the new program would provide $75 million in fiscal 2020 – and $137 million on an annualized basis – for the Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund, which will support loans, grants and other assistance to communities. The funding would be made available to cities and towns to invest in infrastructure to protect public health, safety and property.
The governor also announced that he will be filing a third round of his treasured “weed whacking” bill – the so-called Municipal Modernization Act – to eliminate a wide range of outdated regulations and laws and help streamline municipal operations.
“And that is something that I think we’ll see some appetite for in the Legislature,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Polito announced a 2.7 percent increase in the main discretionary local aid account that would be included in the administration’s fiscal 2020 state budget bill.
She also announced that the administration would file a bond bill that day with $200 million for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program, a critical reimbursement program used by cities and towns to maintain basic infrastructure.
Polito added that the administration’s budget would include $2 million for the Community Compact best practices program and $2 million for the Efficiency and Regionalization grant program. Later this year, she said, the administration will announce a capital budget plan with $3 million for the information technology grant program.
Polito, a former selectman from Shrewsbury who serves as the administration’s liaison to local governments, has spearheaded the Community Compact Initiative, launched on Gov. Baker’s first day in office in 2015, and has visited all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns.
“I come … feeling very honored to serve with all of you,” she said. “I’m proud that we all have worked so closely together, and we have a lot of good stuff to show for it.”
She said the Community Compact program has resulted in 854 best practices across the state, and 220 communities have completed their first compacts. More than 90 communities have signed up for a second compact program.
The governor and lieutenant governor spoke during the MMA Annual Meeting’s opening session in Boston.