Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday signed a $540 million supplemental budget bill that helps close the books on fiscal 2018 and provides $40 million in one-time funding for local road projects using the Chapter 90 allocation formula.
The close-out bill, which was filed by the governor in July and passed by the Legislature on Oct. 15, provides a blueprint for using unanticipated state tax collections from last year to cover budget shortfalls, some one-time expenses, and a deposit to the state’s “rainy day” fund.
State tax collections for fiscal 2018 totaled $27.8 billion and exceeded the forecast for the year by $1.1 billion. The close-out bill adds $240 million to the stabilization fund, in addition to the nearly $500 million added in June and July, bringing the total balance to about $2 billion – the highest balance since the account was drawn down during the 2007-2009 recession.
The budget law includes funds for a variety of local government accounts supported by the MMA, particularly the local road funding, which was recommended by the governor and supported by the MMA and by local public works officials through the Massachusetts Highway Association.
The law includes a $10 million contribution to the Clean Water Trust to help reduce the cost of financing local water infrastructure projects.
The Legislature added a special $10 million reserve fund to provide relief related to the natural gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, including costs to the state and cities and towns. The budget item includes language to recover the cost from the party responsible for the explosions. It also provides $5 million to help defray the cost of hosting people evacuated to Massachusetts because of hurricanes Irma and Maria late last year.
The law includes $2.5 million to cover part of the cost of implementing early voting for the upcoming statewide election on Nov. 6, including local costs determined to be an unfunded state mandate by the Office of the State Auditor.
The budget law provides up to $10 million to supplement funding for the state match paid to participating cities and towns in the Community Preservation Act program.
The Legislature included education funds recommended by the governor for targeted assistance to at-risk or underperforming schools, for a grant program for school districts to enhance safety and security measures, and for a grant program to aid districts in contracting with mental and behavioral health service providers.