The new, two-year legislative session that begins this month brings a number of changes: new legislators to replace those who retired, stepped down or weren’t re-elected, new ranking members, new chairs of the House and Senate Ways and Means committees, and a new Senate president.

The MMA’s Legislative Division will be focused on building relationships with legislators and staff, and advocating for the MMA’s legislative priorities for the 2019-2020 legislative session: adequate funding for public education and the Chapter 90 road program, housing and zoning issues, and other post-employment benefit (OPEB) reform.

The MMA also anticipates working on a number of issues that will appear through refiled or new legislation, such as marijuana, health care, union agency fees, transportation funding, water infrastructure, and recycling, to name a few.

While advocacy remains our focus, connecting with members is a priority for the Legislative Division. Throughout October, our five-member team crisscrossed the state to host Legislative Breakfast Meetings and to meet with members one-on-one. As a team, we value this outreach because it allows us to align our legislative advocacy with the main concerns of our members and to visit our members in their communities, outside of formal meetings and events.

The team is led by Legislative Director John Robertson, who directs the MMA’s policies and objectives involving government affairs. He leads the analysis of proposed legislative actions, staffs the MMA Fiscal Policy Committee, determines the potential impact of laws and regulations on municipalities, and has nurtured and maintained relationships with government and agency officials at all levels, through which he protects municipal interests.

Senior Legislative Analysts Lisa Adams and Brittney Franklin, and Legislative Analyst Ariela Lovett, manage legislative portfolios covering a range of policy topics, including fiscal affairs, energy, the environment, municipal and regional administration, personnel and labor relations, public works, transportation and public utilities.

Research and Administrative Assistant Alandra Champion supports the division, providing data and analysis needed to advocate effectively.

The division lobbies legislators and the governor on behalf of cities and towns, staffs policy committees, attends outside agency meetings, testifies at legislative committee hearings, and drafts legislation, best practices, resolutions, policy proposals, and letters to legislators and to the administration. In short, the division’s time is divided among policy analysis, member outreach and advocacy.

The MMA will be staffing its policy committees in January. Those interested in serving on a committee are asked to fill out the application form on the MMA website by Jan. 25.

The Legislative Division encourages members to reach out. We answer questions on pending legislation, laws and regulations, and are available to meet with members one-on-one.

To reach staff of the MMA Legislative Division, call 617-426-7272 or send an email to jrobertson@mma.org, ladams@mma.org, bfranklin@mma.org, alovett@mma.org or achampion@mma.org.

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