MMA policy committees have busy fall ahead

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The five MMA policy committees are all set for a full schedule of meetings this fall to discuss municipal issues that are expected to come before the Legislature over the next several months and to prepare policy proposals for the MMA’s Annual Business Meeting in January. Policy committees will also be reviewing and updating the municipal “best practices” developed over the past two years and preparing a new third edition.
 
The Legislature has not announced a list of bills for debate in the fall, but there has been a lot of discussion on several major public policy issues that affect cities and towns, including health care finance, land use legislation, and state and local taxes.
 
The MMA Policy Committee on Personnel and Labor Relations is expected to continue discussions about health care cost containment proposals, and the Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration will continue to review the several bills related to planning, zoning and housing development.
 
The MMA Fiscal Policy Committee will continue meeting with experts and discussing the proposed constitutional amendment headed to the 2018 state ballot that would impose a surtax on incomes over $1 million, to be dedicated to paying for education and transportation programs.
 
The Policy Committee on Energy and the Environment will hear presentations on energy legislation and regulation and take up policy development on climate change.
 
The Legislature is expected to wrap up formal sessions this year by Nov. 15 and to end its sessions next year by July 31.
 
In September and October, policy committee members will develop resolutions and policy recommendations to bring to the MMA Annual Business Meeting that will be part of the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 19-20, 2018, in Boston. The committee recommendations will first be presented to the MMA Board of Directors at its November meeting for discussion and approval.
 
Last year, MMA policy committees recommended a series of municipal positions on local aid, local taxing authority, long-term liabilities and sustainability, and planning and zoning reform. The proposals were approved by the Board of Directors and the Annual Business Meeting.
 
The following are the five MMA policy committees along with the MMA staff member for each:
 
• Fiscal Policy Committee: John Robertson, Legislative Director
 
• Policy Committee on Energy and the Environment: Victoria Sclafani, Legislative Analyst
 
• Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration: David Lakeman, Legislative Analyst
 
• Policy Committee on Personnel and Labor Relations: Nick Downing, Senior Legislative Analyst
 
• Policy Committee on Public Works, Transportation and Public Utilities: Victoria Sclafani, Legislative Analyst