Category Archives: State

AG Approved the SBC Bylaw

Email from the Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler this afternoon –

Atty Gen Approved the SBC Bylaw –


THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS DIVISION
10 MECHANIC STREET, SUITE 301
WORCESTER, MA 01608
(508) 792-7600
(508) 795-1991 fax
www.mass.gov/ago
October 13, 2022
Marion Bonoldi, Town Clerk
Town of Medfield
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052
Re: Medfield Annual Town Meeting of May 2, 2022 -- Case # 10545
Warrant Articles # 16 and 17 (Zoning)
Warrant Articles # 14 and 20 (General)
Dear Ms. Bonoldi:
Article 14 - We approve Article 14 from the May 2, 2022 Medfield Annual Town
Meeting.
Article 16 - We will issue our decision on Article 16 on or before our deadline of
November 16, 2022 (extended deadline by agreement with Town Counsel as authorized by G.L.
c. 40, § 32).1
Note: Pursuant to G.L. c. 40, § 32, neither general nor zoning by-laws take effect unless the Town
has first satisfied the posting/publishing requirements of that statute. Once this statutory
duty is fulfilled, (1) general by-laws and amendments take effect on the date these posting
and publishing requirements are satisfied unless a later effective date is prescribed in the
by-law, and (2) zoning by-laws and amendments are deemed to have taken effect from the
date they were approved by the Town Meeting, unless a later effective date is prescribed in
the by-law.
Very truly yours,
MAURA HEALEY
ATTORNEY GENERAL
Nicole B. Caprioli
By: Nicole B. Caprioli
Assistant Attorney General
Municipal Law Unit
10 Mechanic Street, Suite 301
Worcester, MA 01608
cc: Town Counsel Mark Cerel
1
In a decision issued October 1, 2022, we approved Articles 17 and 20.Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler

State 62F tax refunds likely to be proportional to what you paid in

From the State House News Service today –


Budget Chief: Tax Relief Expected In “Proportion Paid In”
Heffernan Says Relief Timeline Is “As Quickly As Possible”


Chris Lisinski
9/14/22 10:58 AM

SEPT. 14, 2022…..Massachusetts taxpayers struggling with sky-high inflation should expect to get their chunk of a nearly $3 billion state surplus pot “in the proportion that they paid in,” a top Baker administration official said Tuesday.

However, details about when and how money will flow back to Bay Staters remain unclear one week before the Sept. 20 deadline for Auditor Suzanne Bump to certify the Baker administration’s estimate of $2.94 billion in excess tax revenue that must be returned under the 1986 voter-approved law known as Chapter 62F.

Addressing municipal officials at a meeting, Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan did not shed any light Tuesday on whether the relief would take the form of credits, rebates or something else.

Drought now Level 3-Critical – We are told to stop watering!

From: Burney, Danielle (EEA)
Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2022 3:03 PM
Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Drought Conditions Worsen in CT River Valley, Southeast, and Cape Cod Regions

Drought Conditions Worsen in CT River Valley, Southeast, and Cape Cod Regions

Public is Asked to Continue to Practice Water Conservation Methods

BOSTON —  Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card today declared the Connecticut River Valley and Southeast Regions will join the Northeast and Central Regions as a Level 3-Critical Drought. The Cape Cod Region will elevate to a Level 2-Significant Drought, and the Islands and Western Regions will remain at a Level 1-Mild Drought. As outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, a Level-3 Critical Drought and a Level 2-Significant Drought calls for the convening of an inter-agency Mission Group, which has already began to meet, to more closely coordinate on drought assessments, impacts, and response within the government. Additionally, a Level 1-Mild Drought recommends detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance to the affected municipalities.

“With the majority of the state now experiencing a Level-3-Critical Drought, it is incredibly important that we all practice water conservation and adhere to local requirements and recommendations in order avoid over stressing our water resources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Efforts to minimize water usage now will help our water systems to rebound more quickly, and ensure that essential public health, safety and environmental needs continue to be met.”

“The continued dry, hot weather has increased drought-related hazards for much of Massachusetts including the risk for fires,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Acting Director Dawn Brantley. “We need the public to be especially careful during this time by adhering to local water use restrictions, and exercising caution around any outdoor activities that increase the risk of brush and forest fires such as barbecues, campfires, and safe disposal of smoking materials.”

The month of July 2022 experienced minimal precipitation and high temperatures throughout the state. Rainfall was the lowest across eastern Massachusetts, particularly within Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard reporting less than an inch of rain, less than 50% of normal precipitation. Within eastern Massachusetts, rainfall totals ranked within the top 15 driest Julys on record with Boston and the Blue Hills experiencing the 4th driest. However, slightly higher rainfall totals occurred across much of central and western Massachusetts, ranging from 50 to 100 percent of normal, as well as on Nantucket. Totals ranged mostly between two and four inches, while some locations in the Springfield area and southern Berkshire County experienced higher totals of four to five inches.

Additionally, the Commonwealth is also experiencing decreasing levels in some reservoirs, dry streambeds, ponding, and diminished extent of streams in many watersheds leading to lack of flow, increased turbidity, higher water temperature, and increase in growth of plants and algae in the water. Groundwater, which is a slow reacting index, is starting to be impacted in many regions. Caution is also advised as fire activity has increased across the state as drought conditions have set in, and wildfires in remote areas with delayed response are now burning deep into the organic soil layers. Drought induced fire behavior can result in suppression challenges for fire resources and result in extended incidents so residents are asked to exercise caution while working with open flames, and to completely drown all campfires out cold.

The agricultural sector continues to also experience drought impacts, such as some depletion of water sources, and production acreage and are irrigating crops on a more consistent basis due to current precipitation deficits, high temperatures, and low soil moisture. Consumers are encouraged to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products at local farm stands and retail stores throughout the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) water supply system is not experiencing drought conditions, as defined within its individual plan. Private wells, local streams, wetlands, vernal pools, and other water-dependent habitats located within MWRA-serviced areas are being impacted by drought conditions while water quality in ponds can deteriorate due to lowering of levels and stagnation.

Below are recommendations for communities and individuals living and working within a Level 3 – Critical Drought, Level 2 – Significant Drought and Level 1 – Mild Drought region, including those utilizing a private well. Residents and businesses are also asked to check with their local water system in case more stringent watering restrictions are in place.

For Regions in Level 3 – Critical Drought

Residents and Businesses:

  • Minimize overall water use.
  • Stop all non-essential outdoor watering.


Immediate Steps for Communities:

  • Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought; Level 3 restriction calls for a ban on all nonessential outdoor water use.
  • Provide timely information on the drought and on water conservation tips to local residents and businesses.
  • Enforce water use restrictions with increasingly stringent penalties.
  • Strongly discourage or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
  • Establish or enhance water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
  • Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
  • Prepare to activate emergency inter-connections for water supply.
  • Develop or refine your local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

For Regions in Level 2 – Significant Drought

Residents and Businesses:

  • Minimize overall water use;
  • Limit outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, to be used only after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m.
  • Follow local water use restrictions, if more stringent.

Immediate Steps for Communities:

  • Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought; Level 2 restriction calls for limiting outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, to be used only after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m. If local restrictions are more stringent, continue to keep them in place during the course of the drought.
  • Limit or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; watering during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
  • Establish water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
  • Provide timely information to local residents and businesses.
  • Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
  • Check emergency inter-connections for water supply.
  • Develop or refine your local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

For Regions in Level 1 – Mild Drought

Residents and Businesses:

  • Toilets, faucets and showers are more than 60% of indoor use.  Make sure yours are WaterSense efficient.
  • Limit outdoor watering to one day a week (only from 5:00 pm – 9:00 am), or less frequently if required by your water supplier

Immediate Steps for Communities:

  • Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought.
  • Limit or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; watering during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
  • Establish water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.
     

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
  • Provide timely information to local residents and businesses.
  • Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
  • Check emergency inter-connections for water supply.
  • Develop a local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

Practicing water conservation now will greatly help reduce water use to ensure essential needs, such as drinking water and fire protection, are being met, habitats have enough water to support their natural functions, and to sustain the Commonwealth’s water supplies in the long-term. State agencies will continue to monitor and assess current conditions and any associated environmental and agricultural impacts, coordinate any needed dissemination of information to the public, and help state, federal and local agencies prepare additional responses that may be needed in the future. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will continue to provide technical assistance to communities on managing systems, including emergency connections and water supplies assistance.

“Under current drought conditions, it is critically important that all residents heed their water suppliers’ requests to cut back on nonessential water use,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Cutting back on outdoor water use and following local conservation requirements will help sustain our water sources until precipitation rates can rebound.”

The Drought Management Task Force will meet again on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, at 10:00AM. For further information on water conservation and what residents can do, please visit EEA’s drought page and water conservation page. To get the most up-to-date information on the drought indices, go to the state’s drought dashboard page.

Gov signs budget – town looks to get $267K more this year from state

See the town Cherry Sheet for FY2023 here – https://dlsgateway.dor.state.ma.us/reports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=CherrySheets.CSbyProgMunis.MuniBudgFinal

FY2022 we got $8,116,943 from the state

FY2023 we will get $8,384,126, or $267,183 more (a 3.2% increase).

This alert below came this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

Governor Signs FY23 Budget  

Supports Key Municipal Aid and School Funding   

And Offers Amendment to Important Retiree COLA Language   

Please Thank Your Legislators and Ask Them to Accept  the Governor’s Amended COLA Language  
July 28, 2022  

Dear Osler L. Peterson,  

This morning, Governor Baker signed a $52.7 billion budget, including each of the increases in municipal and school aid accounts for which the MMA has prioritized throughout the process.   

The Governor also signed 153 of 194 of the outside sections of the budget and has returned a key section with an amendment for the Legislature’s consideration.   

As enacted by the Legislature, Outside Section 134 would allow retirement boards that have accepted Section 103 of Chapter 32 to award a cost-of-living-adjustment of up to 5% to retirees, rather than the current limit of up to 3%.   

In response to concerns voiced by the MMA, specifically related to the lack of decision-making authority on a potentially large expense for municipal budgets, the Governor returned this section with amended language (for the full language, see Attachment S, Returned with Amendments, Section 134). The amended language provides that if a local or regional retirement board chooses to adopt this provision, municipalities would have the authority to accept or reject its decision. There is further clarifying language regarding situations that involve a county retirement board with more than one participating municipality. For those regional systems, 2/3rds of the participating municipalities would need to approve the higher COLA. In addition, the Governor’s amended language would provide important clarification that the potential 3-5% increase would apply only on the approved base, not the entire pension. This would eliminate some lack of clarity in the current language. The Governor’s amendments would provide critical municipal oversight for this costly provision.    

The provision now returns to the Legislature, which can accept the Governor’s proposed amendment, insist on its original language, or propose different language. If the Legislature insists on its own language, or proposes different language, the provision would return to the Governor, who would have 10 days to sign or veto the provision. With formal legislative sessions ending on July 31, a veto after that date would kill the provision, an outcome that is unlikely, since the Governor is likely to support a 5% COLA for state retirees.

Please contact your legislators and ask them to accept the Governor’s amendments to Section 134 (via Attachment S).  

Please also be sure to thank your legislators again for the important and significant increases in key accounts for municipal and school funding, all of which were included in the budget signed by the Governor:  

$63 million (5.4%) increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, for a total of $1.23B, which is $31.5 million more than originally proposed Nearly $6B for Chapter 70 School Aid, Including doubling the increase for minimum aid districts from $30 per pupil to $60 per pupil

$440M for Special Education Circuit Breaker, an increase of $67M from FY22

$5.5M for Rural School Aid

$45M for PILOT for state-owned land, a 29% increase from FY22

$20M transfer from FY22 surplus for the Community Preservation Trust Fund

If you have any questions, please contact MMA Legislative Director Dave Koffman at dkoffman@mma.org or MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Jackie Lavender Bird at jlavenderbird@mma.org.  

Please Call Your Legislators Today to  Thank Them for their Support of Key Local Accounts and Ask Them  to Accept the Governor’s Proposed Language Regarding the Retiree COLA Provision   

Thank You!!
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Higher Logic

MMA on state budget – more for Medfield

Email today from the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

LEGISLATURE SET TO APPROVE $52.7B FY23 BUDGET,
WITH MAJOR INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL & SCHOOL AID

• LEGISLATURE’S BUDGET INCREASES UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID BY $63M (5.4%) – A WIN FOR CITIES AND TOWNS!
• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $485.2M ABOVE FY22, FUNDING THE STUDENT OPPORTUNITY ACT ON ITS ORIGINAL (PRE-COVID) SCHEDULE
• DOUBLES NEW FUNDING TO MINIMUM AID DISTRICTS TO $60 PER STUDENT
• INCREASES CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS BY $89.2M
• INCLUDES $441M TO FUND THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER
• ADDS $10M TO PILOT, BRINGING THE PROGRAM TO $45M
• INCLUDES $5.5M FOR RURAL SCHOOL AID
• INCLUDES $82.1M FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION
• ADDS $20M TO STATE’S COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT MATCH

OTHER BREAKING NEWS: REMOTE MEETING EXTENSION BILL SIGNED INTO LAW BY LT. GOV. POLITO ON SATURDAY – Cities and towns now retain the option to hold public meetings remotely through March 31, 2023, following the same guidelines that have been in place since the COVID public health emergency was first declared. With Gov. Baker out of state over the weekend, Lt. Gov. Polito (as Acting Governor) signed the bill, which took effect immediately. MMA pushed hard for this extension, and successfully advocated against attempted amendments that would have burdened communities with unfunded mandates.

July 18, 2022

Dear Osler L. Peterson,

Last night, Sunday, July 17, the fiscal 2023 state budget conference committee released H. 5050, the House-Senate compromise budget bill. The House and Senate have scheduled formal sessions for Monday, July 18, and both chambers are expected to pass the measure at that time. The Governor will then have 10 days to approve the spending appropriations and proposed law changes, veto, or return any items with amendments. That will give lawmakers several days to consider overriding any vetoes before formal sessions end on July 31.

Following months of state tax collections exceeding expectations, the $52.7 billion fiscal year 2023 state budget plan reflects an agreement between Senate and House leaders to increase tax collection estimates for fiscal year 2023 by $2.66 billion, with $1.9 billion available for the general budget after statutorily required transfers. As a result, all key local aid accounts received the higher funding levels in areas where the Senate and House needed to resolve differences.

In a major win for cities and towns, the Legislature’s budget bill increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $63 million (5.4%), a major priority pushed by MMA throughout the budget deliberations. This will double the municipal aid increase originally proposed by the Governor in January. In addition, the budget would also significantly increase Chapter 70 school aid over fiscal year 2022, bringing the total to nearly $6 billion. The budget includes a $67 million increase for Special Education Circuit Breaker, an additional $89 million for Charter School Mitigation payments, and an increase of $10 million for Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes for state-owned land (PILOT).

You can find the Chapter 70 and UGGA amounts for your community in Section 3 of H. 5050, beginning on page 302 of the downloadable PDF (see the link below this line).

Click Here for a Link to the Legislature’s Budget

Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA)
In a major win for local government, the conference committee report includes $1.23 billion for Unrestricted General Government Aid (line item 1233-2350 and section 3), an increase of $63 million, or 5.4%, over the fiscal 2022 level of funding, which is double the $31.5 million increase originally proposed by the Governor in January. Increasing UGGA has been a key MMA priority throughout the process. With property taxes tightly capped by Proposition 2½, cities and towns rely on state revenue sharing to provide municipal and school services, ensure safe streets and neighborhoods, and maintain vital infrastructure. These services are fundamental to our state’s economic recovery, success and competitiveness. Unrestricted General Government Aid is the revenue sharing program that cities and towns receive to fund essential municipal services.

Chapter 70
The Legislature’s budget would fund Chapter 70 aid at nearly $6 billion, representing a commitment to fund the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) according to the original intended schedule, a solid achievement given the initial disruption caused by COVID’s economic disruption. In addition to keeping the commitment to fund the SOA, the Legislature recognized the challenges facing 135 “minimum aid” districts that would have received only a $30 per student increase over the previous year under the budget filed by the Governor in January. MMA applauds the Legislature for doubling the minimum aid increase to $60 per student.

Special Education Circuit Breaker
H. 5050 provides $441 million for Special Education Circuit Breaker (7061-0012), which reimburses school districts for the high cost of educating students with disabilities. This amount reflects an increase of $67 million over the current fiscal year. The Student Opportunity Act expanded the circuit breaker by including out-of-district transportation, to be phased in over three years. The fiscal 2023 budget reflects years two and three of the schedule in the Student Opportunity Act, achieving full funding one year ahead of schedule.

Charter School Mitigation Payments
To address charter school mitigation payments, H. 5050 includes $243 million for charter school mitigation payments (7061-9010), which represents an increase of $89.2 million over the current fiscal year. This funds the state’s statutory obligation for charter school mitigation payments as outlined in the Student Opportunity Act, pushing the state to phase in the plan by fiscal 2023, a full year ahead of schedule.

School Transportation
The Legislature’s budget level funds regional school transportation at $82.1 million, representing a reimbursement rate of 85% of DESE’s estimated costs for FY23. H. 5050 fully funds the McKinney-Vento account for transportation of homeless students at $22.9 million, and level funds out-of-district vocational transportation at $250,000.

PILOT Funding
Recognizing the importance of Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land, H. 5050 increases the line item to $45 million (a $10 million increase over fiscal year 2022). This has been a key priority for many years. Low PILOT funding has created a significant hardship for smaller communities with large amounts of state-owned property, and this 29% increase is very welcome news, and will provide an important boost.

Rural School Aid
Rural School Aid (7061-9813) is funded at $5.5 million in H. 5050, providing rural school assistance to eligible towns and regional school districts. These grants will help schools facing the challenge of declining enrollment to identify ways to form regional school districts or regionalize certain school services to create efficiencies.

Outside Section – Retiree COLA Provision
Section 134 of the budget would allow retirement boards that have accepted Section 103 of Chapter 32 to award a cost-of-living-adjustment of up to 5% to retirees, rather than the current limit of up to 3%. While MMA appreciates the concern driving this provision, we opposed this section due to the potential negative impact on unfunded pension liabilities. Most communities in the state participate in regional pension systems, and do not have direct decision-making authority regarding adoption of a higher COLA. Adoption of a higher COLA, even if limited to one year, would permanently increase the pension obligations for all participating communities, requiring increased annual appropriations to fund the cost. We encourage local officials to contact their retirement boards to discuss the financial implications of adopting a higher COLA for fiscal 2023.

Outside Section – Community Preservation Act
Section 174 of H. 5050 directs the comptroller to transfer $20 million of the fiscal year 2022 budget surplus to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund. This provision would increase the state’s match from an estimated 35% to 43%, approximately the same state match percentage as fiscal year 2022. The number of CPA communities has reached 187, and this budget item will benefit cities and towns that have adopted higher local property taxes to address environmental and housing challenges.

THE LEGISLATURE’S BUDGET IS GOOD NEWS FOR CITIES AND TOWNS
Please call your Representatives and Senators and thank them for the important and much-appreciated municipal and school investments that are included in the Legislature’s budget bill. This has been a tumultuous time for state and municipal finances, and the Legislature is advancing a spending plan that invests in communities, which is much appreciated.

If you have any questions or need additional information on any municipal aid priority, please contact MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Jackie Lavender Bird at 617-426-7272 ext. 123 or jlavenderbird@mma.org.

Massachusetts Municipal Association
3 Center Plaza
Suite 610
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website

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Zoom municipal meeting to continue

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association today –

Legislature Passes Remote Meeting Extension Through March 31, 2023  

On Thursday afternoon, the House and Senate passed legislation (S. 3007) extending key pandemic-era accommodations, including remote meeting authorizations, to March 31, 2023.

Once the Governor signs the bill, cities and towns will retain the option to hold public meetings remotely, following the same guidelines that have been in place since the COVID public health emergency was first declared in March of 2020.  

Back in May, a remote meeting extension was included in the final FY23 Senate Budget as an outside section, but this language was advanced by the Senate as a standalone bill last week with the July 15th expiration approaching and the final budget still tied up in negotiations. The House later passed its own version of the bill, including language that would have created a permanent mandate for remote access to all public meetings aside from those in executive session, with a provision requiring remote participation by the public if public participation is allowed or required at the meeting. This would have gone into effect on April 1, 2023.  

The MMA worked with our members and stakeholders across the Commonwealth to make it clear to the Legislature that despite the good intentions behind H. 4991, such an unfunded mandate would have presented unworkable financial, technological, logistical, and practical challenges for cities and towns.  

The MMA is pleased the Legislature took these concerns very seriously and removed this unfunded mandate from the bill, extending current remote meeting options through March 31st of next year. The MMA will continue to push for a permanent solution that gives municipalities the necessary flexibility and funding they will need to expand participation and engagement through remote and hybrid meetings.   The bill is now on the Governor’s desk awaiting action, and will go into effect immediately once signed. Communities with public meetings scheduled today or early next week are encouraged to consult with their municipal legal counsel on the best course of action.  

Please thank your Representatives and Senators for extending the remote meeting options, and for recognizing the challenges that would have been created with an unworkable mandate.  
twitter linkedin   Massachusetts Municipal Association 3 Center Plaza Suite 610 Boston, MA 02108 (617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website       Unsubscribe from MMA Legislative Alert Emails  
Higher Logic

Cherry sheet budget #s – Senate’s #s yet to come

FY2023 Preliminary Cherry Sheet Estimates
All Municipalities

House budget proposals give town only 2.7% & 2.3% bumps

Email from Rep. Garlick to Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler re House budget numbers for Town of Medfield –

From: Garlick, Denise – Rep. (HOU) <Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov> Date: Wed, Apr 13, 2022 at 4:49 PM Subject: Medfield Local Aid Update in House Ways and Means Budget To: Kristine Trierweiler <ktrierweiler@medfield.net>

Dear Kristine,

Today, I was proud to join Speaker Ron Mariano and Chairman Aaron Michlewitz to release the House Ways and Means Committee budget recommendations. I just wanted to share with you the preliminary local aid numbers for the town of Medfield:

Unrestricted Local Aid: $1,636,170

Increase of $43,015 (2.7%) over FY22

 

Chapter 70 Funding: $6,507,474

Increase of $145,740 (2.3%) over FY22

  The next step in the process is to debate the budget before the entire House of Representatives. We plan to do this the week of April 25. It is during this time I will advocate for Medfield-specific priorities. I will follow up after the House budget process is finalized with the final numbers for FY23 as well as next steps.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Denise

 Denise C. Garlick

State Representative

13th Norfolk District: Needham, Dover and Medfield* (precinct 1 and 2)

Chair: Committee on Bills in Third Reading

State House Room 448

Boston, Massachusetts 02133

617-722-2582

Denise.Garlick@MAHouse.gov

 

MMA on the state budget – more should be due towns

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this afternoon –

Please Urge Your Legislators to Support Key Local Government Priorities for Fiscal Year 2023  

Please Call Your Representatives and Senators Today and Ask Them To:  

• Increase UGGA by 7.3%, not 2.7%
• Increase Chapter 70 Aid Minimum Aid to $100/student
• Fully Fund School Transportation Accounts
• Fully Fund PILOT
• Pass a Multi-year $300M Chapter 90 Bond Bill  

Increase Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by 7.3%

Please ask your legislators to provide a strong commitment to revenue sharing by increasing Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by 7.3%, or $85.3 million, to bring the account up to $1.253 billion in FY23. State tax collections in FY23 are projected to grow by 7.3% above the revenue base that was used in the FY22 budget that the Legislature adopted last July. The budget filed by the Governor (House 2) only offers a far-too-low 2.7% increase, and does not reflect full revenue sharing.   Between FY15 and FY20, the state’s revenue-sharing calculation worked well, providing adequate and dependable increases for UGGA that kept pace with state revenue growth – UGGA and state revenues each increased by 19% over these years. But during the past two years, the state’s revenue forecasts have been far lower than actual collections, and this threatens to leave cities and towns behind. State tax revenues have grown by 22% in FY21 and 22, but UGGA has only increased by 3.5%.   By tying UGGA increases to the growth from the FY22 enacted budget to January’s FY23 revenue forecast, this adjustment could be made and the UGGA account would increase by a total of $85.3 million. This would more adequately reflect the last two years of unprecedented state revenue growth, while acknowledging that future year tax revenues may return to more modest growth patterns.   UGGA provides essential funding for municipalities, allowing communities to deliver core services to residents and businesses, while mitigating further overreliance on the property tax. As you know, discretionary local aid suffered disproportionately large cuts during the Great Recession, and is still nearly $150 million below fiscal 2008 levels, without adjusting for inflation.

For FY23, the MMA requests an 7.3% increase in UGGA funding levels, to a new total of $1.253 billion.  

Click Here to See the Impact that Adequately Funding UGGA with a 7.3% Increase Would Have on your City or Town  

Increase Chapter 70 minimum aid to $100 per student Please thank your legislators for their commitment to fund Chapter 70 School Aid and fulfill the promises made in the Student Opportunity Act. Because this reflects the implementation of the SOA’s foundation budget enhancements, the majority of the new funding in House 2 would go to expansion of the foundation budget, adding weight for low-income students, English Language Learners, special education costs, and school employee health benefits. Unfortunately, 135 of 318 operating districts (42%) would receive only the minimum $30 per-student increase in the Student Opportunity Act, providing Chapter 70 increases of 1% or less, far below inflation. These 135 districts would receive a total of $9.3 million in new aid, while the other districts would receive $475 million more.

Please ask your legislators to increase minimum aid to $100 per student to ensure that all districts can at least keep pace with inflation and maintain their school services.   Fully Fund School Transportation Accounts (various line items)

In mid-March, DESE will release the FY23 projected costs associated with school transportation. We know that the Governor’s budget would cut regional transportation reimbursements below FY22 levels and would significantly underfund out-of-district vocational transportation. Please ask the Legislature to use DESE’s projections when published, to fully fund these key accounts, as well as the McKinney-Vento account for transporting homeless students.

Please ask your legislators for full funding of all school transportation accounts.  

Fully Fund PILOT

MMA supports full funding of the Commonwealth’s obligations to the program for payments in lieu of taxes for state-owned land (PILOT). The House 2 proposal would level fund this account at $35 million. A report completed by the state auditor in December 2020 found that this account has not met the state’s obligation in 20 years, and that the funding for fiscal 2020 should have been $45 million.   This is a particularly important program for the cities and towns that host and provide municipal services to state facilities that are exempt from the local property tax, and we applaud the Legislature’s fiscal 2022 increase, which initiated a path to phasing-in full funding. Unfortunately, H. 2 would stall that progress.  

Please ask your legislators to make an important investment in the PILOT program and continue the commitment to full funding.

When discussing the details, please ask them to support the auditor’s recommendation to fully fund this account based on the aggregate tax method, and ask for a “hold harmless” provision to protect municipalities with reduced land values and PILOT reimbursements.  

Pass a Multi-year $300M Chapter 90 Bond Bill & Support Supplemental Funding

While separate from the annual budget process, Chapter 90 funding for local roads and bridges is a key priority for municipalities. Chapter 90 is a critical program for all cities and towns across the Commonwealth, and it needs both short- and long-term support. Chapter 90 allocations have been generally flat at $200 million since fiscal 2012, and the purchasing power of that funding has been substantially diminished. Since fiscal 2012, the real value of Chapter 90 funding has dropped by at least 42% due to construction inflation.   The MMA estimates that the current Chapter 90 bond program ($200 million) is far short of the more than $600 million annual investment actually needed to maintain municipal roads. This figure was most recently calculated as of fall 2021, so the number today is likely even higher due to additional inflationary pressures and higher costs of supplies and materials.  

Please ask your legislators to pass a multi-year $300 million Chapter 90 bond bill by April 1, so municipalities can efficiently plan projects and take advantage of the construction season from the start. In addition, with a rapidly-growing need and many shovel-ready projects, we are requesting a separate, one-time $100 million supplemental appropriation, which was first proposed in the Governor’s FY22 supplemental budget.  

Click here to see MMA’s detailed testimony on key municipal budget priorities for FY23 Click here to see MMA’s detailed testimony on Chapter 90  

Please Contact Your Legislators Today!   Thank You Very Much!

MBTA Communities Law requires multifamily zoning in town or we lose state grants

From the Charles River Chamber Regional Chamber enewsletter today –

At issue is that new zoning reform law — the MBTA Communities Law – that’s designed to chip away at two urgent problems: Our housing crisis and our climate crisis.

As I wrote yesterday, the new law doesn’t mandate new housing. It changes zoning codes to allow property owners to build small multi-unit homes if they choose — a process that could take years, or decades, if ever.

We’re not talking about massive apartment towers. The law is designed to encourage more townhouses, triple-deckers and carriage houses near T-stops — instead of McMansions.

Failure to rezone would make a community ineligible for certain state grants, according to draft regulations.

MBTA Communities – Cohort Designations and Capacity Calculations (Excel)

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See also the white paper done by the Boston Foundation on this legislation.