Help us support smart growth and regional collaboration in the budget by contacting your state senator today.
Last week, the Senate Ways and Means Committee released their FY2020 state budget proposal. Senators had until last Friday to submit amendments to that proposal: over 1,100 were submitted. MAPC has identified two amendments as key priorities and seven additional amendments that advance key regional goals.
Please call or email your state representative to ask her or him to cosponsor these amendments that fund key priorities in our region.
Our key priorities? District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA), which provides technical assistance to cities and towns, and the Shannon Grant, which provides funds for municipalities to address youth gang violence prevention. These funds are critical in supporting municipal needs in our region and across the Commonwealth. Below, we've provided more detail about those and seven other amendments that we think are important. You can find a full list of amendments here.
Please take a few minutes this week to do three things to support DLTA, Shannon, and the seven other priorities we've outlined below:
- Contact Your Representative: Email or call your Senator (or all the senators who represent the region that you serve) and ask them to support amendment. (We even have a sample script for you below!)
- Spread the Word! Write Facebook posts or Tweet about the amendments that matter to you! (And we wouldn't mind if you shared some of MAPC's posts on Facebook and Twitter!)
- Let Us Know You Took Action: Let us know you took action! Email Diego Huezo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on our fact sheets below to learn more about why DLTA and Shannon are important to our region and to see examples of projects!
How to Identify Your Representative(s)
Use This Message for your call or email:
[Ask to speak with a staff member in the Senator's office]
District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA)
Senator Jamie Eldridge’s amendment increases funding for the DLTA program to $3.4 million.
Municipalities statewide are able to access technical assistance for land use and planning functions through DLTA.
Demand for the program routinely outstrips the supply of funding, even with Regional Planning Agencies providing a match of at least 10% on all projects.
Community Preservation Trust Fund Fees
We urge the Senate to support Senator Cynthia Creem’s amendment, which would increase the state match for the Community Preservation Fund by increasing the surcharge on fees at the Registries of Deeds. If passed, this would be the first update to the funding mechanism since 2000. CPA projects support open space, historic, recreation and housing goals in our communities and are funded through locally raised money and a match from the statewide CPA Trust Fund.
Community Preservation Act – Consolidated Net Surplus
Senator Bruce Tarr’s amendment would provide the CPA Trust Fund with $20 million in revenue if the state budget has a surplus. This infusion in funds would help offset record low state matches to CPA communities.
Senator Vinny deMacedo filed an amendment funding the critically important Community Compact program and Efficiency and Regionalization Grant. These programs work hand in hand with the District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) program to support best practices in our communities and provide funding to supporting those municipalities that are interested in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives.
Ensuring Regional Transit Authorities' Financial Stability
Regional Transportation Authorities are critical means of ensuring access to economic, education, social and health care opportunities for some of our most vulnerable residents. MAPC is strongly supportive of Senator Harriette Chandler’s amendment, which would provide $90.5 million in base funding for the Regional Transit Authorities and identifies separate, additional funding for performance targets and innovations, subject to Memoranda of Understanding between RTAs and MassDOT, as recommended in the recently-released RTA Task Force report.
House Choice Grant Program
Senator Patrick O’Connor’s amendment establishes a new line item to fund the Housing Choice Initiative which launched last year. The program rewards municipalities that have produced certain rates or amounts of new housing units in the last five years and adopted best practices related to housing production.
Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) Improvements
We are pleased to see a $10 million increase from FY2019, but this number is below the $130 million that will increase the number of rental vouchers available, help preserve affordable housing, and enhance the effectiveness of the program. Senator Brendan Crighton's amendment increases funding for the rental voucher program.
Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)
Senator Anne Gobi’s amendment would increase the successful Healthy Incentives Program to $8.5 million. This program not only supports key public health priorities of ensuring greater access to affordable and healthy foods but also strengthens our critical local food economy in the Commonwealth.
We're excited that the House Ways and Means Budget funded a few more of our priorities:
Massachusetts Food Trust Program
Thank you to Senate Ways and Means for including $100,000 for the Massachusetts Food Trust Program. Modeled on a proven national strategy, the Massachusetts Food Trust uses public seed money to provide loans, grants and technical assistance to support new and expanded healthy food retailers and local food enterprises in low and moderate income communities.
Energy and Environmental Affairs – Climate Change Adaptation and Preparedness
Senate Ways and Means maintained funding at $2.2 million as proposed in the Governor’s budget to coordinate and implement strategies for climate change adaptation and preparedness. This funding supports critical planning efforts across the interconnected systems of transportation, energy, public health and our municipalities.