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Senate Budget Call to Action: Support Regional Priorities

Help us support smart growth and regional collaboration in the budget by contacting your State Senator today! Massachusetts Senators filed their amendments to the FY19 State budget yesterday and are now considering which additional amendments to support.

If you have not already done so, please call or email your State Senator to ask her or him to sign on and support the following budget amendments.

How to Identify Your Senator(s)

You can use this message for your call or email:

[Ask to speak with a staff member in the Senator’s office]

“Hello my name is [NAME] from [CITY or TOWN] in the Senator’s district. Programs that support smart growth and regional collaboration are important to me. I am requesting that the Senator support the following amendments to the budget. [LIST THE AMENDMENTS BELOW]. Thank you.”

Amendments Supported by MAPC

#330 District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA)

Sponsored by Senator James Eldridge

#1066 Shannon Grant

Sponsored by Senator Joseph Boncore
Senator Eldridge’s amendment restores dedicated funding for the DLTA program (which provides statewide technical assistance to municipalities for land use and planning functions) and seeks a slight increase. Without an amendment there is no dedicated funding for this vital program. Demand for the program routinely outstrips the supply of funding.
Senator Boncore’s amendment increases funding for the statewide Shannon Gang Prevention Grant Program. The Shannon Grant program is nationally recognized for its effective approach to deterring gang and youth violence through regional, multidisciplinary targeted enforcement and prevention strategies.

#375 Municipal Regionalization Reserve

Sponsored by Senator Vinny DeMacedo

#380 Community Compact

Sponsored by Senator Anne Gobi

Senators deMacedo and Gobi each filed amendments to restore funding for three programs that provide critical funding to municipalities: the DLTA program, the Community Compact program, and the Efficiency and Regionalization Grant.

As of this month, all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns are participants in the Community Compact program implementing best practices with the support of technical assistance. In our region, the Efficiency and Regionalization Grant program has funded regional opioid programming in Chelsea, Medford, and Winthrop, as well as suburban mobility work in some of our North Shore communities. Click here and here to learn more about these programs in your community. More information about DLTA is listed above. All three programs were unfunded in the Senate.

Without an amendment, there will be no funding for these important programs.

#1183 Regional Transportation Ballot Initiatives

Sponsored by Senator Eric Lesser

#3 Community Preservation Act

Sponsored by Senator Cynthia Creem
Senator Lesser’s amendment provides municipalities with the opportunity to raise revenue locally and spend it on local transportation investments. Throughout the country, transportation projects are funded by locally-raised revenue that voters support at the ballot. We need to ensure that we have the opportunity to make the same local investments here in Massachusetts. State matching funds are expected to be as low as 11 percent in 2018. Senator Creem’s amendment proposes a modest increase in the deeds fee, unchanged since it was established 18 years ago. This increase would provide CPA communities with a 50 percent match to continue their work of investing in affordable housing and preserving open space, historic, and recreational properties.

#489 Healthy Incentives Program

Sponsored by Senator Anne Gobi

#777 Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP)

Sponsored by Senator Joseph Boncore
Senator Gobi’s amendment to increase funding for the successful Healthy Incentives Program to $6.2 million not only supports key public health priorities of ensuring greater access to affordable and healthy food, but also strengthens our critical food economy in the Commonwealth. Senator Boncore’s amendment restores funding for MRVP to $120 million. This will help increase the number of rental vouchers available, help preserve affordable housing, and enhance the effectiveness of the program.

Questions?

Please contact Leah Robins, Senior Government Affairs Specialist: lrobins@mapc.org, 617-933-0710.