Saturday, January 19, 2019

波市長馬丁華殊2019市情諮文 將致力擴大中產階級機會


波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin Walsh)豎拇指,與觀眾
彼此稱讚。(周菊子攝)
   (Boston Orange 周菊子波士頓報導)波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin Walsh)115日在波士頓交響樂廳發表2019年度市情諮文,宣佈將設立移動經濟發展中心,恢復人權局,耆英局改名強齡局(Age Strong Commission),推動一系列14項法案,強調要讓社會進步和中產階級發展機會同步增長。
                  2019雖然是波士頓市長馬丁華殊當選連任後,在位的第二年,但他發言的架勢,報告的新猶,結束演說時,語調之激昂,讓許多人有他又在競選的錯覺。
旗隊上台。(周菊子攝)
                        包括麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker),財政廳廳長高伯珂(Deb Goldberg),稽核長邦普(Suzanne Bump),麻州眾議會議長狄勒歐(Robert DeLeo),麻州企業發展廳助理廳長范文南(Nam Pham),麻州眾議員黃子安,麥家威(Aaron Michlewitz),波士頓市所有議員,包括吳弭(Michelle Wu),愛德華費林(Ed Flynn)等,以及波士頓前市長雷費林(Ray Flynn)等,把交響樂廳的一,二樓坐得滿滿的嘉賓,頻頻為馬丁華殊的演說鼓掌。
                 在致詞中,馬丁華殊闡述自己過去五年來成就,重申他致力確保社會進步和中產階級機會一起成長,加強流動經濟,擴展機會,建造可負擔住宅,並把波士頓保持為對所有居民都安全的地方。
麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker,左)和波士頓市長女友Lorrie Higgins。(周菊子攝)
                馬丁華殊說,因為他們動用了比以往任何時候更多人的優勢,使波士頓比以前任何時候都強健。波士頓市的成功也促使他們把目標設得更高,工作得更努力,要確保市內每一個人都能完整,公平地得到他們所創造的機會。
                回顧過去時,馬丁華殊指出,20181月,他宣佈成立"波士頓的回家路基金(Boston’s Way Home Fund)”,計畫在未來4年內籌集1000萬元私人基金,建造200個新住宅單位,為退伍老兵,長期流浪的男男女女,提共支持性,可持續的長期住宅。現在僅一年以後,該基金已籌得500萬元。
波士頓市議員,右起,Ed Flynn, 吳弭,Althea Garrison。
(周菊子攝)
              為了確保波士頓居民享有公平,機會及彈性,馬丁華殊還向州政府提交了一連串14巷法案,要推動經濟流動性,住家,交通,環境,教育基金,健康及公眾安全。既要建造可負擔住宅,讓租客保有他們的家,減少暴力,爭取社會正義,擴大中產階級,也要為所有學生做教育投資。
               展望未來一年,馬丁華殊提出多項新計畫。他說,波市府要確保社會進步之際,擴大中產階級。他宣佈成立移動經濟發展中心(Mobile Economic Development Center),要在關於就業訓練,企業發展,公共場所規劃,社區經濟發展等經濟發展政策上和居民互動。
昆士小學交響樂項目夏日街銅樂隊表演。(周菊子攝)
               他也分享了將在洛士百利(Roxbury)的布魯斯博林(Bruce. C. Bolling)市政大樓,把一樓的7,800平方呎空間,打造成為爵士城市餐廳(JazzUrbane Cafe)",一個有完整餐飲服務,兼具娛樂場所,社區空間功能的餐廳。
               談到"把槍買回來",馬丁華殊說五年來,警察從街頭收回4100把槍枝,把數以千計青少年帶到機會之路上,造成逮捕率降低25%,犯罪率減少25%的佳績。
麻州企業發展廳助理廳長范文南(Nam Pham)和麻州難民
移民署署長張瑪莉(Mary Truong),兩夫婦聯袂出席
波士頓市長的市情諮文發表會。(周菊子攝)
              為了歡迎更多聲音,擴大民主程度,馬丁華殊宣佈,將重啟人權局,為波士頓居民提供討論歧視,得到公平承諾的平台。他也指派了人口統計調查聯絡員來確保每一名波士頓居民都被計算到。馬丁華殊還會簽署行政命令,規定所有市府員工在如何辨識,糾正市府服務差距上接受訓練。
             未來五年,馬丁華殊計畫建造更多可負擔住宅,提供更多財務援助,要讓1000人成為新屋主。迄今,他們已讓1600名長期流浪者有屋可住。
             波士頓市府將把耆英局(Elderly Commission)改名為強齡局(Age Strong Commission),以反映波市府在讓年齡漸增人們仍然感覺得到政府的包容,易接近,正面上的努力。
               馬丁華殊強調,波士頓士不僅存在,更欣欣向榮,鋪橋補路的讓市內道路更適於自行車和巴士通行,建造公園,在全市各地投資1億元進圖書館。在保持屋主低稅率之際,能夠以智慧的財務管理打開了歷史性的投資能力。波士頓市在波士頓廣場上投資了2800萬元,在法蘭克林公園上投資了2800萬元,學校樓宇興建維修經費增加了一倍多,已在建新學校,做大整修,更換更有能源效率的屋頂,熱水爐,窗戶,以及現代化傢俱等方面花了超過3億元,預計還要花8億元。


Friday, January 18, 2019

Quincy declared snow emergency


Snow Emergency, Saturday January 19


Snow emergency parking rules will be in place beginning at 7 p.m., on Saturday, January 19, 2019.
Residents may park on the EVEN numbered side of non-emergency neighborhood streets, but should always park in driveways if available.
Parking is prohibited on all designated emergency arteries. Click here for a complete list of emergency arteries.
Parking in business districts will be allowed until closing time on Saturday night.
Residents on side streets posted permanently as one-side parking should park on the side always allowed.
Cars parked in violation of emergency rules or that impede snow plowing operations pose a public safety risk, and WILL BE TOWED. Regardless of parking rules, vehicles determined to be in obstruction of snow removal or emergency vehicles are subject to towing if not moved.
For assistance, residents can use the City’s snow request application atsnowhotline@quincyma.gov or call the DPW's snow operation hotline at (617) 376-1927.
The potential for flooding exists for 10 a.m. Sunday, January 20 high tide. For flood-related assistance, call (617) 376-1910. Residents in coastal areas should take appropriate precautions and monitor weather reports. ALWAYS call 911 in an emergency.
The forecast calls for ice and high winds, which creates the potential for downed tree limbs and power lines. If you lose power, call National Grid at 1-800-465-1212 or visit their Outage Central page at https://www.nationalgridus.com/MA-Home/Storms-Outages/.
For updates and emergency notices, please tune to Quincy Access Television; follow the City of Quincy’s Facebook page or via Twitter @CityofQuincy.

黃奎博:中美台路上 美重自身利益 台別誤判局勢

政大教授黃奎博(左),邱稔穰(右)在紐英崙中華公所演講。
(周菊子攝)
            Boston Orange周菊子波士頓報導)政大國際事務學院副院長黃奎博坦率表示,"在美台關係上,美國一向首重自身利益,台灣必須認清自己能影響的實在不多,才不會誤判局勢","在中美關係上,許多觀察家直言今年不會好轉,智庫認為,恐怕越來越嚴峻。
             在中台關係上,黃奎博形容台灣是"逆水行舟",中國似"刻舟求劍"。換言之,他認為台灣走的方向不對,中國也忽略台灣今非昔比,人心已變,並不在乎國名,但更重視政治,經濟等自由。
波士頓經文處長徐佑典(左)強調外交官都很努力。
(周菊子攝)
台灣政治大學國際事務學院院長邱稔穰和副院長黃奎博此行訪問波士頓,主要是應波士頓世界事務協會與波士頓大學Pardee學院之邀,114日在波士頓大學為"台灣關係法40週年",發表"今日台灣:來自台北觀點"講談。
113日下午,全美台灣同鄉聯誼會波士頓分會搶先舉辦"美中台三邊關係"講座,請他倆在紐英崙中華公所會議廳和近百名僑胞分享看法。
根據邱稔穰和黃奎博的會場發言,論調都屬於統派。
            和台灣現任外交部長吳釗燮是同學的邱稔穰透露,政大去年十二月才舉辦"第三屆兩岸國際事務學院院長論壇",群英畢集,還決定下一次要到中國大陸辦。中國大陸不分北中南部的院長們都熱烈支持。他們甚至成立了微信群組來推動此事。
左起,波士頓市議員助理盧善柔,中華公所主席陳家驊,
馬滌凡女兒,馬滌凡,波士頓經文處長徐佑典,杜麗雲
夫婦,政大教授邱稔穰,黃奎博,波士頓僑教中心主任
歐宏偉。(周菊子攝)
             他也引用三國演義的"天下分久必合,合久必分",指兩岸有共同的歷史,語言,文化,實難以分割,統合模式有中西古今許多不同範例可參考,關鍵在於哈佛費正清教授當年提點的,思考時不要把自己變成局中人。
             做為主講人的黃奎博則闡述,從197911日美台斷交起,美國就很無情,從來都是以自身利益為優先考量,無論是斷交,廢約,撤軍,在軍售上內容尤其互相矛盾的"三個公報"和"台灣關係法",源自雷根總統時期,迄今仍無正式文件面世的"六個保證",歐巴馬總統的放寬軍售,川普總統的打台灣牌等等,歷任美國總統看台灣的戰略眼光有所變化,其實都是大環境使然,在美國打中國牌策略中,台灣只是配角,能夠影響的實在不多。台灣必須認清現實,才不至誤判局勢。
聽眾常序彭發問。(周菊子攝)
             黃奎博列舉許多事例,指美國經常性的打擦邊球,總是說些話讓中台倆方有各自想像空間,可以自我安慰。他直言多名美國總統在第一個任期中認為北京很壞,必須打擊,但到了第二任就認清事實,態度緩和下來。
             黃奎博表示很多外國人質疑,他個人也認為,中國大陸與台灣在文化,語言上一脈相承,要違逆和平交流大勢的分離漂流,不太可能。但是台灣的政治制度與生活型態目前都更好,中國大陸想要吸引台灣,得放下習近平一月二日講話的"強調九二共識,不放棄武統",提出更有創意的點子。
駐波士頓台北經濟文化辦事處處長徐佑典和黃奎博是高中,大學同學。他在會末的提問時間中,發言6分多鐘,表達他的觀點。他認為做為中華民國外交官,最重要的一個特點是"該挺身而出或回應時,就必須挺身而出或回應"。
會末抽獎,馬賓嶠(前右),陳玉瑛(左)主持。(周菊子攝)
徐佑典指出,"獨立,絕對不是中華民國的現行政策"。他以自己踏入外交界22年,一直都在處理台美關係的經驗表示,中華民國外交官的處境,一直是在逆水行舟,也因此他們要更加努力。這麼多年來,有高山低谷,但可確信是往正面發展,影響決策的因素很多,大致上方向一致,只要目的明確,就算走岔,仍會回到原路。






            

Elizabeth Warren Exploratory Committee Announces Hires


Elizabeth Warren Exploratory Committee Announces Hires with Deep New Hampshire Experience

Boston, MA - The Elizabeth Warren Exploratory Committee today announced that four operatives with extensive New Hampshire experience - Roger Lau, Elizabeth Wester, Kate Moore, and Tracey Lewis - have joined the exploratory committee as it plans for the early states and lays the groundwork for a potential presidential run.
Liz Wester has spent the last ten years fighting for progressive causes in various campaign positions and non-for-profit organizations, including the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, the Human Rights Campaign, and Hillary for America as political director. She most recently served as the state director for America Votes New Hampshire, which helped to coordinate the New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights. She has also worked with Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Congressman John Tierney of Massachusetts.

Roger Lau has spent the last twenty years serving in various government and campaign positions for members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, including John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren. He most recently served as the campaign manager for Warren’s re-election campaign and has previous New Hampshire experience by ways of working on presidential campaigns for both John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. He also worked at the Commerce Department during the Obama administration.

Tracey Lewis served as the deputy executive director and chief operating officer at the DSCC and as the primary states director for Hillary for America in 2016. In 2014 she was the chief operating officer for Michelle Nunn’s Georgia senate campaign after being Senator Warren’s deputy campaign manager in 2012. She served as the first African American coordinated campaign director in Massachusetts then became Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire field director in 2008.  During the 2008 presidential generation election, she was the general elections director for the New Hampshire Campaign for Change and also worked in New Hampshire for John Kerry. She has managed three coordinated campaigns, worked on four presidential campaigns and organized in sixteen states across the country including Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Kate Moore is a long-time member of the Warren team, starting as a field organizer on Elizabeth Warren's 2012 campaign. She served as a regional director in Senator Warren’s Boston office, and as political director during the 2018 re-election campaign. In 2016, she was deputy political director for Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire general election campaign. She is a graduate of Smith College.

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER STORM

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES PREPARATIONS FOR 
WINTER STORM
Urges residents to take caution, abide by snow regulations

BOSTON - Friday, January 18, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced preparations for tomorrow's winter storm. While forecasts are still being finalized, the storm has the potential to bring up to 12 inches of snow to Boston, starting at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Snow will be heaviest from midnight to 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, with the potential for low temperatures, sleet and freezing rain.

All residents and businesses are encouraged to shovel and salt their sidewalks immediately Sunday morning, to ensure the precipitation does not freeze to sidewalks and driveways. A decision regarding parking bans will be shared on Saturday.

The Public Works Department currently has 42,000 tons of salt on hand. During any storm, 750-800 pieces of equipment are readily available to assist with snow clearing efforts. Boston Public Works have also been pre-treating Boston streets with salt to prepare for the winter storm.

"We are encouraging residents to use caution when traveling, assist older neighbors and those who are disabled, and keep up with the shoveling of their property throughout the storm this weekend," said Mayor Walsh. "The City of Boston and our Public Works are prepared for all storms that come Boston's way, and we ask that residents and businesses do their part, including shoveling their sidewalks and walkways, to ensure safety for all. Please remember to abide by the snow rules, stay off the roads and be safe."

Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston and utilize Boston's 311 call center for non-emergency related issues. To find out more information about resources and services available to residents, please visit boston.gov/snow.

Rules on Clearing Snow
  • Property owners must clear snow, sleet and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting the property within three hours after the snowfall ends or three hours after sunrise if it snows overnight. Failure to comply will result in a fine issued by Boston Public Works Code Enforcement.
  • Removal of snow, ice from a private property to the street or sidewalk is prohibited and will result in a fine issued by Boston Public Works Code Enforcement.
  • Do not throw snow onto the street.
  • Please look here for information about fines associated with improper removal of snow.
  • As a reminder, no cars are allowed to park in Boston Public Schools parking lots during a snowstorm.

Safety Tips
  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to any health symptoms. Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nauseous/vomiting. Call 911 if those symptoms do not resolve quickly when you stop exertion.
  • Snow piles can make navigating intersections dangerous for walkers and drivers. Please take extra care when turning corners with snow piles that might limit visibility.
  • Pedestrians should use caution as visibility will be diminished due to blowing and drifting of the snow caused by high winds.
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a concern during winter weather, especially with the use of generators. Residents should be sure to use their home heating systems wisely and safety, and have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Call 911 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Sitting in a car while idling can be deadly if the tailpipe is blocked. Do not let children sit in an idling car while shoveling. Clear any household exhaust pipes of snow. For example, gas exhaust from heating system or dryer.
  • Remember to keep catch basins and fire hydrants clear.
  • Please check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.
  • Have a contractor check the roof to see if snow needs to be removed. If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow-rake, do so with caution. Avoid working from ladders and be mindful of slippery surfaces.

Public Libraries & Community Centers
Boston Public Libraries and Boston Centers for Youth & Families' community centers will be open normal business hours. Please check their scheduleshere.

Helping the Homeless
  • If you see homeless individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911. Please ask them if they need assistance.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) operates two emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St. and 794 Massachusetts Ave. open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • BPHC is working closely with a network of shelter providers to ensure there is adequate shelter, food, and a warm respite from the cold.
  • Street outreach teams providing recovery services, including the Engagement Center remain operating as normal during winter weather.
  • More information available here.
Residents are encouraged to sign-up for AlertBoston to receive emergency alerts and to call 311, download the BOS:311 app, or tweet at @BOS311 with questions or concerns. Follow @CityofBoston and visit boston.gov/snow for the latest updates.

A Day of celebration in Boston to honor Martin Luther King Jr. scheduled on 1/21

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES 2019 DAY OF CELEBRATION IN HONOR OF REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
The City of Boston, the Museum of African American History, and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras continues the tradition of paying tribute to the life, legacy, and influence of Dr. King.

BOSTON - Friday, January 18, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in partnership with Boston University, the Museum of African American History, and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, will present, "A Day of Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Metcalf Hall on the second floor of George Sherman Union at Boston University located at 775 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.

This event celebrates Dr. King: the man, the minister, and the humanitarian. Outstanding performances of classical music, spirituals, and freedom songs by young Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras musicians complement readings of Dr. King's words by distinguished community leaders. The event culminates with a keynote address by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

"The City of Boston has the great privilege of partnering with Boston University, the Museum of African History and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras for the Day of Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," said Mayor Walsh. "This day allows us the opportunity to come together as a community to recognize Dr. King's enormous impact and legacy, and recommit ourselves to living out his dream in our community."

"We are proud to host this event honoring Dr. King's service and sacrifice. His legacy is immense and timeless. We count it a privilege to be able to claim him as an alumnus and find continuing inspiration from his words and deeds," said President Robert A. Brown of Boston University.  
"This year's program offers a moment of service, celebration and inspiration," said Marita Rivero, President and CEO at the Museum of African American History.  "It is an honor to join with the City of Boston in celebrating this adopted son who was educated here, met his wife here, and spoke here as a civil rights leader. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is among Boston's great leaders, a champion of humanity."
"Dr. King cherished the values of community, justice and equality," said Catherine Weiskel, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO)'s Executive Director. "We at the BYSO also foster these ideals and are honored to celebrate Dr. King's legacy through sharing exceptional music-making with the City of Boston on this special day. "

In previous years, leaders such as Beverly Morgan-Welch, Sonia Sanchez, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, Judy Richardson of Eyes on the Prize, and civil rights activist and filmmaker Topper Carew served as keynote speakers. Governor Deval Patrick, Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, Boston Poet Laureates Sam Cornish and Danielle Legros Georges, former Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital Dr. Augustus White, and WGBH Radio host Eric Jackson are among those who have served as readers in previous years.

In December of 2017, Mayor Walsh and King Boston announced that a memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King will be established on Boston Common. As a result of community input, the project vision was expanded from a single memorial site to three components: an outdoor memorial on the Boston Common, a dynamic program headquartered in Roxbury and in partnership with leading local stakeholders that oversees civic, educational, and economic equity programming, and an endowment in partnership with Twelfth Baptist Church to educate and train nonviolent activists. The MLK Boston Art Committee has selected five finalists. More information is available here.

For further information on the MLK events please call 617-635-3911, visitboston.gov/tourism and boston.gov/visiting-boston, or follow the Mayor's Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment on social media @VisitBostonCity.

Governor Baker Signs Bill To Increase Pay For National Guard, Implement Modern Military Justice System

PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Baker Signs Bill To Increase Pay For National Guard, Implement Modern Military Justice System

Governor Baker Signs S.2611: An Act establishing the Massachusetts Code of Military Justice 01.18.19 (Photo Credit: Zac Thurlow, Office of the Governor)


BOSTON – Today, joined by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts National Guard Major General Gary Keefe, National Guard Command Staff and Representative Harold Naughton, Governor Charlie Baker participated in a ceremonial bill signing ceremony for An Act establishing the Massachusetts Code of Military Justice which modernizes and streamlines parts of the National Guard’s enabling statute, including the creation of a Uniform Code of Military Justice to be consistent with the American Bar Association’s ‘Model State Code of Military Justice and most other states, and an increase to the minimum daily pay for soldiers and airmen performing state active duty. The Baker-Polito first proposed the legislation in December 2017.

“The brave men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard are routinely called upon to provide critical support during highly difficult situations in the Commonwealth and beyond,” said Governor Baker. “We are proud to sign this bill to provide appropriate pay increases for members and their families, while also modernizing our military justice system to be consistent with national best practices and many other states.”

“It is an honor to celebrate legislation that makes it easier for Massachusetts’ service members in the National Guard to perform their duties with less of a financial burden and enables them to succeed by modernizing our laws,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “We are thankful to the Massachusetts National Guard for always answering the call and are proud of their service.”

“The bill establishes a much needed state military code to modernize our force,” said Major General Gary W. Keefe, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard. “The Massachusetts Code of Military Justice is a product of more than 15 years of collective work between the National Guard Bureau, American Bar Association and the Massachusetts National Guard,” said Keefe. “It mirrors the Federal Uniform Code of Military Justice and will impart good order and discipline among our Soldiers and Airmen to ensure mission success.”

“This Massachusetts Military Code of Justice bill gives our National Guard the tools it needs to protect our personnel and to ensure good order and discipline when our soldiers and airmen are on duty in the Commonwealth or throughout the United States, just as the Uniform Code of Military Justice has long provided these guarantees when they are deployed overseas,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Thomas Turco. “In addition, by doubling the minimum daily pay Massachusetts now offers the highest minimum pay in the nation, which is particularly important for our junior enlisted soldiers.”

“This bill makes necessary updates to the National Guard’s enabling statute to help them continue to fulfill its mission with the highest of standards,” said State Senator Mike Rush, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. “I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration and my colleagues in the legislature for recognizing the important work our National Guard members undertake in support of our security and the preservation of life and property.”

“This legislation represents the Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting our nation’s oldest military unit and those who place themselves in harm’s way for the defense of all,” said Representative Harold Naughton. “In enacting this law, we are ensuring that the Guard will be able to continue to carry out its mission of preserving life, liberty and property in the Commonwealth and throughout the United States. This law will ensure that members of our Guard will be treated equally no matter where they serve and ensure our state is in step with the rest of the country. I would like to thank the Speaker for his efforts to ensure this bill’s passage before the end of session and to thank Governor Baker for his tremendous leadership on this issue.”

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito Announce New Climate Adaptation Programs, Local Aid Proposals for Fiscal Year 2020

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito Announce New Climate Adaptation Programs, Local Aid Proposals for Fiscal Year 2020
Administration will continue investments in climate resiliency, Community Compact program, and transportation infrastructure

BOSTON – At the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s (MMA) Annual Meeting today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito outlined a number of initiatives to invest in the Commonwealth’s communities including new climate adaptation programs and significant support for local aid.  These proposals will be filed next week as part of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget.

“Over the last four years, we have increasingly witnessed the effects that climate change has on communities and infrastructure across the Commonwealth, and know that the investments we make today are critical to ensure cities and towns are prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This proposal will build on the over $600 million we have already invested to mitigate and prepare for the adverse effects of climate change and help to build more resilient communities, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to get this passed.”

“The Commonwealth’s communities have a reliable partner in our Administration, and this budget will continue the commitment we have made to increase local aid for cities and towns,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are also filing a Chapter 90 bill today, which will support important transportation infrastructure improvements in all 351 communities.”

Climate Adaptation Programs

To build on the work the Administration has done to prepare the Commonwealth’s communities to withstand the effects of climate change, the Administration will propose to dedicate $75 million in FY20 for a substantial and sustained investment to protect Massachusetts’ residents, communities, economy, and infrastructure. This investment will be supported by a modest increase in the excise on real estate transfers, and will amount to $137 million on an ongoing, annualized basis for the Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund.

This funding will be made available for cities and towns to invest in climate-smart infrastructure and will support other initiatives to help build resilient communities including:

·       Loans, grants, and other assistance to communities for investments identified through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, including stormwater upgrades, dams and flood controls, drainage and culvert improvements, drought mitigation strategies, nature-based solutions and other adaptation strategies
·       Preparation of detailed state asset vulnerability assessments that use climate change projections and risk analysis to direct policy and investment to protect Massachusetts residents’ health, safety, and well-being while continuing to steward the natural resources of the Commonwealth
·       Assistance for state and local agencies in prioritizing, planning, and retrofitting these vulnerable assets, including dams and flood controls, transportation infrastructure, critical care facilities,  water resources, and other key infrastructure
·       Development and implementation of a climate-smart land use framework, including a coastal protection strategy, as well as regionally appropriate resilient land use practices for diverse inland communities

Under the proposal, the Commonwealth’s deeds excise rate, paid at time of sale, is proposed to increase from $2 per $500 of value to $3 (from $1.50 per $500 of value to $2.50 in Barnstable County). This represents an all-in rate increase of 0.228. The excise is paid by the seller upon the transfer of property.

“The Baker-Polito Administration has assembled a fiscally-responsible budget for Fiscal Year 2020 and we are pleased that the plan supports the priorities of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael J. Heffernan. “We are proud of our continuing collaboration with local officials as we work together to continue meeting the needs of the people of Massachusetts.”

Chapter 90, Unrestricted General Government Aid, and Community Compact

The Administration will also include a total of $1.129 billion in unrestricted general government aid, or UGGA, an increase equal to 100% of the projected state tax revenue growth rate (2.7%) in the FY20 budget. This is an increase of $30 million over Fiscal Year 2019, and would represent an increase of nearly $183 million since the Baker-Polito Administration took office.

The FY20 operating budget proposal will include $6.8 million for Community Compact-related programs. All 351 cities and towns have signed a compact with the state and have chosen a total of 900 best practices to address the needs of their communities. Since 2015 the Administration has provided $22.8 million to municipalities through the Community Compact program, representing a combination of operating and capital grants, through three programs: the best practices grant program, the efficiency and regionalization grant program and the IT grant program.

In the FY20 operating budget, the Administration will propose $2 million for the best practices program and $2 million for the efficiency and regionalization program. The Administration also plans to include $3 million in its FY20 capital investment plan, which will be released later this year, to continue the compact’s IT grant program.

The Administration will include $2.8 million in FY20 for the District Local Technical Assistance Program, which supports the Commonwealth’s 13 regional planning agencies with technical issues dealing with economic development, housing, transportation and environmental projects at the local level.

The Lt. Governor also announced that the Baker-Polito Administration today filed a bill seeking $200 million in Chapter 90 transportation funds, which will support all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. Since taking office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded a total of $940 million through the Chapter 90 formula, including $100 million on its first day in office.

More information about the Chapter 90 program is available here. To search for current-year Chapter 90 funding apportionments by municipality, please visithere.