During the 2011-2012 session, Jamie filed the following pieces of legislation to help our cities and towns and promote regionalization:
An Act relative to comprehensive land use reform and partnership (CLURPA)
This bill proposes the first comprehensive updating of the Commonwealth’s zoning and subdivision control laws in over thirty-five years. CLURPA also offers additional powers, practices, and preferences to communities that “opt-in” to certain additional performance standards consistent with the state’s sustainable development principles.
An Act to promote municipal collaboration and regionalization throughout the Commonwealth
Regional collaboration is one way that municipalities can leverage existing resources to contain costs and possibly enhance revenue, while also maintaining and even improving the quality of local services. Such collaboration can take a variety of forms, such as joint purchasing of goods, sharing of municipal services, joint provision of services, creation of joint capital facilities and consolidated regional service districts. This bill promotes existing opportunities for regional collaboration while creating new regional solutions.
An Act to provide municipal control for liquor licenses
This bill takes language from the Governor’s municipal relief bill of 2008 to allow the local legislative body of a city or town to determine the number of liquor licenses allowed within their municipality. This would allow the municipality to make a local decision on the number of liquor licenses they would like to allow and removes the arcane quota system imposed be previous state law.
An Act establishing a state emergency response fund
After a declared disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency compensates cities and towns for 75% of the expenses incurred as a result of the disaster and the remaining 25% is divided between municipalities and the Commonwealth. In many instances the Commonwealth has been able to cover part of those costs, and in some instances, due to fiscal constraints, the Commonwealth has not. This bill, modeled on legislation passed in a number of other states, would create a special account to cover the costs associated with natural disasters so that regardless of other fiscal constraints, the Commonwealth can assist cities and towns with cleaning up after a disaster.
An Act relative to municipal water, waste water, and storm water infrastructure
The Water Infrastructure Finance Commission, created pursuant to Section 145 of Chapter 27 of the Acts of 2009, recommends various changes to the Massachusetts General Laws as a part of a comprehensive, long range water infrastructure finance plan for the commonwealth and its municipalities.
An Act relative to the effective enforcement of municipal ordinances and bylaws
This legislation gives municipalities and the courts two important enforcement tools: It raises the maximum penalty for violations of ordinances and bylaws from $300 to $1,000; and it grants the Superior Court the authority to impose civil penalties sought by a municipality, in conjunction with equitable relief, such as an injunction.
An Act authorizing the voter directed classification of certain pollution abatement or remediation funds received by and for the use of any town or water supply district into a trust fund
This bill establishes a process for municipalities and/or water districts to create trust funds for any pollution settlement claims that may accrue to them.
An Act relative to energy efficiency funds generated by municipal lighting plants
This legislation would ensure that all monies funneled into Forward Capacity Market, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and NOx Programs from municipal lighting plants be returned to such municipal lighting plants to be used in their own energy efficiency programs.
An act relative to election officers
State statute requires all cities and towns to appoint election officers for each voting precinct to work at the polls and to count and tabulate the votes at any election. This bill would reduce the number of mandatory election officers but allow municipalities to appoint additional inspectors and/or tellers as necessary. The bill also eliminates the need for a separate check out table, which would free poll workers for other election-day tasks, such as assisting voters, manning the new handicapped accessible voting equipment required by HAVA, and easing the flow of the voters within the voting precinct. This bill is filed at the request of the Town Clerks Association.
An Act relative to technical changes for the municipal relief act
This bill makes two technical changes to certain laws included in Chapter 188 of the Acts of 2010 (An Act Relative to Municipal Relief). The first change clarifies the definition of the term “elected bodies” in Section 4A of Chapter 40. The second change makes clear that public notification in the Central Register is required for certain solicitations to repair and maintain public buildings.
An Act relative to water meter testing fees
This legislation would discourage frivolous meter reading challenges and yet would preserve water consumers’ rights to make responsible challenges to their bills. The Act would insure that such a challenge is properly implemented and, where the meter tests accurate, that the water utility is properly reimbursed for such testing.
An Act to authorize special revenue funds by local option.
This bill authorizes municipalities that vote to exercise the local room occupancy excise tax and/or the local meals excise tax also to vote to establish a special revenue account into which said receipts would be deposited. The purpose of the fund would be to promote and sustain the development of business and the local economy, or to invest in water, sewer, or storm water infrastructure for the community, or both. The treasurer would be custodian of such funds, and may deposit and invest in the proceeds