03/10/2017

Municipal Government

An Act providing municipal control of liquor licenses – S.117

This bill strikes the current liquor license quota system and gives licensing authority back to cities and towns.  Cities and towns would also be able to grant seasonal and farmer-winery, -brewery licenses without legislative approval.

An Act encouraging municipal recycling and composting – S.1129

This bill would require cities and towns to establish recycling programs. All such programs must require that all residents, schools, and businesses separate recycling materials from their solid waste.

An Act relative to the effective enforcement of municipal ordinances and bylaws – S.1130

Local entities are vested with the authority to administer a variety of important land use and other bylaws, ordinances and regulations, and need adequate enforcement tools. The current tools are lacking. This bill would give a judge specific guidance on calculating a penalty. The bill does not grant municipalities the right to impose penalties unilaterally but they do retain the right under other, existing statutes to impose non-criminal fines.  Judges gain the right to enforce payment and dispose injunctive relief.

An Act establishing a municipal record preservation commission – S.1700

The bill would allow for the creation of a municipal record preservation commission to examine the status, maintenance and preservation of municipal records in the Commonwealth. The Commission will assess current record keeping and identify solutions to the current system of record keeping. The Commission will ensure a faster and more efficient municipal record system as well as represent a clear initiative by the Commonwealth to protect public records. Municipal records document the history of our communities from their founding to the present, and include such vital records as births and deaths, town meeting records, and regulatory decision.

An Act relative to energy efficiency funds generated by municipal lighting plants – S.1844

This bill 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.