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MALSCE - End of Legislative Session Update

Type:  Featured News  
2016 End of Session Update: 
The Massachusetts Legislature concluded its formal session late on the night of July 31 and into the morning of August 1, passing a number of budget overrides as well as key bills on topics that included energy, economic development and ride hailing. 


Among the bills are several of interest to our members. In August, Governor Baker signed many bills into law.  This report gives the relevant Session Law links:


Lyme Disease insurance mandate
The Legislature successfully overrode Gov. Charlie Baker's veto of HB 4491 allowing for mandated health insurance coverage for long-term Lyme disease treatment. We have found that land surveyors and engineers working in the field are among the jobs where the rate of Lyme disease is higher than the average worker.
Small bridge program and testing of new ‘miles-driven’ tax  
Before adjourning the formal session, the Legislature approved a HB 4424 that includes funding for a $50M Small Municipal Bridge Program. The bill also authorizes the Baker administration to apply for federal funding to test a new tax on motorists based on how many miles they drive per year. The Governor vetoes the language for the VMT pilot.  This bill, without the VMT,  is now Chapter 220 of the Acts of 2016, An Act Providing for the Financing of Certain Improvements to Municipal Roads and Bridges 
Economic Development
The Legislature enacted HB 4569, a compromised economic development bill that included $500 million in authorized borrowing for MassWorks infrastructure program, $45 million in capital dollars for brownfields, and $45 million for transformative development.
Signed (in part) by the Governor, this bill is now Chapter 219 of the Acts of 2016
Municipal modernization-municipal finance and government
HB 4565  covers many issues related to municipal administration, finance and procurement. This legislation includes 253 sections to modernize municipal government with issues ranging from updating the thresholds in the public construction statutes to modifying public notice requirements to allow most notices to be published electronically instead of newspapers.
- This bill has several different dates for regulations to be issued for particular sections.  We need to track regulations related to procurement.
This bill did not move beyond the House Committee on Ways and Means in the 189th Legislative Session. MALSCE will work with UCANE to refile this bill next session. 
Bills for the 2017-18 legislative session will be due in December 2016.
The 2017-18 legislative session will begin in January 2017, and the Governor will file his FY18 budget proposal by the 3rd week of January.


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