Governor Baker Signs Legislation Enhancing Partnerships Between State and Municipal Governments
New law is the product of extensive outreach and input from municipal officials
BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation improving critical components of the partnership between state and municipal governments by eliminating or updating obsolete laws, promoting local independence, streamlining state oversight and providing municipalities with greater flexibility. The legislation, An Act modernizing municipal finance and government (H. 4565), reflects operational modernization and technological advancement at the local level, allowing municipalities to better address local issues.
“This municipal modernization legislation is a great example of some true weed whacking of outdated, clunky laws that will empower our municipalities and support good-governing at the local level across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As two former local officials ourselves, the Lieutenant Governor and I have a true appreciation for the independence and flexibility created by this commonsense bill, allowing municipal officials to better serve all of our constituents and create stronger communities in all of our 351 cities and towns.”
“City and town officials across the Commonwealth know they have a reliable partner in the Baker-Polito Administration,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Whether through the working group we established shortly after taking office that generated over 1,300 suggestions from over 235 municipalities and school districts on how to deliver services more efficiently, or the more than 231 Communities that have signed a Community Compact, the ongoing dialogue we have had with local officials and our partners in the legislature is what made this effort possible.”
The Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to support and partner with local municipal governments remains a strong priority. As a part of the Building Stronger Communities tour, Lt. Governor Polito has met with officials from over 130 municipalities and professional associations. Since the establishment of the Community Compact Cabinet, Lt. Governor Polito has signed over 230 compacts to strengthen partnerships between cities and towns and the Commonwealth. These initiatives facilitate better communication and collaboration with local officials to further implement best practices in municipal governance.
"When we introduced these reforms in December we did so with four key themes aimed to help our municipal partners improve the way they conduct their day-to-day business," said Administration and Finance Secretary, Kristen Lepore. "These reforms eliminate and update obsolete laws, promote local independence, streamline state oversight and provide municipalities with greater flexibility to modernize ways in which our communities conduct their business."
“Like clearing out the cobwebs in an old barn, modernizing the way our municipalities are allowed to operate and streamlining state oversight by eliminating outdated requirements will make a difference at the ground level for people,” said Dan Rivera, Mayor of Lawrence. “I want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Speaker DeLeo , Senate President Rosenberg and the Legislature for dedicating such a tremendous amount of time and effort on what may seem like small, mundane items, but that will have an incredible impact on citizens lives throughout the commonwealth.”
"As former local officials the Governor and Lieutenant Governor recognize the challenges faced by municipal leaders as we strive to deliver the highest level of service to our residents and business owners,” said Andrew Maylor, North Andover Town Manager. “Governor Baker’s sponsorship of the Municipal Modernization Act as well the administration’s comprehensive review of Executive Branch regulations, demonstrates support for our efforts and his commitment to cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth."
“Outdated bureaucracy and impediments to operational efficiencies negatively impact government services and our residents,” said Ed Augustus, Worcester City Manager. “This legislation will allow the City of Worcester to be more nimble and better meet the expectations of our community and the fast paced and dynamic environment in which we live.”
The municipal modernization legislation signed today addresses a number of seemingly small issues that can often weigh on a local city and town, particularly those with limited resources,” said Lisa Blackmer, President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA). “ The MMA wants to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Secretary Lepore, Speaker Deleo, and President Rosenberg for their attentiveness to those issues and we look forward to more efficient and flexible local governments as a result of this key legislation.”
The foundations of the Municipal Modernization bill are: eliminating or updating obsolete laws; promoting local independence; streamlining state oversight; and providing municipalities with greater flexibility.
Eliminate or Update Obsolete Laws
Promote Local Independence
Streamline State Oversight
Provide Municipalities with Greater Flexibility