As we begin May, we are already tracking 167 bills of concern. They encompass a variety of issues, but some of the more concerning bills involve:
- The Dover Amendment (H1468, H1469, S1434, S1435)
- PILOTs (H361, S2129)
- Other real estate tax issues (H417,H2307)
- Access to college transcripts (S625)
- Publicizing salary information (S2008)
- Student Safety
Some of these bills return every session, and MANSC is experienced in defeating them. Our advocacy efforts are spearheaded by legal counsel John J. Spillane, who has an exceptional track record in dealing with troublesome bills.
The bills pertaining to the Dover Amendment, which is explained later in this newsletter, could impose building restrictions on our members. PILOTs (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) are ways for municipalities to collect property taxes on schools and colleges traditionally exempt from such. Our mission is to directly oppose such bills, which would negatively impact our members.
According to Spillane, much of the current focus and subsequent media attention is on climate, transport/MBTA funding, COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and the House budget which was recently passed. Education equity, job training, and broadband for all communities are also recurring topics of debate.
Recently, the House passed seven so-called “mega-amendments” on April 27th of this year. Over 1,000 amendments filed ahead of floor deliberations were approved by a consolidated amendment process, where House leaders group individual amendments together by category to be included for one single vote. In all, the seven mega-amendments added over $59 million in spending to what began as a $47.65 billion budget.