CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 UPDATE #9
Friday, April 3, 2020
I hope you are staying well and practicing extensive social distancing.
Great news - the municipalities bill that I've been shepherding through the legislative process is now passed and signed into law! (Here's the final language.) The bill does a whole bunch of important things to ensure our local and regional governments keep functioning and providing services to Bay Staters:
By the way, this bill also carried the income tax extension from April to July, and lets everyone order beer and wine as part of your takeout order from local restaurants! A great way to continue to help your local businesses stay afloat during these trying economic times.
- creates significant budget flexibility, particularly important for towns that can't have Town Meeting right now to pass a Fiscal Year 2021 budget;
- extends the time frame for holding Town Meetings;
- grants extensions for permits, hearings, and other deadlines, including a temporary lift on any constructive approvals;
- allows municipalities to extend the deadline for property taxes and waive penalties on any late payments of taxes or fees; and
- contains an important equity provision that prohibits the termination of any essential municipal service – including water, sewer, and trash collection – for a resident who is unable to pay local taxes or fees. In this uncertain time of job loss and insecurity, the last thing our government should do is prevent vulnerable residents from washing their hands.
In addition to my extensive and ongoing work as the Senate Chair of the Municipalities Committee, I've also been advocating for decarceration, a stay at home order (not an advisory), shutting down non-essential construction, medical privileges for clinicians licensed in other countries, robust protections for medical professionals and first responders who are fighting this thing on the front lines, and more. I'm hearing from constituents daily, and I am giving voice to our shared concerns and disappointment with the executive management of this crisis.
My team and I are all working overtime and are here for you. Call us at 617-722-1555 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of us will get back to you as quickly as we can.
Wishing you and your families strength, health, and resilience.
Yours in service,
Senator Becca Rausch
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|Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #9|