April – July Legislative Update

I hope this legislative update finds you well.

I would like to take a few minutes to apprise you all on the efforts I have made as your State Representative these last several months. It continues to be an honor to serve the 30th Middlesex District and I look forward to updating you as the year continues on the efforts I am making on your behalf on Beacon Hill.

Since my last legislative update, I have focused my energy on constituent services, participating in numerous committee hearings, co-sponsoring legislation, and have taken several House Chamber votes.

FY2020 Budget
The governor recently signed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget that reached his desk after passing through the House and Senate, where I was able to vote in favor of increased education funding and other measures.

My work on the FY20 budget was important for securing local aid for Reading and Woburn. We were able to increase Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by almost $30 million. Of this aid, we have allocated $6,357,286 for Woburn and $3,442,525 for Reading to help offset the rising costs of running a municipality.

Both communities will also see a much-needed increase in Chapter 70 education funding with the passing of this year’s budget. Funded at the highest level ever with $5.17 billion dedicated to education, this is over a $268 million increase over FY19. This influx of necessary education funding means Reading is set to receive $10,834,809 with Woburn receiving $9,422,229.

Working with my colleagues, below are some of the budget earmarks I was proud to advocate for and secure for the two communities:

• $25,000 to begin the design work for a pedestrian footbridge over the tracks at Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn
• $25,000 for the Woburn Council on Aging transportation van
• $25,000 for shuttle bus transit feasibility study to connect Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn and Hanscom Air Force Base to key regional hubs
• $75,000 for safety improvements at Reading Memorial High School
• $60,000 for a new Elder & Human Services van for Reading
• $50,000 towards pedestrian crosswalk lights on Lowell Street in Reading

I would like to thank Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), Minority Leader Bradley Jones, and Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington) for their help in passing necessary earmarks for our communities.

One major aspect of this year’s budget was MassHealth Drug Pricing Reform. This key measure will allow MassHealth the ability to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers, helping to drive down the costs of prescription drugs and saving taxpayers $28 million in FY20.

The House also called for over $282 million in spending for environmental programs. I recently cosponsored an adopted budget amendment issued by House Minority Leader Bradley Jones (R-North Reading) regarding the Conservation Land Tax Credit. Raising the Credit’s annual cap from $2 million to $5 million, this amendment provides necessary funding to preserve more open space in the Commonwealth by helping to clear the almost $4.7 million in requested projects which would protect thousands of additional acres of land.

Committee Hearings
With the legislative session now in full swing, these last few months have seen many different pieces of legislation pass through the various committee hearings. As a member of the Joint Standing Committees for Education, Financial Services, and Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture (ENRA), I have participated in dozens of hearings so far this year. During this time, I have been able to witness the spirited testimonies of those advocating for legislation relating to updating the education funding formula, banning retail locations from issuing plastic bags, to establishing a student loan Bill of Rights. I was also able to testify in support of several common sense pieces of legislation I believed in.

In April, I testified in front of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities to advocate for my bill H.127, An Act to establish a registry of caretakers found to have substantiated abuse against persons with intellectual disability or developmental disability. The purpose of creating this registry is simple – to protect one of our most vulnerable populations while effectively punishing those who wrongfully commit abuse against them.

In June I joined Senator Cindy Friedman alongside Woburn constituent and advocate Angela Freitas Ortiz in front of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing to support bills related to children with complex medical needs and other special populations.

In July, with District Attorney Marian Ryan and a Reading constituent who is a domestic violence survivor, I testified in support of bill H.1437, An Act relative to visitation and family court matters in domestic violence cases. This piece of legislation would effectively close the loophole regarding visitation rights after a domestic violence crime was committed, protecting both the children of the affected family and victim of the abuse.

Legislation
With the legislative session well underway, I have signed on to cosponsor several seasonably filed pieces of legislation. To name a few:

In April, I cosponsored H. 3655, an act that will require universities to provide students with written notice of the processes available for addressing sexual assault, both legally and at the university level.

In May, I cosponsored several bills:
• H. 3785, which amends legislation regarding how the state retirement system treats individuals afflicted with PTSD-related injuries;
• H. 3771, an act which updates and streamlines the process for obtaining criminal offender record information checks in the Commonwealth; and
• H. 3835, an act which seeks to meet the growing human services workforce demand by updating the base wages of entry-level and support staff

In June, I signed onto H. 3999, which removes the religious exemption for vaccinations and immunizations in our schools. Removing this exemption will protect our community members most vulnerable to vaccine-combatable illnesses- infants and those who cannot receive vaccinations due to medical conditions- through the well-researched concept of herd immunity.

In July, I cosponsored three important pieces of legislation:
• HD. 4366, which increases the operational safety of keyless ignition vehicles by requiring models for sale or lease in Massachusetts to be equipped with automatic shut-off technology;
• HD.4389, a bill that would impose a 5% fee on digital streaming providers marketing their services on public rights of way, treating them the same as cable providers. This money would then be distributed to municipalities as local aid and community media centers such as Woburn Public Media Center and RCTV; and
• HD.4398, an act establishing a hate crimes grant program, which will provide grants to primary and secondary schools with an identified need for the purpose of education, professional development, prevention, and community outreach programs aimed at combatting hate crimes.

Votes Taken
Since the last update, the House has been busy holding numerous formal sessions to vote on many different important pieces of legislation. Below are some of the bills I have been proud to vote in favor of:

• H.69, which finances improvements to municipal roads and bridges
• H.3819, an act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2019 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and project
• H.3904, an act creating a state-level board of real estate appraisers
• H.3535, an act which expands agriculture preservation restrictions for hemp cultivation
• H.3987, an act establishing a Green Works infrastructure program in an effort to promote climate change resiliency and provide grants for local communities in dealing with this issue
• H.3854, an act relative to collective bargaining dues, which would protect workers’ right to form and join unions
• H.4000, an Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2020 for the maintenance of the departments, boards, commissions, institutions and other activities of the commonwealth, while encouraging nondiscrimination and equality of opportunity in hiring
• H.3793, an act requiring the use of mobile telephones while driving to be completely hands-free

Please feel free to reach out to my office or legislative aide via email at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or call the office at (617) 722-2090. To stay up to date on everything I’m doing up at the State House and out in the district follow me on Facebook @Rich.M.Haggerty and on Twitter @richhaggerty.

House Unanimously Passes $1.3 Billion for Community Climate Resiliency Projects

Significant investments in local microgrid, electric vehicle, energy storage projects

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) worked with their colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to vote 158 to 0 to pass legislation investing $1.3 billion to help cities and towns across Massachusetts fund infrastructure projects aimed at fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The legislation establishes a $1 billion, 10-year grant program – known as GreenWorks – to fund clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate change resiliency measures that cut greenhouse gas emissions, fortify infrastructure and reduce municipal costs. The legislation also invests $325 million in other municipal green projects.

“This plan, which closely resembles the proposal Governor Baker filed in January, commits significant state resources to help cities and towns adapt to the challenges posed by climate change,” said Representative Jones. “By making investments now to reduce carbon emissions, promote energy efficiency, and reinforce local infrastructure, communities like Reading can become more resilient in mitigating the negative impacts of climate change.”
“As a former local official I know how important it is to provide cities and towns with the tools they need to move towards a more sustainable future. I also know first hand how much communities have benefited, and saved taxpayer dollars, from similar state-grant programs,” said Representative Haggerty. “ Whether its more electric vehicles, Green Works projects, or support for the creation of Sustainability Coordinators – leading on this important issue will help our planet and save money.”

Modeled after the state’s MassWorks program, GreenWorks funds projects that improve climate preparedness and resiliency, promote or produce clean energy or energy efficiency, build energy storage facilities, implement measures included in Massachusetts’ statewide climate adaptation strategy or otherwise help mitigate the impacts of climate change or reduce carbon emissions.

“GreenWorks builds on a long-standing House approach to provide concrete tools directly to cities and towns that result in both immediate and long-lasting positive effects,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, (D – Winthrop). “This forward-looking investment helps Massachusetts cities and towns build resilient communities, lower long-term operating costs and cut greenhouse gases while creating jobs for workers across the Commonwealth.”

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will accept applications annually and administer the program, which is funded through the issuance of bonds. In addition, the legislation makes targeted investments of $325 million in energy infrastructure, including:

• $100 million for investments in municipal microgrid energy systems
• $125 million for electric vehicles in municipal or regional transit authority fleets
• $20 million for the hiring of sustainability coordinators to develop and manage municipal projects resulting for the GreenWorks program
• $50 million to establish the Green Resiliency Fund to offer low-interest loans for municipalities when pursuing GreenWorks projects
• $30 million for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ MOR-EV electric vehicle rebate program

The bill will now go to the Senate.

Woburn delegation secures funding to support education, community services and programs in FY20 budget

Budget includes funds to support English language tutoring, provide Council on Aging transportation, and fight food insecurity

BOSTON – Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Representative Rich Haggerty (D-Woburn), and Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington) recently joined their colleagues in passing a Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) conference committee budget, making substantial investments in education, health care, mental health and substance use disorder services, housing, and local aid. This $43.1 billion budget includes several key investments to support programs and services in the city of Woburn.

A six-member conference committee, which Senator Friedman served on, was established to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY20 budget. The committee reached consensus this week on a compromise spending plan for the new fiscal year that began on July 1, and it was approved by both legislative chambers on July 22.

Consistent with the General Court’s long-standing commitment to supporting increased investments in education, this budget makes a significant down payment on the work of the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC), and funds Chapter 70 at its highest level ever, providing $5.17 billion in education funding, a $268 million increase for investments in schools over FY19. Woburn school districts will receive $9,422,229 under this budget, an increase over FY19. The budget also includes a $10.5 million reserve for low-income students while the Joint Committee on Education continues its work on this issue.

In addition, the budget increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by nearly $30 million, allocating $6,357,286 to support community investments in education, health care, public safety, and roads and bridges for the city of Woburn.

Senator Friedman, Representative Haggerty, and Representative Ciccolo worked hard to ensure that the FY20 budget also includes the following critical funding for Woburn:

• $100,000 to support English language instruction for immigrants and refugees at English At Large in Woburn, which provides voluntary English language tutoring and instruction to adult learners;
• $95,000 to provide on-site English language tutoring and technical skills training to parents at Woburn Creative Start, an organization that provides high quality, licensed educational programs and child care in Woburn;
• $85,000 for Food Link MA, an organization that helps to fight food insecurity in Woburn and surrounding communities by delivering nutritious food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and eggs, to over 30 social services that serve low-income individuals in need;
• $25,000 for a transit access feasibility study for first mile/last mile shuttle buses. This study will analyze potential shuttle bus routes with an eye toward connecting Anderson Regional Transportation Center and Hanscom Air Force Base to key hubs throughout the region;
• $25,000 for design for a pedestrian footbridge over the tracks at Anderson; and
• $25,000 for the Woburn Council on Aging to procure a transportation van.

“The budget reflects the legislature’s strong commitment to increasing access to quality, affordable health care, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to receive a quality education, and expanding access to behavioral health services,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Moreover, as our state continues to grapple with the opioid crisis, I’m especially proud that this budget makes strong investments in mental health treatment and harm reduction initiatives to ensure more resources for families and their loved ones.”
“I know how important it is to make sure Woburn has the tools it needs to educate children, support seniors, and improve public transit,” said Representative Rich Haggerty. “This budget reflects my priorities well by making the largest investment ever in Chapter 70 education funds. We have also empowered MassHealth to directly negotiate with drug manufacturers so that we can help drive down the costs of prescription drugs, and we have made a substantial contribution to the state’s rainy day fund.”

“While our region is home to a growing number of 21st century biotech companies, many of our job centers and transit hubs, including Anderson Regional Transportation Center, are surrounded by inadequate transportation infrastructure,” said Representative Michelle Ciccolo. “The transportation sector is one of the primary drivers of carbon emissions, posing a daunting threat to our health and the environment. Immediate action is required to avoid the impending environmental crisis while preparing our economy for the jobs of the future, and this budget is a solid step in the right direction.”

Having passed the House and Senate, the legislation now moves to the Governor’s desk. He has 10 days to review the budget and issue any vetoes.

To view the FY20 conference committee budget report, please visit https://malegislature.gov/Budget/ConferenceCommittee.

Reading delegation announces funding for public safety, Council on Aging van in Fiscal Year 2020 state budget

BOSTON – The town of Reading will receive $210,000 in state funding to carry out two public safety initiatives and purchase a new Council on Aging van as part of the $43.1 billion Fiscal Year 2020 state budget.

A six-member conference committee working to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget reached consensus this week on a compromise spending plan for the new fiscal year that began on July 1. The budget was approved by both legislative branches and sent to Governor Charlie Baker on July 22.

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) noted that the budget includes a $75,000 earmark for installing pedestrian crosswalk lights on Lowell Street, and an additional $75,000 for implementing safety improvements at Reading Memorial High School. The budget also includes $60,000 for Reading to purchase a new senior van to service the town’s elderly residents.

“The town’s legislative delegation was made aware of Reading’s local priorities at the start of the budget process, and I’m pleased to see our efforts resulted in those initiatives being included in the conference committee report,” said Representative Jones. “With this funding, Reading will be able to take steps to enhance public safety at the high school and on Lowell Street, while also expanding the transportation options available to local seniors.”

“I know how important it is to make sure Reading has the tools it needs to educate children, support seniors, and improve public safety,” said Representative Haggerty. “This budget reflects my priorities well by making the largest investment ever in Chapter 70 education funds. We have also empowered MassHealth to directly negotiate with drug manufacturers so that we can help drive down the costs of prescription drugs, and we have made a substantial contribution to the state’s rainy day fund.”

“The Fiscal Year 2020 budget appropriations for Reading’s public safety and transportation infrastructure show the results of the strong state-local partnership between the State House and Town Hall,” said Senator Lewis. “I am very pleased that the House and the Senate have come together to support these important local investments.”

Governor Baker has 10 days to review the budget and issue any vetoes.

Representative Haggerty Accepting Applications for 2019 Fall State House Internships

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty is searching for motivated, civic-minded individuals interested in a Fall internship in his office at the Massachusetts State House. Representative Haggerty proudly represents the people of the 30th Middlesex District of Massachusetts, which includes the City of Woburn and Town of Reading.

Interns will have the rewarding opportunity to experience policymaking, politics, and government from the inside the State House. Although unpaid, interns will obtain invaluable experience by witnessing and participating in the day-to-day functioning of a State Representative’s office. Interns will report mainly to Anthony Langone, Legislative Aide to Rep. Haggerty, and will be responsible for assisting with a variety of tasks ranging from constituent correspondence, scheduling, legislative research, database management, to communications and social media assignments.

Interns will also have the opportunity to attend various events held at the State House such as hearings, meetings, and listening to guest speakers. Interns in Representative Haggerty’s office will gain the satisfaction of serving the Commonwealth along with being able to add beneficial experience to their resume.

Applicants should have excellent written and verbal communication skills, a high level of attention to detail, be able to conduct themselves professionally, and respect for confidentiality. Candidates must also be proficient with Microsoft Office applications along with major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Candidates with a particular interest in communications, public relations, graphic design, video production or social media should indicate so in their application. Candidates should send a resume with a brief cover letter of interest, and a 2-3 page writing sample to Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov by Friday, August 9th, 2019. References should be available upon request, and if potential applicants have any questions please call (617) 722-2090.

Legislature Passes Local Infrastructure Funding Bill Bill includes funds to support municipal road repairs in Woburn

Bill includes funds to support municipal road repairs in Woburn

BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington), Representative Rich Haggerty (D-Woburn), and Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington) recently joined their colleagues in passing the so-called “Chapter 90” bond bill to fund local road and bridge repairs, and to continue the legislature’s ongoing commitment to invest in local communities.

The bill will provide $200 million in bond authorizations in Fiscal Year 2020 for municipal infrastructure improvements across the Commonwealth. This multiyear investment provides cities and towns with the ability to plan their construction needs in advance, giving communities access to predictable and consistent funding.
“When the winter season comes to a close, our roads and bridges across the Commonwealth are in desperate need of repair,” said Senator Friedman. “This program allows our cities and towns to fund local projects to improve our damaged infrastructure right at the start of construction season. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure funding to support these essential projects in our community.”
“This appropriation will provide Woburn with the resources it needs to repave local roadways and upgrade infrastructure,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was pleased to vote in favor of this aid to assist our communities in keeping our roads safe and complete local paving projects.”

“Money from the Chapter 90 bond bill allows cities and towns to plan a year out for the critical road maintenance that keeps Massachusetts residents moving smoothly throughout our Commonwealth,” said Representative Ciccolo. “While we as state legislators have much urgent work to do on transportation infrastructure, maintaining our commitment to providing predictable assistance to communities for the upkeep of their streets is simply the right thing to do.”

Chapter 90 funds are allocated using a longstanding formula based on community road miles, population, and employment. The expected apportionment for the City of Woburn is $1,268,029.

Following final approval by the Senate, the Governor signed the bill into law on June 6, 2019.

Reading Legislators Lewis, Jones & Haggerty Support Passage of Local Road Repair Funding Bill

BOSTON – In May, both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the State Senate passed a bond bill to fund local road and bridge repairs (funding often referred to as “Chapter 90” funds), and to continue the legislature’s ongoing commitment to invest in our local communities. Senator Jason Lewis, Representative Brad Jones and Representative Rich Haggerty all supported the passage of the legislation. The bill will provide $200 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for municipal infrastructure improvements across the Commonwealth.

“Our communities need meaningful state investment into road and bridge repair, and after yet another long New England winter, we’ve all seen the rough shape of many local roads,” said Senator Jason Lewis. “This funding will improve our infrastructure and make our transportation network safer and more reliable.”

“The House and Senate are fully committed to supporting the Chapter 90 program and providing communities with the resources needed to properly maintain their local roads and bridges,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. “The funding allocated through this program will allow the Town of Reading to move forward in addressing some of its most pressing transportation infrastructure needs.”

Under this bill, the Town of Reading is allocated $593,159 for the 2020 Fiscal Year.

Chapter 90 funds are allocated using a formula based on community road miles, population and employment. After passage in the Senate last week, the bill moves to the House of Representatives for enactment before returning to the Senate for final approval and then sent to the Governor for his signature.

Woburn Native Ramla Hagi Reflects on “Valuable Experience” Interning for Representative Haggerty’s Office

BOSTON – Representative Richard M. Haggerty is proud to announce Ramla Hagi as the first intern of the 2019 -2020 legislative session. Ramla was responsible for designing social media material and managing administrative duties at the Representative’s State House Office.

Ramla graduated from Woburn Memorial High School in 2018 and is currently finishing her freshman year at UMASS Boston seeking a degree in Biology with a minor in Political Science. Ramla developed an interest in politics when she participated in Youth and Government her sophomore year where she held leadership positions as a Committee Chair, Senator, and elected member of the Governor’s Cabinet.

“From interning here at the State House, I was able to experience firsthand the daily functions of a State Representative, policy making, and real-life aspects of the legislative process,” said Ramla Hagi. “I had the opportunity to build on my team working and communication skills by connecting with many people and expanding on my professional network. The skills and valuable experience I gained helped to enhance my career development and set a direction on my civic career path and goals in government.”

“It’s been great having Ramla join our team these past 8 weeks,” said Rep. Haggerty. “She brought with her a strong knowledge of social media platforms, attention to detail, and fresh ideas that were immensely helpful in establishing a working foundation for our office to build off of.”

Ramla recently finished her 8-week Spring Internship with Rep. Haggerty’s office. The Representative’s office will be continuing the internship program through the summer and is in the process of considering the application packages of potential interns from the 30th Middlesex District.

For more information on interning with Representative Haggerty’s office, please contact his legislative aide at Anthony.Langone@mahouse.gov or call (617) 722-2090.

House Passes Distracted Driving Legislation

BOSTON – Representatives Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington), together with their colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, overwhelmingly voted to pass legislation to ban drivers from using hand-held electronic devices in vehicles unless the devices are in hands-free mode.

“Distracted driving is a factor in too many dangerous and fatal motor vehicle accidents, and the House is proud to take this step to move this policy forward for Massachusetts – making our roads safer and protecting our drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I want to thank Chair Straus for his diligence and hard work, and Leader Wagner, Chair Michlewitz, members of the Black and Latino Caucus, and my colleagues in the House who were instrumental to this process.”

“Similar to laws for car seats and seatbelts before it – this legislation is a common sense step forward that will save lives and make us all safer,” said Rep. Haggerty. “The time has come to put down our phones and better utilize technology when making phone calls so we can keep our eyes on the road.”

“As a long time bicycle and pedestrian advocate, I have been a strong supporter of this bill and prior versions for years, and I am pleased to have voted for this measure as it passed the House so convincingly,” said Rep. Ciccolo. “Along with provisions requiring state officials to explore expanding racial and gender data collection whenever a traffic stop results in a search or frisk, this bill will greatly increase public safety while ensuring that no group is unfairly targeted as a result of these important new restrictions.”

The bill defines hands-free devices as those that engage in voice communication and receive audio without touching, holding, or otherwise manually manipulating the device. Law enforcement officials have the ability to issue warnings to drivers until Dec. 31, 2019 before the law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The bill will also:

• Allow for drivers to use mapping or navigation devices if they are affixed to the windshield or integrated into the vehicle and only involve a tap or a swipe;
• Exempt use of electronics in the case of an emergency and for first responders if they are using the devices as part of their duties;
• Penalize drivers with fines $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense and $500 for third and subsequent offenses;
• Build off of and bolster existing law by creating compliance measures requiring the inclusion of race on the uniform citation and extending this practice to all jurisdictions;
• Invest $300,000 toward data collection and analysis by an outside entity;
• Require jurisdictions – if data suggest those jurisdictions may be engaging in racial profiling – to collect demographic data on all traffic stops for a one-year period; and
• Create an awareness campaign informing and educating the public of the dangers of using technological devices while driving and their obligations under this bill.

The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Representatives Haggerty, Ciccolo support bill providing $1,268,029 in road and bridge funding for Woburn

BOSTON – Woburn is set to receive $1,268,029 for local road and bridge repairs in Fiscal Year 2020 under a Chapter 90 bond bill supported by Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and Representative Michelle Ciccolo (D-Lexington).

The funding for Woburn was included in a $200 million bond authorization approved unanimously by the House of Representatives on a vote of 156-0 on May 8.

“This appropriation will provide Woburn with the resources it needs to repave local roadways and upgrade infrastructure,” said Representative Haggerty. “I was pleased to vote in favor of this aid to assist our communities in keeping our roads safe and complete local paving projects.”

“One of the most important functions cities and towns carry out is maintaining their roads in a state of good repair, said Representative Ciccolo. “Regular and routine road maintenance helps to reduce more costly repairs down the line when needed upkeep is deferred. As such, I am pleased to have joined my colleagues in supporting this bond authorization, and I will continue to advocate to increase this line item for our municipalities.”

Ratified by the Legislature in 1973, the Chapter 90 program appropriated funding on a yearly basis to cities and towns using a formula that incorporates the weighted average of a municipality’s population, employment, and total road miles. The funding dispersed as reimbursements to communities for qualifying infrastructure work.

Chapter 90 funds are able to be spent on a various municipal roadway projects, including resurfacing, drainage, sidewalks, guardrails, traffic control, right-of-way acquisition and street lighting. This funding can also be used for bike paths, tree planting and landscaping associated with certain projects, along with purchasing and maintaining certain road building machinery, equipment and related tools.

The Chapter 90 bond bill now moves to the Senate for further action.