In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Baker-Polito administration.
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today, January 22, announced plans to file legislation next week seeking $200 million in Chapter 90 funding to help all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts improve transportation infrastructure and address needs within their local communities.
Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s (MMA) Annual Meeting today.
This funding request complements the $31.5 million increase in unrestricted local aid that will be included in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget proposal, as announced by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito at the MMA meeting this past week. Keeping a commitment made by the Governor and Lt. Governor in 2014, the Administration’s budget proposals over the course of their time in office have increased local aid consistent with tax revenue growth. The Administration’s full FY23 budget proposal will be released in the coming days.
“As former local officials, Lt. Governor Polito and I pledged to be strong partners with cities and towns throughout our administration, and with these proposed investments in our cities and towns and local infrastructure, we are proud to sustain that commitment,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The budget proposals we have filed throughout our time in office kept our promise to cities and towns to increase local aid funding consistent with the growth in state tax revenue, and we have consistently filed for additional Chapter 90 funds to make critical improvements for local roads and bridges.”
“Our commitment to cities and towns has remained a vital part of our Administration’s approach, and we are proud to once again increase support for local aid through our FY23 budget proposal,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to partnering with our legislative colleagues to ensure our municipalities get the support they need to serve their residents and improve their local infrastructure.”
This $200 million in Chapter 90 funding would be available to local cities and towns for FY23. After taking office in 2015, Governor Baker quickly directed MassDOT to release $100 million in Chapter 90 funds that had been promised the previous year, fulfilling a commitment made to cities and towns. The Baker-Polito Administration has released a total of $1.56 billion in funding through the Chapter 90 formula, and if approved by the Legislature, this most recent request would bring the total to $1.76 billion.
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to focus on supporting cities and towns by providing critical resources through the Chapter 90 program and through increases in local aid,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “We are proud to once again request these important resources which give municipalities the tools they need to effectively improve their communities.”
In her remarks to the MMA yesterday, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito also announced that the Administration’s FY23 budget proposal will include $1.2 billion for unrestricted general government aid (UGGA), a $31.5 million increase over Fiscal Year 2022, and equal to a projected 2.7% increase in tax revenue in the FY23 consensus revenue estimate. Including the FY23 budget proposal, the Administration has increased the total annual UGGA distribution by $253.9 million since taking office.
“The Chapter 90 funding program is a lifeline for municipalities as they manage and maintain their roadways and bridges.” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “Additionally, the Baker/Polito Administration has created and funded municipal programs like the Complete Streets Funding Program, Shared Streets and Spaces, Municipal Small Bridge, Municipal Pavement and Local Bottleneck Reduction, which have not only provided a generational investment directly to communities but helped repair and modernize the transportation network of the Commonwealth.”
Through the Chapter 90 program, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects. Funding is awarded by municipality and is predetermined by a formula that includes factors such as population, road miles, and employment.