Legislative Update

Although the State House remains in lockdown business is slowly progressing.  This week the House released its budget for fiscal year 2022. We continue to go through it but noted that it increases spending over the Governors proposal and puts more money into local aid. We don’t expect any legislative/policy changes to be taken up during the debate which is scheduled for the week of April 26th. We will update you with any findings as we continue to study its content. Once complete, the Senate will begin their debate in late May. We expect Governor Baker to file a supplemental budget to cover stimulus monies received from the feds.
The POST commission is beginning to take shape with Larry Calderone BPPA president being appointed from the policy group as well as Larry Ellison from the Minority Officers  Association. Chief Michael Wynn of Pittsfield was also named and will  join retired Superior Court judge Margaret Hinkle who will chair the commission. Social worker Charlene Luma, attorneys Marsha Kazarosian and Kimberly West, psychologist Dr. Hanya Bluestone as well as Clementina Chery, an ordained minister make up the remainder of the group.
Just this week, bills began to be numbered with S1669 and S2808 the Covid “3 year bill” getting lots of interest not only from our membership but public employees across the Commonwealth.  This will be a hard sell because of the high cost and large unfunded pension liabilities across the state. We pledge to work every angle in hopes of passage but please don’t make life decisions based on its passage. We must speak with a unified voice to have any chance at passage.
In response to questions raised by survivors of officers killed in the line of duty, we intend to file legislation which will broaden their rights to go to the top of eligible law enforcement lists.
Finally, in response to police reform liability concerns, the MPA is finalizing discussions on a liability insurance product to be offered to the membership. Details should be released shortly 

Stay Safe
Jim Machado