Progress on Home Rule Petitions

The legislature enacted two more of Belmont’s five home rule petitions for this session. I appreciate the support from my colleagues in the House and the teamwork with Senator Tolman’s office to get these bills through.

One of the bills enacted today, House 4414, related to the creation of a recall procedure for elected officials in Belmont. This was one of the recommendations of the committee on town structural reforms chaired by former Selectman Solomon. The other legislative recommendation of that committee, House 4416, which strengthened the powers of the police chief to make appointments of officers, was enacted last week.

The second bill enacted this week, House 4423, made technical changes to the funding mechanism that the town has put in place for its post-employment obligations. The town is to be commended for taking steps to address the huge accruing liability for post-employment health care costs. Communities across the country have similar liabilities and many are not addressing the problem at all. The challenge that the town now faces is to find money to put into this funding vehicle.

House 4414, 4423 and 4416 must all be signed by the Governor before becoming law. I expect the Governor’s review should be swift and positive for these bills.

House 4901 relating to Belmont’s tax bill procedure was already enacted and approved by the Governor on November 4. Only one home rule petition remains — House 5024 adding liquor licenses. The House gave initial approval to House 5024 last week and Brownsberger said that the Senate is expected to approve it shortly.

Status Summary for Belmont Home Rule petitions:

  • 4901, Quarterly tax bills — signed into law
  • 4415, Police chief powers — on Governor’s desk
  • 4414, Recall procedures — on Governor’s desk
  • 4223, Other Post Employment Retirement Benefits — on Governor’s desk
  • 5024, Liquor licenses — approved House; pending Senate Approval

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.