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LWVMA Urges Action on State Budget, Affordable Housing

LWVMA has asked the Massachusetts legislature to consider the needs of struggling residents when crafting a new state budget and drafting a compromise economic development bill.

In a letter to the House Ways & Means Committee, the League urged this committee charged with producing a budget to include progressive tax increases rather than cuts to social safety net systems, education, transportation and other vital services if necessary to offset a revenue shortfall.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed serious economic inequalities across our state and nation, including in housing, health care, education, paid sick leave and many other areas.  The League is concerned that any significant budget cuts to vital services will worsen the effects of the economic slowdown and further harm people already suffering disproportionately,” the letter stated.

In a letter to the conference committee reconciling the House and Senate versions of economic development bills, the League asked that a provision to reduce the vote needed to approve affordable housing to a majority of the relevant town board rather than two-thirds.  “We ask that you make it easier for all communities to add to their stock of subsidized affordable housing because experience shows the forces that work to keep such housing out usually succeed, even when majorities are in favor.”

The League asked the committee to add other provisions necessary to increase the stock of housing available to low- and moderate-income residents.

Read the budget letter here.

Read the housing letter here.