Well, I hope everyone is shoveled out and Spring actually shows up soon! I want you to all know that Danielle, Kelly, and Amy have been working hard on our new software and website which looks great! We are in the process of getting all the information from the courses you take into the software so it will be as easy as a click of the button to get the listing of all your MTCA credits. This does take a little time so be patient please. As far as the website, we are constantly thinking of things that can be added to be helpful to us all.
I am currently also working with the City Clerk President Lisa Thomas to get some ideas and work to include the City Clerks more in our conferences as well as financial assistance from them towards the conferences as well.
The Legislative Committee, along with Tom Joyce, has also been working hard and coming together to really get things going for the Association. The Automatic Voter Registration Bill is gaining favor and looks like it may pass. Although we are not in support of all of the parts of the automatic registration bill, we were able to attach some very favorable Early Voting issues to this bill that benefit us all. This bill includes the elimination of the envelopes and mail in early voting ballots as well as being able to put the early voting ballots directly into the tabulators. I really appreciate all the hard work being done by the Legislative Committee and Tom Joyce.
I can’t believe our next conference is in Plymouth already! This year has gone by so fast and I appreciate all the help I have gotten from everyone to make my first year as President such a great experience! Thank you all.
Beacon Hill Report
While all of us have been trying our best to endure winters last gasps, our Massachusetts Legislature has pretty much been meeting as scheduled, absent postponing formal sessions for one day.
As state leaders are keeping their fingers crossed in hopes of strong revenues coming in for the balance of this fiscal year, Chairman of House Ways & Means Representative Jeffrey Sanchez is conducting public input hearings across the stat. He is in the process of formulating his first fiscal budget as Chair that will be debated by the House next month.
Joint Committees have been working hard to report out the majority of their bills as required by Joint Rules. As result, the House and Senate Clerks are toiling feverishly to process thousands of bills reported from those committees.
One bill reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Election Laws is House Bill 2091, authorizing automatic voter registration was reported into the House and has garnered tremendous support. That bill, which if passed, would by in large take effect in the year 2020. It authorizes the state Mass Health along with the Registry of Motor Vehicles to register voters. An important part of this bill, which the MTCA supports, makes the favorable changes we sought to Early Voting and would take effect before the 2018 biennial state election.
Another bill of note which we are pushing, House Bill 2673 which removes “born out of wedlock” from the list of restricted vital records is moving through the House and is presently being reviewed by House Counsel. Additionally, I am pleased to report that the recent Supplemental Budget signed by Governor Baker, included an amendment filed by House Minority Leader Brad Jones that provides $1,070,000 reimbursement to municipalities for early voting costs. We should commend Auditor Bump for her efforts in this cause.
Regarding the important issue of the 2018 primary election, Secretary of State Galvin has set the day after Labor Day, September 4th as the state primary date. He is also proposing that date be preceded by five days of early voting. It appears that some legislators are resisting legislation to extend Early Voting to primaries.
On a sad note, Representative Peter Kocot has passed away after a brief bout with cancer. Peter was a good friend of the MTCA and our most recent Legislator of the year. He was highly respected by his constituents and colleagues alike and will be sorely missed. We wish the best for his family.
On a happier note, I am pleased to report that in the Senate, Senator Harriet Chandler has been elected Senate President and has appointed her leadership team. She has pledged not to seek another term as President next year. Importantly should Senator Stan Rosenberg not be re-elected President in early January there are at least four Senators whom have announced they will be seeking the top job.
Working with MTCA Legislative Committee Chair Bob Cutler we will keep you updated as things develop in the legislature this Spring.
The following individual has earned the prestigious Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) designation from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC):
Brenna Murphy McGee, MMC - City Clerk - City of Holyoke, MA - email@example.com.
The Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) is one of the two professional designations granted by IIMC. To qualify for the MMC Designation, one must first earn the Certified Municipal Clerk Designation (CMC) as well commit to life-long learning by attending extensive advanced education programs and making significant professional contributions to the community and municipality in which they serve. Those that achieve the MMC Designation have demonstrated that they have actively pursued educational and professional activities and have remained informed of current socio-political, cultural, and economic issues that affect local governments and municipalities in today’s day of age.
Founded in 1947, IIMC is a professional association with more than 14,000 members in the US, Canada and 15 other countries. IIMC’s primary goal is to actively promote the continuing education and professional development of municipal clerks through extensive education programs, certification, publications, networking, annual conferences and research. IIMC also engages in municipal research administration, enhances critical professional skill development and fosters a spirit of mutual assistance and good fellowship among municipal clerks around the globe. IIMC is governed by a 26-member Board of Directors.