SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2020
On Thursday, House Leaders introduced H.5150, the House Ways and Means Budget for Fiscal Year 2021. Debate on the budget will begin on Tuesday in a full formal/emergency remote session of the House of Representatives.
Amendments were due at 8 pm on Friday, the day after the House W&M budget was introduced. Here are the amendments Rep. Connolly has filed for this week's debate:
Amendment #675 — Raising the Tax Rate on Unearned Income
- Would add $1.7 billion/year in new, progressive revenue to the state budget by raising the tax rate on "unearned income" from 5% to 9%.
- According to MassBudget, this proposal supports economic and racial justice (because unearned income flows overwhelmingly to high-income, white households).
- Would allow us to prevent cuts to the MBTA, to provide additional funding for child care and public education, to guarantee housing stability, and to replenish the state's Rainy Day Fund.
- Includes generous new tax exemptions for many seniors and disabled people who live on fixed incomes.
- Supported by the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition as part of the Invest In Our Recovery, Don't Cut Public Services campaign.
Amendment #763 — COVID-19 Guaranteed Housing Stability Act
- Newly-proposed revised version of the bill that was approved by the Joint Committee on Housing on October 1.
- Would cancel evictions and foreclosures for Covid-impacted tenants and homeowners for the duration of the public health emergency and for one year afterward.
- Would freeze rents and enable local options for Just Cause eviction protections.
- Would provide a variety of financial support to landlords with up to 15 units of rental housing, in exchange for cancelation of tenants' debts.
- Would extend and broaden mortgage forbearance/deferment protections for homeowners and landlords with up to 15 units of rental housing.
Amendment #766 —Protecting COVID-impacted Tenants Pending Rental Assistance
- The FY21 House Ways and Means Budget includes new language that would restrict evictions from being executed if a tenant has an active RAFT application that has not been processed by DHCD.
- This amendment was drafted by leading housing justice advocates to strengthen this provision.
Amendment #768 — Preventing Service Cuts to the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities
- Tomorrow (Monday, November 9), the MBTA's Fiscal Management and Control Board will discuss cutting transit service, part of a program of cuts and accounting tricks the Baker Administration is calling "Forging Ahead."
- This amendment would add $250 million to the Commonwealth Transportation Fund to support the operating budgets of the MBTA and the regional transit authorities.
- Rep. Connolly is also a co-sponsor of Amendment #700 — Transit Is Essential, filed by Rep. Hecht. This amendment would add $308 million to the transportation fund.
Amendment #777 — Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium Extension through at least January 1, 2021
- Would reinstate our strongest-in-the-nation eviction and foreclosure moratorium that was in effect from April 20 through October 17.
- The Editorial Board of the Boston Globe, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and countless advocacy groups support an extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, especially considering how the Baker Administration's "Eviction Diversion Initiative" is not yet fully operational.
This post may be updated with additional details.