Committee of Conference appointed; Get your phone out now!

updateThe Bill we are following has been re-numbered again.  It is now #3903, and a joint committee of conference has been appointed.  The language that concerns snow & ice contractors can be found in Section 29 and reads as follows: 

 SECTION 29. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation may incur liabilities and make expenditures in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 in excess of funds available to the department for snow and ice removal; provided that the expenditures are approved by the secretary of transportation in consultation with the secretary of administration and finance. No expenditures shall be made in excess of funds available until $38,000,000 has been expended for snow and ice removal in each of fiscal years 2014 and 2015 and the negative balance of funds available for snow and ice removal shall not exceed $50,000,000 at any time during each fiscal year. The state comptroller may certify for payment invoices in excess of funds available to the department. (b) The Massachusetts Department of Transportation shall, on or before May 1 in fiscal years 2014 and 2015, report to the executive office for administration and finance and the house and senate committees on ways and means the total amounts budgeted and expended for snow and ice removal. The department shall seek appropriations, as required, to cure deficiencies resulting from the removal of snow and ice for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

On Wednesday, March 5, the House NON-concurred in the Senate amendment and Committee members were appointed.  They are:

House Ways & Means Chairman – Brian Dempsey, D, Haverhill;; 617-722-2990

Stephen Kulik, D, South Deerfield;; 617-722-2380 or 413-665-7200

Angelo D’Emilia, R, Bridgewater; angelo.d’; 617-722-2488 or 508-697-2700

On Thursday, March 6, the Senate insisted on its amendments and Committee members were appointed.  They are:

Stephen Brewer, D, Barre;; 617-722-1540 or 978-355-2444

Jennifer Flanagan, D, Leominster;; 617-722-1230 or 978-534-3388

Richard Ross, R, Wrentham;; 617-722-1555

This is the 6th Bill sitting in Committee. 

As an organization, we need to reach out to these committee members as often as possible to urge them to pass the Bill.  We have all paid out of pocket to cover the overhead expenses for snow removal and we need to let these law makers know what the ripple effect of that is on our employees, our businesses and our families.  If you have children, this is a great opportunity for a lesson in civics and government.  Get them involved!  Kids are wildly creative, they may have more of an effect on our politicians than you expect. 

Many of you are involved in other organizations, such as Labor Unions, Knight of Columbus, Rotary, VFW, Elks, etc., consider asking your brothers and sisters from these organizations to help you – you may be pleasantly surprised at the response.  Many of these organizations have political contacts and connections and are usually willing to lend a hand. 

Remember the saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” meaning, the loudest complaints receive the most attention. 

Let’s use all of our resources and turn our squeak into a ROAR!