Trust Fund Update, Latest CPA Adoptions, Historical Artifact Restorations,
and more in this issue of your CPA Update
CPA Update - June 29, 2016
Hello ,  
Before the long weekend of barbecue and fireworks, we're bringing you the latest updates on CPA!

In this issue of your CPA Update:
TestimonyCoalition Takes Action on Proposed CPA "Sunset" Bill 
A necessary part of the Coalition's work on Beacon Hill is to keep an eye out for legislation that might in some way be detrimental to CPA.  One such bill, H.4327, An Act Requiring Voters to Re-Accept the Provisions of Chapter 44B Once Every Five Years, surfaced for a hearing on June 14th before the Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government. The intent of the bill was to include a "sunset" clause in CPA, requiring communities to hold a ballot election every five years in order to keep the program active.

The Coalition attended the hearing and presented testimony explaining how this bill would have a harmful impact on CPA communities.  We met with Committee staff to further explain our position.  Lastly, we contacted CPA advocates who are constituents of legislators on the Committee and asked them to express their opposition to the bill.
We are pleased to report that the Committee voted to place H.4327 into a "study order," which means that the bill will not be considered for adoption during this legislative session.  We are grateful to the Co-Chairs of the Committee of Municipalities, their staffs, and all members of the Committee for their support of CPA.

TrustTrust Fund Update:
Likelihood of $10 Million For CPA Still Unclear   
After much work on Beacon Hill this spring, we're happy to report that state budget passed by both the House and Senate included a transfer of $10 million from the FY16 state surplus to the CPA Trust Fund.  The Conference Committee, which reconciles the differences between the House and Senate proposals, reportedly reached an agreement on the budget today (Wednesday, June 29th) and a vote to send the final budget to the Governor's desk is expected in both branches of the Legislature on Thursday.

While it is great news that both branches joined Governor Baker in proposing that $10 million be allocated to CPA, this funding is entirely dependent on there being a state budget surplus this year.  It's worked out well for CPA during the last three years, as the Trust Fund has received $46.4 million since 2013.  But state tax collections have flagged in recent months, and the state is trying to figure out how to balance the books on a shortfall that some estimate could approach, or even exceed, $750 million. 

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg described the troubling situation during an interview on WGBH's Boston Public Radio, saying that cuts will have to come from "everything we love." Given this information, the ultimate amount of funding for the CPA Trust Fund for this year is still unknown.  

AdoptionCPA Adoption Update:
Abington Adopts... Many More on the November Ballot  
On April 30th, Abington became the 161st community to adopt CPA. Since then, the towns of Rockland, Hull, Norwood, and Danvers, as well as the cities of Boston, Chelsea, and Holyoke have all placed CPA adoption on their respective ballots for November 8, 2016. Several other communities across the state are also considering CPA for the November ballot, including Springfield, Pittsfield, Palmer, Wrentham, Billerica, Watertown, East Bridgewater, and South Hadley.  It's a an exciting time for the program, but it also highlights the need for legislative action to stabilize the CPA Trust Fund, a top priority of our work at the State House.
The state of Massachusetts has long recognized the importance of preserving land, not only for its ecological benefits, but also for the ecosystem services open space provides, and for its social and health benefits, such as outdoor recreation.

Since 2000, Massachusetts municipalities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act have become active players in land preservation. Through 2014, there have been a total of 661 CPA-funded projects involving acquisition of land or a restriction for open space, agricultural or recreational purposes, totaling 24,290 acres. Of the 150 communities that had completed at least one CPA project by the end of 2014, 126 (84%) have acquired or protected some land for open space, agriculture or recreation.
StoriesCPA Stories Across the State:
Gatehouse & Wicked Local Cover CPA
As we reported earlier this month, Gatehouse Media and Wicked Local have been running a series of articles about the Community Preservation Act. Gatehouse reporters interviewed the Coalition staff, as well as statewide and local CPA advocates, and the result is a fascinating and very positive collection of over three dozen articles on local CPA programs, including a regional piece that takes a broad look at the statewide CPA program.

ArtifactsFeatured Project: Bringing Historical Artifacts Back to Life
Transforming Historical Artifacts into Neighborhood Icons
Many communities are home to significant historic artifacts, but those with the Community Preservation Act are fortunate to have a source of funding to perform restorations of these valuable resources. We've picked out several projects that highlight the use of CPA funds to transform historical artifacts into unique icons for the public to enjoy. 

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