Continued Pandemic-Era Flexibility for Town Meetings
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
Over the weekend, Governor Baker signed a supplemental budget bill funding COVID-19-related items.  The bill also addresses several other pandemic-related issues.  Of greatest importance to towns are Sections 15 and 26, which give towns continued flexibility to modify their town meetings in light of the pandemic. Section 15 permits towns, upon a vote of the select board and with the town moderator’s approval, to reduce “the number of voters necessary to constitute a quorum at any town meeting” by as much as ninety percent.  As in the past year, the select board must “publish not ..read more
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New DHCD Guidelines on Multi-Family Districts for MBTA Communities
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
Long-awaited guidance for municipalities concerning how to comply with new requirements under the Governor’s Housing Choice legislation have finally been issued by the Department of Health and Community Development (“DHCD”).  General Laws Chapter 40A, Section 3A(a) (“Section 3A”) requires that all “MBTA Communities” have at least one zoning district of reasonable size where multi-family housing is allowed as of right.  In total, DHCD has defined 175 communities as “MBTA Communities.”  These are broken down into four types of communities: (1) Subway or Light Rail; (2) Bus; (3) Co ..read more
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Federal Court Issues Nationwide Injunction on Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
On December 7, 2021, United States District Court Judge R. Stan Baker at the Southern District of Georgia granted Plaintiffs’ motion to enjoin the Biden administration “from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in all covered contracts in any state or territory.”  Specifically, the Court determined that “Plaintiffs will likely succeed in their claim that the President exceeded the authorization given to him by Congress through the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act [(the “Procurement Act”)] when issuing Executive Order 14042.” Plaintiffs a ..read more
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Alexander Hamilton, Public Records Law Share Top Billing at the First Circuit
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
The First Circuit recently delved into a mustier corner of the Public Records Law in United States v. Letter from Alexander Hamilton to the Marquis De Lafayette Dated July 21, 1780, shedding some light on how the Public Records Law affects historic documents. The case concerned a 1780 letter from Alexander Hamilton to the Marquis De Lafayette about British troop movements in Rhode Island.  The letter was forwarded to the Massachusetts government, which authorized sending troops to Rhode Island to reinforce French forces.  Some time later, the letter was placed in the Massachusetts Ar ..read more
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When it Comes to Pot Shops, Local Control Wins
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
On July 20, 2021, the Supreme Judicial Court confirmed that municipalities enjoy substantial deference in dealing with marijuana retailers applying for Host Community Agreements (“HCA”).  In Mederi, Inc. v. City of Salem, the SJC affirmed the dismissal of a suit brought by Mederi, whose HCA application was denied after Salem determined that other applicants “appeared to be the strongest positioned to open, succeed, and provide minimal or manageable impact to the surrounding neighborhood.” Mederi’s suit sought a court order compelling Salem to award it an HCA and alleged that (1) Salem’s a ..read more
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FAA Announces Additional Aid Available to Airports under ARPA
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
On June 22, 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced its process for distributing Airport Rescue Grants pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319, Pub. L. 117-2) (“ARPA”).  The FAA is issuing nearly $8 billion in total grants to airports all over the country based on airport size.  Like CARES Act and CRRSAA grants, ARPA Grants are allocated on the condition of workforce retention requirements.  The FAA expects airport sponsors to apply for ARPA Grants by November 2021.  For more information refer to the FAA website and video explainer. A ..read more
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Governor Signs Bill Making Zoning Changes and Promoting Housing
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
The Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth that Governor Baker signed (with some specific vetoes) on January 14 has several provisions affecting municipal zoning.  Foremost among these are provisions mandating density and the Housing Choice provisions.  All of the provisions discussed here are effective immediately. Zoning Near Transit The Act requires all “MBTA Communities” to create a multi-family housing district.  All the towns for which Anderson & Kreiger is Town Counsel are MBTA communities, including those that do not have MBTA service. Specifically, each MBTA Community ..read more
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Aid for Airports and the Aviation Industry in the 2021 Appropriations Act
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
Image by Alexey Hulsov from Pixabay On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, H.R. 133 (the “2021 Appropriations Act”).  The President signed the legislation on December 27.  The 2021 Appropriations Act authorizes $2.3 trillion in federal spending, including a second round of aid for airports and the air transportation industry in response to the massive decline in air traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] Aid to Airports The 2021 Appropriations Act allocates $2 billion in additional funding for grants-in-aid for airport sponsors to preve ..read more
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Governor Mandates Wearing of Face Masks in Public and Delegates Enforcement Authority to Local Boards of Health
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
On May 1, Governor Baker issued an order mandating that people wear face coverings in public.  The order, available here, is the governor’s latest measure responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The governor is acting pursuant to his authority under the public health statute (G.L. c. 17) and the Massachusetts Civil Defense Act (Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950). Starting May 6, the order requires anyone in a public place who cannot “maintain a distance of approximately six feet” from other people to cover their mouth and nose.  People under age 2 or who have medical conditions inco ..read more
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Notarizing By Video Chat: Massachusetts Temporarily Allows Remote Notarization
Anderson & Kreiger » Public Law
by Anderson & Kreiger
1y ago
With the closure of non-essential businesses, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges and risks associated with meeting a notary in person has become a significant obstacle in many transactions – until now.  During the Covid-19 state of emergency, documents may be notarized “remotely” under the emergency measure signed by Governor Baker on April 27, 2020: An Act Providing for Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to Covid-19, Chapter 71 of the Acts of 2020 (the “Act”). In lieu of meeting a notary face to face, a person (the ..read more
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