Boston’s 2023-2024 State Legislative Agenda

Mayor Wu released her 2023-2024 legislative agenda focused on five key areas. Her agenda includes seven targeted bills rather than presenting a larger list of initiatives.

Planning and Development – The Boston City Council passed Mayor Wu’s home rule petition to officially end the urban renewal mission of eradicating “blight and urban decay” that began in 1949 and redirects resources toward resiliency, equity, and affordability. The petition formally abolishes the Boston Redevelopment Agency (BRA) and the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) in favor of a consolidated Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) that is subject to greater mayoral oversight. The petition will now be sent to the State House for approval. Additionally, the Mayor signed an executive order directing the BPDA to immediately begin planning and advancing the new mission that aligns with the home rule petition.

Housing — The City refiled a home rule petition with the Legislature in order to adopt a fee of up to 2% on real estate transactions over $2 million and increase a tax exemption for senior homeowners from $2,000 to $3,000. Revenue from the fee would be used to create and preserve affordable housing. (H.2793)

The City Council passed Mayor Wu’s home rule petition authorizing Boston to implement rent stabilization. The petition limits annual rent increases to the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 6%, with a maximum cap of 10% in an effort to minimize excessive rent increases and associated resident displacement. The proposal would exempt buildings that have a certificate of occupancy less than 15 years old and owner-occupied properties with less than 6 units from the proposed limits. (HD.4216)

Transportation — The City continues to pursue adding a seat for Boston on the MBTA’s Board of Directors, given Boston’s status as the core of the MBTA’s service area. This proposal had support from the state legislature and Governor Baker, but did not come up for a final vote before the end of the previous legislative session. (H.3290 / S.1727)

A second transportation proposal on the agenda aims to reduce fare rates between outlying Commuter Rail stations in Boston and the core of Boston from $6.50 and $7.00 to $2.40, the same price as one trip on the subway. This would increase transportation access and equity in neighborhoods with limited subway service such as Roslindale, Hyde Park, and West Roxbury. (H.3288 / S.2291)

Consumer Protection — The City seeks to ban competitive electric supply companies, which trap unsuspecting residents, especially low-income residents and people of color, into higher electricity bills, according to investigations by the MA Attorney General’s Office. (H.3196 / S.2106)

Education — Mayor Wu is supporting legislation to expedite the process for unhoused families to access childcare. It would make state childcare vouchers available to unhoused families as soon as they arrive at a temporary emergency assistance shelter and give homeless families access to childcare vouchers if they receive assistance from the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. It would also qualify unhoused children ages zero to three for early intervention services regardless of other relevant risk factors. (H.147)

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