The State legislature ended its 2009 session last week without consideration of the Green Ticket Bill, which is now likely to be brought up in January. Passage is still looking good, but the delay to 2010 was due to other policy and budget issues taking more time than expected before the State legislature recessed for the year.
The Green Ticket Bill adds some teeth to tickets issued by Code Enforcement for violations of trash regulations. Currently, these $20-$40 tickets largely go unpaid with estimates of up to $5 million in unpaid fines. The Green Ticket Bill would automatically add those fines to the property owners tax bill.
State Representative Aaron Michlewitz is expected to make his first legislative speech in support of the Green Ticket Bill when the House goes back into session in January 2010. Michlewitz said, “I want to make my maiden speech on this issue because it is so important to our neighborhoods.” State Senator Anthony Pettrucelli is also in favor of the bill. While the Governor pocket vetoed the last version of the bill, revisions to remove a snow shoveling restriction is now expected to garner the Governor’s signature in 2010.
Not only will the bill help enforce existing trash regulations, but the increased fine collection would modestly help the State’s struggling budget in the current economic environment. If passed by the State legislature and signed into law by the Governor, each municipality would have an “opt-in” to the program. Mayor Menino has said that the City of Boston would opt-in.
The delay also allows more time for residents and merchants to submit letters to our public officials. The bill is formally known as House Bill 3588. Click here to view a form letter and contact information.