State Representative Aaron Michlewitz attended this week’s NEWRA Clean Streets Committee meeting to speak about the Green Ticket Bill. Code Enforcement issues “Green Tickets” to trash violators with $25-$40 fines. Currently, the tickets are not very effective because so many are not being paid. Violators simply don’t take the tickets seriously. Michlewitz estimates over $5 million in uncollected green ticket fines.
The new State bill would add some teeth by automatically adding all Green Ticket fines to the next property tax bill of the responsible owner. The bill was passed last year by the State legislature, but pocket vetoed by Governor Patrick. Speculation is that the Governor did not want to sign the bill because it had attached provisions for snow and ice removal that could be unpopular. The new bill does not have the snow/ice removal provisions so it stands a better chance of becoming law.
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. Aaron indicated his view that the City of Boston would opt-in.
Michlewitz is co-sponsoring the bill, known formally as House Bill 3588. He is asking residents to send letters in support of the new Green ticket bill with copies to Governor Patrick, Senator Petruccelli and his office. The Clean Streets committee will create form letters and email it out to members with contact information.
NEWRA’s Clean Streets Committee was enthusiastic regarding the bill’s potential and thanked Representative Michlewitz for attending the meeting. Additional information on the Clean Streets Committee can be viewed at www.newra.org and clicking the Clean Streets tab. You can contact the committee chairs, Naomi and Patricia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.