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LAW, ADVOCACY & POLICY
Massachusetts State Reorganization
Completed September 2004
Change is Coming For MA State
In June 2003, several proposals to reorganize state government were being
considered by the legislature. This was an important issue for CRWA and the watershed, both
because these proposals aimed to change management of the Metropolitan
Park System (currently under MDC), and because there was an opportunity to make
real progress on sustainable development.
The three reorganization proposals came from the
the House and
Reorganization and the Environment
Environmental reorganization proposals fall into two general categories:
those that propose to reorganize at the parks agency level; and
those that propose a more ambitious cabinet level reorganization that
would bring together the offices of energy, housing, transportation and
the environment. The parks
agency reorganization is embedded in proposed cabinet level reorganization
plans. CRWA has been working with a number of other environmental advocacy
groups to build consensus and develop a sound position.
Virtually all of the groups we work with support reorganization at
the park agency level; many also support the goal of reorganizing at the
CRWA supports reorganization at both levels.
We believe the time has come to finally address the longstanding
problems of lack of accountability and disjointed management at the MDC by
creating a stronger, more accountable, unified parks management agency
that will manage the current MDC system of parks, reservations,
playgrounds, rinks, pools and parkways. We also believe that we must attack sprawl and give our
communities the opportunity to develop sensibly and sustainably.
June 2003 Call
The time is right to improve the management of Massachusetts’
parks and forests! We urge
you to call, e-mail or write to your Senator indicating your support for
We ask you to tell them that you:
support reorganization of the park management agencies that will
merge MDC and DEM, but keep the metropolitan park system intact and
create an advisory council;
support reorganization coordinating the environment,
transportation, housing and energy; and
oppose the reorganization amendment passed by the House (House
September 2004 - The Outcome!
We are proud to announce that all of the
overrides we asked for passed and some very important programs were
Click here to get more details on the results of
the state reorganization.
PROPOSALS FOR REORGANIZATION as of June 2003
Romney's Proposal For Reorganization
Governor’s proposal to reorganize the executive office (an article 87
reorganization) was rejected by the legislature in early June. One large component of the legislation is the creation of an
Executive Office of Commonwealth Development (EOCD). The goal of EOCD is to coordinate the work of the offices of
energy, transportation, housing, and the environment. CRWA believes that a coordinated office will give the state
the tools needed to actually promote sustainable development, giving the
environment a much-needed seat at the table on large-scale decisions about
resources, infrastructure and development.
CRWA supports the goals of this reorganization, even though it was
not supported by the legislature.
in the Senate About Reorganization
The Senate is currently in its budget debate process, and amendments to
the budget have been proposed that will reorganize the environmental
agencies. The Senate Ways and
Means budget will be available next week, when the Senate debate begins.
CRWA is advocating for a Senate budget amendment with the same
goals as the Governor’s proposal.
House Amendment (House 4001)
The House passed an amendment to their budget that included a
reorganization of the environmental agencies (House 4001).
This amendment would merge the MDC and DEM, but would create
significant problems by separating parkland management from recreation,
and by dividing responsibility for state forests between two departments.
CRWA believes this reorganization proposal is flawed and should not