Worcester Home Rule Legislation Clears State Senate

by | May 5, 2015

BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) and Senate Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester) ushered legislation through the Senate during the April 30 formal session that would authorize the Worcester City Manager to appoint the Chair of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority (WRA).

“The WRA is a key tool in the city of Worcester’s economic development toolbox,” said City Manager Edward Augustus. “This legislation will ensure the WRA and the city are able to work with shared purpose on key development projects that will continue to move Worcester forward.”

Filed in mid-March pursuant to a home rule petition from the City Council, the bill transfers authority from the WRA Board to the City Manager to appoint the WRA Chair. The legislation also requires annual confirmation of the appointment by the City Council.

“I am pleased to support the City’s efforts to redevelop significant portions of the downtown area” said Senator Moore. “The City has identified the need for a close working relationship with the WRA and I am glad that the Senate was able to take swift action on this bill.”

Earlier this month, the legislation received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government which is co-chaired by Representative Jim O’Day (D-West Boylston). Each of the seven legislators who represent the City of Worcester in the House and Senate have co-sponsored the legislation.

“This is a home rule petition that the Worcester Delegation filed to ensure that the Worcester Redevelopment Authority’s priorities align with those of the Worcester City Manager” said Senator Chandler. “This legislation consequently allows the Worcester Redevelopment Authority and the City Manager to work towards a shared vision for the City.”

“I want to thank Senator Moore and Senator Chandler for their leadership on this issue” said Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “As our city’s landscape becomes more vibrant and dynamic the WRA will be an important partner in our future success.”

Having been successfully engrossed by the Senate, the bill will now go before the House of Representatives for consideration and a vote.