Baker Signs Off on Mail-In Voting Restoration

Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $261.1 million fiscal 2021 supplemental finances invoice Thursday that revives mail-in and expanded in-person early voting by Dec. 15 and establishes a brand new MBTA board of administrators.

Baker signed the invoice (H 3973) in full, approving all spending gadgets and out of doors sections within the finances despatched to him final Wednesday.

Whereas the underside line contains spending that can be reimbursed by the federal authorities, the invoice carries a web value of $64 million to the state and contains $29 million for COVID-19 response bills, such because the call-up of the Nationwide Guard, and appropriations tied to the 2020 policing reform legislation.

5 million {dollars} will go towards funding the brand new Peace Officer Requirements and Coaching Fee, and a further $12.5 million will go towards implementing policing reforms in fiscal 2021 and monetary 2022.

The brand new seven-member MBTA board replaces the defunct Fiscal and Administration Management Board. It will likely be composed of the MassDOT secretary, an appointee of the T advisory board who has municipal authorities expertise, and 5 appointees named by the governor — one with security expertise, one from a transit operations background, one with expertise within the finance world, one T rider from an environmental justice inhabitants, and a variety from a Massachusetts AFL-CIO shortlist.

Baker’s approval of the mail-in voting extension implies that voters in municipal elections this summer time and fall, together with Boston’s mayoral race, will have the ability to make the most of the coronavirus-era election reforms.

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