May 24, 2018 BOSTON – The House of Representatives has given initial approval to the creation of a new dedicated revenue stream to help fund municipal police training in Massachusetts.
House Bill 4516 authorizes a statewide $2 car rental surcharge, the proceeds of which will be deposited into a newly-created Municipal Police Training Fund. State Representative David K. Muradian, Jr. (R-Grafton), supported the bill, which passed the House on a vote of 149-4 on May 23.
Established under the criminal justice reform bill signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on April 13, the Municipal Police Training Fund will be used to provide basic training for new police recruits, as well as mandatory in-service training and specialized training for veteran police officers. The fund is currently authorized to receive money from the licensing of marijuana establishments, the state excise tax on recreational marijuana sales, as well as civil penalties imposed under the voter-approved recreational marijuana law.
“The training process, for both veteran and rookie officers, is an essential component of effective policing,” said Representative Muradian. “Creating this additional dedicated revenue stream will help to ensure there is adequate funding available to carry out this training on an ongoing basis.”
House Bill 4516 requires the first $10 million in annual revenues generated by the new car rental surcharge to be deposited into the Municipal Police Training Fund. Any additional revenues above this amount will be transferred to the General Fund.
Representative Muradian noted that the rental surcharge, which is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019, will not apply to customers who utilize transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. House Bill 4516 also exempts rentals of less than 12 hours from being subject to the surcharge.
The bill now heads to the Senate for further action.