House of Representatives approves bill to fund police training via rental surcharge

Photo: Comunicas Foundation

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has given initial approval for the creation of a dedicated revenue stream to help fund municipal police training in the state. The House Bill H.4516, entitled An Act relative to the municipal police training fund, authorizes a statewide $2 car rental surcharge, whose proceeds will be deposited into a newly created Municipal Police Training Fund. The House passed the bill on a vote of 149-4 last Saturday, May 23rd 2018.

The Municipal Police Training Fund was one of the provisions under the criminal justice reform bill, signed by Governor Charlie Baker on April 13th 2018, and it 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 also 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. Creating this additional dedicated revenue stream will help to ensure there is adequate funding available to carry out this training on an ongoing basis.”

—State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury).

Representative Kane noted that the rental surcharge —which is scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2019— will not apply to customers who utilize transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. The bill also exempts rentals of less than 12 hours from being subject to the surcharge.

The bill will head to the Senate for further action. To keep tracking its development, check the official page here.

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