Legislative Alert: End of Session Update
August 1, 2022
To: AICU Mass Presidents and VPs/Directors of Government Relations
From: Rob McCarron, AICU Mass President/CEO
Brad Freeman, VP of Government Relations
Re: Legislative Alert: End-of-Session Update
Dear AICU Mass Presidents and VPs/Directors of Government Relations:
We write to provide an update on two legislative items of note. Overnight, the Massachusetts Legislature reached an agreement on a sports betting bill, while making the unusual decision to leave an omnibus Economic Development legislation in conference committee as formal sessions conclude.
Sports betting: As we anticipated, the agreement on sports betting allows Massachusetts residents to place wagers on all professional sports and certain collegiate events that do not involve a Massachusetts team. However, bets will be permitted on Massachusetts collegiate teams if a Massachusetts team is participating in a “tournament” – i.e., March Madness. This compromise language is similar to that adopted in a number of other states and comes after extensive negotiations between the House and Senate.
In addition to negotiating a compromise on college betting, the conference committee also resolved differences on tax rates for wagers placed in Massachusetts, sports betting license fees and prohibited the use of credit cards when placing wagers.
Economic Development bill: The future of the Economic Development legislation remains uncertain as lawmakers had to scramble to reconcile the tax reform proposals included in the bill with the reality that a law passed in 1986 is about to trigger a $3 billion tax rebate to Massachusetts taxpayers. The inability to reach agreement on the legislation as formal sessions conclude means that any funding in the EcoDev bill that involved borrowing must be excluded from any future agreement, as borrowing requires a roll call vote which cannot occur during informal sessions.
As noted in prior alerts, the EcoDev bill contained concerning provisions that sought to address the nursing shortage in Massachusetts through targeted funding and loan forgiveness to students attending public colleges and universities in Massachusetts. AICU Mass will continue to press for the inclusion of private colleges and universities in these provisions as the majority of nursing degrees are awarded by AICU Mass institutions. We encourage institutions with nursing programs to contact the conference committee to advocate for the inclusion of your students in any efforts to increase opportunities for nursing students and faculty.
We will continue to update you as EcoDev talks proceed and further details regarding the establishment of sports betting in Massachusetts are unveiled in the coming weeks.
Please let us know if you have any questions.