Representative Jones named Legislator of the Year by Massachusetts Town Clerks Association
House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has been named the 2018 Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association (MTCA).
Representative Jones was presented with the award on June 14, the second day of the MTCA’s three-day Spring Conference, which took place at the 1620 Hotel in Plymouth. The MTCA cited Representative Jones’ advocacy work in support of the organization’s legislative priorities, including his successful efforts to secure over $1 million in funding reimbursement for cities and towns for implementing the state’s early voting law.
“I am truly honored to be recognized by the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association,” said Representative Jones. “The clerks are often the first point of contact for people visiting their local city or town hall, and they do an outstanding job assisting residents with everything from licenses to birth certificates, while also making sure our state and municipal elections run smoothly.”
Enacted in 2014, the early voting law was first implemented during the 2016 state election cycle. In February of 2017, State Auditor Suzanne Bump ruled that some of the expenses incurred by municipalities constituted an unfunded mandate, and recommended that these costs should be borne by the Commonwealth.
Following the Auditor’s ruling, Representative Jones was able to secure partial compensation for cities and towns as part of the House version of the Fiscal Year 2017 final deficiency budget last October, but the Senate did not include the funding. The full funding was inserted in the House version of the Fiscal Year 2018 supplemental budget on January 31 through an amendment filed by Representative Jones and was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on February 16, with communities receiving their payments in March.
Town clerks from three of the four communities Representative Jones represents were in attendance for the award presentation, including Barbara Stats of North Reading, Trudy Reid of Lynnfield, and Laura Gemme of Reading.