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New England News

Gov. Charlie Baker Signs Municipal Modernization Bill

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Governor's press office
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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday signed into law a bill aimed at making local government more efficient.

Baker described the legislation as a “weed whacking” of obsolete laws. 

It gives cities and towns more freedom, reduces state oversight, and reforms some municipal practices.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz regrets that a provision to give localities more control over liquor licenses was not included.

"For a community like Northampton which has a thriving entertainment-restaurant economy it is a really important issue,"  said Narkewicz.

The number of liquor licenses available in a city or town is subject to a population-based cap that can only be lifted by a vote of the state legislature.