SAM Legislative Team Scores Touchdown: Vintage Snowmobile Bill Passes (Larry Tucker)
Published on Monday, March 16, 2015 in Legislative Affairs, News & Updates
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The New England Patriot won the Super Bowl. But the Patriots are not the only ones scoring touchdowns, your legislative team also just put one over the goal line.

SAM Vintage Snowmobile Bill Passes!: On January 8th, 2015, your Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts (SAM) vintage snowmobile bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick. This bill creates a special Massachusetts registration for sleds older than 25 years. More importantly it makes the registration valid until the sled is sold and ownership is transferred to a new owner. This is a significant accomplishment for your association, as it marks the first time a SAM bill has passed into law since 1998.

The SAM Legislative Team: On behalf of the SAM Legislative committee, I would like to extend a big thank you to every one of you for your efforts in helping with the SAM legislation. And, when I refer to the “legislative team” I mean everyone – all snowmobilers, including the Executive Board, the Board of Directors, the clubs, the members and even non-members – anyone who has had any interaction with a legislator. In fact, every letter we write, every conversation, every email, every public hearing, every state agency we interact with is one more building block for our legislative program. The more we educate, the more exposure we have and the more awareness we create for our state association and our sport all contributes toward a more positive image of our sport and makes it easier to meet our challenges.

And what about the new bond bill? On Wednesday August 13th, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a 4-year, 2-billion dollar Environmental Bond Bill. This event marked another first for Massachusetts. This bill has the potential to provide up to $800,000 dollars per year for trails in Massachusetts and is available to the snowmobile community. It is modeled after the National Recreational Trails Program (NRTP) currently administered by the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). And it is the first time that the state has committed to enhance the NRTP program with additional funding. Prior to this bill, funding for snowmobile trails came only from the federal monies provided through the NRTP. The state does provide some funding for maintenance of snowmobile trails on state property through the operating budget of the DCR. We will be hearing more about this great new program in the future.

Vintage moto ski and yamaha snowmobile

It should not go unnoticed or unmentioned that Western Massachusetts now has a very strong link to the Massachusetts legislature as Senator Stan Rosenberg, (D) Amherst, is the new Senate President and the first Western Mass legislator to hold this position in over 40 years. Senator Rosenberg has considerable political skills and a well-earned reputation as a legislator who can forge alliances through negotiation, compromise and cooperation to get things accomplished. More significantly, there is a high number of snowmobilers in his district which covers 24 Western Mass. Communities, including Northampton, Amherst, Hadley, Hatfield, Pelham, South Hadley, Bernardston, Colrain, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Leverett, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell, Whatley and Royalston.

Again, I offer special thanks to all of you that helped with our SAM legislative program. Please keep in touch with your legislators and I hope to see you out on our snowmobile trails soon. And, remember, snowmobilers are all members of the Legislative Team.

Photo by Mark Kenyon

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