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Advocacy

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board supports a comprehensive government affairs program designed to foster a political and legal environment in which members can operate their business successfully. Thousands of bills are filed at the State House during each legislative session-many impacting the real estate industry. GBREB reviews each bill for its potential impact on our members, actively tracking and testifying on all of them. Advocacy extends to the regulatory arena, making sure that government imposed mandates and regulations are rational and cost effective. GBREB keeps members up to date on all of the issues affecting them and encourages active member involvement in the political process.
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Events

REALTOR Day on the Hill
June 11 | The State House | Boston | CLICK FOR MORE INFO


Research

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) and The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International recently announced the release of “An Economic Perspective on Building Labeling Policies,” a report co-authored by Harvard University Environmental Economist Robert N. Stavins that examines the extent to which mandatory building energy labeling results in reduced energy use. The research and the resulting report were sponsored by BOMA International and GBREB. 

The project was prompted by increased interest in laws mandating energy scores and energy efficiency programs throughout the United States and in Massachusetts. It seeks to answer the question of the effectiveness of these programs. Read more


Legislative News

September 10th, 2014
Reminder:
 Boston Energy Scoring Reporting deadline 9/15 for commercial buildings over 50,000 sq. ft. No fines during the 1st year will be levied under an amendment to the law by Mayor Walsh.

August 8, 2014 Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill governing the terms of private construction contracts over $3 million. Chapter 276 of the Acts of 2014 regulates how and when retainage can be released by an owner. Retainage is a portion of the contract withheld until work is complete to insure that a contractor/subcontractor correctly completes a project. The new law caps retainage at 5%. Prior to the bill’s passage retainage was a matter of private contract negotiations.

GBREB along with several other organizations including NAIOP and AIA Massachusetts opposed to the bill out of concern it would interfere with private contract rights and increase the cost of construction. GBREB also raised concerns about lenders and programs that currently require 10% retainage including many affordable housing programs. Despite these concerns the bill was swiftly adopted by the Senate and House on a voice vote during the last two weeks of session.


Boston Building Owners Wary of Energy Reporting Law
Commercial Landlords Scramble To Compile Power, Water Use Data
By Steve Adams, Banker & Tradesman, February 2, 2014
Commercial property owners in Boston have a big homework assignment due May 15 but some are praying for an extension and warning that their grades could be misleading.  Read more 

December 20, 2013 :: Boston Energy Scoring Regulations Fast-Tracked
On Wednesday December 18th, the City of Boston Air Pollution Control Commission voted unanimously to approve new regulations pursuant to the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure law passed in May. Read More

May 9, 2013
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RHA Member Advisory: HUD Limits Landlords' Right to Disapprove Companion Animals

Energy Initiative Creates Pushback
Real Estate Groups Oppose Mayor’s Plan. Costs May outweigh benefits, study says.
By Alyssa Edes, Boston Globe, March 28th
“Programs that require commercial property owners to monitor and publicly report energy and water consumption in their buildings impose financial burdens on the owners with no guarantee of producing significant energy savings, according to a report commissioned by commercial real estate groups to be released Thursday. Read more

Labeling Plan isn't Worth the Energy
By Lawrence Harmon, Boston Globe, March 16, 2013
"Mayor Menino wants building owners in Boston to collect data on their energy use and lay it at his feet." Read more

Call It What You Want: Building Labeling is a Tax
In Boston, It Will Hit Tenants and Small Commercial Building Owners Hardest
Op Ed by Greg Vasil, Banker & Tradesman, March 4, 2013
"The city of Boston is about to layer yet another level of penalties and fees on owners of condominiums, apartments and commercial buildings, and these assessments are sure to hit those least able to afford them the hardest." Read more

Neighborhood Network News
Interview by Chris Lovett, March 1, 2013

Think globally, mandate locally?
Herald Staff, Boston Herald, February 24, 2013
"Boston Mayor Tom Menino is launching a new greenhouse gas “disclosure” program that would require city property owners to ’fess up to just how much icky stuff their buildings are emitting into the atmosphere. The city insists it won’t try to mandate investments in energy efficiency. Uh-huh."  Read more 

Menino takes on buildings' energy use
Wants reports, ratings online; commercial owners fear a stigma
by Alyssa Edes, Boston Globe, February 22, 2013
"Mayor Thomas M. Menino, seeking to encourage Boston businesses to be more energy conscious, is proposing a new law that would require commcerial building owners to report annual energy and water use to the city, which would in turn make it public." Read more

Cutting emissions to cost Boston building owners $838M
Lots of green to go green
by Marie Szaniazlo, Boston Herald, February 14, 2013
"Mayor Thomas M. Menino and his Green Ribbon Commission of business leaders want to cut the city's greenshouse gas emissions dramatically over th enext seven years, but th eprice tag for commercial and industrial property owners alone will be a staggering $838 million." Read more

Click here to see a copy of the proposal | Bill Summary


SJC Decisions Limits Local Fire Department Rules | May 4, 2012

lock New Medical Marijuana Law May Create New Obligations For Property Owners and Managers...read more

lock The Political Edge
With election season in full swing, policymaking has turned to politics as legislators return to the district to campaign...read more... 

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SMOKE DETECTOR REGULATIONS FINALIZED
New Effective Date: April 5, 2010
State regulators have finalized regulations governing the installation of smoke detectors in single family homes and certain multifamily residential buildings which have not been constructed, altered ... 

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The Political Edge September 2009
After a quiet summer break, lawmakers will return to Beacon Hill in September with an ambitious agenda. Efforts to expand casino gambling will likely take center stage as the state still grapples with how to raise revenue. Increased media attention on a series of accidents involving elderly drivers has put new momentum behind a dangerous driving bill.

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The Political Edge - June 2009
After several months of political wrangling between Governor Patrick and the Legislature on a series of reform bills, taxpayers will soon face up to a billion dollars in new taxes.  Patrick had made his support for a

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