News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Attorney Speaks on COVID-19 and Chapter 32 at the MACRS 2020 Legal Panel

 

Matthew Feeney, an attorney with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented at the Massachusetts Association of Contributory Retirement Systems’ Annual Legal Panel on September 3, 2020, held via webinar. This webinar serves the primary mission of the Massachusetts Association of Contributory Retirement Systems, which is to preserve, strengthen and educate the 104 public retirement systems of the Commonwealth while promoting the rights and benefits of our respective members, present or future, and to uphold the public interest in the proper administration of contributory retirement systems. Speakers at the panel included: Judith A. Corrigan of PERAC, Lisa M. Maloney of Middlesex County Retirement System and Michael Sacco of Worcester Regional Retirement System.

 

Mr. Feeney’s presentation focused largely around COVID-19 and Chapter 32. He went into detail about procedural adjustments versus substantive application and adjustments. He also spent time discussing the impacts of COVID-19, personally and professionally, along with explaining the federal COVID-19 legislations and how they are related to Chapter 32 and furloughs.

 

Mr. Feeney heads up MHTL’s Chapter 32 public retirement practice and is well versed in all matters pertinent to the statute. Specifically, he provides frequent guidance to public retirement boards relative to the litany of member related issues that arise, and he frequently represents public retirement boards with litigation in varying forms.

 

With nearly fifteen years of experience as an Assistant District Attorney prior to joining MHTL, Mr. Feeney is one of MHTL’s most experienced litigators. In addition to his Chapter 32 work, Mr. Feeney also provides internal reviews and investigations for public entities as well as general litigation work before administrative bodies and courts upon behalf on municipal clients.

 

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MARIJUANA REFORM BILL BECOMES LAW

On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.

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