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***BREAKING NEWS*** Lawmaker ready to file bills over RMV

Public outcry spurs Alicea to action

September 30, 2009


A local lawmaker is on the move to bring a state Registry of Motor Vehicles branch back to Southbridge.

State Rep. Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton, announced today he plans to file a bill that would require the RMV to have an office in Southbridge.

Even so, House attorneys say the administration retains the authority about branch closings and openings, according to legislative documents from Alicea's office. Still, the attorneys say filing the bill would help gain public hearings over the issue.

Concerns and frustrations over the Charlton branch, which opened in August, prompted Alicea, who claims, the RMV "stonewalled" his concerns, to draft the bills

"There has been such a strong outcry from day one, about the move so that's what prompted me to take the next step," Alicea said.

The sophomore lawmaker also plans to file legislation that would require the agency to hold a public hearing about its decision to close the Southbridge branch earlier this year and open a branch on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton.

In addition, he plans to file a bill requiring the RMV to hold public hearing about future branch closures or moves no less than 60 days before making a decision. Public notices would also have to be published in local newspapers. The town in which the branch resides would also have to be notified.

RMV Spokesman Ann Dufresne declined to comment on the bills, saying she had not seen them yet.

Editor's Note: The complete story will appear in the Southbridge Evening News Friday, Oct. 2.

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