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Lawmakers Sign Off On Boston Events Fund

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh would control a new special events fund under legislation lawmakers sent to the governor's desk on Wednesday.

The legislation (H 4530), filed by Rep. Daniel Ryan (D-Charlestown), cleared both branches during lightly attended informal sessions the day before Christmas.

According Walsh's office, the bill allows city officials to "more effectively and efficiently raise private funds to support civic, educational, recreational, literary, scientific, artistic, theatrical and musical functions throughout Boston."

All fund records will be considered public record, including the identity of donors and the events for which donations are made, Walsh spokeswoman Kate Norton told the News Service.

The fund's trustees, appointed by Walsh, will meet at least on a quarterly basis and will be required to offer annual reports to the mayor and the City Council. The five-member trustees board will have three-year terms and serve without compensation, according to the legislation.

Norton described the events fund as a "nimble" administrative vehicle.

"The municipal accept and expend process can be too cumbersome for large-scale events that must be organized quickly (think: victory parades for local sports teams)," she said in a recent email. "In the climate of ever-decreasing resources, it is more important than ever to maximize the support we can obtain from private sources to produce events that benefit not only the people of Boston, but also serve to elevate Boston's reputation and attract visitors."

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