by Katie Lannan Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker gathered a bipartisan suite of former and current state housing officials in his office, and the group coalesced around a message: lawmakers should pass a Baker bill aimed at spurring housing production, and they should do it before 2019 ends. On Monday, Baker reiterated he'd like to see that bill pass this fall, while House Speaker Robert DeLeo indicated he wasn't ready to commit to that timeline. Asked about the bill after meeting with Baker and Senate President Karen Spilka Monday afternoon, DeLeo said he's planning to talk to local officials about it. "I'm going to be having a conversation with the mayors association, so I hope as a result of this I'll have a better idea in terms of where they stand," the speaker told reporters. "Last I spoke to them, they seemed to be very strongly in favor of the governor's bill, just want to make sure that they're still there." Baker's bill, which he first introduced in December 2017 in keeping with a goal of producing 135,000 new housing units statewide by 2025, would lower the approval threshold to make zoning changes from a two-thirds majority of the relevant municipal body to a simple majority. At a press conference in Baker's office last Wednesday, former Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki said he was "absolutely convinced" that if the bill (H 3507) passed this year, there would be "more housing starts next year," and Baker said approving it this year would mean it would be in place for town meetings and other municipal bodies to begin green-lighting new projects in the spring. Asked if he was working off that same timeline, DeLeo said, "I'll have a better idea once I have a conversation with some of the reps and most importantly, you know, some of the mayors, so I can see exactly where the problems are." As he has done in the past, DeLeo noted that Baker's bill has the backing of both NAIOP, which represents commercial developers, and the Massachusetts Municipal Association. "It was very interesting, which I didn't think was possible to happen, that they both agreed on the pieces of the legislation, which I thought was a major step forward," DeLeo said. He added, "I just want to see exactly, if the MMA or the local officials, if there's any movement or change in their opinion." Several mayors and local officials have spoken in support of Baker's bill since he first filed it, and Massachusetts Municipal Association executive director Geoff Beckwith said in December that the MMA and coalition partners its members have been working with view the bill as "an absolute yes." Some representatives have said they want to see the Legislature pursue a more comprehensive housing package, and DeLeo raised that point on Monday, saying he's "heard some concerns from a number of folks that it doesn't go far enough, so to speak." Baker acknowledged that position at last week's press conference. "I think from our point of view, now's the time, and we really need to get this done," he said then. "Some people would like less, some people would like more. I'm going to play Goldilocks here and say it's just right."