Legislature Enacts Sweeping Economic Development Bill

Investments support long-term economic health and prepares Massachusetts for new economic challenges

(BOSTON–11/10/2022) The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday, November 3, 2022, passed a wide-ranging $3.76 billion relief package to provide targeted energy assistance, support ongoing transportation needs, and invest in the state’s small businesses, caregivers, health care system, affordable housing, and efforts to fight climate change. Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in the Legislature to support the legislation.

“I am pleased with the important investments in both our community and across the Commonwealth that this sweeping legislation makes,” said Senator Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Providing funding for food security efforts, affordable housing initiatives, and the strengthening of hospitals and behavioral health services is a critical step in ensuring our residents continue to have the resources they need as we face rising prices and financial hardships. I was proud to vote to send this legislation to the Governor’s desk and thank my colleagues for their work to get this over the finish line.”

In addition to $3.76 billion in direct investments, this legislation ensures that the Commonwealth responsibly pays for the historic $3 billion one-time tax relief that will be returned to an estimated three million taxpayers over the coming weeks. Combined, this $6.76 billion in tax relief and direct investments will provide much-needed breathing room for families, small businesses, and individuals feeling the pinch of inflation. Notably, the bill closes the books on Fiscal Year 2022 and dedicates $500 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, leaving a balance of $1.74 billion in federal resources for future use.

A brief summary of funding included in the bill is below:

Over $2.4 million in local investments to the 4th Middlesex District, including:

  • $250,000 for local economic recovery efforts (Arlington)
  • $125,000 for Arlington Youth Counseling Center (Arlington)
  • $100,000 for the Arlington Historical Society (Arlington)
  • $100,000 for Parallel Park improvements (Arlington)
  • $100,000 for Arlington EATS (Arlington)
  • $200,000 for the Maurice Buck Auditorium renovations and updates (Billerica)
  • $125,000 for public safety equipment (Billerica)
  • $300,000 for Northeastern University’s construction of Wet Laboratories and Maker Space (Burlington)
  • $100,000 for planning and implementation of a mixed-use walkable village (Burlington)
  • $275,000 for transportation improvements and updates (Lexington)
  • $200,000 for community events hosted by government or nonprofits (Lexington)
  • $300,000 for the Hurld Wyman Elementary School Park redevelopment (Woburn)
  • $100,000 for Social Capital Inc. (Woburn)
  • $200,000 for Food Link (Woburn, Burlington, Lexington, Arlington, Billerica)

Over $1.4 billion invested to support health and human services programs, including:

  • $350 million for hospitals that have become fiscally strained during the pandemic
  • $225 million for rate increases for human service workers and providers
  • $200 million for COVID-19 response efforts
  • $195 million for nursing facilities and rest homes
  • $80 million for Community Health Centers
  • $20 million to reduce gun violence and related trauma throughout the Commonwealth, including:
    • $3 million for a grant program to support school safety infrastructure improvements
    • $2 million to provide behavioral health-related supports and resources in schools to reduce instances of gun violence
  • $20 million to bridge impending federal cuts to Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) programs and maintain critical victim service programs
  • $17.5 million for reproductive and family planning services
  • $14 million for facilities that treat individuals with an alcohol or substance use disorder in the Commonwealth
  • $5 million to support harm reduction efforts and services to address substance use disorder in the Commonwealth
  • $2.5 million for grants to support the nursing workforce talent pipeline

$540 million invested to support clean energy and climate resiliency initiatives, including:

  • $250 million to accelerate and support clean energy initiatives, including:
    • $100 million to promote and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, through the MOR-EV program as well as supports for the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure
    • $100 million for ports and port infrastructure to support the clean energy economy
    • $50 million for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to accelerate the transition to and expansion of renewable energy
    • $175 million for the conservation and improvement of publicly owned lands and investments in green spaces, with an emphasis on investments in environmental justice communities
  • $115 million for the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, including:
    • $15 million for planning and implementing water pollution abatement project in watersheds designated as nitrogen sensitive areas

$409.5 million invested to support affordable housing, including:

  •  $304.5 million to support and boost housing production, including:
    • $100 million for the Commonwealth Builder Program to support the production of for-sale, below market housing to expand homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers and socially disadvantaged individuals in communities disproportionately impacted by the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic
    • $100 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund established to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing
    • $100 million to support the production of workforce housing
  • $50 million for the Equitable Developers Financing Program to support the development of new housing in certain underserved communities
  • $25 million for regional low-threshold housing to support individuals experiencing homelessness or housing instability and who struggle with substance use disorder
  • $20 million for housing options and additional support services and resources to address the needs of immigrants and refugees
  • $10 million for public housing redevelopment

Over $500 million invested to support early education, economic development, workforce development and community support initiatives, including:

  • $153 million for small businesses grant relief, including $45M for minority, women, and veteran owned businesses.
  •  $150 million for early education and care providers through the continuation of the Commonwealth Cares for our Children (C3) stabilization grant program, including $60 million for subsidized providers.
  • $112 million to support the MBTA’s ongoing efforts to address the Federal Transportation Administration’s staffing and safety directives
  •  $100 million for the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust fund to offset estimated overpayments made during the course of the pandemic
  • $75 million for investments in broadband infrastructure and access across the commonwealth
  • $57 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), ensuring relief to families facing rising energy costs.
  • $50 million to promote the attainment of debt-free higher education for students pursuing careers in high-demand industries, such as health care, education, and cybersecurity
  • $25 million for food security infrastructure grants
  • $12 million to support the agricultural and blue economy sectors
  • $2.5 million for computer science teacher development

The bill now goes to the Governor for further consideration.