(BOSTON) – As the legislative session comes to a close, the conference committee tasked with reconciling House and Senate versions of the highly-anticipated economic development bill sent the legislation to the Governor’s Office last Thursday.
“This bill provides much-needed support to Massachusetts residents, businesses, and agencies working to improve the quality of life for Bay Staters,” said State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “With money allocated for senior centers and food pantries in our towns, this bill directly benefits residents in Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, and Scituate.”
H.5374, An Act relating to economic growth and relief for the Commonwealth, is the $3.8 billion dollar spending bill that taps into last year’s budget surplus and includes significant new investments in our labor and workforce development system. Some of the key provisions in this spending bill include:
—about $700 million for strengthening health and long-term care facilities as well as COVID-19 response,
—$100 million to encourage and introduce the use of electric vehicles,
—$57 million to bolster the Low Income Heating Assistance Program and to help curb the predicted rising costs of energy in the coming months,
—$50 million for a scholarship program to cut the cost of higher education for certain students in high demand fields, such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, and cybersecurity,
—$25 million to fight food insecurity through food security infrastructure grants,
—$10.5 million to support the costs of facilities, staff, and technology of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development,
—$2.5 million for the creation of a grant program that strengthens the nursing workforce talent pipeline,
—and $750,000 for the development and implementation of a workforce development second chance initiative that improves outcomes for underserved populations and candidates who face challenges entering the workforce.
The bill awaits the signature of Governor Baker as of Tuesday, November 8th.