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Massachusetts governor proposes $3.5B economic development package, including $750M for clean energy

May 19, 2022

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are urging Massachusetts legislators to act on their proposed  legislation  that includes $3.5 billion in clean energy and economic development initiatives. The bill includes $2.3 billion in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and over $1.256 billion in capital bond authorizations to support projects to strengthen state infrastructure, create jobs and invest in all 351 cities and towns in the state. The legislation, called An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD), includes $1.2 billion in ARPA funds for climate resiliency and preservation efforts, with more than half of that designated for the commonwealth’s clean energy industry.

The $750 million proposed for the clean energy industry would be used for a variety of areas such as electric vehicle rapid charging stations at Logan International Airport, the expansion of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) Wind Technology Training Center in Charlestown, over $70 million in investments related to the New Bedford Marine Terminal, and a greater focus on higher education and workforce training in an effort to support the burgeoning clean energy industry. 

The funding would also help municipalities adapt to changing workforce dynamics as many people have altered how and where they work. The Baker-Polito administration released a Future of Work Report last year that explored how changing ways of working, including hybrid and remote work, could shift attention away from the urban cores along with changes in the economy that will mean more workforce training will be needed to connect workers with the skills needed for the future economy.

Additionally, the program would include the following investments in innovation and education:

Innovation (bond authorization):

  • $50 million for a new Competitive and Secure Future Innovation Program
  • $30 million for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2)
  • $24 million for R&D grants
  • $23 million for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Accelerate Program
  • $10 million for tourism destination development grants
  • $200 million for matching funds for anticipated federal grant opportunities in the technology and innovation industry

Education (ARPA funding):

  • $35 million for planning grants to higher education institutions

The ARPA funds must be committed by states by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026. The governor asked the Legislature to take action on the bill quickly.

Massachusettsclean energy, workforce, economic development, innovation