News Alert
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LYNN — Today, Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation to make $3.5 billion in investments to support Massachusetts’s path forward as the Commonwealth transitions into a post-pandemic world, including projects to strengthen state infrastructure, create jobs and invest in all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth.

The legislation, An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD) includes $2.3 billion in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and over $1.256 billion in capital bond authorizations.

“The FORWARD legislation will make investments in every municipality in Massachusetts, strengthening downtowns, improving the resiliency of infrastructure and giving workers the tools they need to succeed in today’s economy. We look forward to working with the Legislature to take action on this bill quickly to ensure cities and towns receive much-needed recovery funding.”

FORWARD Highlights:

Climate Resiliency and Preservation Efforts (ARPA funding):
  • $750 million in clean energy investments including:
  • $300 million for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) for programs, including grants and incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector consistent
  • $167 million at MassCEC for clean energy technologies and innovations that result in greenhouse gas emission reductions
  • $72 million at MassCEC for port facilities to bring inactive and under-utilized site into productive use for the offshore wind industry
  • $42 million for programs which support clean transportation or result in greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the transportation sector
  • $232 million to support 67 projects for parks, trails, and campground expansion and rehabilitation
  • $97 million for 55 coastal infrastructure projects
  • $64 in for 12 clean water projects, including COSs
  • $7 million for fishing and boating access projects
  • $6.4 million for resiliency and habitat projects
  • $4 million for open space acquisition
  • $1.4 million for culvert projects
Revitalized Downtowns & Communities (ARPA and bond authorization):
  • Almost $550 million for MassWorks grants for local infrastructure projects, including $147 million in ARPA funds to support 100 local projects and $400 million in capital reauthorization
  • $108 million for downtown recovery grants for 246 municipalities
  • $32 million for the Community OneStop for Growth competitive grant program
  • $10 million for site readiness evaluation projects
  • $7 million for brownfields redevelopment projects
  • $8 million for underutilized property program projects
  • $3.5 million for rural redevelopment grants
  • $1.2 million for community planning grants
  • $104 million in authorization for Clean Water Trust Fund grants
  • $50 million in authorization for the Revitalizing Underutilized Properties Program
  • $50 million in authorization for broadband matching funds in anticipation of competitive programs at the federal level
  • $12 million in authorization for “middle mile” broadband grants
  • $10 million in authorization for Seaport Economic Council grants
  • $10 million in authorization for the Rural and Small Town Development Fund
  • $5 million in authorization for Community Planning Grants
COVID-19 Response (ARPA funding):
  • $250 million for fiscally distressed hospitals
  • $100 million for future COVID-19 response needs, including testing
  • $30 million for ongoing efforts to adapt state government services to a post-pandemic world
  • $25 million for compliance and oversight costs associated with optimizing federal COVID funds
  • $20 million for local workforce training grants to recruit and train municipal employees that deliver important public services across the Commonwealth
Workforce (ARPA funding):
  • $300 million transfer to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to address unemployment overpayments
  • $25 million for HireNow
Housing (bond authorization):
  • $243 million in reauthorizations for existing programs to increase affordable rental housing production and rehabilitation, public housing, climate resiliency and transit-oriented development
  • $26 million in authorization to expand a public housing demonstration program and smart growth housing
Innovation (bond authorization):
  • $50 million for a new Competitive and Secure Future Innovation Program
  • $30 million for the Mass. Manufacturing Innovation Initiative
  • $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