July 29th Information & Resources Update
Legislature Passes Interim State Budget Through October

Both the state House and Senate yesterday passed H. 4905, An Act making certain appropriations for fiscal year 2021 before final action on the General Appropriation Bill, an interim budget that funds state government through October 2020.

Among other provisions, the legislation includes:

  • An appropriation of $16,530,000,000 for the maintenance and operations of the various departments, board, commissions and institutions of the Commonwealth, including federal grant and Intergovernmental Service Fund expenditures, for other necessary services and for meeting certain requirements of law.  

  • "Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, items funded through this act shall be funded in a manner assuming not less than the lower of the general appropriations act for fiscal year 2020 or the operating budget."

  • A requirement that no cost savings shall be achieved through reductions in eligibility standards or benefit levels as compared with items funded in the general appropriations act for fiscal year 2020. 

  • If federal programs, or other alternative funding sources, are available to supplant state funding for the same purposes, the Secretary of Administration and Finance may reduce the state’s portion of said funding in a manner commensurate with the additional federal revenue received for said purpose.

  • The legislation includes additional measures specific to the Health Safety Net Trust Fund, dental services provided by MassHealth, and nursing facility rates.

If signed, the legislation will be in effect until October 31.

Safety Training Programming Available to Businesses & Municipalities

The Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) will be hosting a webinar outlining two programs available to both businesses and municipalities:

  • The Division of Industrial Accidents (DIA) is now accepting applications for Safety Training Grants. The primary purpose of Safety Training Grants is to fund programs that reduce the risk of injury and illness to workers and promote safe and healthy conditions in the workplace through training, education, and other preventative programs. Each fiscal year the grant program awards a maximum of $25,000 to qualifying Massachusetts businesses and organizations operating within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts covered by Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law. Strong preference will be given to first time applicants, consortium applicants, employers and organizations who demonstrate a compelling program design that addresses an injury history, potential injury or provides a proactive approach to injury prevention.  

  • The Department of Labor Standards has availability for their OSHA Consultation Program. This program offers free OSHA Consultation services to help businesses recognize and control potential safety and health hazards. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses that may come about due to hazardous workplace conditions and practices. This consultation service is available at no cost to employers. It seeks to establish effective occupational safety and health programs. The OSHA Consultation Program consists of trained safety and health professionals.
The webinar will take place on Wednesday, August 5th at 11:00 AM. Click here for registration. Webinar video and dial-in information will be provided in an email upon registration.
MAPC Accelerating Climate Resiliency Grant Program

MAPC and the Barr Foundation are launching a grant program focused on climate resilience and advancing strategies that protect people, places and communities from the impact of climate change. 

The awards are one-year grants ranging from $15,000 to $55,000 for programs and capacity building, or two-year grants ranging from $55,000 to $150,000 for construction and capital improvement projects. 

This grant is applicable to the 101 cities and towns in the MAPC region; regional collaboration and partnerships are encouraged and preferred. Proposals are due by August 31, 2020.

TOMORROW: Vacant Storefronts Program Webinar

MOBD will be host a webinar to increase awareness of the Massachusetts Vacant Storefronts Program (MVSP). This program first became available through the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) in 2019, and can be used to help municipalities in their efforts to revitalize their downtowns and commercial areas.

Municipalities may apply to the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) to designate an area as a Certified Vacant Storefront District. After the district is certified, businesses or individuals may apply to the EACC for refundable EDIP tax credits for leasing and occupying a vacant storefront in that district, subject to a commitment of local matching funds.

The webinar will take place tomorrow, Thursday, July 30th, at 10:00 AM.

Click here to register via Eventbrite. Webinar dial-in information will be provided in a confirmation email upon completing registration.
Biweekly MetroWest Employer Town Hall Series

Area employers are invited to join the 495/MetroWest Partnership and the MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board for our continuing discussions, occurring every other week, surrounding critical issues business are facing. We will answer questions about the various resources that are available to companies and their workers during these difficult times.

These discussions are open to any interested party, and are held every other Wednesday at 1:00 PM via Zoom. The next session will be held on August 5th; click here to sign up!

  • Jason Palitsch, Executive Director, the 495/Metro West Partnership
  • Greg Bunn, Executive Director, MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you. You may reach me directly via email at [email protected] .

Jason Palitsch
Executive Director
The 495/MetroWest Partnership