July 30th Information &
Resource Update
FY22 State Budget Update: Legislature Acts on Governor's Vetoes, Amendments

Earlier this month, both the House and Senate passed a $48.07 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2022. The Governor subsequently signed into law substantial portions of the budget, while sending back amendments and vetoes on specific items. The Legislature has voted to override or reject several of the Governor's amendments and vetoes.

RTAs: Governor Baker returned sections of the budget via amendment to the legislature that would have eliminated performance grants from Regional Transit Authority funding and dedicate an $3.5 million to baseline funding for operations to fund RTAs at $94 million overall. Governor Baker reduced the funding by $3.5 million, to $90.5 million, the amount he originally proposed in his House 1 budget proposal that he filed in January. The House voted to reject the Governor’s RTA amendment and funding reduction on July 28th, and the Senate did so on July 29th, thus restoring the $94 million amount and eliminating the performance grants.  

Charitable Tax Deduction Delay: Both the House and Senate overrode a gubernatorial veto regarding a tax deduction for charitable donations; as a result of the veto override, the charitable tax deduction's implementation is delayed until January 1st, 2023.

MBTA Transfer: The Legislature overrode the Governor's veto in line item 1595-6369, Commonwealth Transportation Fund Transfer to the MBTA, from which Gov. Baker struck language he said was inconsistent with his H 1 recommendations.

Police Training: The Legislature overrode the Governor's veto in line item 8200-0200 which had reduced the Municipal Police Training Committee by $1 million.

Charter School Reimbursement: The Legislature overrode the Governor's reduction and wording strike in line item 7061-9010, Charter School Reimbursement, which had been reduced by $2.9 million.

Climate Preparedness: The Legislature override the Governor's wording strike in line item 2000-0101 Climate Adaptation and Preparedness.

Disbursement of Regional Tourism Grants: By law, $10 million from room occupancy taxes and 1% of gaming revenue from casinos and slot parlors goes into a trust fund, 60% of which is provided to the state's regional tourism councils. The Legislature required this money be distributed no later than September 1st and November 15th, respectively. The Governor's amendment pushed those dates back to September 30th and December 30th to better align with an existing transfer schedule for quarterly distribution of funds; the Legislature accepted the Governor's amendment. Note this action does not reflect a rejection of the Governor's action, but an acceptance.  

Other veto overrides impacted the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Corrections, Residential Assistance for Families in Transition, Emergency Family Shelters, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Children's Behavioral Health services, and more.

To review FY22 budget documents in detail:

SBA Streamlines PPP Loan Forgiveness Process

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA.  

The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on August 4th. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program through https://directforgiveness.sba.gov. In addition to the technology platform, the SBA is standing up a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications. Borrowers that need assistance or have questions should call (877) 552-2692, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM EST.

Established by the CARES Act in 2020, the PPP was among the first COVID-19 small business economic aid programs and provided more than $798 billion in economic relief to small businesses and nonprofits nationwide. 

Other programs include Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), EIDL Advance, Targeted EIDL Advance, Supplemental EIDL Advance, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, and SBA Debt Relief program. To learn more about these programs, please visit www.sba.gov/relief.  
MassHire to Host Statewide Virtual Job Fair August 16-20

MassHire will host a statewide virtual job fair over the course of five days, August 16th through August 20th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM each day. MassHire is still accepting participation from employers looking to expand their workforce; employer participation is free of cost, regardless of business size. The event will consist of two "General Job Fair" days, as well as three industry-specific days. Employers are not required to participate in all days, and may select those days that best meet their hiring needs.

Job fair schedule:
  • Monday, August 16th: General Job Fair (all industries)
  • Tuesday, August 17th: Manufacturing, Professional Services, Finance
  • Wednesday, August 18th: Healthcare, Hospitality, Education
  • Thursday, August 19th: General Job Fair (all industries)
  • Friday, August 20th: Information Technology, Building Services, and other

The job fair is being held via an online platform, Premier Virtual, that allows job seekers to interact with employers through a visit to their virtual booth, instant message or video chat, view job openings, and submit resumes. Click here for a preview of Premier Virtual. Premier platform training is being held prior to the event; training details will be included in your confirmation email upon completed registration.
MetroWest Hospitality Industry Career Fair August 24th

The MassHire Metro South/West Career Centers and the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce will jointly host a regional hospitality industry career fair, aimed and assisting area hospitality employers in finding needed staff.

The event will take place in person on Tuesday, August 24th from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at The VERVE Hotel, located at 1360 Worcester Street in Natick. Social distancing protocols will be followed at this event. Employer space is limited and booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Participation is free to employers.

For more information or to register, contact Sean Marshall, MassHire Metro South/West Business Services Manager, via email at smarshall@masshiremsw.com or by phone at (516) 317-3069.
MassEcon to Host Central Region Spotlight August 4th

As MassEcon focuses on marketing Massachusetts beyond its borders, the organization is hosting a Spotlight Series discussion. Next week, MassEcon will host a Central Massachusetts-focused session, which will include a high-level snapshot of industry trends in the area, and an interactive Roundtable Discussion "Why central Massachusetts works as a business location."

This event marks the third in a series that spotlights the regional advantages of doing business in Massachusetts.

The event will be moderated by Bob Cox, Managing Partner at Bowditch & Dewey. Welcome remarks will be offered by Tim Murray, President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. Panelists will include:
  • Bruce Platzman, President, AIS Systems, Inc. in Leominster
  • Jon Weaver, President and CEO, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI) in Worcester
  • Meredith Harris, Executive Director, Marlborough EDC in Marlborough
  • Peter Dunn, Chief Development Officer, City of Worcester
  • Roberta Brien, Vice President of Projects, Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC)

Following the central Spotlight, all guests are invited to stay for the MassEcon Summer Reception.

Click here to register for the event. This event is free for MassEcon and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce members, and $35 for non-members. Per CDC guidelines, those who are not vaccinated should wear a mask and appropriately socially distance. Please do not attend if you are experiencing any signs of illness on August 4th.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.