190th Session Recap: Economic Development

H.4732 – An Act relative to economic development in the commonwealth

Overview:

  • Jay filed and supported amendments to provide bond funding for Magazine Beach ($1 million) and autonomous vehicle road infrastructure improvements ($3 million), which were included in the final bill.
  • Creates restrictions on the use of “non-compete” agreements.
  • Green lights a Sales Tax Holiday for the weekend of August 11th.
  • Authorizes public infrastructure grants for local and state-wide projects:
    • MassWorks Infrastructure Program ($250 million) – provides a one stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development.
    • Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Institute ($25 million) – enables institution of higher education to participate in the Manufacturing USA initiative.
    • Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation ($1.25 million).
    • Cyber Security Innovation Fund ($2.5 million) – Establishes and capitalizes a cyber security fund to address cyber security threats and address workforce training and educational needs in order to expand employment opportunities in cyber security and related fields.
    • Workforce Skills Capital Grants ($75 million) – to purchase and install equipment and related building improvements for career technical education and training programs that are aligned to regional economic and workforce development priorities.
    • Cultural Facilities Fund ($50 million) – enhances the state’s creative economy through financing for acquisition, construction, expansion, renovation, and repair of cultural facilities, increase employment, entrepreneurialism, and tourism to regions where these facilities are located while stimulating a further investment in the arts, heritage, and sciences by preserving cultural resources.
    • Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund – will allow for the annual transfer of up to five percent from the Workforce Training Fund to the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund to support job training for unemployed workers and to meet demand in industry sectors with critical vacancies
    • Charges the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative with conducting a study and issuing recommendations on how to advance the state’s competitiveness in the autonomous vehicle industry.

Outcome: This bill passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor on August 10, 2018. However, the Governor vetoed a provision that would have prohibited a person from making an assertion of patent infringement in bad faith, and a provision to study the barriers to establishing “last mile” broadband connections. He also sent back 6 parts of the bill with amendments.

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

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