Dykema Votes to Support Omnibus Development & Jobs
State Representative Carolyn Dykema joined her colleagues in the Legislature this week in passing a comprehensive economic development and jobs bill. This bill implements strategically-focused economic development policies that will make Massachusetts more competitive by improving the Commonwealth’s innovation economy, promoting economic prosperity through infrastructure investments and streamlined permitting, facilitating the expansion of new and existing businesses, and training our workforce for the future.
“As we are recovering from the economic downturn, it is more critical than ever to provide innovative and thoughtful investments that will strengthen our economy and provide more opportunities for job growth,” said Representative Dykema. “Massachusetts, and our MetroWest region in particular, is a hub for economic development and this bill will help us build on our successes and continue to grow.
This legislation recognizes the vital importance of infrastructure in allowing companies to grow in Massachusetts through the creation of the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which will serve as a one-stop-shop for infrastructure funding, simplifying the process for municipalities and enabling the state to allocate the funds in the most efficient manner.
The bill builds on the state’s already-strong commitment to small businesses by authorizing the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM) to invest at least $100 million to institutions that make capital available to small businesses and early-stage companies. And this bill also creates the Small Business Online Portal, which is a one-stop-shop for small-business owners looking for help or information.
In an effort to prime the workers of tomorrow, the Talent Pipeline Program will allow students and young innovators to get a head start on their future by matching stipends for interns at technology and innovation start-ups. The Innovation Investment Fund will offer matching grants to research and development projects sponsored by the state’s world-class universities and research institutions, keeping the Commonwealth at the forefront of innovation and economic development.
Additionally, the legislation provides for a recapitalization of the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund with a focus on “middle skill” jobs through collaboration between public educational institutions, workforce investment boards, and local employers.
Other provisions of the bill include:
-Creates a Local Infrastructure Development Program that gives municipalities a new tool for leveraging private funding to finance infrastructure improvements needed to support economic development projects;
-Establishes a Massachusetts Creative Economy Network tasked with creating a mentoring network, developing certification for creative economy businesses and attracting private investment to creative economy businesses;
-Streamlines the Economic Development Incentive Program, simplifying the program for municipalities and businesses seeking tax credits while maximizing the program’s efficiency;
-Extends Brownfield tax credits for two additional years (until 2015);
-Extends for another two years state and local permits held by any developer who has been unable to proceed with their project because of tight credit markets;
-Increases the annual cap on the state Historic Rehabilitation tax credit from $50 million to $60 million;
-Transfers $4 million from one-time settlements to the Rainy Day Fun for the Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund;
-Provides $250,000 for a competitive grant program through the Small Business Association of New England that helps avert layoffs at manufacturing companies;
-Creates a Manufacturing Grant Program that will support small and mid-sized enterprises;
-Creates a Community Investment Tax Credit Program that seeks to promote long-term public/private partnerships at the community level by providing a special donation tax credit for contributions made to selected community improvement efforts.
State Representative Carolyn Dykema represents the towns of Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway (pct. 1), Southborough (pct. 2 & 3) and Westborough (pct. 2).
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