For Immediate Release - March 15, 2013

Patrick-Murray Administration Files $3.8b In Bond Authorizations To Support Capital Investment Projects Across The Commonwealth

Bond bills reflect the Patrick-Murray Administration’s FY2013 – 2017 capital investment priorities for the Commonwealth; Includes $40 million to Bring Broadband Network Infrastructure to the Last Mile

BOSTON - Friday, March 15, 2013 - Governor Deval Patrick today filed a capital supplemental bill and a series of multi-year bond bills that will support the FY2013-2017 Capital Investment Plan. The plan continues the Patrick-Murray Administration's efforts to grow jobs and economic opportunity through strategic investments in the Commonwealth's infrastructure. 

“The Patrick-Murray Administration is focused on reversing decades of neglect of our capital assets by making targeted investments in the Commonwealth’s infrastructure,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “This bond bill will help create jobs and makes further investments in the Commonwealth’s innovation industries.”

The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Capital Investment Plan seeks to reverse decades of underinvestment, create jobs and improve the Commonwealth’s economic future by supporting public assets – roads and bridges, courts, correctional facilities, state hospitals, and public housing. The plan also invests in the Commonwealth's innovation industries to create thousands of jobs and set the stage for future economic growth.

The FY2013-2017 Capital Investment Plan, released in October of 2012, is supported by a series of previous bond bills, some of which will be depleted over the next few years. In order to complete the projects included in the plan, the Patrick-Murray Administration is seeking additional funding authorization from the Legislature.

With this bill, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced the Commonwealth’s $40 million commitment for the Last Mile Broadband Project, which brings broadband infrastructure to the residents, businesses, and community facilities in Western Massachusetts that rely on it. The Patrick-Murray Administration has worked with the Legislature to expand broadband access across the Commonwealth, through enactment of legislation to create the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) and providing state capital funding for construction of MassBroadband 123 fiber-optic network to expand broadband access to more than 120 communities in western and north central Massachusetts. The Last Mile Project, which will also be funded with private and other government investments, will build on MassBroadband 123 by bringing broadband access to 25,000 homes in 45 rural towns that are unserved or underserved.

To protect the long-term fiscal health of the Commonwealth, the Patrick-Murray Administration has imposed a Debt Affordability Policy that limits the amount of bonds to be issued each year.  All spending proposed in these bond bills will fit with the Administration’s current debt affordability policy.

The bond bills being filed today include:

  1. A capital supplemental bill for $375 million, which is immediately needed to ensure ongoing IT projects will not stop, and ensure facility improvement projects are not further deferred;
  2. A housing bond bill for $567 million to continue the Commonwealth’s investments in low income and public housing;
  3. An information technology and innovation bond bill for $869 million to ensure the delivery of critical services to constituents in a better, faster and more efficient manner than would otherwise be possible, including building on the Commonwealth's successful public safety information systems network modernization and Health Insurance Exchange to promote health care cost containment;
  4. An energy and environment bond bill for $911.5 million to support the Executive Office of Energy and Environment’s diverse capital program, including a new fund to address necessary coastal repair projects highlighted in the February storm. The bill also includes funding for the Accelerated Energy Program which aims to reduce energy consumption by 20 to 25 percent at 700 state sites, creating about 4,000 clean energy jobs and saving the Commonwealth an estimated $43 M annually;
  5. A general government bond bill for $928 million to support a wide range of capital projects from state facility improvements to public safety equipment to municipal grants for library construction; and
  6. A military bond bill for $177 million to make investments in the Commonwealth’s military bases. This funding will help enhance 46,500 direct and indirect jobs on our six military bases that collectively have an economic impact of $14.2 billion on the Commonwealth’s economy.