On March 23, 2007, the Governor approved a $1.8 billion immediate needs bond authorization. The legislation provided for the completion of on-going capital projects, federal funding for transportation projects and funding for urgent capital investment needs of the Commonwealth including projects related to state buildings, energy and environment, public safety, health and human services, and transportation.
On April 17, 2008, the Governor approved a $1.6 billion bond bill for transportation improvements which will leverage an additional $1.9 billion in federal reimbursements. This legislation included $150 million for Chapter 90 grants to cities and towns for local roads and bridges in fiscal 2009 and $700 million for certain mass transit improvements required as part of the state implementation plan. On August 8, 2008, the Governor approved a second transportation bond bill authorizing $1.445 billion for road and bridge projects and other transportation-related capital investments.
On May 29, 2008, the Governor approved a $1.275 billion affordable housing bond bill which includes $500 million for the preservation and improvement of the Commonwealth’s 50,000 units of state-owned public housing. The legislation also provides authorization for various programs that subsidize the development and preservation of privately owned affordable housing, including $200 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and $125 million for the Housing Stabilization Fund.
On June 16, 2008, the Governor approved legislation in support of the life sciences industry. Among other initiatives and provisions relating to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the legislation authorizes borrowing $500 million over a 10-year period to fund capital investments and infrastructure improvements around the state to support the life sciences industry.
On August 4, 2008, the Governor approved legislation creating a Massachusetts Broadband Institute within the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The Institute is to administer a new Broadband Incentive Fund, to be capitalized by general obligation bonds in the amount of $40 million, to invest in long-lived, publicly owned broadband infrastructure, enabling private firms to partner with the state to connect the Commonwealth’s un-served and underserved communities to broadband services.
On August 4, 2008, the Governor approved legislation authorizing $2.984 billion in Commonwealth bonds to finance an accelerated structurally deficient bridge program. The program, which was developed in collaboration with the State Treasurer, is expected to finance over 250 bridge projects over the next eight years with approximately $1.9 billion of special obligation bonds secured by a portion of the gas tax and $1.1 billion of grant anticipation notes secured by future federal funds. By accelerating the investment in bridges, the Commonwealth expects to realize hundreds of millions of dollars of savings from avoided inflation and deferred maintenance costs.
On August 7, 2008, the Governor approved a $2.2 billion higher education bond authorization. The legislation includes authorizations for new buildings, renovation projects and capital improvements at each of the Commonwealth’s public higher education campuses. Of the $2.2 billion total authorization, $1.2 billion will be dedicated to capital investments at state and community colleges, and $1 billion will be dedicated to capital investments at the University of Massachusetts. The authorized amounts are expected to be expended over a ten-year period.
On August 11, 2008, the Governor approved a $3.3 billion general government bond bill making targeted investments in public safety, city and town facilities, state buildings, and information technology systems. Included in the bill is authorization to assist communities with local infrastructure needs, improvements to state and county correctional facilities, improvements to court facilities throughout Massachusetts and capital repairs, on-going maintenance and unforeseen emergency capital needs at state office buildings and facilities. The legislation also authorizes targeted infrastructure investments to spur economic development in our communities. To enhance government services provided to all citizens of the Commonwealth, the legislation includes funding to modernize critical state information technology systems, including funding to replace and upgrade the outdated and overburdened systems at the Department of Revenue and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Energy & Environment
On August 14, 2008, the Governor approved a $1.64 billion land, parks and clean energy bond bill. This legislation includes funding for land protection and acquisition and funding to enhance state parks and rebuild related infrastructure. The legislation also includes authorization for new programs to address environmental challenges.
On August 5, 2010, the Governor approved an economic development bill, which, among other matters, provided for the recapitalization of key economic development programs financed through the Commonwealth’s capital plan.