GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES BILLIONS IN CAPITAL INVESTMENTS FOR MASSACHUSETTS COMMUNITIES
Capital plan focuses on job creation, infrastructure investment and continued economic recovery
BOSTON – Thursday, November 17, 2011 – Governor Deval Patrick today unveiled the Administration's latest five-year Capital Investment plan, which builds on the Patrick-Murray Administration's unprecedented efforts to stimulate job creation and support long-term economic growth by calling for record level investments in the Commonwealth’s higher education, transportation, economic development, housing and other infrastructure and assets.
“These investments will put thousands of people back to work and ensure that Massachusetts continues to recover faster and stronger than most states,” said Governor Patrick. “These targeted projects will help address our short-term economic challenges and lay the foundation for long-term growth for generations to come.”
The Fiscal Year 2012-2016 (FY12-16) Capital Investment Plan is the fifth five-year plan that reflects the Patrick-Murray Administration’s priorities of creating jobs and improving the economy by investing in public education, supporting our innovation industries and strengthening our infrastructure. The plan seeks to support the Administration’s goals by investing in the Commonwealth’s public assets – roads and bridges, classrooms and academic buildings 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.
“Our Administration is committed to making strategic investments that will yield positive results now and in the future as we continue to support the Commonwealth’s long-term economic growth and sustainability,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “The projects contained in the capital plan will help improve the state’s infrastructure and create significant new jobs in cities and towns across Massachusetts.”
The plan continues the Administration’s efforts to create an affordable, accessible public higher education system, committing more than $1.2 billion to higher education infrastructure projects. The commitment includes: increasing state spending for higher education in Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) to a level over 500 percent from Fiscal Year 2007 when Governor Patrick took office; funding construction projects at every University of Massachusetts campus to improve higher education and create hundreds of construction jobs; and providing more than $100 million in funding during each of the five years for state university and communities colleges.
The FY12-16 plan also makes strategic investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation network to create thousands of new jobs while improving the environment for economic growth in the future. Transportation investments include: $20 million for the Green Line extension project; $86 million for federally-assisted statewide road and bridge repair projects -- providing a state match to $308 million in federal funds; $8.3 million to continue the planning and permitting phase of the South Coast Rail project which will extend the MBTA’s commuter rail service to Fall River and New Bedford; and $18 million for improvements to parkways managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
“Massachusetts is steadily emerging from the worst global economic recession since the Great Depression,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez. “This is in part a result of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s focus on fiscally responsible investments to reverse decades of neglect of our capital assets, creating thousands of jobs, and making targeted investments in the Commonwealth’s innovation industries.”
Highlights for FY12 include: $30 million in state-supported bonds to fund infrastructure improvements for the redevelopment project at the former naval air force base in South Weymouth; $21.8 million for the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to invest capital funds in long-lived, carrier-neutral infrastructure assets to more adequately equip residents and businesses to compete in the 21st century global economy; and $44.7 million for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which provides a one-stop shop for municipalities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation.
The FY12-16 plan continues to make major investments in the state’s public housing portfolio, which supports some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens, including: $90 million in FY12 for improvements to public housing; $78.5 million in FY12 in total spending for various affordable housing development programs; and $8 million for the Housing Innovations Funds to support the production of “innovation and alternative” forms of rental housing, including single person occupancy units, transitional and permanent housing for homeless people, battered women’s shelters, supportive housing for seniors and veterans and housing for substance abuse recovery.
The energy and environment investments made in the FY12-16 Capital Plan focus on the Patrick-Murray Administration’s three goals of investments in urban parks, preserving working farms and forests and protecting large natural landscapes for habitat. Funding includes: $13.7 million for parks in urban areas and Gateway Cities, which represents a 12% increase from FY12; and $25 million in FY12 for open space protection to allow greater flexibility to invest dollars on the best projects and to support the working farms and forests at the heart of Massachusetts’ rural economy, protect clean water and clean air, provide habitat for plants and wildlife and ensure outdoor recreation opportunities for all.
To read the FY12-16 Capital Plan, please visit www.mass.gov/capital