Economic Development Committee Holds Hearing on Gov. Baker's Development Bill
BOSTON — Senator Eric P. Lesser and Representative Joseph F. Wagner, Senate and House Chairmen of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee, heard testimony from Governor Charlie Baker’s administration on Tuesday regarding his proposed economic development bill. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash reviewed some of the successes of the state’s economic development programming, including MassWorks and other grants that have been awarded to 165 communities across the Commonwealth.
“State and local partnerships such as MassWorks grants have been essential to redevelopments in Western Massachusetts. In order to have a truly strong statewide economy, we must make sure that Western Mass is getting its fair share of investment and attention, especially in ways that are the most helpful such as job training programs,” said Sen. Lesser.
“This hearing was informative, and I am eager to get to work on a proposal that will provide the tools and resources to support growth in Western Massachusetts and across the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Wagner.
Secretary Ash highlighted a new Apprenticeship Tax Credit proposed in Gov. Baker’s bill, H. 4297, An Act enhancing opportunities for all.
The tax credit would fund “learn-while-you-earn” apprenticeships in growing industries such as health care, IT and advanced manufacturing.
There are also a number of measures in the bill designed to redevelop the state’s affordable housing.
The Committee heard testimony from Chrystal Kornegay, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, and representatives from local housing authorities who voiced support for elements of the bill.