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Sen. L’Italien’s Communities To Benefit From Economic Development Bill

Aug 12, 2016 07:04AM ● By Theresa Gilman

State Semator Barbara L'Italien

(Editor's Note: this content was provided by state Senator Barbara L’Italien's office.)

BOSTON -- Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $1 billion Economic Development Bill on Wednesday that will pump state funds into local transportation infrastructure, job creation, workforce development and housing.

Locally, the legislation provides $150,000 for sidewalks along Route 38 in Dracut; $150,000 for road and sidewalk construction and improvements along Main Street in Tewksbury; and $200,000 along the Route 133 corridor in Andover.
 “I fought for and am very pleased with the investments this bill makes in roads, sidewalks and new jobs in my communities of Tewksbury, Dracut and Andover,” said Sen. Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover.

The bill also sets $200,000 into a workforce development grant for Into Action Recovery Inc. in Tewksbury for the purchase and renovation of an opiate treatment facility. State Rep. Jim Miceli, D-Wilmington, led the Into Action Recovery piece of the bill in the House; Sen. L’Italien backed it in the Senate.

The House and Senate passed the bill around midnight on July 31 – the last day for formal sessions in the two-year legislative session. Gov. Charlie Baker was scheduled to sign the legislation at a State House ceremony Wednesday.

The bill establishes new programs to help the state address a variety of challenges, including lack of affordable housing, especially for young people, and rising student debt. The bill provides an option for cities and towns to create new “starter-home” zoning districts with affordable housing for young families.

The legislation authorizes $500 million in borrowing for the MassWorks program, which awards grants to cities and towns for infrastructure upgrades that spur economic development projects.

A tax deduction to match contributions to certain college savings plans -- up to $1,000 for single people and up to $2,000 for married couples -- is also part of the legislation.

Sen. Eileen Donoghue, D-Lowell, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, led the conference committee that negotiated final language of the new law.
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