ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING PROCESS
On May 5th, Governor Healey, Lt. Governor Driscoll, and Economic Development Secretary Hao kicked off the state’s economic development planning process with the first meeting of the Economic Development Planning Council at the State House.
As part of the Planning process, the Council will hold Regional Listening Sessions across the Commonwealth, where stakeholders and members of the public are invited to participate in discussions that will inform the substance of the eventual Economic Development Plan. Below are the confirmed locations and dates for the first three regional sessions:
- May 19, 2023: Pioneer Valley Regional Session at Springfield College, Springfield, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- May 22, 2023: Central Massachusetts Regional Session at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, 11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
- May 25, 2023: South East Regional Session at Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m
They are asking for your help in getting the word out so that they can maximize this event and collect the insight needed to make the best plan possible. There will be breakout sessions at each location.
Please RSVP for the session you plan to attend by registering. You may register by clicking on the name of the session you plan to attend and completing the free Eventbrite form.
- LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
Article 87 – Housing/Economic Development Reorganization
On March 1st Governor Healey filed an Article 87 reorganization plan, establishing a cabinet-level executive office solely focused on tackling the housing crisis in Massachusetts. This will create the new Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, which will serve as the principal office to develop and execute housing policy, taking over all the powers and responsibilities of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Additionally, EOHED will transition into the Executive Office of Economic Development will continue to perform its current functions that promote economic development, job growth, and a competitive business environment. The Article 87 was enacted on April 30th and will formally go into effect on May 30th. Earlier this week, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that Ed Augustus will lead the new executive office.
- FY24 Budget Process
In late April, the House wrapped up its budget debate and passed the chamber’s budget proposal. Last week, Senate Ways and Means released its FY24 budget proposal and they will undergo a similar process in the Senate next week.
FEDERAL INITIATIVES UPDATES – CHIPS FUNDING
The CHIPS Act is a once in a lifetime funding vehicle to make transformational investments in U.S. manufacturing and industries of the future. Forty years ago, the U.S. was a global leader in manufacturing semiconductors and microelectronics. Now, the U.S. makes just 10 percent of the global supply.
In February, we joined 85+ organizations across eight Northeastern states, led by MassTech, in submitting a proposal to the Department of Defense CHIPS and Science Act-funded Microelectronics (ME) Commons program. The program will provide more than $1.6 billion over the next five years to hubs across the country – we are working diligently to ensure our region is one of those hubs. EOHED expects to hear back this summer whether Massachusetts has been chosen as a “hub.”
The Healey-Driscoll Administration, along with the Legislature, has committed to bolstering this effort with $125 million in bond authorization – including up to $40 million for Microelectronics Commons – to provide matching funds. In addition to ME Commons, EOHED has worked closely with MassTech and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing to launch a new web portal for Massachusetts companies to engage and request support for their submissions to the federal government for the next tranche of CHIPS funding. Many of these federal applications require companies to include a ‘covered incentive’ from the state be included with their submission, so this new portal helps identify what the needs are from the companies and get them connected with the right agency. Given the aggressive timelines on these requests, this is one way EOHED is trying to expedite the process and get the biggest win possible for the state.