Government Affairs Article - Lt. Governor at GMNC

Government Affairs Update

Pictured: Travis Condon, Chamber public affairs manager; House Minority Whip Katherine Clark; and Roy Nascimento, Chamber president & CEO, at a meeting hosted by the New England Council.

Federal Affairs:

At the end of January, the House passed their Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act. According to a House Ways and Means Committee summary, the bill includes $78 billion worth of tax breaks for businesses, expands the small business expensing cap, expands access to the child tax credit, and would allow businesses to immediately deduct the cost of their U.S. based R&D investments instead of over five years through 2025. The last portion is of particular interest to a number of our members, and while it would not create a permanent solution, it would be a step in the right direction. At the time of this writing, we are monitoring the legislation as it moves over to the Senate.

In January, Congresswoman Lori Trahan along with staff from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Markey’s offices visited the region, making a number of stops including one at the Gardner Municipal Airport to celebrate the grand-reopening following the completion of the Gardner’s recent Airport Revitalization Project. The project, which included a number of improvements to bring the facility into compliance with current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards was made possible through nearly $5 million in federal funding from the FAA, $500,000 through MassDOT, with the city taking on the remainder.

Chamber staff also attended a number of New England Council events that have allowed us to further connect with Congressman Jim McGovern and other members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation including Congresswoman Katherine Clark.

Government Affairs Article - FAA Presentation in Gardner

Congresswoman Lori Trahan along with representatives from the FAA present a check to state and Gardner officials for over $5 million dollars for runway and building improvements at the recent grand reopening of the Gardner Municipal Airport.

State and Local Affairs:

In early January, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll joined the Chamber as a featured speaker during our Good Morning North Central Program. Lt. Governor Driscoll highlighted the administration’s accomplishments over the past year and spoke about a number of challenges they are working to address including lower revenue growth resulting in 9-C cuts, housing shortages and the influx of immigrants in the Commonwealth.

Following her first State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Maura Healey filed her proposed budget for fiscal year 2025. The proposed budget includes $58.13 billion in total spending, representing a 3.7 percent increase over the current fiscal year. As written, the proposed budget would fully fund the fourth year of the Student Opportunity Act, boost Chapter 90 funds, increase funding for the new MassReconnect program and continue expanding access to higher education financial aid while also setting aside $7.5 million for small business technical assistance grants.

Additionally, the proposal would direct $1.3 billion from the recent income surtax toward investments in education and transportation. Education investments would include: the administration’s new Gateway to Pre-K initiative, which puts Massachusetts on the path to universal Pre-K access in Gateway Cities by 2026, expansion of child care financial assistance to thousands more families, and funding for the new Literacy Launch program. Transportation investments would include: increased funding for roads and bridges, including dedicated road aid for rural communities, implement a low-income fares program at the MBTA, and make a new investment of $250 million in transportation that will leverage $1.1 billion in borrowing over the next five years to tackle deferred maintenance statewide.

Just prior to releasing the budget, the Healey Administration also announced the Municipal Relief Package in an effort to help cities and towns generate additional resources. The proposed legislation would allow municipalities to increase local option taxes on meals and lodging while also creating a new local Motor Vehicle Excise surcharge option. The bill would also make permanent a number of popular COVID-era allowances for hybrid public meetings, outdoor dining permits and to-go cocktail sales. The Chamber is monitoring both pieces of legislation closely.

In March, the Chamber will meet with our region’s delegation as they work to craft the House and Senate versions of the budget. We plan to advocate for a number of priorities from our public policy agenda in the areas of small business support, tourism and education and workforce.

For questions or concerns regarding the Chamber’s public policy efforts, please feel free to contact Travis Condon, the Chamber’s public affairs manager, at 978.353.7600, ext. 224; or via email at