Corean Reynold was recently appointed the Director of Nightlife Economy for the City of Boston, where she brings a wealth of experience and a passion for fostering an equitable and thriving nightlife ecosystem.
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Roundhead Brewing Company
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Bank of America
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May 22, 2023
For the state’s FY24 budget (S.3), the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce shared the following positions on a number of amendments:
SUPPORT: Amendment #800 (Crighton) – Mobility Pricing Commission
The Chamber appreciates the support of the Senate in previous legislative sessions to create a Mobility Pricing Commission to study long-term transportation financing options for the Commonwealth. The gas tax is a primary funding source for transportation but as Massachusetts transitions to cleaner modes of both public and private transportation, the state must plan for declining – and eventually eliminated – gas tax revenues. Similar to language adopted by the House and Senate in both 2020 and 2022, this commission will evaluate a variety of mobility pricing scenarios and present options for consideration to policymakers to ensure the transportation network receives adequate funding to improve safety and reliability for residents. The discussion is urgently necessary to begin formulating plans for stable and reliable transportation financing revenues in the years ahead.
To ensure the success of this commission, both its membership and legislative mission should remain balanced and neutral to policy outcomes to ensure full consideration is given to all financing options. The mission should not be outcome determinative and instead allow for innovative and open dialogue on possible policy options. This amendment as filed is balanced, and the Chamber encourages the Senate to adopt it with no changes.
SUPPORT: Amendment #1003 (Rush) MBTA Board Seat for the City of Boston
The Chamber supports creating a seat on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Board of Directors (MBTA Board) that is appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Given the significant portion of the T that runs through the City of Boston, in addition to the city’s large financial contribution to the system, Boston should have a designated seat on the MBTA board.
SUPPORT: MBTA Capital Investments (Item 1596-2404 – $190M)
The Senate budget includes necessary investments into the MBTA system by dedicating $190M to capital improvements to bridge repair, rehabilitation, and replacement, station and accessibility improvements, and signal work through 2025. While significant organizational and culture changes at the MBTA must occur in wake of poor service and historic safety problems, this appropriate use of income surtax funds will help the MBTA begin to address critical infrastructure issues and encourage increased ridership.
SUPPORT: Early Education and Care Stabilization Grants (Item 3000-1045 – $475M)
Access to affordable, high quality early education and care programs is a vital component to attracting and retaining talent in Massachusetts. Stabilization grants are essential to these programs as they face continuing challenges resulting from the pandemic and a tight labor market in 2023. These resources will not only support this workforce, but also the workforce of all employers with continued access to childcare options.
SUPPORT: Early College – Dual Enrollment (Item 7066-0019 – $12.6M) and Early Colleges Programs (Item 7009-6600 – $15M)
The Senate’s proposed funding will expand access for thousands of students to early college programming in high school. Early college is a proven strategy that increases overall college attainment and helps close equity gaps in college outcomes. This increased funding will meet the growing demand for high-quality early college programs and help colleges invest in wrap-around services to support students.
OPPOSE Amendment #819 (Lewis) – Eliminating Individual Tax Filing for Spouses
The Chamber opposes eliminating the option of filing tax returns separately for spouses in Massachusetts. This amendment will likely have several unintended consequences to tax filings for residents and will create confusion in the filing process unrelated to the application of the income tax surcharge approved by voters in 2022. For example, under current law, spouses must file separately when they are part-year Massachusetts residents and have different residency periods. Without understanding the goals and impacts of this change, the Senate should avoid creating even more uncertainty to our tax environment as the state moves to implement the income tax surcharge.
SUPPORT Amendment #776 (Cronin) – Housing Development Incentive Program Expansion
Amendment #776 would increase the statewide cap on the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) from $10 million to $57 million on a one-time basis, and thereafter to $30 million annually, similar to language filed by Governor Healey in her tax relief proposal, H.42. HDIP is a critical tool in combating high housing costs in Massachusetts by incentivizing market rate housing production in Gateway Cities and other municipalities. As housing costs continue to soar, increasing all types of housing supply is more important than ever, and this valuable tool will help spur more production that may otherwise face prohibitive financial barriers.
Climate & Energy
SUPPORT Clean Energy Investment Fund (Item 1595-6232 – $25M) and Amendment #98 (Eldridge)
The Chamber supports additional investments in the clean energy workforce as the Commonwealth adopts new sources of renewable energy and strives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Massachusetts is at the forefront of clean energy policy and the development of offshore wind, solar, and other clean energy technologies will create new jobs. These new industries will need access to a talented and trained workforce as the state moves from planning to implementing clean energy projects and necessary infrastructure improvements ahead of 2025 and 2030 emissions reductions requirements.
SUPPORT Amendment #786 (Barrett) – Large Buildings Energy Reporting Technical Correction
This amendment makes a critical technical correction to the administration of large building energy reporting requirements adopted as part of Massachusetts’s 2022 climate law. As the Chamber believes was the intent of the Legislature, the amendment will ensure that building owners may rely on their utility providers to report their energy usage for the purposes of section 20 of chapter 25A of the General Laws, alleviating building owners of the undue burden of what would be a difficult and cumbersome reporting requirement.