On July 25, the Massachusetts Senate passed an Economic Development Bill (S.2625). The bill contains a $200 million capital re-authorization for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which provides grants to support economic development and affordable housing projects.
The Senate also adopted two amendments supported by CHAPA:
- Senator Julian Cyr's amendment that will help create affordable homes and protect access to housing assistance programs by creating a narrow exemption for affordable housing nonprofits from state licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators. The amendment was co-sponsored by Senator Jamie Eldridge.
- Senator Jamie Eldridge's amendment to create a commission to identify the most effective self-sufficiency programs, examine the impact of cliff effects tied to minimum wage increases, and help shape programs that will best assist low-income families achieve economic mobility and independence.
Unfortunately, the Senate did not adopt two other CHAPA amendments, including an amendment that would have helped preserve public housing and another amendment that would have strengthened the Community Preservation Trust Fund. Although the amendments were not adopted, CHAPA thanks the amendment sponsors, Senator Joseph Boncore and Senator Cynthia Creem.
For a description of all the amendments supported by CHAPA, click here.
Thanks also to Senator Eric Lesser, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies; Senator John Keenan, Chair of the Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets; Senator Karen Spilka, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means; and Senate President Harriette Chandler for their leadership and support for these important community and economic development resources.
The bill now will now be reconciled with the House bill passed earlier in July. A final bill will need to be completed by the end of the legislative session which ends on July 31.