Thursday, June 06, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Fiscal Year 2020 Capital Investment Plan

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Fiscal Year 2020 Capital Investment Plan
$2.43 billion plan prioritizes investments to improve the Commonwealth’s existing assets while making targeted new investments, focusing on climate resiliency

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today released its Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Capital Investment Plan, a fiscally-responsible blueprint for capital spending that builds on the Administration’s efforts to maintain and modernize the Commonwealth’s existing assets while approaching expansion in a targeted way. The plan also prioritizes climate response, by once again considering the potential environmental impact of all capital investments as well as evaluating their resilience to climate change.

The FY20 plan supports capital investments in every region of the Commonwealth and across all areas of government, including transportation, housing, higher education, and the courts. The plan also funds more than 20 municipal grant programs that will assist cities and towns to improve local infrastructure, develop new housing, create new jobs, and protect police officers and firefighters by supporting investments in protective equipment.

The plan also includes major new investments in climate resiliency, enabled by the Administration’s proposal to dedicate new revenue to fund climate-resilient infrastructure investments. If enacted, the pending legislation would support an estimated $75 million in new funding for climate investments in FY20, more than doubling the current $60 million in investments in the plan that are targeted specifically at addressing the causes and effects of climate change, and annualizing to $137 million.

“This is a responsible plan that will meet many of the Commonwealth’s most significant needs, including reliable transportation and increasing housing production, while supporting local communities, promoting economic development opportunities, and protecting infrastructure from the impact of a changing climate,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“With our fifth capital budget, the Administration continues to partner with cities and towns to enable major investments in local infrastructure, increase access to housing in our communities, and improve the efficiency of local government with technology investments,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our capital grant programs serve as an important vehicle for increasing economic activity in the Commonwealth and creating new jobs.”

The plan dedicates more than $1 billion in state bond cap in FY20 for investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure, supporting investments in all transportation modes and regions of the Commonwealth. With funding from all state and non-state sources, the combined MassDOT/MBTA capital investment plan is expected to total $18.3 billion over the next five years and focus on continuing to improve the condition of MassDOT roads and bridges, building capacity to support projects at the MBTA and across the MassDOT system, while partnering with cities and towns to address local transportation needs.
Over five years, across sources, MassDOT will invest:
                    $2.1 billion for bridge investments
                    $800 million for projects on the Metropolitan Highway System
                    $350 million in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
                    $766.9 million to improve the pavement condition on non-Interstate highways, an increase of $155 million

The MBTA continues to make investments to improve the reliability of the system, which will be supported in the FY20 state capital plan, across sources, with:
                 $429.5 million for the Green Line Extension project
                 $282.2 million to continue improvements on the Red and Orange Lines, including the delivery of new vehicles
                 $115 million for South Coast Rail
                 $60 million transfer for MBTA capital needs

MassDOT’s final project lists are anticipated to be approved by the MassDOT Board of Directors and the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board on June 17.

The FY20 plan also includes $10 million for a major harbor dredging project in New Bedford, part of the Administration’s continuing commitment to economic development in the Southeastern region of the Commonwealth.

“As we developed this FY20 plan, we were mindful of the need to balance the Commonwealth’s capital infrastructure needs with prudent management of our long-term financial obligations,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “Our FY20 plan is fiscally-responsible, affordable, and leverages significant investment from other sources, to ensure that we are achieving the greatest sustainable impact with our spending.”

The $2.43 billion bond cap represents a responsible $90 million (3.8%) increase over Fiscal Year 2019, in line with the recommendations of the Debt Affordability Committee. The total capital investment in FY20, after accounting for all funding sources, will be $4.7 billion.

To view the full FY20 Capital Investment Plan, visit:

Responsible Asset Stewardship

Like the Administration’s four previous capital budgets, the FY20 plan focuses primarily on repairing and modernizing the Commonwealth’s existing assets. Approximately 73% of the plan is dedicated to maintenance and modernization, including rebuilding, reconstructing or reconditioning existing assets. The remaining 27% of the plan is dedicated to targeted growth through creation of new assets, or increasing investments in priority areas.

The plan funds:
                 More than $1 billion in bond cap for investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure
                 $182 million for projects on higher education campuses
                 More than $100 million to support maintenance and improvements at local housing authorities
                 $67 million for improvements to state court facilities
                 $33 million for investments in the state’s two Soldiers’ Homes, including $27 million to support the state’s share of funding for a new long-term care facility for veterans at the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea; and $6 million for repairs and improvements at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, including state and federal funding.

Supporting Local Communities

The FY20 plan funds more than 20 grant programs that help cities and towns invest in infrastructure to support economic development, build libraries, replace bulletproof vests for police officers, develop new housing, improve parks and protect open space, and other programs.

New in the FY20 plan is funding to develop a grant program that will help municipal fire departments invest in critical protective equipment for firefighters, authorization for which is pending in the Administration’s recently-filed General Governmental Bond Bill. The program would assist local fire departments to invest in updated protective equipment for firefighters including turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus, as well as special extractors to adequately clean personal protective gear.

The plan also includes funding to establish a new Southeastern Massachusetts Training Center in Bridgewater for the Department of Fire Services, which would reduce travel time and training wait lists for fire departments in the region. Governor Baker included $10 million in the recently-filed General Governmental Bond Bill seeking authorization for the new fire training facility.

The plan also funds:
                 $200 million in Chapter 90 funding for local road and bridge repairs
                 $20 million for library construction grants
                 $5 million for capital projects in communities that have achieved the Housing Choice designation
                 $3 million in Community Compact information technology grants
                 $2 million for the Municipal ADA grant program, which enables cities and towns to improve accessibility to municipal facilities for people with disabilities

Economic Opportunities for All

The plan provides for investments to promote economic development in every region of the Commonwealth. The plan funds:
                 $100 million for the MassWorks program, which funds local infrastructure improvements that pave the way for major economic development projects (of this, $80 M will be spent on new grant awards, and $20 M will be spent on existing obligations)
                 $40 million for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center capital program
                 $15 million for the Broadband Last Mile infrastructure program, for Western Massachusetts towns that lack residential broadband service
                 $10 million for a major harbor dredging project in New Bedford

Customer Orientation

The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to providing efficient, secure, and reliable service to the public as they conduct business with government agencies, visit recreational facilities, and make use of other public resources. The FY20 plan funds significant investments in technology and other public assets that improve the customer experience. The plan funds:

                 $27.2 million to continue implementing a new technology platform at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, improving the licensing and registration processes, assisting in the processing of millions of transactions daily, and improving the overall customer experience
                 $2 million in funding to support the IT infrastructure needed for the new Department of Family and Medical Leave

Value Optimization

The Administration prioritizes investments that leverage other sources of funding and promote partnerships and collaboration across agencies. For example, the FY20 plan includes a total of $1.37 billion in federal funding to support investments across the Commonwealth, among them the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, local highway investments, information technology investments that support the delivery of services at government agencies, and other investments. The plan also funds:

                 $16.3 million for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative, a matching federal grant program that supports research centers around emerging manufacturing technology
                 $15 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants,  awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses and align their curriculum with industry demand
                 $1 million for the Massachusetts Food Trust program, which leverages private funding to expand healthy food access in underserved communities

Preparing for a Changing Climate

The FY20 plan continues the Administration’s focus on infrastructure investments that help strengthen the Commonwealth’s resiliency to the impact of climate change. The plan includes approximately $60 million in investments that are targeted specifically at addressing the causes and effects of climate change. The plan funds:

                 $21 million for state-owned facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impact of climate change
                 $12 million for repair of Inland Dams and Seawalls
                 $11 million for grants to cities and towns to help plan for climate change resiliency and implement priority projects through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program
                 $5 million for sustainability and resiliency improvements in public housing
                 $5 million for Critical Coastal Infrastructure and Resilience Grants
                 $4.2 million for Dam Rehabilitation
                 $1 million for the Greening the Gateway Cities tree-planting program

In addition to those investments, the Administration’s proposed climate-preparedness legislation, if enacted, would support an historic level of investment in resilience, more than doubling the current investment.

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