Senate Passes Capital Bond Bill

by | Jun 16, 2014

BOSTON- The Senate on Thursday, June 12 unanimously passed a bill providing for capital facility repairs and improvements for the Commonwealth, Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced.

“This bill will allow the Commonwealth to maintain and improve capital facilities across the state that will benefit our cities and towns,” stated Senator Moore. “It outlines investments in sectors like education and public safety, which are critical for the continued success of our municipalities.”

The bill authorizes the issuance of up to $1.31 billion in bonds for the improvement of capital facilities of the Commonwealth and for general government operations, including:

• $378 million for general state facility improvements;
• $312.5 million for health and human services state facility projects;
• $25 .5 million for accessibility improvements at state facilities;
• $50 million for cultural facilities funded through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund;
• $8 million for a school equipment grant program at vocational schools;
• $88.6 million for a municipal facility improvement grant program;
• $151.2 million for public library facility improvements;
• $6.2 million for a new vault in the state archives building;
• $14.65 million for a municipal public safety facility and equipment grant program;
• $10 million for equipment improvements within the Department of Correction and other offices within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security;
• $10 million for an automated motor vehicle citation system for the Department of the State Police;
• $10 million for the maintenance, improvement and expansion of the Massachusetts Hospital School in the Town of Canton;
• $35 million for the replacement of state police cruisers; and
• $20 million for a municipal police grant program for automated motor vehicle citation systems.

The bill also states that no less than $100 million will be expended to address deferred maintenance at state universities and community colleges, including another $100 million for deferred maintenance at the University of Massachusetts, an amendment filed by Senator Moore, who serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education.

To keep track of project spending, the bill establishes an infrastructure cost council to convene in the first year of each new gubernatorial administration to develop statewide infrastructure cost projections. It also requires the Secretary of Administration and Finance to submit biannual reports to the Legislature detailing the spending on projects funded through this bill.

The bill also extends the availability of certain bond-funded spending authorizations and de-authorizes previous bond authorizations.

The Senate and House will now produce a compromise bill for final passage and consideration of the Governor.