Baker-Polito Administration Launches Economic Development Planning Council

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito swore in members of the Economic Development Planning Council on Monday.

The council will provide input on and oversight of an economic development plan that will be presented to Governor Baker by the end of the year. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy will serve as co-chairs of the council.

The new council brings representation from every region of the Commonwealth. The council includes appointees of the House, Senate, relevant Executive Secretariats, and municipal leaders, along with small business owners and entrepreneurs, leaders from key business sectors and higher education.

“Our administration values the unique insight the members of the Economic Development Planning Council will bring under Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy’s leadership to continue propelling Massachusetts’ economy forward,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“We remain committed to empowering local communities with the tools and funding needed to succeed and I look forward to reviewing the Council’s recommendations.”

The council and process are guided by Section 16G of Chapter 6A of the Massachusetts General Laws, which requires a new economic development plan formulated and signed by the governor within the first year of a new administration.

Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy, the council will embark on regional engagement sessions across the state to obtain public input in the development of a new economic development plan, which the council will approve and present to Governor Baker to guide economic policy over the next four years.

The Cape and Islands session will take place at the Chatham Community Center at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4.

Additional details on the regional engagement sessions, including session registration, are available online.

At the onset of the Administration’s first term in 2015, a similar process resulted in the plan entitled “Opportunities For All.” This plan formed the basis for the Administration’s economic development policy and led to the filing of economic development legislation in 2016 and 2018. Together, with the Legislature, the resulting bills signed by Governor Baker collectively authorized more than $2 billion toward growing the economy and promoting regional equity within Massachusetts.

“I am honored to co-chair this essential process and work with the exceptional and talented individuals appointed to the Council,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, co-chair of the Economic Development Planning Council.

“With Council members hailing from the Berkshires to the Cape, representing industries ranging from healthcare to financial services to manufacturing, from entrepreneurial ventures to large established companies, the composition of this Council will ensure Massachusetts benefits from a diversity of perspectives.”

The Administration’s economic development programs include the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to fund public infrastructure projects the drive job and housing growth, the Site Readiness and Brownfields programs, to enable communities to leverage underutilized sites and prepare them to be shovel-ready for development, the Collaborative Workspace program to empower local entrepreneurship and innovation and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) to support cutting-edge research and development.

The 2018 legislation authorized funding for the first ever standalone Dredging Program for our coastal communities, which supplements extensive funding for the Seaport Economic Council, which the Administration reconstituted in 2015.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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