Spending Bill Supports Local Initiatives, Blue Economy

Photo courtesy of Alexius Horatius

HYANNIS – Lawmakers on Beacon Hill passed a $3.8 billion spending bill last week that would support a variety of local initiatives on the Cape and Islands and provide investments in the region’s blue economy.

Plymouth/Barnstable State Senator Susan Moran secured funds in the legislation, including $155,0000 for Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce for seasonal workforce housing efforts and $25,000 for improvements to the visitor center in Buzzards Bay.

Moran also ensured there would be $85,000 in the legislation to offset childcare expenses for community members.

“It’s going to go right into communities and give opportunities for people in the workforce, particularly women, to be able to integrate solid childcare that they are very confident in so that they can grow their businesses and really focus on their job,” Moran said.

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr also secured $1 million in funds for local groups, with some of that money would go to AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod and Island Housing Trust of Martha’s Vineyard.

“I am delighted to bring back vital funding for important local organizations and initiatives that are helping Cape Codders and Islanders recover from COVID-19,” Cyr said. 

Cyr also pushed for funds to address the region’s wastewater issues. The bill includes $15 million for work in nitrogen-sensitive watersheds.  

The legislation includes $3 billion for an estimated 3 million taxpayers since the state auditor’s office confirmed that state revenues this year exceeded allowable levels.  

With checks already being sent out to some taxpayers and more people set to receive them in the coming weeks, Moran said she hopes the money will be useful with the rising costs of living.

“People need help right now with heating, all the prices for utilities have gone up, those funds can be directed towards those needs,” she said.  

Beacon Hill legislators decided to put off talk about any permanent tax cuts until next year.

Moran also negotiated for millions to come to Falmouth’s scientific research institutions in support of the town’s blue economy.  

The bill would bring $2 million to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to help build a new coastal research port infrastructure. $1 million would go to Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) for restoring it Waterfront Park Seawall.

The funds were also secured by Barnstable/Dukes/Nantucket State Representative Dylan Fernandes in the House.

“I’m proud to have collaborated with Senator Moran to secure $3 million in funding that will help Woods Hole remain sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change,” Fernandes said.

The legislation also calls for $57 million for energy assistance funds to low-income households and a special commission that will study the environmental impacts of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station decommissioning process.

The bill awaits approval by Governor Charlie Baker.

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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