Representative Haggerty applauds House passage of Legislation to Increase the Commonwealth’s Competitiveness for Federal Funds

BOSTON – Wednesday, February 28, 2024 – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) was pleased to join his colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass H.4446, ‘An Act to provide for competitiveness and infrastructure investment in Massachusetts,’ an important piece of legislation that aims to enable the Commonwealth to leverage the interest earned by the Stabilization Fund, which currently stands at a historically high balance of $8.2 billion, to bolster the Commonwealth’s ability to compete for federal funds and pay down debt obligations, such as pensions and other post-employment benefits. Additionally, Massachusetts will be able to more aggressively compete for federal funding made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.

“The legislation enables the Commonwealth to aggressively pursue federal funding that have the potential to improve our infrastructure, invest in cutting edge industries, and create jobs right here in Massachusetts,” said Representative Haggerty. “This gives us a critical advantage when matching federal funds made available through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.”

The legislation creates the Commonwealth Federal Matching and Debt Reduction Fund, overseen by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F). The fund will consist of the interest earned on the Stabilization Fund in each fiscal year, any money appropriated to the fund, and interest earned on the fund. On a quarterly basis, the Comptroller will transfer interest from the Stabilization Fund to the newly established Commonwealth Federal Matching and Debt Reduction fund, but as a safeguard, no transfer will occur if the balance has decreased over the preceding year, or if it no longer exceeds 10 percent of budgeted revenues.

Administration and Finance office may expend the funds to pay down the Commonwealth’s debt or liabilities including pension obligations, OPEB, capital leases, general or special obligation contract liabilities, or transfer any amount back to the Stabilization Fund. Additionally, A&F may expend up to $750 million from the fund to provide matching funds for federal programs through December 1, 2026:

• Up to $50 million may be used for matching funds for federal programs in the form of grants, loans, and other financial assistance to cities, towns, tribes, and regional organizations; and
• Up to $12 million may be used to provide grants to support municipal, tribal, and regional organizations in planning efforts.

Having passed the House of Representatives 152-0, “An Act to provide for competitiveness and infrastructure investment in Massachusetts” now returns to the Senate for further consideration.

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