Rep. Dykema and District Senators Secure Capital Funding for Local Projects as Legislative Session Ends
Last month, legislation supported by Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D - Holliston) Senate President Karen Spilka (D -Ashland) and Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) was signed into law by Governor Baker. This ends the 2019-2020 legislative session with two extensive pieces of legislation to fund the Commonwealth’s transportation sector and aid in state and local economic recovery efforts. Governor Baker signed both into law on January 14th and 15th, respectively.
$16.5 billion in capital funding was approved as part of the transportation bond bill to finance the Commonwealth’s roadways, bridges, and transit infrastructure. Included in the legislation were capital authorizations for local projects with a focus on downtown revitalization and commuter safety.
Holliston received a $1.5 million capital authorization for traffic improvements and signage in the downtown area, as well as $500,000 for bicycle and pedestrian safety enhancements. Hopkinton and Southborough were also named in authorizations aimed at improving local pedestrian and bicycle travel, receiving $1.5 million and $500,000, respectively.
The bond bill also included capital authorizations for $300,000 each for the expansion of parking at the Southborough and Westborough MBTA Commuter Rail stations, which typically reached full capacity during traditional commuting hours prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor also approved the Legislature’s $626 million economic development bill to provide much-needed funding to state programming and an influx of capital into an economy that has been gradually recovering despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. Major provisions of the bill included funding for businesses impacted by the pandemic, increased lending for women- and minority-owned businesses, and key improvements to support the expansion of affordable housing.
Local authorizations in this legislation support community job development and economic growth from the ground up, including $2 million in workforce development and small business grants for the MetroWest area and a $250,000 authorization for wastewater treatment in Southborough.
“It’s my hope that these direct capital investments will contribute to the success of our small businesses and local industries, many of whom are still feeling the impact of COVID-19,” said Dykema. “Looking ahead to 2021, we still have many challenges facing the Commonwealth and plenty of work to do, but I’m proud of the work my colleagues in the 191st Legislature did to find common ground and make meaningful progress on the issues that have impacted our communities the most.”
A local economic development bill for the town of Holliston, H.5092, An Act authorizing the town of Holliston to establish an economic development funding program and fund, was also passed on the last day of the session. The special legislation codifies the creation of a dedicated economic development fund for the town. The Town also received a $50,000 authorization in the economic development bond bill that will support the work of the legislatively-authorized fund when included in a statewide capital plan.