A conference committee met for the first time on July 7 to begin the process of resolving differences between $5 billion general government bond bills passed by the House and Senate.

Both five-year bond bills (H. 4807 and S. 2951) include funding for a range of municipal grant programs, including:
• $100 million for municipal grants to support a range of local infrastructure improvements and projects
• $64 million to support the Massachusetts State Revolving Fund, specifically for state matching funds required to secure federal dollars for the fund, which helps cities and towns improve water supply infrastructure and drinking water safety
• $60 million for the Housing Stabilization Fund, which provides funding for municipalities, nonprofits, for-profit developers and local housing authorities in support of affordable rental housing production and rehabilitation
• $50 million for the Cultural Facilities Fund to provide grants for planning, acquisition, rehabilitation and construction of cultural facilities, administered through Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassDevelopment
• $25 million for Housing Choice grants to municipalities that receive a Housing Choice designation

The two chambers took different approaches to investments in municipal information technology. The House bill includes $30 million for the Community Compact IT competitive grant program for innovative technology initiatives at the local level. The Senate bill includes $20 million, with funding for IT grants to municipalities to expand remote meeting accessibility for residents.

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