On June 13, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies reported out a condensed version of Gov. Charlie Baker’s economic development bill, known as FORWARD (H. 4864).

The updated legislation does not include the federally funded earmarks from the governor’s $3.5 billion proposal, which combined the state’s remaining $2.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funding with $1.2 billion in state bonding. The updated bill contains the $1.2 billion in borrowing, with a primary focus on housing and infrastructure.

The current version includes $400 million for MassWorks, $73 million for the Housing Stabilization and Investment Trust Fund, and the creation of a Starter Home Zoning program. It would also provide funding for broadband infrastructure and the establishment of the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Center, as well as funding for brownfields, and water and sewage infrastructure.

The new draft would create a Center for Employee Ownership and a live theater tax credit, and includes provisions related to inclusive anchor institution procurement.

The Joint Committee on Bonding has scheduled a hearing on the bill next week, on June 24 at 11 a.m.

The state has until Dec. 31, 2024, to obligate its remaining $2.3 billion in ARPA funding.

In May, the MMA expressed its strong support for the items included in the governor’s proposal.

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