Governor releases FY18 capital spending plan

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On May 11, Gov. Charlie Baker released a $4.4 billion capital spending plan for fiscal 2018 that describes the state and local projects that will be funded next year and how they will be paid for.
 
Transportation tops the list, with more than $2.3 billion for state projects, mainly highways, bridges and public transit, and an additional $210 million for local projects, including the Chapter 90 local road program and the Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridges programs.
 
Other state-financed spending items that support local government initiatives include $80 million for the MassWorks program to help finance local housing and economic development projects, $90 million for maintenance at local housing authorities, $20 million to expand high-speed internet access in western Massachusetts, $20 million for local library projects, and $10 million for local cultural facilities.
 
Capital spending for fiscal 2018 rises to $5.5 billion when including spending by state authorities, such as the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
 
The annual capital plan outlines how state spending will be allocated across all of state and local government next year. The plan generally does not include spending from local revenues.
 
The governor’s plan would target about three-quarters of new state spending next year for maintenance and modernization projects and set aside about a quarter for investment in new capital assets.
 
The capital plan for next year is funded mainly by $2.3 billion from general obligation bonds under the state’s bond cap, about $350 million in special obligation bonds, and $1.1 billion in federal funds. Most of the federal funds ($911 million) and special obligation bonds are targeted toward state transportation projects.
 
The bond cap reflects the recommendation of the state’s Capital Debt Affordability Committee, which in December determined that $2.3 billion in new general obligation capital debt could be prudently issued next year based on an assessment of debt affordability. This would be an increase of $70 million (3.2 percent) over the fiscal 2017 level of spending.
 
The Capital Investment Plan can be found at www.mass.gov/bb/cap/fy2018/rec/hdefault.htm.