Milford Daily News: Senate passes bill to stimulate growth
April 12, 2010
Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, announced Thursday the senate passed legislation to promote a more business-friendly environment to help stimulate job growth in the state.
The legislation, passed by the Senate last Thursday, creates a “one stop-shop” for businesses seeking to expand or locate in the state by requiring the Massachusetts Office of Business Development to contract with regionally-based economic development organizations.
“This bill brings bold and innovative change to the way that we do business in Massachusetts to ensure that we can compete nationally and globally as well as keep and grow jobs here in the state,” Spilka said in a press release. “This legislation offers tangible assistance to businesses now so they can get people back to work. In the long term, by streamlining and clearly focusing our economic development activities, we will increase taxpayers’ return on investment.”
The bill’s goal is to increase competition among regions for new business to ensure they find the best fit in Massachusetts, and to also ncrease accountability, communication and oversight of state agencies, quasi-publics and state contracts with private organizations engaged in economic developmental activities.
The bill, which now goes before the House of Representatives, also requires the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development to act as chair of the boards of all state authorities engaged in economic development and business assistance activities, and expands the state pension fund’s investment authority by creating a $25-50 million credit program to support lending to fast-growing small businesses in the state.
Other bill provisions include prohibiting the use of state funds to pay for registered lobbyists; providing a three-year permit extension for development projects struggling with tight credit conditions and calling for a study of business energy costs, as well as a study to determine the feasibility of a state-owned bank.