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Governor's Capital Investment Plan to Pump Billions into Infrastructure, Education

The administration says the plan will spur significant job growth and pave the way for long-term growth.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday released his five-year capital investment plan, which heavily invests in infrastructure, housing and education, calling for $3.27 billion in spending next year.

The lion's share of the 2013 cash – more than $1.8 billion – will go toward transportation and public works. Large chunks of that will go toward the Central Artery Tunnel Project, Chapter 90 municipal road and bridge projects, building a green line extension into Somerville and improving rail service between Boston and Worcester. 

The administration is also directing $592 million toward capital asset management, with nearly half of that directed toward higher education. 

"These investments will ensure that we continue on the path to economic recovery by laying the foundation for long-term growth," Patrick said of his Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-2017 Capital Investment Plan. "By investing in education, infrastructure and innovation we are creating jobs and building a better and brighter Commonwealth for the next generation." 

Here is a complete breakdown of how much money each agency is receiving. And here is a breakdown of investment by category.  

Highlights of the plan, as provided by the governor's office, are as follows:

The FY13-17 Capital Investment Plan continues to make investments in the Commonwealth public housing portfolio. In addition to the Commonwealth’s yearly $170 million investment in housing, the plan will provide a $10 million expansion for housing funding to support:

  • A $3 million investment in the Commonwealth’s Public Housing Energy and Water Savings Initiatives;
  • A $2 million investment to repair an additional 150-200 vacant public housing units in order for them to be brought back online and occupied;
  • A $3 million increase in funding for the Housing Stabilization Fund to create and/or preserve an additional 150 units of housing for veterans, homeless families, the elderly and other family households with incomes ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent of area median;
  • A $2 million investment in the Housing Innovations Fund to create an additional 80 units of housing for special needs populations.

The FY13-17 Capital Investment Plan makes strategic investments in the Commonwealth’s long-neglected transportation system. Projects include:

  • The purchase of and improvements to rail tracks along the Framingham/Worcester line, to allow greater opportunities for MassDOT to improve and increase service between Boston and Worcester;
  • $51 million in FY13 funding for MassDOT to continue work already underway on the Green Line extension in Somerville;
  • $5.4 million in FY13 for the Springfield Union Station Parking Garage, featuring the construction of a 480-space parking garage used in conjunction with the proposed development of the Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, a $45 million project with multiple funding sources;
  • $200 million for Chapter 90 municipal road and bridge projects, an $80 million increase over the annual funding level when GovernorPatrick took office.  

The FY13-17 Capital Investment Plan continues the Administration’s investments in the Commonwealth’s communities. Highlights include:

  • $41.8 million in grants to support eight new library construction projects through an expansion to the Public Library Construction Program;
  • $3 million in capital funding over two years for reforestation efforts after the longhorn beetle infestation for Worcester and surrounding communities;
  • $1 million to assist vocational schools in purchasing modern laboratory and shop equipment.

The energy and environment investments made in the FY13-17 Capital Plan focus on the Administration’s goal of reducing our environmental impact in a responsible manner. Highlights include:

  • $1.75 million for a four-year initiative to revitalize Heritage Parks, primarily located in urban areas, that provide exhibits and historic information with an emphasis on the industrial history of the communities in which they are located;
  • A $1.25 million investment in the nationally recognized river and wetland restoration program for the Department of Fish and Game expected to leverage an additional $5 million in federal and private funds and create over 75 jobs per year.

To ensure continued advancement in our innovation economy, the FY13-17 Capital Investment Plan will make the following investments:

  • $55 million in Governor Patrick’s Life Sciences Initiative capital program, an $11.5 million increase over FY12, to provide funding for at least 12 projects including the construction of the Sherman Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Worcester, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Biomanufacturing facility, and the Joslin Diabetes Center and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute;
  • $14.6 million to continue IT projects that will implement health care cost containment and child welfare information initiatives including converting to the federally mandated ICD-10 diagnostic coding system, implementing a new eligibility determination system, completing the federally mandated analysis for the Medicaid Information Architecture and replacing the existing FamilyNet child welfare system. 

The FY13-17 Capital Plan continues the Administration’s efforts to create an affordable, accessible public higher education system. Last week, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced new investments at a number of public colleges and universities, including $607 million for the University of Massachusetts (UMass) system and $298 million over five years for the Commonwealth’s community colleges. Highlights include:

  • A new Physical Science building at UMass Amherst, currently estimated at $85 million, that will accommodate enrollment growth and higher demand in science programs;
  • A new Management Building for the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell which leverages approximately $10 million in private donations to support the $35 million project;
  • A new academic classroom building at UMass Boston, estimated at $100 million to help address the demands of continued enrollment growth at the university;
  • $21.1 million for Berkshire Community College for renovation, including exterior masonry repairs, of the Hawthorne and Melville Halls;
  • $37.9 million for Mount Wachusett Community College for modernization to the Haley Academic Center and the addition of a wet lab;
  • $6.8 million for Springfield Technical Community College for major building repairs and other renovations to the main classroom and student activity building;
  • $22 million for Massachusetts Bay Community College (MassBay) to construct a new Allied Health academic building and to explore opportunities for a Framingham campus.

Do you think the governor's capital investment plan should concentrate so much info infrastructure and edcuation? What state investments do you think the state should make? Tell us in the comments. 

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