House Passes $4.2 Billion Economic Development Bill; Key Investments Eyed for Eastie

This week, Rep. Adrian Madaro and his colleagues in the House passed a $4.2 billion Economic Development Bill that will make significant investments in Eastie and across the state.

The bill utilizes American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) surplus funds, and bonds to make significant investments across several vital sectors of the economy, and to give back to low and middle-income residents in Massachusetts by providing one-time rebates and significant tax relief beginning in 2023.

In the bill Madaro and the legislation addresses disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic through one-time investments in health and human services, the environment and climate mitigation, economic development, housing, and food insecurity.

Important East Boston provisions earmarked by Madaro in the bill include $900,000 to the East Boston CDC to help fund the acquisition of units to maintain as affordable housing, combined with a previous $100,000 from the first round of ARPA funding for a total of $1 million to support affordable housing.

The bill also includes $2 million toward the creation of Piers Park Phase III on the East Boston waterfront, supporting the expansion of one of the neighborhood’s most important open spaces.

Madaro was also able to secure $150,000 for two air quality monitors to be installed and operated in Eastie, with data being made available to the public, in order to help residents understand and mitigate the impact of air pollution from sources like Logan Airport and Route 1A.

Lastly, the bill allocates critical funding to supporting health equity in Eastie, including $1.6 million for East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to establish an early diagnosis program to address issues of racial equity in diagnosis, as well as $20 million for the Health Safety Net, to help cover healthcare costs for uninsured residents.

“I’m excited about this economic development package which supports communities across the Commonwealth, and particularly folks here in East Boston,” said Madaro. “In this bill, we were able to secure important funding for the preservation of affordable housing, expansion of open space, monitoring air pollution, and vital healthcare services for uninsured patients, in addition to the many important provisions that will benefit residents statewide.”

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