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During the second week of July, Governor Charlie Baker brought attention to two developments, one transit-oriented housing project that just broke ground and another that is turning unused state assets into positive economic growth. Governor Baker also signed The H.O.M.E. Act, legislation providing additional support for members of the Armed Services, veterans, gold star families, and the Commonwealth’s two Soldiers’ Homes, and led a session on state action in regards to opioid addiction at the National Governor’s Association Summer Meeting. Lt. Governor Polito traveled to Hingham to highlight a Seaport Economic Council project, spoke to SouthCoast region chambers of commerce, and visited several businesses in Fall River.

Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh break ground on mixed-income, transit-oriented housing

ashmont-groundbreaking

On Monday, July 11, Governor Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh were on hand for the groundbreaking of a project that will transform an underutilized neighborhood parcel into an 83-unit, mixed-income housing development in Dorchester’s Ashmont neighborhood. This transit oriented project advances the Commonwealth’s workforce housing production goals.

“This development continues to build on our commitment to significantly increase the production of workforce housing throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Treadmark is an impactful project for Dorchester, showcasing how affordable and workforce housing can transform underutilized neighborhood parcels, and build community in the process.”

Treadmark builds on past and ongoing development in the neighborhood, and is advancing with significant state and city support, including over $3 million in state and federal tax credits that will generate approximately $22 million in equity for the project, $3 million in rental subsidy funds, and over $4 million in funding from the City of Boston. The development includes 51 affordable rental units and 32 homeownership condominiums. Four of the condominiums meet the requirements of the City of Boston’s Inclusionary Development Policy (80-100% of AMI), 16 units are affordable to individuals making up to 110% of AMI (workforce units) and the balance are market rate. The building also includes 5,000 square feet of ground floor neighborhood retail.

Governor Baker highlights the Commonwealth’s “Open for Business” initiative at opening

“One Canal is the result of a successful public private partnership between the Commonwealth, the City of Boston, and private industry to transfer unused state assets into positive economic growth,” said Governor Charlie Baker during the grand opening of One Canal Apartment Homes on Wednesday, July 13. “We congratulate Aimco on today’s opening and look forward to engaging the community on similar opportunities across the state in the future through our Open for Business initiative.”

Lt. Governor tours project benefiting from Seaport Economic Council grant

On a beautiful summer day on the South Shore, Lt. Governor Polito toured the site of the future Hingham Maritime Center, supported by a $700,000 grant from the Seaport Economic Council announced in February. The Center will support local recreational, commercial, and educational activities, and will help promote the Hingham Farmer’s Market and showcase the town’s history.

The Seaport Economic Council furthers the Baker-Polito Administration’s goal of supporting communities and residents across the state by leveraging unique economic assets to drive sustainable regional growth. The council was re-launched in August, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms.

Governor Baker Signs Legislation Supporting Veterans’ Benefits and Housing

veterans-bill-signing

Governor Charlie Baker was joined on Thursday, July 14, by active duty service members and veterans of the United States Armed Services, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña and members of the legislature as he signed An Act relative to housing, operations, military service, and enrichment, (H. 4285) or “The H.O.M.E. Act,” into law. The omnibus legislation provides additional support for members of the Armed Services, veterans, gold star families, and the Commonwealth’s two Soldiers’ Homes.

“We are grateful to the brave men and women who have answered the call for our nation and Commonwealth ,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am honored to sign this legislation enhancing the services Massachusetts provides to those active service members, veterans and families who selflessly serve to secure our safety and freedom.”

The legislation (as amended in H. 4477), signed into law by Governor Baker includes:

  • Section 1, Designates the Fall River Gold Star monument the official gold star monument of the Commonwealth.
  • Section 4, Expands the Public Service Scholarship to extend support to benefit children of service members held as prisoners of war or missing in action in any conflict.
  • Sections 6-8, Extend pay and benefits protections for employees of the Commonwealth who serve in the National Guard units or in reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces when they are called to service
  • Sections 9-10, Extend total municipal real estate tax exemption to cover surviving spouses of any service member killed during active duty service and veterans with service-connected blindness that results in a 100% disability rating from the Federal Veterans Administration.
  • Section 12, Allows for municipalities to establish a way for individuals to voluntarily check off, donate, or pledge an amount of money which shall go to the Municipal Veterans Assistance Fund. The Fund provides support for vets and their dependents in need of immediate assistance with food, transportation, heat and oil expenses
  • Sections 17-20, Expand provisions establishing preferences for veterans in publicly-supported housing units.
  • Sections 22-24, Add veteran status as protected class under the law prohibiting discrimination in employment (Ch. 151B, §4).

“This legislation provides important support for the veterans and service members of our Armed Services who have fought to uphold our nation’s values,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to provide critical assistance with financial security, housing, and educational opportunities for all those who have served and for their loved ones here at home.”

Lt. Governor Polito visits the SouthCoast

Lt. Governor Polito was in Dartmouth on Thursday to address community and business leaders at a luncheon with the Fall River Area and New Bedford Area Chambers of Commerce. Later in the day she also visited downtown businesses with Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II.

“I’m appreciative that both the lieutenant governor and the governor make their presence known here in the SouthCoast very frequently,” Linda Morad, president of the New Bedford City Council, told SouthCoast Today. “It’s nice when you have an issue, to be able to reach out to them.” The lieutenant governor also was in the area in May, when she announced $3.5 million in funding for cargo refrigeration improvements on State Pier.

Lt. Governor Polito joined Governor Baker for the opening and dedication of the new Health and Science building at Bristol Community College in Fall River. The building is the largest Zero Net Energy science learning facility on the East Coast — before it was constructed it won four regional and national awards for innovation. “It’s inspiring to think how this building will help change the lives of the students who attend Bristol Community College and its benefit to the community and local workforce,” said Governor Baker.

Governor Baker talks state solutions on opioids at NGA meeting

NGA Opioids

Prior to heading to Iowa for the Summer Meeting of the National Governor’s Association, Governor Baker announced that forty-five of his fellow governors had signed the Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction, developed by and released through the NGA. By signing the compact, governors are agreeing to redouble their efforts to fight the opioid epidemic with new steps to reduce inappropriate prescribing, change the nation’s understanding of opioids and addiction and ensure a pathway to recovery for individuals suffering from addiction.

“Bringing governors together around core strategies to end the opioid epidemic adds momentum behind state efforts and sends a clear signal to opioid prescribers and others whose leadership is critical to saving lives,” said Governor Baker, chair of the NGA Health and Human Services Committee. “Massachusetts is proud to bring our plans to the table for other states as we work collaboratively to find meaningful solutions to this public health crisis.”

On Friday, Governor Baker and his co-chair New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan hosted a session on opioid addiction with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and representatives from the Drug Enforcement Agency and National Academy of Medicine, as well as state experts. You can watch the plenary session, including Governor Baker’s opening remarks, here:

At the 2017 Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., NGA will report on specific steps governors have taken to meet their commitments and build on existing efforts.

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