Outlook optimistic at all levels of government - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Outlook optimistic at all levels of government

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Federal, state and local officials joined with the Greater Springfield business community Friday to hear about issues on all levels of government. It was part of Outlook 2018, the annual luncheon and forum sponsored by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Legislative and local leaders believe there is cause for optimism at all levels of government.

In fact, before Governor Charlie Baker addressed this gathering, he filed a $610 million economic development bill. 

The biggest allotment in Baker's proposal is the authorization to borrow $300 million for the MassWorks Infrastructure program. It gives grants to cities and towns for public infrastructure that promotes economic development.

Chicopee State Representative Joseph Wagner is Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. He said, “The governor has been very supportive or workforce and workforce development issues along with infrastructure to support bringing business online, infrastructure in the form of MassWorks grants.”

Wagner said that the legislature won't waste any time getting to work on the Governor's proposal, adding, “There are only 4 months left to this legislative session, so it comes to us late, however, we'll hold a public hearing sooner rather than later. We will certainly move to put a legislative imprint on it.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said that the Governor's proposal will only enhance the development that's already going on in Springfield.

“There's a lot of good things going on, it's not smoke and mirrors. These are concrete projects, developments that are coming to fruition, which is only good for Springfield and the region," Sarno explained.

Governor Baker's bill would also create a permanent sales tax holiday in Massachusetts.

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