Jobs & the Economy

Barbara has worked with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do everything possible to boost the state economy while promoting job growth.
Barbara is absolutely committed to economic development and creating jobs for every resident, working with local small business owners as well as other legislators to create jobs.

Bills Passed in 2009-2010

Economic Development (Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2010)

  • Sales tax holiday for August 14th and 15th
  • Promotes a business-friendly environment that will help small businesses open, expand and create jobs
  • Overhauls the state’s network of business development agencies, establishing a streamlined, cohesive model with built-in oversight and transparency to reduce redundancy and waste
  • Gateway Cities (municipalities with a population between 35,000 and 250,000 that have a median household income and educational attainment rate below the state average.Unemployment rates in these cities have climbed well above the state average of 8.8%, with Worcester’s reaching 11.3% and Lawrence’s rate at 16.7%)
    • Reconfiguring the Gateway Cities Manufacturing Retention and Job Growth Program to offer tax incentives to employers who create at least 25 new manufacturing jobs or retain 50 such positions in a manufacturing facility located in a Gateway municipality
    • Creating the Housing Development Incentive Program to allocate $5 million for tax credits for developers of multi-unit market-rate housing in designated housing development zones within Gateway cities
    • Allocating $50 million to the Growth Districts Initiative Grant Program which expedites commercial and residential development by making certain properties “development ready” with respect to local & state permitting, site preparation, environmental remediation, and transportation infrastructure
    • Extending the Brownfields Remediation Tax Credit Program to provide tax incentives to businesses who will clean and develop lands, much of which in Massachusetts is located in Gateway Cities

Municipal Relief (Chapter 188 of the Acts of 2010)

  • Establishes a statewide mutual aid agreement to allow cities and towns to share resources
  • Permits municipalities to extend funding schedules for pension systems
  • Allows for regionalization efforts among municipalities
  • Unemployment Insurance Rate Freeze (Chapter 34 of the Acts of 2010)
  • Halts a scheduled increase in the unemployment insurance assessment that all employers pay
  • In 2009, the average employer contribution into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund was $584 per employee
  • Without legislative action, this per-employee assessment would have jumped to approximately $852
  • Anticipated that even with the passage of the legislation the assessment on employers will increase a modest amount as a result of increased layoffs

Saltwater Fishing License (Chapter 161 of the Acts of 2009)

  • Establish a saltwater fishing licensing program in the Commonwealth
  • Ensure that any fees collected for licensing be retained for programs concerning the conservation and preservation of saltwater ecosystems in the state
  • Includes federally-allowed exemptions for those with disabilities, those under 16 years of age or over 59, and passengers on for-hire vessels
  • Includes two free fishing days which would allow anglers to fish without a license

Economic Recovery (Chapters 30 and 33 of the Acts of 2009)

  • Allowed the Commonwealth to capitalize on millions of federal dollars available to Massachusetts through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 while promoting administrative efficiencies and ensuring transparency.