Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito filed legislation seeking $4.991 billion in capital funds to support core improvements in the state’s cybersecurity, public safety, and workforce skills, among other priorities.

“This bill supports essential capital investments that will deliver long-lasting benefits to Massachusetts residents for years to come, with a focus on safety, resiliency, and opportunity,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature to make these important investments, which will pave the way for the continued efficient delivery of government services and economic growth.”

As part of the bond bill, the state would allocate $185 million for the Executive Office of Technology Services and Services to support various cybersecurity and IT infrastructure initiatives, including:

  • $100 million for cybersecurity investments and to support existing large business applications modernization projects, including modernizing the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Online system and building out an integrated eligibility and enrollment system to streamline the benefits application process across multiple state agencies.
  • $50 million for virtual and physical security infrastructure at the Trial Courts facilities, such as intrusion detection, duress, physical screening, access control, video monitoring, and communications.
  • $35 million to upgrade Lottery gaming systems, decommission end-of-life equipment, and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Among other measures, the bond bill would also fund:

  • $60 million for public safety equipment for fire services, corrections, state police & parole vehicles, and communications towers.
  • $100 million to continue support for the Workforce Skills capital grants program, which provides grants to high schools, community colleges, training programs, and non-profit organizations to purchase equipment that will help expand access to career technical education programs.
  • $100 million for municipal grants to support a broad range of local infrastructure improvements and projects.
  • $30 million for the Community Compact IT competitive grant program aimed at driving innovation at the local level and available to any municipality that is part of the Community Compact Cabinet Initiative.
  • $16 million for MassVentures START grants, which help businesses commercialize ideas that have been backed with Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding.

“The proposed investments in this bill continue our Administration’s work to improve a wide range of critical infrastructure and foster growth and development across Massachusetts,” said Lt. Gov. Polito. “These funds will ensure the continuity of proven programs and enable impactful future economic, health and safety initiatives that will benefit the Commonwealth’s communities, businesses, and residents.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs