BOSTON – Gov. Deval L. Patrick signed the $33.6 billion fiscal 2014 Massachusetts budget this month, stating that the package makes “significant investments” in education, health care cost containment and youth-violence prevention.
According to a news release, the budget increases Chapter 70 education funding by $130 million over fiscal 2013 to $4.3 billion, bringing funding for Chapter 70 aid to the highest level in state history. The budget also includes a $97 million investment in the commonwealth’s public universities and colleges, moving the state towards funding 50 percent of public higher education costs within the University of Massachusetts system, a move that would avoid tuition and fee increases in the coming year.
The budget also includes several measures at helping businesses. They include:
• $19.5 million for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to provide research grants and accelerator loans to researchers and early state companies and support workforce-development efforts in the life sciences.
• $18.75 million for MassDevelopment’s Advanced Manufacturing Futures Program, created in the 2012 Jobs Bill, to engage in small-to-medium-enterprise lending, drive workforce development and provide competitive grants and contracts to facilitate growth and competitiveness in manufacturing.
• $2 million for Workforce Development Grants to help job seekers gain the skills needed for today’s manufacturing jobs.
• $2 million for the Mass Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
According to the release, the budget also reflects Patrick’s efforts to reduce the state’s reliance on one-time budget solutions, positioning Massachusetts to have one of the nation’s largest reserve-fund balances. •
PBN is now accepting applications for its newest award program and event for RI & Bristol County to celebrate the Manufacturing Renaissance that is evolving regionally and across the country. The deadline for applications is March 20th.
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.