Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) is pleased to report passage of the Economic Growth Bill.
Ferrante is the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and has served as one of six members of the legislature that negotiated final passage of the bill.
Ferrante said, “This bill will maintain Massachusetts as a leader in job creation. I am pleased to have participated as a contributor to the bill as the Vice-Chair of Economic Development, and as one of six conferees who negotiated the final bill between the House and Senate. The focus that the bill has on fishing, maritime development, tourism and the creative economy will no doubt create more jobs on Cape Ann and provide valuable tools for job creation on Cape Ann.”
Specific to Cape Ann the bill includes:
Fishing and Maritime Industry
This bill has an emphasis on farming and fishing as economic drivers. The bill includes measures to revitalize fishing and maritime trades by:
- Requiring Mass Development to report back on a number of issues in the Designated Port Areas such as the state’s vision for DPAs; the cost for said vision; and the cost for waste water treatment
- Creating a Seafood Marketing Commission;
- $100,000 for a Seafood Marketing Plan;
- Establishing a Small Farms and Fisheries Tax Credit, which provides a 3% tax credit for small agricultural and fishing operations for capital investments related exclusively to agriculture, farming, or fishing; and,
- Requiring the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development to prepare an annual strategic report in conjunction with the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth’s commercial fishing and shellfish industry.
Recognizing tourism as the state’s third largest economic driver, this bill:
- Provides $5M for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism; and
- Creates a new Tourism Funding Formula to provide critical funding to the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership and Regional Tourism Councils
Arts and Culture
Massachusetts Cultural Council
This bill requires that each county have one representative on the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). Today, Cape Ann does not have a representative on the MCC, even though the MCC has funded many projects including Rockport Music, the Cape Ann Museum, Paint Factory and Gloucester Stage Company Theater.
Pre-Broadway Tax Credit
This bill contains a tax credit to attract pre-Broadway shows to Massachusetts theaters. With similar legislation, Rhode Island attracted six such shows, which created job opportunities in construction and design during the show’s run in Rhode Island. Cape Ann has one of the largest collections of set designers, set builders and stage hands working in Massachusetts due to the continuation of productions that are filmed on Cape Ann. This bill has the potential to create more opportunity for those who work on theatrical sets.
Tech Hub Caucus
Ferrante is also the Chair of the Tech Hub Caucus and is pleased with the state’s investment in technology to allow Massachusetts to grow its stature as a global technology hub. The bill:
- Provides $1.5M to the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN)
- Creates and provides $2M for a Big Data Innovation and Workforce Fund
- Provides $1M for a Start-up Mentoring Program
- Provides $1M to the Talent Pipeline Program
- Creates an Angel Investor Tax Credit
- Provides $3M for the Global Entrepreneurship Program
- Provides $2M for the Innovation Institute Fund
- Provides $1.5M for MassVentures
- Provides $2M for the Innovation Commercialization Seed Fund
The bill also contains economic growth tools such as tax credits for research and development, housing development, Brownfields redevelopment and job training.