BOSTON – The Massachusetts State Senate passed a General Government, IT Bond Bill Conference Committee Report today, which authorizes $1.8 billion in investments to modernize the Commonwealth’s general government infrastructure, improve cybersecurity capabilities, empower communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system, support early education and care providers, and expand access to remote learning opportunities for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The final bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.
Senate-led priorities in the report include the following:
- $65 million in economic empowerment and justice reinvestment capital grants to support communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system with access to economic and workforce development opportunities;
- $50 million to enhance and expand access to K through 12 remote learning technology for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- $37 million for a food security grant program to address infrastructure needs for farms, retailers, fisheries, food system food distribution channels to address growing food insecurity and food supply chain needs across the Commonwealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- $25 million to assist licensed early education and care providers and after school programs with capital improvements to ensure safe reopening during the COVID-19 public health emergency;
- $20 million for a body camera grant program for police departments to ensure accountability in public safety;
- $10 million for a statewide criminal justice data system modernization to help better track racial and ethnic disparities across the judicial and public safety systems;
- $5 million for the creation of a common application option for Mass Health and Medicare Savings Program applicants to apply for SNAP at the same time, use the same core eligibility information and verifications;
- $2.9 million for public health data warehouse for the analysis of population health trends including health trends and health inequities related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- $2.5 million for implementation of an automated electronic sealing process to seal certain criminal records.