Governor Healey Files Mass Leads Act to Grow Economy, Support Businesses, Attract Talent

Today, Governor Maura T. Healey filed the Mass Leads Act, her administration’s economic development bond bill that will strengthen Massachusetts’ global leadership in life sciences and launching game-changing investments in climatetech and applied artificial intelligence (AI). Yesterday, Governor Healey announced that the bill includes a 10-year reauthorization of the transformative Life Science Initiative, as well as a new 10-year investment in climatetech to compete in the emerging clean energy sector. 


In addition to positioning Massachusetts as a global hub for these innovative sectors, the bill also proposes support for small businesses, rural communities, workforce development, and arts and culture.  


This omnibus bill is central to a 10-year economic development strategy to execute the vision outlined in the administration’s 2023 economic development plan: Team Massachusetts: Leading Future Generations.  


“The Mass Leads Act invests in every sector of our economy to help businesses and workers succeed in every region of our state – now and for a generation to come. These proposals will position Massachusetts to maintain our competitive edge on the global stage, while also strengthening our economy by supporting workforce development, small businesses, rural communities, and arts and culture,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Every decision in this package was made through a lens of equity, affordability and competitiveness, and we look forward to working with our Legislative partners to deliver for Massachusetts.” 


“The Mass Leads Act will do wonders for our local economies,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “It invests in the entrepreneurs and small businesses that are the backbone of our communities, works to close the digital divide and bring more regional equity into our economy, and empowers local government with the tools they need to combat climate change. We have a transformative opportunity to make our economy stronger for generations to come, and we must act on it.” 


“The Mass Leads Act’s investments will continue to lengthen our lead across key sectors and ensure that Massachusetts continues to be the best place for innovative companies to start, scale, and succeed; and the best place for talent from all kinds of backgrounds to start and grow fulfilling careers,” said Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao. “This legislation will invest across all regions and communities across our state, and enable us to lead together as Team Massachusetts.”  


“Massachusetts has an opportunity to build on its global leadership in life sciences and make new investments in climatetech, workforce and talent development and other sectors of our economy that will set the state and its residents up for future success. The Mass Leads Acts does just that through a mix of borrowing, tax incentives and other investments that all fit within our long-term capital and fiscal plan to responsibly and sustainably position the state to grow jobs and industries and take full advantage of our economic strengths,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Mathew J. Gorzkowicz. 


Aligned with the administration’s economic development plan, this proposal is focused on three main priority areas:  

·                 Fundamentals – Investing in the fundamentals to enable economic growth    

·                 Talent – Retaining and attracting the world’s best talent across all backgrounds  

·                 Sectors – Supporting businesses that power the state’s economy 

The bill proposes several new capital programs, in key areas highlighted in the administration’s economic development plan. In addition to the climatetech initiative, new capital programs include:  

·                 $100M for the Applied AI Hub for grants to facilitate the application of artificial intelligence (AI) across the state’s ecosystem, which will be informed by the strategic priorities of the AI Strategic Task Force. 

·                 $75M for the Massachusetts TechHub to establish a new program in Massachusetts for investment in consortia organized around key technology areas, modeled on the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Technology and Innovation (Tech Hubs) Program.  

·                 $25M for the Robotics Investment Program for capital grants to advance the state’s leadership in the robotics sector through research, commercialization, and training.  

·                 $25M for the Business Builds Capital Program for a new grant program to support business improvements, such as energy efficiency, via the Business Front Door. 

The bill also includes capital authorizations for existing programs that remain core to the state’s economic development toolbox, including programs offered through the Community One Stop for Growth as well as capital resources for advanced manufacturing and the tourism and cultural sector:  

·                 $400M for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program for public infrastructure improvements to spur private development and create jobs. 

·                 $100M for the Rural Development Fund to provide financial support for infrastructure improvements and community planning efforts in rural communities. 

·                 $100M for the Seaport Economic Council to support marine economies in coastal communities. 

·                 $99M for Advanced Manufacturing for flexible grants to support advanced manufacturing initiatives through Mass Tech Collaborative.   

·                 $50M for the Cultural Facilities Fund to provide resources for capital improvements at cultural facilities, such as museums, theaters, and performance venues.  

·                 $40M for Destination Development Grants to support critical capital improvements at tourism assets across Massachusetts. 


In total, this legislation recommends approximately $2.8 billion in bond authorizations for capital-related grantmaking, of which $1.75 billion is dedicated to the reauthorization of existing programs and $1 billion is proposed for new capital initiatives. This bill also proposes $750 million in economic development tax program changes, which includes the creation of the new climatetech incentive program and an expansion of the life sciences incentive program.  


Alongside the bill, Governor Healey signed two Executive Orders. One establishes a Cultural Policy Development Advisory Council that will be charged with developing recommendations to the administration for how to support and grow the state’s arts and culture sector. The administration is also committing to identifying and selecting artists-in-residence to collaborate with state agencies and establish, for the first time, an official poet laureate position for the state. 


The second Executive Order establishes a council tasked with reviewing the existing procurement laws and related processes for public building construction projects, such as state laws relative to surety bonds, to identify barriers to small, emerging, and diverse businesses, and to make recommendations that address them.   


The full legislation and key issue briefs will be available on the EOED website.

Scroll to Top